We just lost an audience member, she's saying yeah. OK, I want to talk to Laurie about the 28 Days Study Group, because A) If you have already purchased 28 Days, you should be part of the study group. It is not just another Facebook page. I want to talk all about the reveal wall, because Lorey said it is one of the most hotly discussed subjects in the chats, sorry, in the groups. I'm gonna talk about what's working for me. I'm now doing 24, 30 size reveals in big frames. It's very cool. I touch on it in 28 Days, but I was only just launching it myself, so I'm gonna work out what works and what doesn't. She's doing a reveal without the wall. Mapawana is doing the reveal with the wall, I know it's doubled her sales. She's not here, she had to go to hospital. So we've lost Mapawana. These guys are not doing it yet, are setting it up for their portrait work which means they're in the newbie stages, so we should be able to converse on that on all levels. And this is your last hour and a bit...
to ask these three, four, any questions you want. So you can direct all your questions to them if you want. Or me, it doesn't matter. And let's go through the segments. So are there any hot questions first off? Because Victoria asked me a question at lunch, and I wanted her to re-ask it. People always come up. Now this is gonna happen, this happens everywhere in the world, the least access you get to people, the harder it is to be able to ask questions. So when I first started teaching CreativeLive workshops, I think I got 11,000 emails after my first workshop. And I answered every one of them. I got to a stage, it took six weeks, and I was pretty much crying towards the end of it because I just couldn't seem to get myself out of it. But I really wanted to answer everybody's questions. One question brings another five questions, and then before you know it, you're answering questions, you can't answer questions anymore. So I know what's gonna happen if you don't get your question answered, is these guys are gonna go home to massive inboxes of questions and it will be up to them whether they can answer them because they're both in wedding season and they're both shooting portraits. So we're going to try to get as many questions through here so that everybody can hear the answer. If you hold back a question that potentially a lot of people want to hear, you're saving, you know anyways, Victoria asked me a question and I said, can you ask me that question live? Because then I can answer it live. And I felt like it was an important question.
Well my question was, it really goes back to what you were saying is why are you doing what you're doing, and I remembered you sharing your story about your friend who is a photographer, who had been struggling struggling and you were able to look at the situation and say, "You're in the wrong business. "This is what you're passionate about. "You need to follow that." And now she's very successful in what she's doing that's not even photography.
She's launched a juice bar in Vegas called The Juice Standard. And I have tried a lot of fresh pressed, cold pressed juices, from the biggest cold pressed juices, and she is by far the best juice presser I have ever met. And I have never met a human being more focused on nutrition and juice than Jamie Stephenson, and now she is not shooting anything, she owns a juicing business. And that came from a conversation on, she photographs her catalogs, so photography is a function of her business, but not the form of it. Sometimes we are close to doing what we want, but we only see one avenue, and we don't realize how quite close we were to doing something else. But I mean if you align a photography business to a juice business, they're actually not that different. She called me the other day to ask for marketing advice, and I could answer all of her questions. And that was nothing to do with juice. That was to do with problem solving, business. So that's who we're talking about.
