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When to say “adios” to your day job

When to say “adios” to your day job

  One of the most common questions we get asked from photographers is, “When is it a smart decision to quit my day job?” If you’re in that position, we want to help guide you through that tough decision to make! It was 8 years ago that we...
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One of the most common questions we get asked from photographers is, “When is it a smart decision to quit my day job?” If you’re in that position, we want to help guide you through that tough decision to make!

It was 8 years ago that we decided to pursue photography as a career. At that point in our lives, Zach worked for a company that photographed and produced images for grade-school yearbooks, and Jody worked in international sales and marketing for a record label. We learned learned a lot over the years about how to keep our business functioning day in and day out and one of the hardest decisions we had to make early on in our business was quitting our day jobs.

The struggle came when we were gaining huge momentum and found ourselves in the middle of shooting 30+ weddings our 2nd year into business and we both were working crazy hard. Zach had quit his job 10 months prior but Jody was working 80-90 hour weeks between her day job and photography.  We had a come-to-Jesus-meeting about how much time we were spending business building vs. marriage building (business building was WAY significantly more) and sat down and decided that WE were going to take control of our future.

We sought the advice of a few different counselors including the brilliant financial mind of Dave Ramsey. We wrote out our plan, did what was right based on our marriage relationship, and what we needed instead of what we feared (losing our “security” of the day jobs) and moved forward. We ended the year with a bang and our business continued to thrive and grow each year after.

So how did we practically make the leap?  What were the steps we took?

 

1. Income: 
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When your side business (e.g. your photography) is netting (what you make after expenses) 50% of what your making in your day job, then that is one sign that you are moving into the right position to quit your day job. Because your are only half-committed to the side business due to the limited amount of time you have to put into it, once you quit the day job and have an extra 40 hours free per-week (plus the mental freedom you gain not having your attention divided) then you can easily make up the difference in your income. Do NOT quit your day job, then just keep working the same amount of hours per-week in your photography business and think you will somehow succeed. You have to give it more attention and not less, and nothing will get you more motivated to win then having everything riding on you and your ability to go out and make it happen!

 

2. Debt: 
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We are strong believers in building your business debt free and living debt free because it gives us the ability to do what we want when we want, and not be worse off then when we started if the business doesn’t work out. If you have serious mounting personal debt, you may be asking for trouble if your financial affairs aren’t in order before you quit your day job. If something bad can happen, it will (Murhpy’s law) and what we want to do in life is try and alleviate as much risk as we can. Paying down our debt and getting that monkey off our back is crucial to feeling financially stable when taking a risk like starting your own full time business. Now, we are not saying that you can’t start a biz if you have debt, but we are suggesting that you become debt free (or at least work on that as hard as you can) to help alleviate risk. (For more info on learning how to become debt free like we did, visit http://www.daveramsey.com/fpu – this changed our lives!!).

 

3. Emergency Fund: 
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When you start working for yourself full-time, you will quickly realize that you can have months of plenty, and months of want. You need to learn how to work with an irregular income and budget for times when you have nothing (taking Dave Ramsey’s  Financial Peace University will help with this as well as our Business Finances Videos we did on our blog).

 

The first step in doing that when quitting your day job is building a serious emergency fund.  Figure out (to the dollar) exactly how much cash you need to live per-month at the bare minimum (paying your light bill, gas, food, rent/mortgage and so forth). When making the leap to go full time, we suggest having a 6 month minimum emergency fund. That way, you can go 6 months straight without making one dollar and still pay for your life.  The question to ask yourself is, “Do you really think you won’t book ONE gig for 6 months?”  The answer is no, but it’s a great thing to have in case of good ‘ol Murphy. You never know what’s around the corner. The more money in your fund the better, and be sure to NEVER touch that money unless you absolutely have to. (We keep our emergency in a money market that has check writing privileges).

 

4. Client Management System: 
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The last thing you want to have happen when you go full time is you get tons of clients (with all this new time and energy you have to invest) and start getting super busy, and then let the management of your business go to the wayside and then your clients start falling in the cracks.  This results in them having a negative experience with you and things can go downhill from there.  When you get busy, you need to have a killer system to help you stay organized, and keep your new clients happy. When they get unhappy, there goes your referrals, then soon there goes your business!

 

Start by writing down a systems manual for all the processes you have in your day to day business with your clients. From when to send them certain emails before and after booking, when to schedule shoots with them, when to send the questionnaire to get all wedding details, what order to back up images, when to edit the shots and so on and so forth. There is a ton of things to do, and you need to have them all written down in a step-by-step process and check them all of as you go. That will let you know that everything is getting done, and will keep your clients smiling and happy week in and week out!  (We did this in Excel and Word documents for awhile and you can also use great systems like Pixifi!).

 

5. Make a Plan & DO IT: 
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If it’s not on the calendar, it will never happen. This seems obvious, but most of us don’t take the leap because it is just that. A leap! Fear cripples most wantrepreneur’s (those that want to be entrepreneur’s) and stops them from ever achieving their dream. Be assured that once you have the above, you ARE in a position to do this and you CAN do it! Believe in yourself that you can win and you can succeed and you CAN have an amazing business and do what you love and get paid to do it! You have to put in the hard work, then take that leap of faith and go for it. If you are really scared, and don’t believe that you can do it and that something terrible will happen if you try, ask yourself this; “What is the worst possible scenario that could happen to me?” Tim Ferris says “Do you really think that you will be standing on the street corner, with a tin cup asking for money?” Of course not! You can always get another day job, so go for it and live that dream that you have been wanting to live.

 

It is always exciting to hear the stories of photographers who have made the leap.  We have all been there and you are not alone!  Take the leap!!!

PS. Next week, we’re going to share a brand-new video series on the secrets to running a successful photography business. As a subscriber, you’ll get it for free. But if you want to share this with a friend, please click this link to tweet it: http://ctt.ec/4wVa4.

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The Surprise of Success | 15 Tips on Living the Life You’ve Always Dreamed Of

The Surprise of Success | 15 Tips on Living the Life You’ve Always Dreamed Of

What is success? Ever sit down and truly ask yourself that question? Ever felt like you reached what you thought was “success” and you had some surprises? We’d love to share with you an ebook that we are a part of - The Surprise of Success | 15 Tips...
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What is success?

Ever sit down and truly ask yourself that question?

Ever felt like you reached what you thought was “success” and you had some surprises?

We’d love to share with you an ebook that we are a part of - The Surprise of Success | 15 Tips on Living the Life You’ve Always Dreamed Of. This project was lead by author Jeff Goins and we’re incredibly honored to be a contributor amid so many other great writers, speakers and bloggers.

Get your free copy of this ebook!

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We wanted to share with you our contribution:

Success comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. It’s ambiguous. It’s subjective. Success to one person may be making a 6-figure income, even if it demands 60 hours a week, and success to another may be making just enough so they can be home and available to their family.

When we first got married back in 2005, all we had between the two of us was a GED, a college degree, a few thousand dollars in debt, and an income of 24,000. Success to us at that point was finding jobs we loved, paying off our debt and saving up to eventually buy a home.

Fast forward nine years to present day and one could safely say that we achieved success beyond what we ever could have possibly dared to dream as newlyweds. We paid off our debt, started our own business, eventually quit our day jobs, and we not only excelled at our profession but began to teach others how to be great at their craft and thrive in business. We traveled across the globe speaking at conventions and teaching workshops. We saved up for a house, bought our first home.

It seemed like everything we set out to do and worked hard for, just worked.

Long gone was the GED high school graduate wondering if he could ever amount to anything. Long gone was the college graduate wondering what in the world she was going to do with her life.

We had purpose. We had success.

And then the crap hit the fan…

The one thing we wanted the most and worked the hardest for wasn’t happening. We were having extreme difficulty staying pregnant.

It was in the middle of that struggle and in those dark moments that the success we had strived for and achieved seemed trivial. So silly. So pointless. We would have traded in a heartbeat our incomes, our home, anything, for what was really important—a family. Someone to raise. Someone to love. Someone that’s half of each of us. Our legacy.

Now that we have been blessed with a child on this side of heaven, our lives have been richer than we ever could have thought possible. Having our lives become about something more important than us has been way more fulfilling than making a great income or living in a beautiful home.

Yes, it’s easy to get sucked back into the rat race – it will always be beckoning, but success to us now has transformed into things that are more long-lasting. Things that matter more. There is nothing wrong with hard work and enjoying the harvest from that work. However, when our whole purpose becomes striving after goals and achievements that will soon fade away, we soon are left more unfulfilled than we may have thought possible.

Success to us now looks a little different. Yes, having a profitable business is still a goal, but ultimately striving for our own achievements and making ourselves happy is not fulfilling. Giving of ourselves for someone else and for a greater purpose is what true success is for us.

To read from the other authors and hear their spin on success, download the free ebook now.

 

PS. We are working on a free video series about the lessons we’ve learned in owning a successful photography business… stay tuned!

George Twins Promo Shoot #2

George Twins Promo Shoot #2

This is my (Zach’s) second time working with the amazing George Twins. I shot all of their promo work for their Youtube channel back in 2014 and am proud that I got to be on the team! One of their recent videos even hit over 2.4 million views!   Here is...
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This is my (Zach’s) second time working with the amazing George Twins. I shot all of their promo work for their Youtube channel back in 2014 and am proud that I got to be on the team! One of their recent videos even hit over 2.4 million views!

 

Here is some of the work that I did for the continuing promo. This year they are putting out 12 singles, one each month, of new originals and covers and will use some of these images for that as well as Youtube. I also shot video of the entire shoot, and am cutting together some really cool behind the scenes for anyone wanting to know exactly how I shot this!

 

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Reciprocity & Why you Need some NOW!

Reciprocity & Why you Need some NOW!

