Final segment we're gonna talk a little bit about just building confidence in you and your business and your brand, and as a shooter and some of this, I think we covered in working, you know, talking about being a husband wife team, but I think it's important because as russ said, you know, I think a lot of the audience probably relates to our connects with you on, you know, from your perspective, coming in as a second shooter, then building your way up and becoming a primary shooter in the business and being such a strong influence in the business, I think it's important for everyone understand how you built your confidence, so take it away, so I know you probably don't want to hear it, but practice it's a lot of work, I know, but it really did help with my confidence levels, especially when it comes to lighting it's just not something I'm comfortable with, and so I would do, uh, two things I would pick cells brain. I've tried reading books about it, but I just end up being more confu...
sed after you. The book. So after having a five minute conversation with sally aiken, you oh, I get lighting now. Okay, let's, go practice to make sure I can implement it and, you know, given situation, so we walk outdoors. What do I want to do with lighting and figure out how to do it and implement it? We should talk about flash, though, because I can still remember, and I think I actually talked about it yesterday love it with lighting the process. She was trying to learn, lighting off camera lighting and understand it, and you're reading a book on lighting. It was the most technical, unused, her friendly book out there, and I would imagine there's, probably a lot of new photographers were starting out, both male and female were not overly technical, and they start reading that stuff about ratios and light fall off on it, starts overwhelming them and don't get me wrong. This is very important that you understand the proper way to lie, to seeing the proper way to pose and all the fundamentals, but by the same token, we've gotta ramp you quickly so that you can be and you can start being productive. So talk about that situation. It's really just asking you questions? So cells just a great teacher, he knows about lighting, so I would recommend finding someone that you respect, whether it's, your spouse or into the photographer in the area are someone online that could just break it down and make it simple. Esso I dummy proof it exactly sound you just made it easy for me if I'm using, like on camera flash and I wantto, you know, make the background the right exposure, but then the right exposure and have to overpower the sun south said exposed the camera for the cup for the background exposed the flash for the couple. Well, that makes sense, okay? I think that's important, especially if you're in a husband wife team and one of you gets it and the other one's kind of ramping that part that can you know you want talk about feeling stupid if you start having all these like really technical conversations and your partner is just not processing it. You really if you want to be a good teacher and you want to be a good coach, you really gotta break it down just into english and allow them don't get me wrong. Lighting is complicated, it can be, but it also can be very simple on not letting the equipment getting me away and something something in the way. Sometimes I think the equipment, the complexity of the equipment actually gets in the way flustered, and then you start rushing through, and then you missed stuff, and so having knowing what you taught me about flash really instill that confidence so that even if I am in that moment and I'm still working with my settings and not flustered because I understand what I'm trying to dio because of the questions that I asked cell that makes sense. Yeah, I think so. Uh, doing team exercises, this was something cool we did with our studio. We wanted to try doing some night photography and using flash and lights and so we actually came over to her house we grilled, we drink and then we waited for it to get dark and then in our backyard we just experimented with different lighting techniques, it's a team and we would each try it out, do it on each other. I think of something crazy to do just for fun, and just so we could understand lighting more so you could make it fun. If you get together with a group of friends of other photographers and just practice at night, let go grab drinks, and then so we had a barbecue in the backyard. We did some painting with light exercises, so was pitch black in our backyard and we had a big spotlight and then we're trying to get the team to learn and understand how long exposures work, and it was just by playing around, so we weren't in a production environment where it mattered what was going on or people were losing their minds right? Because you've got clients in the way and nobody's panicking it was just fun and so as ah a team trying to build confidence that's the environment you do it and where just doesn't matter right? I was alluding to it earlier get a can of pressure there's no pressure, so get a can of coke do some cool stuff with that learned how to paint with light work with off camera flash and just practice practice practice but in an environment where just doesn't matter, don't be lazy and get out there and do it you have to do it unfortunately, um ask questions to understand better this was just you know what I was telling about picking sounds brain just ask a lot of questions until you really feel like you get it's okay to ask questions doesn't mean you're stupid doesn't mean that you're slow just ask questions and you'll feel better in the end because you do feel confident plan ahead. So I've talked about this before with my personality I get a lot of anxiety before sessions and so in order to compensate for that, I'll go to my sessions early and I'll drive around to each spot that I want to shoot at and then I'll think about each pose that I want to do in each location so I have this in my head is so I know I have everything I need for my session before even start and I just walked through the entire they in that alleviates all the stress for me because I know I have a plan of where I'm supposed to go in when I'm supposed to dio sal can just go anywhere and do anything and be inspired and that works for him so he actually doesn't like to go ahead of time and plan stuff and that's understanding our personality so if you know your personality is you might get overwhelmed at an event. The best thing for you to do is get out there and deal with that you know what your anxiety is? You know what? Your weaknesses are right and where you fail her way of dealing with it and she loves to go there bone just do some pre scouting out the lighting what time of day you'll even go the same time a day to look at it whereas I