Well yeah and I look at my life, which is a very very unique situation, but the bottom line is I need to work to provide for my family. So I actually went to photography, I grew up in the modeling industry, I love taking photos. So it just seemed like a natural fit. Yet it is such a huge learning curve as far as business, and even my skill set as far as photography. But then I look at my life and then I think OK, I can answer things like that when someone asks me about children, or they're fascinated by my life. And I'm like OK, am I missing the boat in what I should be doing as a business, so that's what I'm trying to assess. You know I feel like it's like painstakingly slow,
OK so let's have a look at some creative ideas around you, this is what I always think of. Put on your panoramic lens and see outside of your normal frame rate. And let's look at some ideas for you. Maybe you, I'm just gonna throw crazy ideas at you. Maybe you start a blog about shooting your own children and you teach other women how to shoot their own children. Maybe you start an online magazine about being a mum or having children, and then you photograph all the stuff to get you started. I mean there's so many creative ways you can go on. But what you are asking me is, how do I monetize this thing. So when I look at people's values, like Jamie's juice thing, we were traveling together. She was my assistant. And she was trying to start a business but she had no products, no price list, and no website. So I said to her, you're not starting a business. You keep telling me you're starting it. But you're not actually doing it. What she was doing was helping me with my nutrition. So I was talking about what I was eating and how unhealthy I was, I was also 65 lbs heavier. So she turned to me one day, and I'd hurt my foot, and she was rubbing my foot, only good assistants rub my feet, would you believe it. I think Nikki's even rubbed my feet before, after a shoot because it was killing me. And she said to me, "We need to get this weight off you." And I was like, jolted. And she said, "It's time you decided "to look after yourself, have you tried juicing?" This is my photography assistant talking to me about nutrition. A year later, she opens a juice bar in Vegas. Because I said to her that week, you're not supposed to be a photographer. You're supposed to be a juicer. And then she flew to Costa Rica and she studied sustainable living, and oh my god this girl is just a wealth of knowledge. So what you're telling me is that what you're meant to do, you're very close to doing it. And in fact, you're probably already doing it but not being paid for it. Because most people are kind of already doing what they're attracted to, but they have not monetized it yet. Because you're not seeing a way to monetize it. And although this sounds really nebulous, Jenna started off as a baby and children photographer, and she struggled at it and struggled at it. And then she found CreativeLive in order to be a better photographer, and she starting hosting for free, and then it turned into a career. And now she is the lead host of this incredible company. She manages other hosts, and she didn't know "I want to be a host", she knew she wanted to be in the photographic industry, she knew she wanted to empower photographers, inspire them educate them, like everything about her, she was already doing for free. And then she found her niche within the market. And then started to move towards her niche and it has nothing to do with photographing babies. But when you first buy a camera and you're attracted to a genre or an industry, your niche will exist in that industry in some form. You just haven't found the right way yet. Do you understand? So, then your next statement was: "Yeah, but am I not seeing something?" You know what it is, you just haven't found it yet. There's a famous saying, "If you want to know "where your heart is, look where your mind wanders". Or something like that. I can't even tell you who that is, somebody put that in the chat room or Google it, it's like if you want to know where your heart is, look where your mind wanders to or something like that, because the thing is, you will keep going back to it over and over again, what you're meant to be doing, now you have to find a way to turn it into an income. Yeah. Also, I still maintain that you have incredibly beautiful children, and I would take images of them and find a way to sell them. (audience laughs) Because I'm just saying sister, God does not give you beautiful children, not to capitalize off them. It's all about business. No seriously. So definitely my form of my business is to empower women. And I do that through photography. But I also do it through the conversations that I have when I'm photographing women. So is my purpose to photograph women or to empower them through photography? And if you took photography as a function, away from me, would I still be able to empower women to love themselves? I think yes. Because I think my purpose is stronger than my function. Now not everybody knows what that purpose or function is, and a lot of people are confused by it. But trust me, if you meditate long enough on it, or pray long enough on it, or focus long enough on it, what you love to do, you're already doing it. What you're not doing is creating a product, a price, and a market to sell, so that tells me you don't actually want to do it. No, you do know how you've done every one of my workshops. So now you're lying to me and you're still not owning your path. And the best part is, when you looked at the rating of Victoria, the only zero on that board was you. So you're not even acknowledging what you want. So don't tell me you don't know what you want. You haven't even asked yourself that question yet. Don't panic. You have small children, and you're running a home. And right now it's coming forward. So just embrace everything you're learning and find a way. And in the interim, it's OK to earn money from a photo shoot or a wedding until you find your perfect recipe. Does that make sense? Does anyone else want to challenge me on their confusion around form, function, and purpose? I know, Nikki said to me one day, somebody wants to interview me in the local area about being a glamour photographer. And she said "When I was doing the interview, "I felt like I sounded a lot like you. "I want to empower women, I want them "to know their beauty and their value and rah rah rah." And I said to Nikki, that's one of your values. I said you're not trying to sound like me, you're talking through your true self. As long as you were being sincere and honest about that, that you believe that, that's why you're attracted to my model. And everybody has a different purpose. I remember saying to Dustin and Amy, you've been together since you were in high school, as a couple, you can sell wedding photography. Couple's photography, engagement photography. Because you're a young couple, in love, that is committed to each other, that's been together for a long time. Do you remember, I said this in my first CreativeLive, when I was learning photography I had a part time job in a jewelry store on a Thursday night, Saturday, and a Sunday, 'cuz let's face it, photography assisting paid nothing. And I used to walk into this jewelry store, and I would choose an engagement ring out of the thing, tuck the tag in, and put it on like this. And I sold more engagement rings than any other salesperson because everybody that walked up to the counter, I would say hi, and they would say "We're getting engaged" and I go (gasps) fabulous. And they're like (gasps) let me see your ring. And I would go like this. And I was single, but in order to sell engagement rings, wear one. And then I go, tell me about your engagement. How did he propose to you? You know and (chatters), and once they were there, they were buying rings off me. I would finish my day, put my $8, solitaire away, and go home. And people were like "You're one of our top sales people." And I was like funny, isn't it? So, you know, everybody has a kind of calling, and it's always something you love to do. And you must learn to work through it, work around it, work with it. Is there any questions about that?