    When we first got married we read a book called The Most Important Year, and one of the chapters was called the “Yes Spiral.” It taught us that if I (Zach) said yes to 99% of Jody’s requests (even if they were inconvenient), that she...
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When we first got married we read a book called The Most Important Year, and one of the chapters was called the “Yes Spiral.” It taught us that if I (Zach) said yes to 99% of Jody’s requests (even if they were inconvenient), that she would want to say yes to more of the things I asked of her. Simple, yet powerful.

This is called Reciprocity. The idea that if I do something for you, then you feel obligated to do something for me and the cycle repeats. (Tweet this message out to your network!)

You NEED this bad right now in your business. You need to be trying to out-serve the community that you are in. If you are shooting weddings, find out what wedding planners need and offer it to them. If you work with venues in your area, find out what they need and offer it to them TODAY! Don’t wait!

Everyone has some needs that overlap, like being appreciated, loved and made to feel important. Use social media, coffee and dinner hang outs to reinforce this need in others.

This is how we initially built our brand and trust us, it works.

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This is Chris and Kira from Chris Willis Photography who drove 4 hours round trip on Saturday to come and help me (Zach) with my George Twins shoot. Why did they come all that way to help me for free? Reciprocity. They follow our online content that we give away, and wanted to come and give back. I then decided to give more and had lunch with them and we talked about business and personal stuff and I am sure that they would want to give back to us yet again.

This is what you need more than anything in your business! Venues, planners and PEOPLE that want to help you because you have helped them, and then the cycle repeats. This is how you will get referrals coming your way like you would not believe and how you build a lasting business. Go out TODAY and give.

PS. Start the conversation below and let us know how you build reciprocity or what you are going to do today to start!

 

Will we see you? | Places to see us this spring

Will we see you? | Places to see us this spring

Happy Monday! It’s hard to believe that it was just ONE week ago that we were at Imaging USA getting to meet so many of you. We were soooo thrilled to share with the hundreds of you who were in attendance at our platform talk, and say hi to those of you who...
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Happy Monday!

It’s hard to believe that it was just ONE week ago that we were at Imaging USA getting to meet so many of you. We were soooo thrilled to share with the hundreds of you who were in attendance at our platform talk, and say hi to those of you who approached us on the tradeshow flow.  Tons of fun and lots of great memories made.

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Where to Find us This Spring! 

When we spoke at Imaging, not everyone made it in the room and they had to turn away people at the door, so we wanted to go ahead and share our upcoming events, so you can ensure your place!

If you want to know where you can hang out with us this month and through the spring, then look no further! We have some amazing events we are excited to be a part of, and YOU can join us for some of them!

We also have some really great virtual places you can see us or WIN some of our best content!


 WPPI, LAS VEGAS | February 26th – March 4th

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Where to find us: 
  • PLUS CLASSFebruary 27th, 10am-4pm Signature Tower 3 – “Bringing Commercial Quality Lighting to your Wedding & Portrait Shoots” 

This class will be with Zach and extremely talented photographer and author, David Molnar teaching you how to take his stellar commercial lighting work and adapting it to weddings and portraits! This class is already SOLD OUT!

  • PLATFORM CLASS – Sunday March 1st at NOON – “Behind the Veil, The Reality of Running a Successful Wedding Business” 

This is the BIG ONE! You MUST pre-board HERE (click “add to planner”) if you want to get a seat to this class! Don’t wait as it could get completely full like our Imaging USA class did and you could get turned away at the door. Sign Up HERE to secure your spot!

We will be teaching you about the reality of running a successful brand that works and we will be giving away thousands in amazing prizes that you DO NOT want to miss out on!

We will also be available to meet and greet with you afterward, so this is your chance to come hear us speak and say hi and ask questions. :)

PRE-BOARD for the ZJ Platform Class!

  • PHOTO WALK – Monday the 2nd at 8:30am Studio B 
We will be taking students on an amazing photo shoot with models! This class is alreadySOLD OUT!
  •  TRADESHOW FLOOR - We will be all over the tradeshow floor speaking and teaching and hanging out, so follow us on Instagram at @JodyGray and @ZachGray as we will update you as to where to find us there!

Thirst Relief Mentor Auction | Bid on a Coaching Session with us! 

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We have worked with Thirst Relief for years and helped 100’s of people in third-world countries gain access to clean water. If YOU want to be a part of something great AND bid on a 1-on-1 coaching session with us, then this is your chance!

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Henry’s School of Imaging | Canada
February 21st, All Day Workshop 

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Come join us for this intimate event in Toronto for a FULL-DAY class teaching lighting and business for ONLY $399! We have not done a workshop for that price in years, and this is your chance to spend the ENTIRE day with us shooting and learning in an AMAZING studio with some great models!

There are still some spots left so do not wait to register!

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RESET Conference | Champaign, IL  
March 15th

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We are speaking at this one-day conference with some other great photographers including our dear friend and industry leader, Katelyn James!

You do not want to miss out on this event where you get to spent some quality time with us and the other speakers. If your business needs a RESET, then you need to be there!

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CONNECT Retreat | Rome, GA
A retreat for couples in business
April 20th-23rd

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There is no other photographer retreat out there like this one. It has literally changed lives and healed marriages, and we are SOOO excited for this!

If you and your spouse need to get away and retreat, decompress and relax, refocus your business, and if you want to meet other couples who are doing the whole marriage and business thing too, then this is the retreat for you.

Watch the trailer from last year’s incredible event to see what it is all about.

We are completely sold out, however we are reaching out to the retreat facility to see if they have any rooms that have become available. If you would like to be put on the waiting list, email info@connectretreat.com. This will be first come, first serve.

Add me to the waiting list!


We have more events coming your way and you can always stay up to date on our events page HERE to know where we will be next!

Can’t wait to see you all!

Early Bird Savings of $200 expires TODAY at Noon CST!

There are only a few remaining seats left to our Nashville Spring workshops! Do not wait to snag your spot to revolutionize your shooting and business! Below are the remaining seats! 1st Weekend V.I.P, Sat-Tuesday: SOLD OUT Sunday, May 3rd | IN-CAMERA: Shooting: SOLD...
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There are only a few remaining seats left to our Nashville Spring workshops! Do not wait to snag your spot to revolutionize your shooting and business!

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Below are the remaining seats!

1st Weekend
V.I.P, Sat-Tuesday: SOLD OUT
Sunday, May 3rd | IN-CAMERA: Shooting: SOLD OUT
Monday, May 4th | IN-CAMERA: Light: SOLD OUT
Tuesday, May 5th | Business & Marketing: Limited Seats Remaining

Register NOW for the 1st weekend. (Payment plans available!)

2nd Weekend
V.I.P, Sat-Tuesday: SOLD OUT
Sunday, May 17th | IN-CAMERA: Shooting: 3 seats remaining
Monday, May 18th | IN-CAMERA: Light: SOLD OUT
Tuesday, May 19th | Business & Marketing: Seats Remaining

Register NOW for the 2nd weekend.  (Payment plans available!)

For more specific information on each class, visit this blog post.

Registration is LIVE… once again!

Registration is LIVE… once again!

Last Thursday, all of the IN-CAMERA shooting workshops sold out within 80 minutes and only a few seats remain for IN-CAMERA: Business & Marketing (grab one of the last seats for Biz & Marketing here on Tuesday, May 5th!!). For those of you who missed out and...
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Last Thursday, all of the IN-CAMERA shooting workshops sold out within 80 minutes and only a few seats remain for IN-CAMERA: Business & Marketing (grab one of the last seats for Biz & Marketing here on Tuesday, May 5th!!).

For those of you who missed out and desperately wanted a seat, we have another opportunity for you!

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Due to so many of you asking, a second weekend of workshops is available!

We already released the new workshop dates FIRST on Friday to those who expressed interest by replying to our last email, and what you see below are the few seats that remain. DO NOT HESITATE if you are still on the fence about attending!

V.I.P (all three days plus dinner with us): SOLD OUT
IN-CAMERA: Shooting | Sunday, May 17th (3 seats left!)
IN-CAMERA: Light | Monday, May 18th: SOLD OUT
IN-CAMERA: Business & Marketing | Tuesday, May 19th (seats remaining)

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Visit THIS POST, for more specific info on classes!

 

Second weekend of IN-CAMERA workshops will be opening!

Second weekend of IN-CAMERA workshops will be opening!

Thursday was totally crazy, you guys. All of the IN-CAMERA shooting workshops sold out within 80 minutes and only a few seats remain for IN-CAMERA: Business & Marketing (grab one of the last seats for Tuesday, May 5th here! The Early bird rate expires Tuesday, Feb...
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Thursday was totally crazy, you guys. All of the IN-CAMERA shooting workshops sold out within 80 minutes and only a few seats remain for IN-CAMERA: Business & Marketing (grab one of the last seats for Tuesday, May 5th here! The Early bird rate expires Tuesday, Feb 3rd at NOON CT).

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Due to so many of you asking, we have decided to open a second round of workshops – dates below:

VIP - SOLD OUT
IN-CAMERA: Shooting | Sunday, May 17th
IN-CAMERA: Light | Monday, May 18th – SOLD OUT
IN-CAMERA: Business & Marketing | Tuesday, May 19th

We released these today at noon first to those who asked us, and at this moment, we only have seats remaining for IN-CAMERA: Shooting & IN-CAMERA: Business & Marketing.

The remaining seats will launch Monday at 8am! (Make sure you’re on our newsletter to receive links to register!)

Click below to get a glimpse of the experience you could have at our workshop, by watching our brand new trailer!

 

Below you will find information about the workshops for those of you who are deciding if you want to come to any of the 2nd weekend workshop dates.

DO NOT HESITATE OR WAIT!  These seats will not be around for long!

 


Payment Plans Available!

Pay installments as little as $216 per-month for the workshops!

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Learn with us, in-person at our home!

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Shoot with us as your guide!

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Take stunning images and add to your portfolio.

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Where are these Workshops?

The workshops will be held at our new home in Franklin, TN! This will be an amazing chance to spend time with us in our own home and sit at our dining room table, hang out in our living room and spend time with us on the back porch around the fire!

