Throwback Thursday :: Work with Professionals


I love going through some of the words I’ve written in the past….here is one from 2012!

There is nothing worse than when you finally discover that you are not perfect at everything. I know this may come as a shock to you but it’s the truth. That there are some things that you cannot do.


I love the variety of skill sets that people have.

For example…

I know an amazing photographer who just so happens to also be a lawyer. She recently contacted me to help her with writing her blog pages so that they sounded less like a lawyer wrote them.

Another photographer friend is a bookkeeper who helped me with my taxes.

I know my limits. I knew I could get the basics of my paperwork done but I wanted to make sure that I did them right!

What about you? What part of your life do you know need help with? Or that maybe you aren’t the best at?

We go to the grocery store and buy meat and vegetables and fruits and breads that were created by other people. My clothes are bought at a store, not made from cotton I picked myself.

This doesn’t make me less of a woman. Less of a mom. Less of a person.

Why does asking for help or hiring someone else to do something for you can make you feel like less of a business owner? It should make you feel more successful because you need the help. You are succeeding and should take advantage of the need that has arisen.

Embrace it. Ask for the help you need from the professionals you can trust.

It’s the best thing you can do for yourself, your business and your life.

Tuesday Tip :: Why Your Spouse’s Opinion Doesn’t Matter



I’ve seen the following a lot over the years but it’s just recently had another influx over the past week.

“My husband doesn’t like X option.” “My husband thinks I shouldn’t charge as much.” “My spouse thinks I need to get a day job because no one will pay me for what I do.”

When I see this, my soul hurts inside. I understand how much we love and trust our spouses. They tend to be our foundation, our rocks, our main support system.

However, unless they are a marketing manager for their own company, in the industry that you are trying to working in AND have experience with your target market, their opinion should be only that: an opinion.

When choosing how to price yourself and how to brand yourself, you should be getting help and guidance from someone who knows what they are talking about OR is in your target market. Chances are, he is not your Target Market. If he is, fantastic! You have a built in testing location. If not, you need to talk to people that know what you are trying to go for and why choices are made.

So next time your spouse gives you an opinion that makes you second guess what you are doing, gracefully thank him for his thoughts and let him know you’ll be taking his opinions to the industry to make sure that it lines up with your goals. If the industry lines up with his mindset, let him know and thank him. If it does not, also let him know and tell him why you are choosing to utilize the advice from professionals.

Your business is yours and it can be so difficult, especially if your spouse is successful in another industry, to not be tempted to just go with everything they say. However, it is not going to be the best thing for you to do!

Best of luck with any changes you make, but know that the choices should be for you and you alone to decide.

Now, this is in no way meant to degrade your spouse’s heart or thoughts or support. That’s always important for a relationship but this relationship is not for your business. You can love them, but not love everything they suggest!

Don’t Forget Yours


Christmas times come and it’s always a busy time for portrait photographers. Everyone seems to remember that they haven’t had a family portrait taken since last year and realizes they need something for their Christmas Card.

When you are so busy running around shooting everyone else’s families, don’t forget about your own! Whether you use a tripod with a timer or remote, have a photographer friend shoot you for trade or hire someone, get them done!

The Campbell Family :: The Photog's Helper

And when they are done, print one and put it on the wall! Do it, right now!

Tuesday Tip :: Not Perfection


Anyone who has seen my Instagram will immediately recognize that I am kind of in love with my family. They mean so much to me and sometimes my heart feels like it will burst with love. As we reach the three year mark of my husband’s stroke, things have become even more overwhelming at times. I have been blessed in so many parts of my world.

It’s the little things in life as well. This sneak attack, when daddy was having a bad day and Avi and I were going to leave. Just iPhone photos, no edits. Not perfect. But it makes me so happy.


The giggles I heard. The smile on the faces after. These are moments I will keep forever.

And more important, I was there to capture it. Please, take pictures of your family. If you can’t bug a photographer friend in the area to photograph them, snap. Snapshots are not a dirty word. I wouldn’t pay anyone for these. No one would pay me for them. But they are precious all the same.

“It’s Been Done Before”


I’ve been having some sad conversations with people lately. The whole conversation revolves around how many other photographers have done the same thing.