Well I mean I think a lot of people feel like you, Victoria, a lot of people are saying "I understand I'm hearing that I need to go and just do it, but I still wake up in the morning and I'm still afraid." And still, still still.
I honestly don't feel afraid, unless I'm totally in denial.
Well then you're not doing it.
I'm just like not sure what to do. So like I kinda like do a little here, do a little there, watch this video, try to do it.
No, that's not true. Think about it. You're not afraid, but you're not doing it. So what does that tell you? You don't want to do it.
And to tell my story, and that's the same thing. Turns out I didn't really want to do it. I didn't want to be a business person. I didn't want to be a entrepreneur. I wanted to be creative in all these aspects of it, and then I thought I was a failure. But Sue has told me this over and over and over, you consistently say if you're not doing it, you don't want to be doing it. And that's a really hard thing to accept.
Because she started after you and she's doing it. And I don't need to make her do it. She can't stop doing it. I couldn't stop doing it. You couldn't have stopped me from being a portrait photographer. When glamour was dead, I still did it. When I was a dirty word, I still did it. When my boss told me I was an uneducated bonger from South Auckland with poor dressings and no allocution I still did it. When glamour was the foulest word on the whole planet, I still did it. When it was not even a genre that existed, I still did it. And in 2003, I was even brave enough, a little girl from country New Zealand with no high school, nothing, still said I'm gonna read and watch glamour photography to the world and I still did it. And if I had to work in a restaurant, or paint fingernails, or serve ice cream in order to do what I had to do, I would've done it. I sold jewelry and I sold it well because I could not stop doing what I was doing. You know, that hardest thing for Jamie to accept before she went and opened her juice bar, was understanding "How could I have bought this camera "equipment and said I want to be a photographer, and now I have to tell my family I'm gonna open a juice bar?" And I said, what were you the most attracted to when you came to do my workshop? And she said, "Your power." And I said, so apply my power to your juice business. She wasn't attracted to my photography. She was attracted to my path. So she saw in me, the thing that she wanted. She saw it in me, the power to create something I believed I wanted more than anything in the world, she's done it. She's opened her doors.
So if I'm doing the work that I'm not getting paid for, like I feel like I'm doing the work but I'm not getting paid, so you think that I'm afraid?
Now you just said you weren't afraid.
Well that's what I'm saying. That's why I'm like totally confused about something.
What you need to do is sit down, and write what your highest values are, we've talked about that many times before, and write down your highest values and we'll start breaking it down from there. Because you're blocking me now, on where you want to go, and you're not telling me exactly what it is, and you're saying you don't know. Everybody knows. But you're close. Its so confusing, I know. And it's what's confusing is you don't have a clear vision yet, and you get a clear vision for it, you'll understand it. But I think you do have a clear vision, you just haven't allowed it to come forward yet.
And I think that's a common theme that I'm seeing here in the chat rooms too, is people saying "I know that I want to empower women", or "I know that I want to do this or that, "but I don't have that vision yet" or "I don't know how". And it's, yeah.
Alright. How do you feel about what I just said?
It totally resonates with me. I was a social worker for 12 years and I did not want to do it, I dreaded every day. And now I can't wait to work every day. So, yeah. You do what you love. Whatever you spend your time doing, that's what you want to be doing.