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THREE DAYS of WORKSHOPS

Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, May 3rd, 4th and 5th
The Choice is Yours.

We have three days of workshops available for you. You can come to one workshop, two, or all three!


Day 1 | IN-CAMERA: Shooting

(the natural light workshop)

 

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015 – 11:30am to 10pm SOLD OUT

Sunday, May 17th, 2015 – 11:30am to 10pm*

 

*Workshop Times are based on available light and best times to shoot on-location
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What you will learn:
This workshop is all about natural light. Where to find it, how to make it better, and how to shoot in it with amazing results right IN-CAMERA.

We will teach you our entire system for shooting perfect exposures, perfect color and killer compositions. You will walk away confident and capable of shooting in any natural lighting conditions with ease.

We will also walk you through our system for lightning fast editing! You will follow along as we edit images from the day’s shoot and you will learn the 3 main keys for lightning fast editing! (We can edit an entire wedding in just 2.5 hours and a portrait session in just 30 minutes or less. You will get the tools to start editing faster!).

Also covered:
Posing couples, posing individuals, flattering the female body, 3+ hours of shooting with live models on-location, the chance to build your portfolio and much much more!

Details:
Class size 20 ppl max. Workshop includes classroom teaching time, on-location shooting with models, instant feedback & instruction from Zach & Jody during live shooting, catered lunch, catered dinner, snacks and beverages, and a killer “Hello My Name Is:” name tag.

Bring it if you got it:
Laptop with Adobe Lightroom 5 installed to follow along through our end of the day editing workflow.

Prerequisites:
Basic knowledge of your DSLR with at least one fixed aperture lens (non-fixed aperture lenses are welcome, but not recommended).

Is this workshop for me?
This class is for beginner to intermediate photographers or anyone interested in raising the quality of their images IN-CAMERA.

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$600+ in BONUSES Included with Your Registration!

  • Our Lightroom pre-set pack ($29 value)
  • IN-CAMERA: Shooting DVD given at the workshop ($249 value)
  • $150 discount code for IN-CAMERA: Post DVD
  • Workshop keynote slides
  • Access to the IN-CAMERA Facebook group of over 500 past attendees!
  • Discount codes from event sponsors
  • Entry into sponsor gear giveaways

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Day 2 | IN-CAMERA: Light

(the off-camera lighting workshop)

Monday, May 4th, 2015 – 11:45am to 10:15pm SOLD OUT

Monday, May 18th, 2015 – 11:45am to 10:15pm* 1 seat remains

*Workshop Times are based on available light and best times to shoot on-location

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What you will learn:

This is THE workshop that will end your off-camera lighting fears forever.

Not only will you master our system for off-camera flash portraiture, you will feel as though you had been doing it for years. We teach the most sophisticated lighting in the simplest way possible to give you complete confidence in any portrait lighting scenario.

If you have always wanted to learn off-camera lighting, or want it to be more consistent, then this is the workshop for you.

You will also learn:
Lighting styles that flatter your clients body type, lighting couples, lighting in harsh light, lighting with small speedlites, lighting with more than 1 light, controlling manual strobes on location, lighting ratios, lighting styles, composition, file finishing techniques, followed up with bonus class time taking attendees through how we apply these same principles to our reception lighting process.

Details:
Class size 18 ppl max. Workshop includes classroom teaching time, on-location shooting with models, instant feedback & instruction from Zach & Jody during live shooting, catered lunch, catered dinner, snacks and beverages, and a killer “Hello My Name Is:” name tag.

Bring it if you got it:
Laptop with Adobe Lightroom 5 installed to follow along through our end of the day image review and file finishing techniques.

Prerequisites:
Basic knowledge of your DSLR with at least one fixed aperture lens (non-fixed aperture lenses are welcome, but not recommended).
This class is for beginner to advanced photographers or anyone interested in raising the quality of their off-camera lighting images IN-CAMERA.

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$600+ in BONUSES Included with Your Registration!

  • Our lightroom pre-set pack ($29 value)
  • IN-CAMERA: Light DVD given at the workshop ($249 value)
  • $150 discount code for IN-CAMERA: Post DVD
  • Workshop Keynote Slides
  • Access to the IN-CAMERA Facebook group of over 500 past attendees!
  • Discount codes from event sponsors
  • Entry into sponsor gear giveaways

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Day 3 | IN-CAMERA: Business & Marketing

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015 – 9:15am to 6:00pm Only a few seats remain!

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 – 9:15am to 6:00pm

 

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What you will Learn:
This all-encompassing workshop dives into the most important areas that you need to have in place for running a modern day, cutting edge photography studio that will continue to thrive regardless of the economy.

In this workshop we will teach you the 6 major keys to running a successful photography brand. We will show you how to stand out, how to get paid more, how to sell your work for what its worth, how to WOW your clients and much more. If you want to make more money and have more freedom in your life then this is the workshop for you.

We have had the privilege of teaching thousands of photographers all over the world our business and marketing strategies that helped us go from shooting our first wedding at $500, to making over $100,000 the very next year. This is a rare chance to be with us in-person where we work on your businesses in a small, intimate environment.

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$500+ in BONUSES Included with Your Registration!
  • Harvest Business DVD given at the workshop ($249 value)
  • Sales Bundle with mp3′s and sales documents ($35 value)
  • Marketing Bundle with cost-free marketing guide, client consult guide & pricing guide ($35 value)
  • Sales Bundle with Strategy Guide, mp3, & our Sales Documents ($35 value)
  • Workshop Keynote Slides
  • Special Guest
  • Access to the IN-CAMERA Facebook group of over 500 past attendees!
  • Discount codes from event sponsors
  • Entry into sponsor gear giveaways

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This could be you…

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- Limited to 10 Seats -

First workshop weekend – SOLD OUT
2nd workshop weekend – 1 spot remains

The first TEN of you to register for all 3 days of workshops using the VIP option will get some extra goodies including $2,000 in Savings and Bonuses:

  1. A private dinner with us and the other VIPs on Saturday the 2nd (6:00pm-8:00pm) the day before the workshops begin!
  2. Every download we offer in our storefront ($1,350 value)**
  3. Bonuses from all other workshops
  4. $650 Early-Bird savings
  5. Private time with us that no one else gets!
**Does not include private coaching sessions
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Will this really change my business??

Luke & Cat

Have grossed 1 million dollars the past 3 years

LC

A Business Jump-Start

Luke and Cat came and spent $3,500 on a personal coaching session with us at the end of 2011 when things looked bleak. We poured our heart and soul into them and worked with them to get their business on track. They took what they learned that day and went home, did the hard work, and implemented everything with some spice of their own and blew their business up!

If you want to learn the same information that we shared with Luke & Cat at a fraction of the price, and take your business forward, then don’t hesitate, don’t put it off, don’t be the one that thought “maybe next year” and miss out on getting your business working now!


Amy & Jordan

Doubled their prices, tripled their bookings & cut their editing time in half.
AJ

“Zach and Jody’s workshop was the best investment we’ve ever made in our business. Since their workshop, our growth has been absolutely explosive both in-camera and in business. We can’t recommend it highly enough. Since taking the workshop in 2012, we’ve doubled our prices,tripled our bookings and cut our editing time in half!”

They have turned their brand into one of the fastest and most visible brands (yes, even their work has been featured in People Magazine – so cool!) and are now starting to teach photographers all over the country the things they have learned!


Mary Redina

Income increased by thousands and post production decreased 75%

MR

“What I gained in just three days at the workshop was priceless… I have madethousands of dollars over the past few months in headshot session sales alone! I have cut my post production time down 75% because of the techniques I learned has allowed me to get more things right in camera!…I highly recommend that anyone take their workshop!”

Oh, There’s More!

We have partnered with the below companies who are giving away gear valued at over $1,500, coupon codes and more!

sponsors

 


fullPP


Travel Logistics

Take advantage of the private Facebook group that you will get access to upon registration and reach out to other attendees to share rental cars and hotel rooms.

nashville

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Airport:
Nashville International Airport (BNA)

Driving Directions:
The workshops will be at our home in Franklin, TN and the final driving directions will be emailed to attendees 1 week prior to the workshop.
(Point of reference address: 1505 Murfreesboro Road, Franklin TN)

Hotels:
Drury INN from $119 per-night (5 miles away from workshop location | Approx 8 minute drive)
1874 West McEwen Drive • Franklin, TN

A-Loft Hotel (for the hipsters) from $184 per-night (6.5 miles away from workshop location | Approx 11 minute drive)
7109 South Springs Drive • Franklin, TN

Comfort Inn from $78 per-night (3 miles away from workshop location| Approx 5 minute drive)
4206 Franklin Commons Ct • Franklin, TN

Days Inn from $79 per-night (3 miles away from workshop location| Approx 5 minute drive)
3915 Carothers Parkway • Franklin, TN

America’s Best Value Inn from $68 per-night (3 miles away from workshop location| Approx 5 minute drive)
4201 Franklin Commons Ct • Franklin TN

 

The rumors are true…

The rumors are true…

Rumor #1: It’s true! Our  IN-CAMERA Workshops are coming back for the Spring! Save the date: May 3rd, 4th and 5th! (yes, this is a date change since we first announced)  This is the chance to come to our home in Nashville, TN, and you can choose to spend up to...
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Rumor #1:

It’s true! Our  IN-CAMERA Workshops are coming back for the Spring!

Save the date: May 3rd, 4th and 5th! (yes, this is a date change since we first announced)

 This is the chance to come to our home in Nashville, TN, and you can choose to spend up to three days with us shooting, lighting, and getting your business on :) These are some of the most fun times we have with photographers – hanging out, eating together, learning, and of course, shooting together!

 Rumor #2

We will be offering an awesome early bird special for those of you on our newsletter list because YOU are important to us!

 

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Rumor #3

It’s true, the workshops will sell out fast!

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Last fall these workshop SOLD OUT in less than 24 hours to our newsletter list, so if you know you want to be there, then be prepared as we will launch registration NEXT WEEK!