A couple kissing, showing off the engagement ring or an overhead shot of the couple in the grass.

Babies curling up in buckets, baskets, bottles and boxes.

A chair or couch in a field.

Now, there is definitely something to be said about originality. About doing images that you want to do. So if you don’t want to drag a large vintage couch into a field, don’t do it.

However, if you have a vision….there shouldn’t be something holding you back from doing so.

Because remember….no one has done this pose with your clients and you. Yes, it may look similar to the Winning Image from WPPI in 2010 but here’s the kicker….your clients weren’t there. They didn’t see it. You have an idea, maybe even show them that image as inspiration and you can still present it to the world.

If you want to do something, no matter if someone else has done it, do it! Get out there and photograph it.

reflection collage

Top: Hanke Arkenbout Bottom (L to R): Giving Wedding | Unknown | Shannon Nicole Smith

See how different it can be?

I do my thing, and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you, and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful.

~ Frederick E. Perl

Linky Love :: Promote Your Blog


The fact that Infographics have become so popular has made me so very happy. I love great design when combined with  wonderful information!

This one I just found thanks to Pinterest is full of amazing information!



It’s so wonderful when I can find the great stuff out there to help with promoting your own stuff. There are 30 ways listed with detailed information on how to get your name out there. Not only that, most of them are free!

There are some things there that I never would have thought of, outside of the photography community. What a great idea!

So, what about you? Do you have a checklist you go through when you’ve clicked “Publish” on a blogpost? Maybe this list will help you add some things to get it out there!

Linky Love :: Five Free eBooks


                                  Source: via Kathy on Pinterest

I love when someone gets something done before I do. I’m all about being able to share the love that someone else put together and even more so when it can share the love of five more amazing authors and bloggers. These five free ebooks will definitely be able to take you forward on your path to awesomeness.

The best part about this blog post by the AMAZING Betty Red is that all five ebooks are by women. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not someone that thinks women are the only ones that can do something right. Instead, I know that women think differently then men. Unfortunately, with the history in this country of patriarchy it’s difficult for women to be taken seriously in some industries. Photography is not any different. If you look at any sort of photography history books or on a list of famous photographers, men will be featured fairly prominently. That is slowly beginning to change, but we can work on making that even more effective.

Take yourself seriously. Concentrate on presenting yourself as a professional business person. Now, this does not mean you have to wear suits every day (ha, I’m lucky if I’m wearing a bra…) or that you can’t be yourself, but instead just pause a moment before you do or say anything. No bad mouthing clients or vendors or anyone on your website, blog or Facebook. When you are presenting yourself to a client or potential business to work with, put together an actual packet and hand deliver it (you probably should at least wear a bra to that…). Smile when you talk to them, relax and be yourself. Your work is probably amazing, so present your personality and let them fall in love with you as you are. You are incredible, don’t forget that. I know that you can be yourself and professional at the same time.

It can be a delicate balance, but you can do it. You will be a better business person and professional when you realize that. Download these ebooks put together by Betty Red and take more steps to become incredible.

What ebooks and newsletters do you love?

So You Wanna Be A Photographer?



So, you want to go into business as a photographer? Before you even pick up your camera to start portfolio building, you should get these five things sorted out!

First step, you need to think of this an actual business. It can be easy to think of photography as just a hobby and oh, hey, if you get paid some in cash, that’s great! However, if you will take money at all, it’s a business. As such, you should be registered as one! You do not want to be audited Take a look at the different options: sole proprietor, llc, etc and see which one makes the most sense for you. Talk to your local Chamber of Commerce or a tax person to ask questions if you need to. Either way, once you’ve figured it out, register it! Each state is different, so make sure you contact your state’s business department or look at their website to discover what needs to be done. Don’t forget the government either! You’ll need an EIN (which may end up being your Social Security Number) but you must be registered! Combined with this step is the need for your business name. Whether you choose to do simply Your Name Photography or something different, this is the one step for your branding and business you need to have decided.

