Believe Workshop – Church for Photographers – Smithview Pavillion Maryville, TN

Occasionally in this insane, amazing, stress filled, glorious, ever changing, booming career field that a lot of us call a passion and a profession we must recharge, reboot, and just all out refill!

That was this past Saturday for me.  I love people. I love photography. I love weddings. and I.LOVE.workshops.  They really are as I said that day “Church for a Photographer’s soul!

I don’t remember how I found @JoPhotos on Instagram a few months ago, but it was a divine appointment that I did. That seemingly simple act led to one of the greatest workshops.  It wasn’t your typical “shoot this way”, “your camera does this”, or “this is how you edit…” it was business focused. And I’m a business lackey! FOR.REALZ!

I may be great at a lot of things, hopefully Photography will be on that list one day, but business is not one of them.  Going this alone, well, let’s just say it’s been a severe hunt and pick situation much like a 3 year old learning to type these days.

When Kristin of KLP Photography started her session on Branding I’ll own it I thought “I’ve got this!” “I have a watermark and a logo!” HA.HA.HA.HAHAHA! False! Branding…rocked my face!  I’m currently working on redoing my website and making it more ME. One of the quotes that stuck was “You go to some photographer’s pages, and it’s nothing but pictures….Yeah…we get it…you’re a photographer. But how am I going to get to know YOU better?”

GUILTY! Aside from my About Me section there’s nothing that tells anyone anything about me. Nothing that will tell them right out of the gate if we’re going to mesh. Ohhhh the things I’d never have known if I’d opted to “save the money”, and chosen sleep more than 2.5 hours that morning. The old saying “You have to spend money to make money” really are words to live by.  You have to invest in yourself, your business, your BRAND in order to “Be the next YOU!”

Next up Kathleen, part of the hubby, Joe, and wife team known as JoPhoto, let it rip on SEO and Social Media…. I am a Twitter junkie, and Facebook hardcore, but the Blog info and SEO kicked it!  Raise your hand if you never knew SEO meant. *Raises both hands*  For the slackers like me that’s Search Engine Optimization.

I get email offers from SEO companies and I never knew what on earth they did. FAIL!  The glad news though…now I know…and Kathleen dropped a load of solid gold information  right into my little world. THANK YOU!  One of the best quotes from her that hit home was ” Don’t take it personal!  Sometimes it’s just not a good fit.” And I also loved “Talk to the other vendors!  You don’t want to be that uncool photographer!”

That last one hits home because I’m a people person, a team player…especially for weddings…you know…because I’ve planned them and done floral design years ago when I never dreamed I’d be behind the lens.  I’ve encountered SO many uncool photographers at my friend’s, and past planning/floral client’s, weddings who acted like they were above the caterer, the DJ, the florist, etc… Thus I make it my goal to NEVER be “the uncool photographer” purely for that reason!  Can we send that memo to every wedding professional? 😉

Casey of Nicholas and Keaton Videography brought it on home with a rousing 38 point presentation (really 8, or was it 9… anyway it was a lot LOL) on Sales. “We want them to buy US. To buy our personality!”  Ummmm just being honest here…I’d NEVER thought of it that way! “WHAAAAAT??”  True Story though!  If they don’t like my personality then they’re probably not going to like my work.  My work is an extension of my personality…if I know that then had that BRILLIANT bit of info escaped me? EPIC.FAIL! *High Five* Casey for relaying the memo I missed!

“Number 38: Ask more questions. Number 39: STOP.TALKING. Know when to stop” That’s info you can put in the bank folks.  Good info for life in general really.

We broke before lunch for an outdoor natural posing session out at the GORGEOUS Smithview Pavilion where we listened to Kritisn, Kathleen, and Joe offer up some always useful tips on evoking raw.real.emotion from Brides and Grooms.  Kathleen’s Robot Impersonation was pretty sweet, and a great reminder to never make sure our clients look stiff or robotic, but natural!  Another reason why I love getting them to MOVE. Movement is real. Movement is LIFE!  Below are a few of the shots I was able to grab amid my fellow peers/photographers as we got to take over and direct the couples.

Huge props to the couples, both of which were past wedding couples of JoPhoto and KLP, for redressing in their wedding day best, and being just as smitten as brand new newlyweds in front of our cameras.

We ended the day with a lighting course from Joe out at the Pavilion again, and topped it allll off with a killer Photographer’s Edition of The Harlem Shake. See for yourselves…Nicholas and Keaton…names to remember for your next videography needs!!

Thank you all again for a stellar workshop! I BELIEVE! 🙂

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Go Kathleen!  Get your robot on!
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I.LOVE.LAUGHTER! Favorite image!
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My favorite “pose”?  When I simply say “Own Him” 😉
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Annnnnnd to top off the day in true Photographer style….The brilliant minds who hosted this awe-fest decided to see what a Photographer’s Harlem Shake video would look like. And I mean I may be biased, but I’m thinking this “Phototbooth Explosion” is!!!  

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