Get ready. We can’t wait!

 

PS. Yes, there will be payment plans available!

Does “Diffusion” Actually Soften Light?

Does “Diffusion” Actually Soften Light?

“Soft light is a thing of beauty in photography – finding it is the real trick.” -Zach Gray There is some information in the photography world that says diffusion can make your flash images look better by “softening” the light. Today we...
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“Soft light is a thing of beauty in photography – finding it is the real trick.”

-Zach Gray

There is some information in the photography world that says diffusion can make your flash images look better by “softening” the light. Today we are going to explore this and see if it is true or false.

When we first starting shooting, the first thing we bought was a Canon 580ex speedlight so we could light our subjects at dark receptions. The issue with that light was if we pointed it directly at our subject, or even moved it off-camera and pointed it at our subject, we would get lots of contrast and “hard” lighting on our subjects. Hard lighting is caused by having a small light source and the result is having “specular highlights” or bright spots right next to dark spots that create lots of contrast.

Light - Hard Light

You can see when you use a small light source like the one used above, that you get a very defined line from highlight to shadow, and the skin can look worse than it really is. There are some hot spots on the right side of the frame and you can see that “specularity” we mention earlier.  This lighting is not right or wrong, but it definitely is not forgiving when not used just right.

Does Diffusion Really Solve this Problem and make light softer? 

hard light

Early on, we got sold on this idea that if you added “diffusion” (or something that evened out the light coming from our flash), we could then get soft light. The myth here is that there is only a partial truth in that. The diffusion itself does not actually create soft light. Diffusion only evens out the light.  It’s the size of the light-source (it getting bigger and bigger) that actually does the softening.

Some diffusers do make your light slightly bigger (takes the light source from 1.5″x3″ and making it 4″ inches in diameter, for example), however, this will not make much difference at all in the softness of light.

Defining Soft Light: 

workshop20140002

  (Light from flash image above was softened with a 24×32 soft box at 3 feet away)

Soft light (light that appears to “wrap” around your subject) has a painted-on effect and diffused shadows. Soft light is created when you have a large light source in comparison to your subject. Light is NOT softened when you shoot a small light through diffusion, but rather when the you use a large even light source. Soft light looks great on anyone and we love shooting our clients in this type of light (whether it’s created by a strobe or natural light outside).

The problem with the way lighting modifiers like the Speedlight ones above are sold, is that they tell you that they “diffuse” light, and because you added this diffusion, the light is now “soft.” But the truth is, they only even out the TINY light source you are using, and while that does make the light softer by making it slightly larger (and more even), it does not make the light soft enough for a light-wrapping portrait (or much else). If you shoot mouse photography, then that might be a great way to get soft light on your subject, but for people, you need a light source with a little more size to get truly soft light.

If you want light that wraps around your subject, then you need a light the same size as whatever you are shooting. Once you have that larger light source, if you move that light back from your subject a few feet, the light gets harsher (because it gets smaller in comparison to your subject), and then needs to get even larger!

The Real Solution for Creating Soft Light Portraits: 

The real way to solve the problem of using difficult to work with harsh light that comes out of a bare-bulb speedlight or strobe, is to simply increase the size of that light as much as we practically can. If you take a speedlight (that is about 2×3 inches in terms of the size of the light), and make it 2.5 x 3.5 inches by adding a “diffuser” like the ones shown above, then you will barely even notice the difference in the quality of light coming out. But if you can increase the size (and evenness) of that light by 10, 15 or 20 times, then you can start taking ultra-soft lit portraits that require less guess-work and look stunningly beautiful!

For a real world example, watch the video below from our IN-CAMERA: Natural Light Photography System video workshop to see exactly what we mean.

 

 

2 great light modifiers that change harsh light into soft light that we recommend are:

For Speedlights – Westcott Rapid Box 26 inch (this will make your speedlight look AMAZING with even, large light for great portraits! Click HERE to see a live demo of this modifier).

For Strobes – Westcott 24×32 Soft Box (this is one we have used for years and is the one used in the video above, and in MOST of our flash images you have seen over the years. As mentioned, the rule of thumb when lighting a subject with soft light is the light source should technically be the size of the subject being lit. However, as a portrait or even wedding photographer, it can be difficult and very cumbersome to lug around a huge softbox. This softbox here gives us a great balance between beautiful, soft light and ease of use).

Hope that helps! Now go off and take some beautiful soft lit shots of your clients!

3 Key Tips for Building Social Media Engagement

3 Key Tips for Building Social Media Engagement

“The goal of social media is to turn customers into a volunteer marketing army.” -Jay Baer   Social media is a great supplementary tool for your marketing plan in your business. It should never be the first place you look to build your brand, as you should...
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“The goal of social media is to turn customers into a volunteer marketing army.”

-Jay Baer

 spreading-the-word-socially-1 (1)

Social media is a great supplementary tool for your marketing plan in your business. It should never be the first place you look to build your brand, as you should always focus on building personal relationships first. Even though social media marketing is not THE most important part of your business, it does have an integral role, and today we want to share 3 key tips to get people engage with your more!

 

Key #1 – Talk about things that are interesting

Screenshot 2015-01-15 12.20.06

 

(This Instagram got more attention because my, Zach, audience, photographers, like the unique use of lighting and posing, and reacted strongly to it… not to mention the adorable kid in the shot ;)

Realize that unless you are a celebrity, that no one really cares what you ate for breakfast, and definitely don’t want to see a picture of it on Twitter. Think about your audience and WHO you are trying to speak to, and then create content that THEY care about. (Click to Tweet this out!)

Examples: 

If you are a wedding photographer, then you can use Facebook to create a private group just for your brides where they can all connect, talk about their recent weddings and planning, and you can give ideas to them as well because you have a ton of experience with weddings. They will have the things Seth Godin talks about in his book Tribes (a tribe is a community with something in common, a way to talk to each other, and a way to talk with you). Having a place where your tribe can engage with each other is powerful and keeps you top of mind with your clients! You could also then use Instagram to re-enforce the community and post images from their weddings, using a hashtag that you create just for your clients, and continue to energize the base.

(Side note: Many of us can focus too hard on finding new clients, when what we might need to do is focus on our base – on the clients we have already won over, and give them a reason to go out and sell us to their friends).

Key #2 – Share helpful  content

Screenshot 2015-01-15 12.20.24

 (The content here is helpful, and that is why engagement was high on this image)

Another area to use social media is to help others with useful information. That can be anything from giving simple information out that someone is asking for, giving something away, or even curating(pointing to other people’s) content that helps your audience get what they want.

Examples: 

If you’re a newborn photographer who connects socially with your moms on Facebook (or your blog), then write and share content about tips for new moms, be engaged with the personal issues they are dealing with like their kids not sleeping or eating well, and use your platform as a resource to help them be better parents. Some of the top blogs and social media platforms out there are doing this as a niche. They just create relevant HELPFUL content that gets their audience from where they are to where they want to go.

If your goal is to connect with wedding planners on Twitter, then re-Tweet their content (they care about being heard and seen and that is helpful), Tweet out links to planning blogs and other planning content that is relevant and helpful to them, and engage with them personally by commenting back on things that matter to them.

 

Key 3 – Talk about things that are funny

 (This image was ironic and funny, and that is why the engagement was higher than my, Jody, usual Instagram posts).

People love things that lighten their day, and sharing things that are funny is the 3rd thing we recommend talking about on social media (and we recommend NOT talking about much else). The goal here is to get them to engage with you and your social media accounts, and when you do that, you are on their mind, and when you are on their mind, they recommend you for gigs.

Examples: 

If you are connecting with brides on Instagram, then follow a few funny Instagram users who talk about newly-wed bliss, and then re-gram them to your audience.

If you use Facebook to engage with your senior girls, then re-post funny content that is interesting to their age group.

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The goal of social media in your marketing is not just to create a Twitter and Facebook page and start making noise. It’s about being intention. The goal should be to reach your ideal audience with funny, helpful, and interesting content that keeps them focused on your brand.

Make sure to follow us on our Instagrams & Facebook!

@ZachGray

@JodyGray

@ItstheGrayFamily (this is where we keep our family updates)

Facebook.com/ZachandJody

 

Top Survival Tips for Mom-tographers | Part II of the Mom Series

Top Survival Tips for Mom-tographers | Part II of the Mom Series

In my previous post, I (Jody) shared the adjustment we went through adding our son Jaxon to our family and about my struggle with how business fit in with my new responsibilities as a mom. For today’s blog I want to share with you practical tips that not only...
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In my previous post, I (Jody) shared the adjustment we went through adding our son Jaxon to our family and about my struggle with how business fit in with my new responsibilities as a mom.

For today’s blog I want to share with you practical tips that not only myself, but other moms in the industry have put in place to avoid meltdowns and going crazy. :) I know and respect these women and hope you enjoy learning from the diverse group we have below.

Without any further ado, I first introduce to you…

Leeann Marie
of
Leeann Marie Collective

What you need to know about Leeann:
We first met Leeann when we were a part of a tour back in 2012 and she was a fellow speaker.  She was sharing on studio workflow management and how to get organized and become efficient so you can spend more time doing what you love. Her efficiency blew me away, and when I found out she was having a kid I was SUPER curious to know how she was going to make the adjustments to having a child in her life.

Leeann is sweet and totally fun and generous and has recently started Baby Plus Business – a resource and community to help other moms who walk the fine line of being a mom and business owner. Make sure to follow her and you’ll soon get more information! (Heads up, if you’re going to WPPI, make sure to read below where you can see and learn from her!).

(image by AnnLouisePhotography.com)

How long have you been in business:
6 years

How long have you been a mom:
9 months to my daughter, Joy

The biggest adjustment you had adding “mom” to your title and responsibilities during the day:
I no longer have large dedicated chunks of time to focus on business. I have to work in smaller time periods of time. I also don’t get to work out as much and that makes me sad.