just can't be bothered I kind of like flying off the seat of my pants on and doing it that way so I actually have a lot of fun doing it that way and go through the checklist so sal and I have a system he's talked about it, his progression shooting where he has set poses that we know that cell and in each pose he takes the tight middle in a wide shot so that we have diversity and the pictures and we do each of those tight mental wide in that same post with three different expressions serious smiling looking at each other and then kissing and then sew by following this system and going through the checklist and going to the motions I know I have everything I need so if I put the couple in oppose I know okay, I have to get tight in this pose widen this pose full body uh full body in this pose and then I have to get all of that in every different expressions so I'm just going through a checklist and I am a checklist kind of person and then once I know I get all that I know I have time to be creative and do whatever I want to do so I might experiment with something new but then there's no pressure when I'm trying that's something new because I know I have what I need to sell yeah and that's important so I'm curious you know, rachel because you're you're coming up on your tyler what do you have? You don't shoot weddings on your own correct right? You're with tyler do you have a progression you work through when you start getting nervous? What do you do? Because just based on what you've told me, you kind of panic panic way have well, you kind of haven't done any more thing because I was getting annoyed we have these radios that I'd always like tyler tyler like changed like that where I like start panicking but the more I just I feel I have that woman more confident and stuff, but I definitely was going to him and just, uh this doesn't look right you look at your instagram well it's saying that this is blown off what do you do about it unless you help me? But I accept it and I think that, like we're just saying practice, practice practice and I'm like all right? But just like, bring the camera everywhere looking lines and look at lighting and just change the way it'll change the way you operate. It'll build that confidence in you because that's ultimately what we're talking about is how do we build confidence? It's you know their spin times where we talk a lot about him and we get to ours for creatives that's a big part of our business to go off and do these pictures we request an hour and a half to two hours from our clients, but the truth is I've had several clients recently that give me fifteen minutes what do you do when your client gives you fifteen minutes and you still have to do this in order to get the sale you better have a system that you're following or else all hell's gonna break loose and that's the one thing that has saved her and me for that matter is I know okay, here we go I got one scene here's a bench here's a tree here's what I'm gonna do tighten it a wide seventeen hundred twenty five millimeters two hundred millimeters vertical horizontal and I can get out of there in fifteen minutes and maybe I'm not one hundred percent happy but ultimately I know I got what I need for the sale but if I if I didn't have that checklist I tend to use I would panic all of us would panic the sale says it also as you start getting sales after sessions that's going to build your confidence a lot you might think that the pictures are ok but when the client comes in and they're raving oh my god, I love them they're so awesome that you know, of course it's gonna build confidence in you you know, that's all that matters is the sale if the client loves it, you did a great job, so the more sales you do with your sessions, you'll you'll have a lot more confidence that way yeah, and the last thing you should do is worry about what other photographers think about your work, right whether you're going to those photography groups or forums anything like that who cares are you trying to impress other photographers? Are you trying to impress your clients because all I care about? I don't care what anybody says about my work, I care about what my clients say the minute my client stopped liking my work, then I've got a problem, but until then, I wouldn't worry about what anybody else has to say. Focus on what matters and don't worry about comparing yourself to your spouse either, so in the beginning, you know, well, even now, still, I see cells working on like I suck, but that my clients don't see cells work, they don't see my work or they don't see the work that we do together, all they know is their experience that they've had with me, and so whenever they come in that's, they're not comparing me to sell, I'm comparing me to sell, so don't worry about comparing yourself to someone else. It's good to look up to them, but you don't have to be them as long as your clients love the pictures were all like that, right? I mean, we're all we all look at other drivers working like god, I even do that. I look at other targets working like I didn't see that where that how'd they get that, you know, so I think we are artists, we all have that kind of insecurity jean built into us, but ultimately I'm here to tell you, don't let it paralyze you just keep moving forward and trust your instincts if you we've talked about this before with nightmare clients, go with your instinct, we've seen it time and time again time again where we didn't trust our instinct and we regretted it. We had a nightmare client, they made her life miserable for a year and we all could have been avoided if you just listened and went with our gut. So don't be afraid to follow your gut and then enter competitions. This has been really great cause I enter my first competition this year and I won five awards that's pretty big, I think I was really excited, so that just instill so much more confidence in me and, you know, we're posting on facebook and so it really gave validation to me as a photographer, not just with my client, so if we do one it's just some extra confidence and want to be validated in the photography community, they, uh entering competitions is a great way to get there and then it's also a great way to learn how to get there even if you don't win an award just to listen to the critiques it's really educational great client testimonials uh, not only when they come in to see their pictures after the wedding. I always like to ask what kind of experience they have. We'd like to add their testimony as to her website and just reading some of the things that they say about me has is just put my confidence through the roof and make really makes me feel like I can stand up there next to sow as a photographer and directing their day, so make sure you get testimonials and like I said, we're never doing a creative live again without