And so if you're not getting paid for it, you're not doing the work. You're not actually doing the work.
I mean it depends. If you're not getting paid because you're building your portfolio, I mean I spent a lot of time not getting paid for it, but I was doing the rest of it on the back end so that I could get paid for it eventually.
Well you've gotta lock down today, you've gotta lock down your product, your price. And your first stage of marketing. 'Cuz I've got to see a finished product from you first. And I've got to see a higher earning number than one. Or you're still in the portfolio building phase. And you're asking me, why you're not making money, when you've given yourself ones on the three most important sections of your business that will make you money. So there's a reason you're not doing that. So we have to find out what that is. What does that resonate with you in terms of so with the guys, this is very interesting because I work with a lot of male photographers that don't necessarily follow the emotional passion for photography but love the business aspect of it. The numbers, the logic, whatever. And yet you're still a creative photographer, and you own a creative business. And you own it with your wife.
I actually like both. Before I was a photographer, I was a corporate IT consultant for five years. And same story as Nikki's, I just hated every minute of it. I didn't wanna get up in the morning, I didn't wanna work, I couldn't stop counting the time 'till 3 o'clock in the afternoon when my East Coast clients would go offline and I could do photography. And what finally cemented it for me, in the very end when I was still hanging on to the job and the benefits and stuff, was I realized that I had saved a very large company about $5 million over the course of a year, no one hugged me. And at the end of these weddings we would go, and I would get three hugs from a bride who was half drunk and just happy as could be, and I was like this is ridiculous. All I wanted was hugs. Don't get me wrong I really enjoy making the money too, but when I realized the thing about the hugs, that was it. I was done.
Did you ever walk into your CEO's office and say "I made you $5 million?" But you know what, because every human being wants to be seen, feel important, and be heard. And, you know, that's exactly right. That means, to me, that you wanted to be your own boss. Because you were making other people money that didn't even care, and you might as well go and make yourself money, right? And that's kind of your focus in terms of who you are, and the fact that your wife is creative and a good photographer, and it only made it better for you both to build a business. I just feel like it's a huge component about people that are stuck. I mean this is my 14th workshop on CreativeLive. This is not the first time I've put that rating up. This not the first time I have said, the most important thing you need to lock down today, is your brand, your product, your price list, and your marketing plan, you've heard it 12 times. You still haven't produced it.
I can't nail it down.
No, you're not doing it. There's a difference. You're not doing it. And if you're not afraid of it, it means you don't want to do it. If you said to me, "I'm so afraid of it, Sue. I'm so afraid of it, I just go to do it and-" OK, so this was me, I'm Amy. I couldn't put my prices out, couldn't say my price list, and every week I would sit like this and people would be sitting there and I was paralyzed and unable to say my worth. And there's a difference between me and you. I was still doing it. Even though I was so frightened, I couldn't speak. And learning hard lessons. But if I was not afraid and not doing it, then it just means I didn't want to do it. Because when people say "How do I know the difference "between not wanting to it and fear of it?" There's a pretty big difference when you're in a state of fear, you know it.
And maybe I will once I nail down my prices and maybe then I will be afraid.
Yeah well there you go, so you're avoiding it then.
Only you can answer that. And you're answering me in maybes. And it's only yes or no. So until you do it and then try, then I'll believe you. But when you do something and your chin shakes and you sweat, and you know there's something really weird about the human body, it might be like a biological, fittest survival thing, but when you're in a state of fear, you emit this smell that you never have any other time. And it's like (groans in disgust) and you've been sale fishing and you're just like (moans) and all you want is for them to give you $ so you can pay rent this week. That's how I used to feel. But, I was still doing it. Every week, sitting in that sales room. So when somebody says to me, 'How do I get over that fear?" I can talk to you about a block, a value, valuing yourself more, valuing your work more, valuing money more. But when somebody tells me they're not even doing that, then I go oh cool, you don't even wanna do it. Then they tell me they do and I don't believe you. I do not believe you. 'Cause you'd be doing it.
I heard you say a couple times that it's only because you have to support your family.
'Cause I would be doing it right now.
Ah, what would you be doing?
I would just be taking care of my kids.
Find a way to make money doing that, that involves beautiful photography.