Top Efficiency Tips:
#1. Choose each day to focus your “non-baby” time in a very specific manner. Some days I choose “CLEANING”, other days I choose “EMAILS AND ALBUMS”. If you can break up your days to be more dedicated, you can knock things off of your to-do list easier.

#2. Work quickly & efficiently when you have small periods of time. I keep different lists in my iPhone. One is “Groceries”. One is “Business”. One is “Personal”. If you keep lists and categorize them, each day you’ll know exactly all of the random things you need to knock out!

#3. Try and still maintain family time. It’s easy to work in the evening when the kids are asleep, but don’t forget about how important marriage and relaxation are to your overall family health.

If you could say one thing to other moms/business owners out there, what would you say?
Remember that tomorrow is a new day! Be thankful for each day – good or bad. You love your family, and you love your business and you are blessed to have both!

The best place for people to follow you:
Instagram: @LeeannMarieG & @BabyplusBusiness

See Leeann in Vegas!
Are you going to WPPI??  If so, you will want to attend her masterclass, “Balancing Baby and Business.”
Wednesday, March 4 from 8am-10am
Sign up for Leeann’s class HERE.

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Evin Krehbiel
of
Evin Photography

View More: http://zachplusjody.pass.us/evinphotography

(image by Jody Gray)

 What you need to know about Evin:
Evin and I go way back. And when I say, “Way back” I mean, I knew Evin before Zach and Jody Gray were ever ZachandJody.com. Evin was actually one of those gracious photographers who let us take her out and she opened her business to us and gave us advice and insight on how to start and run a wedding photography business. Over the years, Evin has become a dear friend of mine (she even shot our birth photos!) and it has been really cool to see how she has adjusted her business around each new precious addition she has added to her family. This lady is a gem and if you ever have the chance to hang out with her, you will be uplifted and encouraged.

evinfam

(image by KristineNeeley.com)

How long have you been in business:
9 years, full time – 6 years. The day I found out I was pregnant was the last day of my day job!

How long have you been a mom:
6 years to my son Cohen (6), daughter Kinzie (3.5), and son Leyton (1.5)

The biggest adjustment you had adding “mom” to your title and responsibilities during the day:
It was hard at first trying to balance my “mom brain” and my “work brain”. My biggest adjustment was learning how to separate the two. When they intersect is when I lose patience and become overwhelmed.

Top Efficiency Tips:
#1. Have a very organized online calendar (iCal) shared with your spouse. My husband also works for himself (real estate). We share a calendar and have different categories color-coded (kids are orange, work is purple, spouse is green, blue is personal, etc.). Having a shared calendar helps keep things from overlapping.

#2. Get a studio coordinator. It’s our job to run a business that serves our clients. In order to serve them, my business has to be able to respond quickly. As a mom, I knew I wasn’t always available as much as I wanted to be during work hours so I realized I needed help. My studio coordinator helps with inquiries, wedding albums, disc of images, image back up, getting vendors images, etc. So helpful!

#3. Take advantage of a great management software system (I use ShootQ). This helps keep my tasks and products organized so everyone is on the same page.

#4. Hire a house cleaner. To some, this may seem like a frivolous expense, but believe me, it’s not. Someone comes to our home every other week (it’s less than $100/2 weeks) and it is 100% worth it for my sanity, my marriage and for my family. When I’m done with work, it’s one less thing I have to do and now I’m able to be with my kids and my husband. Shoot an extra photo session here and there to cover the cost! You get a clean home and the photo session is another opportunity to market your business.

#5. I don’t list my phone number on my website, facebook or email. When clients do call me I’m usually in the car with kids or they are in the room being their rambunctious selves. I say in my voicemail, “The best way to reach me is by email or text, so we can keep track of it and get back to you quickly.” That way I can serve my clients in the best way.

If you could say one thing to other moms/business owners out there, what would you say?
Just because no other friend you know has successfully balanced being a mom and a business owner, doesn’t mean you can’t. When I had my third son, Leyton, I was thinking to myself, “I don’t have any other friends who have 3 kids and not just work but own their own business, maybe it can’t be done.” The Lord firmly spoke to me saying, “I have given this to you, it can be done, and I ‘m going to show you how to do it. I have you in this for a reason. I have a purpose and a plan.” You can do it!

The best place for people to follow you:
FACEBOOK: facebook.com/EvinPhotography
INSTAGRAM: @EvinPhotography

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 Ashley Poisella
of
Ashley Therese Photography

AshleyBioPhoto

What you need to know about Ashley:
I cannot even remember how long we have known Ashely and her fabulous, supportive husband Chris. We have known them for quite a few years and they even brought us out to NYC to host our workshops out there. These two are so genuine, it has been a joy to see Ashley’s business take off and how she has become a voice of authority and continues to give back to the photo community. We were so thrilled when we heard that they were adding to their family, and I value Ashley’s heart and insight, which is why she is sharing with you here!

mommy ashley

(image by AliciaSturdy.com)

How long have you been in business:
4 years

How long have you been a mom:
10 months to my son, Greyson

The biggest adjustment you had adding “mom” to your title and responsibilities during the day:
Time management! My days are filled to the brim with a fluctuating baby schedule and work demands, and figuring out a new routine has been a huge change and challenge.

A few months ago someone said I was “Supermom” when I told them I was a full time stay at home mom and a full time business owner. But the truth is I don’t want to be Super Mom. I don’t want to be the kind of super mom that strives for perfection and doing it all, but nothing with intention. I don’t want to be a Super Mom because I have way too many things juggling in the air and I am barely getting by with keeping things going. I don’t want to glorify “busy.”

At the end of the day, I want to be an AWESOME mom, the BEST mom to Greyson I can be. I want to be a GREAT business owner and photographer, but not at the sacrifice of my family or to the level of service to my clients. I want to be present and intentional in whatever I am doing. It has definitely been a big adjustment to find a new normal and daily balance by managing my time more wisely.

Top Efficiency Tips:
#1. Ask for Help | This one was a game changer for me. I thought I could or should be Super Mom – that I could be both a full time stay at home mom and be a full time business owner working from home at the same time. I would work when Greyson napped and put my work aside and just soaked in every second of being with him when he was awake. I would have dinner on the table when my husband got home from work and the house would always be tidy. You know, like June Clever. I would find the perfect balance. Needless to say, I quickly found that on my own, this was impossible. Greyson didn’t and doesn’t sleep for more then an hour at a time which barely gives me time to make a dent in my email inbox let alone actually check things off my to do list. I wanted to do it all but just couldn’t. I felt like I was being pulled 20 different directions in which I couldn’t give 100% to any. So I asked for help. We hired a babysitter to watch Greyson at the house so I can be in my office with the door shut a few mornings a week with no distractions. And boy what a difference it has made. I have been so much more productive when in my office and can truly enjoy down time with Greyson, not think about all I have on my To Do list. It has freed up my schedule more and has provided a new routine that helps me do all I need to. Now I can truly enjoy watching Greyson play with his toes for an extra hour without the distraction of thinking about ALL I have do get done or constantly multi tasking. It has allowed me to be more intentional and present. If you need help, ask for it. It’s not an admission of not being a good mom or being inadequate. It’s recognizing that you are one person and can’t do it all. Whether its asking your in laws to watch the kids for a few hours or asking your husband to pick up something for dinner so you don’t have to cook, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

#2. Outsource More | For me this meant outsourcing more of my business tasks that I didn’t need (or want) to have my hand in (initial editing, album designs, etc). It also meant getting help with some of the household chores I was juggling. Every few weeks Peapod delivers some basic groceries like laundry detergent and paper towels. In addition, we also have someone come clean our house every few weeks. Outsourcing and hiring services has freed me up to focus on running my business more efficiently and spending more quality time with my son. It has allowed me to focus on doing the things I want to do.

#3. Find a New Routine | Finding a new routine has been crucial for me. It’s important for me to go into each day with a general game plan to optimize my time. From waking up an hour before Greyson wakes up each morning to answer emails, to going to the grocery store in conjunction with nap time, to scheduling client calls when Chris gets home from work and can watch the baby. Having set blocks of time to solely focus on working on the photography business (like when babysitter is at the house) to having designated play time with Greyson and to attend play groups has been so helpful. That being said, not every day is going to go as planned. There may be a nap skipped, a babysitter cancellation, a meeting moved, and messy diapers that require a mid day bath.  So I shift things around and adapt to make sure I am still getting things accomplished and spending quality time with Greyson.

#4. Think Proactively | For my business, for my son, for the day. Learning to constantly think proactively helps me optimize my time and be more prepared for the curveballs each day has in store. Simple things from remembering to pack an extra change of clothes for Greyson so I don’t have to drive all the way home if he has an accident to giving myself a little bit of extra time on a project that I think could take me longer then planned because I have a super busy week. Staying two steps ahead of the game when possible has been key as a mom and a business owner.

If you could say one thing to other moms/business owners out there, what would you say?
Know that you are beautiful, strong, and courageous. You are running a business which is beyond challenging. And you are taking care and nurturing a little life which is one of the hardest roles in the world. But you can do it and do it well. You are more amazing then you know and should be proud of yourself! Be patient with yourself as you figure this “mom and business owner” thing out. Make time for pedicures, take walks and continue to take care of yourself. Oh, and did I say be patient with yourself?

Being a mom is THE most important job you will ever have.Being a mom is THE most important job you will ever have. Yes, it needs to be said twice. Because I know when Greyson was first born I needed to remind myself of that. I was so used to my business being my baby, it was a hard shift trying to figure out a new balance and daily priorities. But at the end of the day, Greyson comes first. He will always come first. No accomplishment, shoot, or money will ever be more important or bring me more joy than that little boy. As life picks up pace and you are juggling all that is on your plate, don’t forget what’s truly important. Be an intentional mom who also happens to be a rockstar business owner. And I encourage you to never forget how special and what a blessing your role as “mom” really is.