Once the government (both state and federal) know you are ready to take money, you need a place to put that money. The worst thing you could do is mix your business and personal funds. Take the paperwork you’ve received into your favorite bank or credit union and set up your account! I’m partial to Advantis Credit Union, if you have it because of the interest rates, but this should be your decision completely. Make sure get both a checking and savings account, as well as a business debit card. Your savings account will be perfect for automatically transferring your tax payments to. I always move over 30% of any income because the last thing I want to do is have to dig into my personal accounts to pay Uncle Sam!

Now that you have a place to put your money, you need to discover what amounts of your money you will be depositing. Yes, I’m talking about pricing! It’s scary, but nothing can kill your business faster than not knowing what to charge! There are a bunch of options out there to help you, but the only thing you should NOT do is spy on your local photographers, get their price lists and then randomly pick numbers less than theirs! Part of this decision is deciding what kind of photography business you want to be: volume or boutique. Regardless of which you choose, you will need to price accordingly. If you are wanting to charge $25 for a session fee and your gift prints start at $10 a piece, you cannot call yourself boutique and spend $50 packaging each order. The math doesn’t add up! There is no truly right or wrong answer per-say with what you choose, but you do need to decide and fully stand by that decision!

Only once you have created your pricing structure should you buckle down on the things like your logo and branding. By now, you’ve figured out the name of your company (and registered so you are all official!) and you’ve figured out what you want to price for your products and services. Because of this, you have a better idea of who you are as a company. With those decisions made, you’ll be able to develop your branding and marketing to fit those ideas and work with who you are hoping to bring into your business as clients. When creating this overall look, you definitely want to work with a professional to develop what you want. It’s going to be something you want to invest your time, effort and any financial options you have to make sure it is worthwhile.
The last thing to think of before you put out your shingle is to figure out your workflow. When someone calls or emails you to have you take their picture, what process do they need to go through? Are you going to schedule them in a Google Calendar or a paper calendar? Will you have a paper file or a digital client management option? Unlike the first four steps, this is something that can grow and develop over time but you must have a basic idea to start with. The more planning you can put forth into this piece of your business puzzle, the easier a time presenting yourself as a professional. When visit a restaurant, you know the steps to the dance. You walk in the door, sit down at a table (whether you choose the table yourself or a hostess seats you), you look at the food to order, make your decision, the cook prepares it, you eat, you pay and you leave. There are a variety of different steps depending on the type of restaurant, who works there, etc. But at the end of the night, you know you will get food. A workflow for your business is very much like this. There are several different pre-built workflow options available, but you want to make sure whatever you choose is how you want your business to be run. This will help make sure that you are successful!

Once you have these five steps sorted out and have decided that this is truly what you want to do, go for it! Set up your referral program, drop your name to everyone and shout from the rooftops that you are open for business!

Good luck, stay strong and don’t forget why you chose to do this. Make sure to shoot for you sometime in your soon to be busy schedule too. If you forget why you wanted to become a Professional Photographer, you will lose the passion and beauty that drew you to it. This won’t benefit anyone, including your clients.

Facebook Changes Pages



So, by now, we’ve reached a point in Facebook where you have to pay a lot of attention to how everything is constantly changing. Today, everyone can see your stuff. Tomorrow, no one can. Yesterday, you have to pay a million bucks to reach everyone.

I logged in to Facebook this morning and saw something new!

Do you see what I noticed?

How about now?

Facebook has now made it easier for our clients (and, let’s be honest, ourselves as well) to find the content from the Pages we have liked.

What does this mean? This means, we have to get the word out!

Tell your fans, friends and relatives how to access all of their pages! Don’t forget to utilize it to yourself too!

Scary World


                                                                                                                                Source: via Kathy on Pinterest

There are times in your life where things happen that you cannot control. It’s been a week since I have started completely working from home and it’s been a very difficult transition. Mainly a mental thing. Wondering who I think I am that I can do this as a primary breadwinner. It’s scary and I have moments where I pause and wonder what the heck I am doing.

But then I get inspiration from quotes and images that keep me going. That remind me how awesome I am. That help me realize that I do have the strength to do this as a career and that I am amazing.

                                                                                                                                      Source: via Kathy on Pinterest

What keeps you going? Where do you turn when you are feeling disgruntled and exhausted and under the weather? Share them with all of us!

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