me checking your sides. What building confidence for you being booked over me that's how you build companero, wait whatever we initially sit down with a couple and sound are both open I usually do the consultation, then I tell them now selling are both opening your date so you can pick whoever you want to be primary I'm better, but you can pick whoever you want then they're like, well, we love you will go with you and I'm like like that's, a really big confidence builder to serve my nerdy side, but it made me realize that people love me for me and they love south for south so some people, whenever they meet with me, they think I'm too quiet and they need a type a personality that's gonna get their group going and they'll pick sal and hey that's okay with me I don't want that group so it all works for you'd be uh be okay being yourself it's okay to be different in who you are your weaknesses can also be your strength so people pick me because I am more reserved and more introverted so that's actually a strength because it appeals to different clients so don't feel like because you're not a type bear you're not vocal that that's a weakness use it to your advantage so whenever brides would sit down with me um I would tell them now I'm not one of those photographers that's going to take control of your day and do all these crazy things and all we're doing this pictures and I'm gonna let you enjoy your day and I'm going to document it as it happens where sound when he sits down with brides suds I'm not gonna be one of those photographers that just lets the day happen and you know we may get something we may not I'm going to direct the day and I'm gonna take control and we're gonna have a great time so we each play to our admit to our personality advantages and then doing it on your own take that risk and do this shoot by yourself my first wedding on my own I was had stomach issues for a week before I was so nervous the whole day I was just it was horrible but once the client saw their pictures and they were happy oh my gosh it's like just the best thing in the world and the more you do it, the better it gets so I still get nervous to the stage just like sound was telling you that still happens and I think that's good to be a little bit nervous but, uh the confidence is there I know I can deliver it's not a question anymore it's just about, um how what I'm gonna do this time what shot am I gonna get that's different so don't be afraid to do it on your own you'll feel a lot better after you d'oh. All right, so from my statement s so from my perspective you know these airways that you can start building confidence a cz you go forward, right? So hopefully the whole three days is giving you a ton information on what you can do, how you can do it on dh hopefully giving you kind of a blueprint. And so if you've been following what we've talked about for the last year year and a half this is going to give you a little bit of more information that kick in the butt you need to get to the next level so for me it's about finding ways if you want to build your confidence, find ways to build your x factor and that x factor is that thing whatever it is that separates you from the competition, you've got to continue looking for that x factor item you want to celebrate success, right? This is a grind this is a journey that we're all on with our business is with our lives we're looking for that right that that moment in time but they're never really is a moment it's a series of moments we have to celebrate those moments as they come or else or we lose sight of what we're really doing and so taylor and I are very good at when we have when something big happens we celebrate, we enjoy the moment we savour it and then we move on print competitions as taylor already alluded teo I think are big for building confidence it's something we're proud of him we interpret competition and several judges in unison decide that this image is one of the best images in the world that matters to me more than anything else because that's validation from my peers that our work is top notch portfolio reviews that's a great way to not only build confidence but get constructive critique right sometimes talking to each other what's the point of talking to somebody who knows nothing about photography I mean I love my mother to death but I wouldn't go to my mother and say, hey mom, do you like this picture yeah she's got no it's beautiful honey right she's going to tell me everything I'm doing is beautiful because she's my mother that's what she does instead I'd rather go to somebody who understands this so we do a lot of portfolio reviews for people and that helps them because it gives him constructive criticism about their images and what they can do to improve them next time around, right? So if you if you submit for a portfolio review don't submit it to me for a portfolio of you and think I'm just gonna give you that it's beautiful perfect right what I'm looking for is what's wrong with it how we can make it better that's the point mentorship work under someone look for a mentor look for a coach somebody who's going to continue to push you right so I mentor several people a year I take him through the their business I helped them they come out but they don't just come out to st louis and work side by side with me what happens is after they leave I'm continuously riding them as a coach to get them that to push their business right so they're not procrastinating then probably regret it some of them regretted I bet but they're in a happier place right now but it's all about helping you take your business in the next level you need someone in your life and your business everybody does that's gonna inspire you and motivate you to keep keep going after more it's very easy to get I think frustrated uh disenfranchised with everything and give up sometimes so we need somebody around us to just keep pushing us and never stop learning that is the most important part I don't care for your year one or year fifteen you do not know it all you'll never know it all it's things like creative live hands on workshops reading and just keep on learning keep on growing no, you constantly have books, multiple books you're reading at a time and I don't know how he is time but he reached the whole book front back I love ri I love learning that's the way I learned I learned by reading some people learn hands on some people learn right having someone show them so that is my passion I want to continue to find my x factor on grow my business so guys, I just want to say personally thank you I hope everybody you guys I want to thank the eight of you for coming out here and being with us. I know you had to take time out of your busy schedules, but once again I love all of you and I want to see success for your business is same for all you guys out there