The best place for people to follow you:
FACEBOOK: facebook.com/AshleyTheresePhotography
INSTAGRAM: @ashlytherese

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Julia Woods
of
Jeffrey & Julia Woods

julia

What you need to know about Julia:
If there’s anyone I aspire to be like when I grow up, it’s this woman here :) Not only has she KILLED it in business (believe me, she’s brilliant) and has run an extremely profitable studio (while raising four kids), but she has a heart of gold. Her love for the Lord is inspiring, and any time she opens her mouth to share her wisdom about business, family, marriage –  I’m all ears… and you should be too :)

J&J 2014 wedding photo

How long have you been in business:
20 years. Began in the Spring of 1994.

How long have you been a mom:
21 years to my daughter Jaelyn 21 (who is now married!), son Josiah (18) and daughters Jozi (15) and Jenavieve (12).

The biggest adjustment you had adding “mom” to your title and responsibilities during the day:
We began the business when our oldest daughter was about 3 months old. It was kind of like having 2 babies at once. I personally choose to home school all of my children as well as have a photography business. The biggest adjustment I had to work through was recognizing that kids constantly change. I would figure out a plan that worked and then something would change and I would have to figure out a new plan. I finally found peace when I took each year one year at a time and decided what worked best for that year (3-6 months when I had a new baby). For many of the years with toddlers it worked to spend my mornings with my kids and help them with schooling and then when lunch was over, I would put them to bed or rest time depending on their age and then a babysitter would arrive about 2 hours later. That allowed me to work each day from about 12:30 – 6 p.m. but they only felt my absence I was busy from about 2:30 – 6 pm. As they got older, I had to have a nanny for the full day so I worked 3 days a week and took 2 off. It was just learning to adjust with them and their needs.

Top Efficiency Tips:
#1. As above - take each year and assess the age/needs of your child and then look at the possibilities for your business from there.

#2. Create a very planned work schedule. If not, it becomes too easy to get into emails or facebook and waste precious time because it is easier than figuring out what is most important to do. My weeks alternate from one week shooting to the next week planning/selling. (I wear one hat when I shoot and another when I sell – it saved me time and energy to not have to bounce back and forth in the same day. I also got to wear much cuter outfits on planning/selling weeks :) I liked that a lot!). I had administration time, marketing meetings, staff meetings, and so on marked as appointments on the schedule. I have to make time for those things or they just don’t happen. I work 3 full days a week and kept no less than half of one of those days for production – working on images, creating marketing materials, ect.

#3. Take a couple weeks to assess every job you do and how much time you invest in each one of those jobs. Then take that list and divide each role into $10 an hour jobs and $50 an hour jobs. Hire or resource out the $10 an hour jobs and you focus your time and energy on the $50 an hour jobs.

#4. I found my life to be much happier and productive when I started by deciding what I wanted my home life to look like and then I made my studio work around that. For example, I wanted a play day with my kids which I made Wednesday’s. I wanted one day a week to clean, plan my meals, get groceries, do laundry ect. which I made Monday’s. I wanted to cook 3 home cooked meals a week, so I worked at the studio Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday. I would cook one meal on the Monday, Wednesday and the weekend, Then I had leftovers ready to heat up on Tuesday, Thursday & Friday after work. I wanted to enjoy the sunset with my husband in the evenings. So, if I needed to take later appointments that was only available 1 night a month except during the busy season, I offered 1 each week for that 3 month time frame. Clients work with my schedule and I am filled up as a person and don’t get burned out.

#5. Get the education you need to be able to charge what you need to charge to work the hours you want to work and make the money you need. Trust me it is possible. For example, it is possible to have an incredible salary working 20 hours a week. Learn what you need to learn to get where you desire to be.

If you could say one thing to other moms/business owners out there, what would you say?
Time FLIES!!!! I know that isn’t anything you don’t know, but don’t think that your marriage and kids will be there tomorrow. Believe it or not your clients will be there tomorrow but your husband and kids may not. If your heart calls you to stop and read a book to one of your kids – do it! If you recognize you need to take a day and just be a mom – do it. Your kids grow up so fast and a marriage can become stale before you know it. It is never a bad decision to put your family first. You will all appreciate it later. Kids spell love – T.I.M.E

If that one is negative, here is another one. You were specifically chosen to be your children’s mother. You have what it takes to grow, nurture, and develop a world changer. There is nothing more important than who you are to your family! They are worth more than money, praise, or success. (Your kids may not pat you on the back each day – but one day you will know how much your sacrifice meant to them!). You don’t have to choose one or the other, you can have both, but if one has to be sacrificed – make sure it isn’t your family.

The best place for people to follow you:
TWITTER: @JefnJul

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 Jody Gray
of
Zach & Jody

Bio Image Jody Gray (2)

How long have you been in business:
Going on 9 years! (6.5 years full time)

How long have you been a mom:
14 months to our son, Jaxon.

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(image by DavidMolnar.com)

The biggest adjustment you had adding “mom” to your title and responsibilities during the day:
Not being able to plan on non-interrupted, set working hours.

Top Efficiency Tips:
#1. Set designated hours/days to work and hire a nanny to love on your kid while you get ‘er done (when putting feelers out, set expectations that your nanny needs to be up for doing basic housework – folding laundry, cleaning dishes, etc.  It’s a lifesaver!).

#2. Figure out what you HAVE to do… and outsource or in-source the rest. (Do you need to be spending 25 minutes importing photos into a blog? Do you need to be the one Instagramming and Facebooking and tweeting each blog post that goes up? etc.). Whatever does not need your unique voice or thumbprint, you don’t need to be doing it. It’s worth it to hire someone for $10/hour to do that stuff for you so you can spend that time focusing on getting new clients in the door or BE A MOM!

#3. Set small, daily goals. Personally, I like to accomplish the world and get a TON of stuff done each day. Once I had a kid, I wasn’t able to do that as well (who am I kidding, even without a kid, I still didn’t accomplish everything I wanted to every day :).  Each day I write down the things I would like to get done and I put them in priority from most important to least important. I make sure they are bite-sized tasks. Instead of “Get all WPPI logistics taken care of,” and come the end of the day I feel like a failure because I didn’t get it all done, I list out the small individualized tasks “1. Book flights, 2. Book hotel, 3. Check DVD inventory, 4. Finalize presentation,” etc.

#4. Stop the comparison game.  It is so easy to see what everyone else is doing with their businesses and feel like we have to do the exact same thing. We have to book XX many portrait sessions. We have to have be charging tons and making a buttload just like the leading professionals are. We have to be offering X, Y, and Z to our clients. We have to be doing pre-consultations and post-consultations and five sales sessions, etc. etc… You get the point. We hold ourselves to the standard of others, and oftentimes for no reason.

Awhile back, Zach and I did a coaching session for a mom-tographer who wanted us to talk through our sales sessions and look over her pricing so she could book more clients and make more money. After taking her through the Mission, Vision, Values, and Goals exercise, as we often do with those we coach, she realized that she didn’t NEED to be doing all of that. She didn’t need the income (her hubby made enough) and the whole reason she had her photography was so she could simply have a creative outlet. She was pressuring herself to do all this stuff and make her business be this big thing just because that’s what she thought she was supposed to do because everyone else was doing it.  Granted, not all of you reading this have the luxury of not needing to bring in an income, but maybe a solution to help with your workload is my next tip..

#5. Simplify! Think of things that you can do to simplify and cut back on your workload. Maybe for a time, you just need to be a shoot and burn photographer (*Gasp* Did she just say that??). Maybe it’s good enough to upload a few images to facebook of each session to get some word-of-mouth marketing going, and you don’t have to spend 2 hours writing a blog post and prepping and importing images for it. Think of how you can simply the processes that you have to free up time and make the best use of what you do have.

If you could say one thing to other moms/business owners out there, what would you say?
It’s ok not to be superwoman. I wanted to go out and show everyone how being a mom and business woman could be done, all on my own. I couldn’t do it. And you know what? I’m ok with that :) I have realized there are more important things than trying to be superwoman, and it’s being mom to my sweet son….  (Also, a quick side note for all of you first time moms out there who are looking for some tips to help out with the transition of adding a baby to your life – Feel free to check out a post I did awhile back on the Top 10 Lifesavers for New Parents on my personal blog :).

The best place for people to follow you:
FACEBOOK: facebook.com/ZachandJody
INSTAGRAM: @JodyGray
INSTAGRAM: @Itsthegrayfamily (this is where I post all of our kid happenings :)

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Being a mom and running your own business is NOT easy, to say the least. But know that you are not alone!  If you have learned tips along the way, leave them in the comments so we all can learn from each other. Also, don’t forget to follow the newly founded @BabyplusBusiness on Instagram to learn mom & business efficiency tips and to hear what’s next from this ever growing community.

PS. If there is another “mom” topic that you would like covered or have additional questions, also leave those in the comments and maybe there will be a Part III in the Mom series :)

How I Survived the Transition from Business Owner to Biz Owner + MOM | Part I of the Mom Series

How I Survived the Transition from Business Owner to Biz Owner + MOM | Part I of the Mom Series

It has been a year and two months since we have added a third person to our lives and business – Jaxon Pierce Gray joined our team November 7th, 2013. (image by DavidMolnar.com) It seriously has been such a blast having a kid, but as with any new addition to a family,...
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It has been a year and two months since we have added a third person to our lives and business – Jaxon Pierce Gray joined our team November 7th, 2013.

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(image by DavidMolnar.com)

It seriously has been such a blast having a kid, but as with any new addition to a family, there’s always adjustment that takes place.  Many of you have wondered how we are making it work and so I (Jody) thought that we would dedicate a blog post to share not only our journey of adjusting with Jaxon now being a part of our lives, but I also wanted to let other full time moms who are also business owners share how they are balancing the act of being mom and business professional.

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First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a… business!
I always thought that I would be one of those women who needed a career once I had kids… just for sanity’s sake. You know, trading the shirt covered in spit up for a cute top and have some good ‘ol adult, human interaction.

