At the beginning of 2013, I decided this would be the year I reinvent my business to reflect me, and what I truly love. Since then, I’ve made many changes to my business, I’ve taken lots of steps towards building my brand.
I’m just back from a week in Los Angeles, California, where myself and 16 other photographers took part in a workshop with Jasmine Star, voted Top 10 Wedding Photographer by American Photo Magazine. Jasmine isn’t just insanely talented, she’s a business guru!
The workshop focused on how to build your brand. As the workshop was only one day, there was a LOT of information crammed in. But I took lots of notes, and in the end made some tough decisions for my business going forward. At the end of the day, we celebrated with a fabulous photoshoot, with an incredible real couple.
Here’s where things get hard.
When I left this photoshoot, I got into my little rental car, and cried real, big, unpretty tears. I didn’t feel as if I’d produced anything usable from this incredible shoot, and certainly not my best. My disappointment was raw and overwhelming.
I thought if I couldn’t produce my best work when working with one of the most talented photographers in the modern industry, when could I?
I couldn’t even look at these photographs for a few days. They sat on a memory card in my camera until this morning. My heart was broken all through my last day in LA, all through the day of luggage, flights and connections. All through my first days home. Then, reluctantly, I loaded them onto my computer. And I started editing.
And they’re beautiful.
I’m never ever one to toot my own horn, but I didn’t think I shot anything that I could ever use. I was shocked that I had SO MUCH.
One thing I’ve decided from this experience is to STOP being so overly hard on myself, and my work. It’s not only detrimental to my self-esteem, it’s detrimental to my workflow, and ultimately the images I produce.
I thought restarting my business was going to be changing my workflow, my packaging, my email interactions with client. Little did I know that when I walked away from this workshop that the first step, and possibly the most important step, would be changing my attitude and my internal dialogue.
I’m proud of the images I made. But I’m even more thrilled with what they’ve taught me. They’ll serve as a dedicated reminder to myself to have more faith in myself, and my talent.