Then I had our first kid and that all changed :)

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(image by DavidMolnar.com)

A little over a year and a half ago, we found ourselves pregnant, and because we had no idea what to expect, we planned and prepared to take a few months off once Jaxon came into this world. Our little Jax was born, and it was a fun time of stepping away from our business and just being able to focus on this new little person in our lives.

Soon, it was time for both of us to head back to work. Zach was ready to go at it (honestly, he was getting a big stir-crazy) and I was ready too, but it was way harder than I expected. For those of you who may not know me very well, I’m a type A personality. I love being focused, I love things being done right and perfect :), I love tasks, To Do lists, and I love getting up and working and ending the day knowing I worked hard and gave it my all, and of course checked off my little boxes on my To Do list! Checking off To Do boxes means I accomplished something that day!

Weeeeeeell, let’s just say with a little one that all became a LOT harder.

I would start the day with these grand goals of accomplishing all these tasks, and feel frustrated at the end of the day when I only completed one task because my time with Jaxon didn’t go as anticipated. Even with the great sleep, eat and wake routine he was on, it still flexed so my work time wasn’t set in stone every day, so that would throw me off because I couldn’t work at the specific time I had in mind (expectations!). So then, I’d put him in a bouncy seat facing me but he’d coo and make noises here and there and it kept pulling my mind and attention away from the work I was trying to get done. And that of course, didn’t make me feel good either!

My son was familiarizing himself with my profile instead of my face and ME.

And then it got really bad.

I started getting frustrated not at myself or at work, but at my son.

As soon as that happened, I knew something had to change, but I didn’t know what or how.

I remembering posting this image online and saying the below:

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I love this little man so much, but I am definitely relating to the other women out there who work for themselves at home and have to get stuff done but also have kids who need them simultaneously. Luckily, I’m not alone here and have Zach, but I am definitely in the midst of this struggle and do NOT like my focus and attention being divided between two important things (one a bit more important than the other :). I’m an all-or-nothing kind of person. Looking for the happy medium…

Quite a few women wrote some great encouragement, and some of the comments really stood out that I would like to share for those of you walking through the same struggle:

“True success is providing for and loving my family deeply. The evil one wants to steal those precious moments with you. Be on guard.”

- JennaShriver

“God has given us women a VERY important role when he blesses us with a child/children. We need to do absolutely whatever we can to make sure we raise them and train them up to be lovers of Christ and we need to set that example through not only our words, but our actions. Parenthood is the most important job you will ever have in your life and they aren’t going to be little for long. You will never get these years and moments back. Ever. Now, I’m not saying you should quit (obviously) but thankfully you do have Zach. I would seek The Lord very strongly about where He is leading you for the time being. Here is a little poem that is hanging on my girls bedroom wall that I read often and it has such a huge impact on my heart: ‘Cleaning and scrubbing can wait til tomorrow… For babies grow up we’ve learned to our sorrow. So quiet down cobwebs… Dust go to sleep… I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.’ “

- Jodielj

I reminded myself: Jaxon was important. Jaxon is what matters most.

Not my To Do list.

Not my job.

Jaxon is my To Do list.

Having Jaxon was (and is :) a gift, and the whole reason we work for ourselves is SO we can have the flexibility to honor what is most important – our son.

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I don’t want to leave my kid five days a week so I can work and get my “adult” time in. I thought that would be me, but that’s not me.  My calling is him. (And to those of you who have day jobs: please hear me out – I’m not saying you’re a bad mom. We all have different paths for us and there is nothing wrong and it’s totally ok if you are a mom who has to go to work every day. More power to you that you are able to do that. Luckily, there are amazing care givers out there who can love on our precious kids while we do work!)

I would love to tell you the ways I made it work. I would love to tell you all the tips and tricks that enabled me to miraculously balance being a full-time mom and a full-time business owner all by myself. I would love to tell you how I rocked it. But I can’t. Yes, I made it work, but not in the way I initially thought.

After a lot of prayer, talking through things with Zach, and speaking with a few mentors in my life, I made the decision that I needed to pull back from the business. Not completely. Our business is “Zach AND Jody” afterall, but there were things that I could let go of (ouch! So hard) and entrust in Zach’s hands as well as to our office manager.

I could already see Zach being willing to step up to the plate and start to take over tasks and responsibilities that I always took care of (who is this man and what have you done with my husband?). God was beginning to show me that I could step away from the business a few days a week and it wouldn’t fall apart.

A hope began to spark…

We could actually maybe make this work.

Here was what we did:

#1. Selected days that I would be Business Owner and would work in the business
#2. Hired a nanny for those days
#3. Designated the remaining days for me to be Mom

We decided I would work two days a week (Tues & Thurs) and those would be the days our nanny would come to the house and watch Jax.

The days our nanny isn’t here, my To Do list for that day is to be Jaxon’s mom. To love on him, nurture him, and be there for him. He is my top priority, he is my To Do list. And hey, if he goes down for a nap and there’s a few things with work that I can catch up on or check in with, awesome, but if I don’t get those done, no worries, because it’s not on my To Do list that day. It’s a bonus.

This really helped my head space and has been amazing.

It’s crazy just how changing the expectations on myself has made a WORLD of difference. When I work, I can be fully devoted to work, and when I’m with Jaxon I can be fully focused on him.

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Was the transition easy?

Yes and no. It’s always hard bringing in someone to watch your kid because first off, they aren’t you, and also, they don’t know your child like you do (at first). They can’t tell the differences between their cries, they don’t know that when your kid makes this certain face he needs something in particular, or whatever. It takes time to communicate everything and for them to begin to understand your child. So that was a transition to be made. Once it’s made it’s AWESOME. Jaxon adores our nanny Makinze and the days she is over are great days because I know Jaxon is in good hands and I can focus on work (she even does some extra house cleaning for us, which is amazing and so helpful).

(Jaxon and our nanny, Makinze!)

The transition of letting go of some tasks was hard (and still is) and sometimes it takes every fiber of my being to try and not micro-manage our business but I’m trying to get better.

So that brings us to the reality of where I currently am with functioning as both mom and business owner. My time is limited. How do I practically make it work?

I know I don’t have it figured out yet (heck, I’m only a little over a year into it) so I thought that in addition to me sharing some practical tips, I thought that I would enlist some other mom’s to share what they have done to help make this work!

Stay tuned for Part II where I will share the Top Tips for Mom-tographers!

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Can you relate to what I shared? I’d love to hear from you and engage with you in the comments below :)

 

6 keys to Accomplishing More in Less Time

6 keys to Accomplishing More in Less Time

“It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires a great deal of strength to decide what to do.” Elbert Hubbard After 8 years of working in the same room with my incredibly talented wife, something interesting happened. She moved. Now, she...
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“It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires a great deal of strength to decide what to do.”

Elbert Hubbard

Moving Office Doormat

After 8 years of working in the same room with my incredibly talented wife, something interesting happened. She moved. Now, she didn’t move out of the house or anything, just to her own office down the hall. It didn’t happen because she was annoyed with me (well…. maybe a little), and not beacause we don’t communicate well. We just needed a little extra space, and because we have the room in our new house, we did it. What it reminded me of was something more important about work space that we wanted to share with you all.

Having a focused space for work is critical to getting tasks accomplished and having your time spent working be effective. Here are the 6 keys to accomplishing more in less time.

1. Get a door.

If you have to hang a sheet up in your living room to clearly define your working space, clean out a bedroom that is not being used, or rent some cheap office space, you NEED a private place to do work. When you go in, you work, and when you leave, you are done working. Create that separation and you will get more things done in a shorter amount of time.

2. Eat & Read each morning. 

My goal is to spend 10-15 minutes reading something that nourishes my mind and soul, and to eat well each morning. Every other day my goal is to spend 10 minutes working out using Burst Training to keep my body in top shape. This simple goal of reading, eating well and working out helps me feel complete as a person and does wonders for your energy!

3. Get off Email. 

“Email is the killer of the modern day business” says Tim Ferris in his book The Four Hour Work Week. Check email at specific times during the day and DO NOT let it be the first thing you check you get to work. It gets you off-task and the excitement of someone contacting you takes precedence over what really matters.

4. Spend 10 minutes to Prioritize your day. 

Jody and I spend 10-15 minutes talking about what things really matter each day and then we do them in order. We also start each week with a weekly plan and each month with a monthly plan and each year with a yearly plan. Forecasting and prioritizing your time is the best way to do what matters and stop wasting precious time on what doesn’t. Try creating a Standard Week Workflow that has a few important tasks that need to be done on certain days, and then put a print out of that up on your wall to help you focus. It is simple and works really well! It might look like this: “Monday, edit and check email at noon – Tuesday, Write Blog post and check email at noon – Wednesday, Reach out to Vendors and comment on clients FB pages” and so on.

5. Take Lunch. 

It is amazing how many of us try and plow through our work without stopping (which is illegal if you work a day job to work that much without a break), but the problem is that we lose focus over time and lose productivity. We need to stop, eat, breath and laugh a little to refresh our minds. Take a scheduled lunch break each day and see what it does for you!

6. Stop Mult-Tasking. 

Even though it seems like you are doing more when you have email open, three internet windows and Facebook while you edit a shoot, it actually slows you down tremendously. The human mind can only focus on one thing at a time and when you move from thought to thought and task to task, you mind has to re-engage with the new problem and that slows you down. Just do one thing at a time and get it done, and then move on to the next task. Your work will fly by much faster when you focus your mind and you will be refreshed!

 

Start the conversation: What is ONE thing you have done that helps you get more done in less time?

 

PS:  We have a video series coming up about some of the most important lessons we’ve learned in building a photo business! We can’t wait to share it with you! Stay tuned!

Free off-camera flash webinar!

Free off-camera flash webinar!

Come join us for this FREE off-camera flash webinar hosted by the amazing crew at Shoot Dot Edit! We will be teaching you the 3 simple steps we take to shoot amazing off-camera flash images plus some other great flash info! Off-camera flash may seem a little...
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Come join us for this FREE off-camera flash webinar hosted by the amazing crew at Shoot Dot Edit!

OffCameraFlashWebinar_Banner

We will be teaching you the 3 simple steps we take to shoot amazing off-camera flash images plus some other great flash info! Off-camera flash may seem a little intimidating, but after learning these steps, you will realize just how simple it really is and you will be amazed at the results you can get!

If you are tired of not being sure what to do when you have bad natural light, and are interested and excited to learn more off-camera lighting, then you should sign up and listen in to this webinar!

Just some of what you will learn in the live webinar will be:

#1. How to use small speedlights to create really cool portraits that look like they were shot in the studio.

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#2. How to practically use more powerful off-camera lights to create portraits in tough natural lighting scenarios.

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#3. How to get that super pro, ultra soft lighting you see on magazine covers with one simple trick anyone can do.

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We hope you can join!

Sign up HERE for the webinar to learn this, and much more!! We can’t wait to see you guys there!!

2015 Business Reboot Winner!

2015 Business Reboot Winner!

We have a winner for the 2015 REBOOT giveaway!! The incredibly adorable and fun Leigh Schrage from Schrage Photography has been randomly selected for this giveaway!   There were over 15,000 entries into the contest and we wanted to thank all of you for putting...
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We have a winner for the 2015 REBOOT giveaway!!

The incredibly adorable and fun Leigh Schrage from Schrage Photography has been randomly selected for this giveaway!

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There were over 15,000 entries into the contest and we wanted to thank all of you for putting this out there and talking about it!

Leigh will come and spend the day with us for a FULL-DAY coaching session and get our entire Digital Workshop pack from our store plus a bunch of other awesome goodies!  We can’t wait to spend the day with her and share her 2015 story with you guys on the blog!

Wish Leigh a congratulations!

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If you didn’t win, don’t worry!  We will have more giveaways throughout this year – one even being this month so stay tuned!

Thanks to all the fabulous companies who made this possible!

 

The Top 8 Essentials for a Successful 2015!

The Top 8 Essentials for a Successful 2015!

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we create them.“ - Einstein A friend of ours had the best year ever in his business, ever. The reason for it was talked about on this blog by the Business Insider. That post is about the top...
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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we create them.

- Einstein

A friend of ours had the best year ever in his business, ever.

The reason for it was talked about on this blog by the Business Insider. That post is about the top tips Andrew Carnegie used to become one of the wealthiest men of all time and was documented in the book by Napoleon Hill “Think and Grow Rich.”

We used the exact same tips back in 2007 and it completely rocked our business and set us up for an amazing 2008!

We want to share with you our top 8 tips that took us from making $4,000 profit in 2007, to making 100 grand in 2008! These are the same tips that we now use each and every year that have helped us continually build our business and make it better time and again.

If you choose to use these simple tips, you will have a better business in 2015, so only read on if that is what you want!

1. Define your purpose.

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Hill says to, “Create a plan of action and start working toward it immediately.” The way we did that was to create a vision statement for our business. We wanted to “impact couple’s marriages through photography that is relationally based, with a focus on marriage, not just their wedding day.”

Having a defined purpose (or vision) gives you a reason to get up and work at it every day. When you are working toward something that is bigger than yourself, you have purpose in your life. Now you need a Mission, or a “how” and that is where you start to create an action plan and start working toward it NOW!

2. Create a “master-mind alliance.”

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Contact and work with people “who have what you haven’t,” Hill says.
Create a small, tight network of people that are doing what you want to do is what catapulted our business just when we needed it. We found wedding planners, photographers and a few brides that were doing the gigs we wanted (not the ones we had at the time), and demonstrated value to them.

We gave them every reason to refer us and our business exploded and we were booking like crazy. Someone already has a network, and YOU need that network. 

3. Go the extra mile

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“Doing more than you have to do is the only thing that justifies raises or promotions, and puts people under an obligation to you,” writes Hill.

 

Use this in every aspect of every single thing you do for anyone, ever. When you do, those people will feel reciprocity and will want to do something in return for you. They will want to refer you, help you, or buy your products and services.

4. Indulge your imagination.

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Dare to think beyond what’s already been done.

 

When we changed our business model in late 2007, I remember looking at the top 5 wedding photographers in the country and deciding we would do what they were doing, only better.

You have to allow yourself to think big, and believe big if you want big things to happen. You are what you believe so don’t think small.

5. Exert enthusiasm.

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A positive attitude sets you up for success and wins the respect of others.

 

The more positive we thought about situations, the more those situations worked out for our good. The way you choose to think will determine the outcome of your circumstances. (Tweet this out!)

6. Concentrate your effort.

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Don’t become distracted from the most important task you are currently facing.

 

Focus + Intensity + Time creates Momentum according to best-selling author Dave Ramsey. You need to concentrate your business, your effort, and your time into to doing what matters most and close out all other distractions.When we did this in 2007 it gave us powerful momentum that took our small city by storm. It gave the perception that we were everywhere and that made us more valuable. You can’t do that if you are not concentrating your efforts in one direction.

7. Profit from adversity.

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Remember that “there is an equivalent benefit for every setback,” Hill writes.

 

We all fail, and we have had plenty of set-backs in our career. Use those set-backs and as opportunity to learn, adjust and more forward with more knowledge than you had before. 

8. Practice “applied faith.”

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Believe in yourself and your purpose so fully that you act with complete confidence.

 

If you don’t  believe yourself, than your clients won’t either. A lack of confidence is very apparent to everyone around you and when you don’t think you are good enough, then everyone starts to believe it. Guess what? You ARE good enough. Hear that from us. Hear that you are good enough and that you CAN do this. Don’t listen to anyone else that says otherwise.

 

Your Chance To Respond! 
Which one of these 8 Tips do you need to do the most? Start the Conversation by making a comment and let us know!We know that you are going to have an amazing 2015 and we will see you after the first of the year!!!
2015 Photography Business Reboot Giveaway! Enter Now!

2015 Photography Business Reboot Giveaway! Enter Now!

This giveaway has ended and the winner has been chosen!   Do you want an all-inclusive business transformation for 2015? Well you are not going to believe this, but we are giving one away in honor of the launch of our brand new website and it is worth over...
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This giveaway has ended and the winner has been chosen!

 

Do you want an all-inclusive business transformation for 2015? Well you are not going to believe this, but we are giving one away in honor of the launch of our brand new website and it is worth over $8,000!!!

 All you have to do to enter the contest is Click HERE and enter your email address for a chance to win! Oh, and you can actually get MORE chances to win when you Tweet, FB and share this giveaway on social media!

 

ENTER-NOW

 

(this giveaway has ended and the link to it removed)  

Someone will have a completely revamped business for 2015, and it could be you, so enter now.

(Deadline to enter is December 26th and the sooner you enter, the better chance you have of winning!)

 

Blessings,

Zach & Jody

 

PS. Don’t forget to share the contest to give yourself way more chances of winning!

 

The cool items for you on our brand new site!

The cool items for you on our brand new site!

We are so excited that after months and months of designing, tweaking and prepping, our brand new site is finally here! This new site has been designed specifically for you, the photographer, and is packed full of ways to help you grow your photography business! We...
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We are so excited that after months and months of designing, tweaking and prepping, our brand new site is finally here! This new site has been designed specifically for you, the photographer, and is packed full of ways to help you grow your photography business!

We have a HUGE thanks to send out to the one and only Melissa Love, creator of The Design Space, who has once again, knocked out a beautiful site for us!

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Melissa never ceases to amazing us with her creativity and ability to come up not only with great ideas for us, but also make possible our crazy ideas!  Make sure to check out her site where you can get her beautiful designs for your own website, blog and brand!

Thank-you, Melissa!!!!!!!!

…And without any further ado, here’s a few highlights of our site and then enjoy looking around to see all of the new benefits and features we have created for you!

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Our new website Home makes it easy for you to get access to our newsletter sign up page so you never miss a post, and when you scroll down, you can quickly see the latest information to help you grow your business!

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You can see right from the Home page our business position, and how we have converted our entire brand to help photographers reach their goals with their business. We have been there, done it, and now are ready to bring thousands more of you closer to the business you have always dreampt of. 

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Our blog is now integrated into our site so you never have to leave to find what you are looking for. We also have easy access to our best free content on the right side if you want to pick up our eBooks on Lighting and Business Essentials.

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This is HUGE! We now have a “Learn” section of our site!

We have literally spent months redesigning and tagging all of our 1,000+ posts on business, shooting, lighting and content videos so that you can easily find the topic you need and find it fast! No more hitting “search” to scroll through posts!

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If you want to share in our journey and know all about what we do and how we did it, then check out our new About Section to see our entire path unfold. You can also access our portfolio from here and find out all sorts of fun details and facts about us (and some cute baby photos too!)! 

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Our goal is to continue bringing quality educational posts, products and services to all of you amazing photographers so that you can keep on running amazing businesses that bless you, your families, your friends and your pocket book.

 

Blessings,

Zach and Jody

 

PS. Please let us know in the comments below what you think of the new site and start the conversation!

Don’t Just Survive the Slow Season | Tog Tools Podcast

Don’t Just Survive the Slow Season | Tog Tools Podcast

We recently had the privilege of being interviewed by Tog Tools about how to do more than just keep your business moving even when things are slow. Back in 2008 when we were still photographing weddings full-time, we were in the process of building our brand, all...
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We recently had the privilege of being interviewed by Tog Tools about how to do more than just keep your business moving even when things are slow.

Back in 2008 when we were still photographing weddings full-time, we were in the process of building our brand, all while the nation-wide economy was tanking. We only knew one way to build a business, and that was when economically, we should have failed. We didn’t just survive that year, but we thrived and made our first 6-figure earning year!

In this podcast we will share some of the lessons that we learned including:

  • Why you should niche down to build a brand
  • Why being excellent is no longer compelling
  • How to create a new category to stand out
  • Why bootstrapping your photography business is the best approach
  • How to make a financial plan for the slow season
  • Why you should get in a Mastermind
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