Specialist vs. Generalist
Specialist first generalist right? Do we specialize or do we become mohr generalised in what we're producing and talk a little bit about both ultimately you'll have to decide where you go so as a generalist in the beginning we took everything we could get our hands on as as you should. Okay, these this is what you're doing you're hungry in the beginning, manu that street cat right? So you just take anything that comes and the last time we were on here uh we're showing I still laugh about it uh south and kata the great photographer whatever he shooting a pet party, right? So it's like people with like, fifteen dogs running around I'm chasing him around trying to take pictures of dogs getting him sit straight what the hell was I doing? That's not my brand today that's not where we are today. In the beginning I did anything I had to do to be successful and so you should also take everything you can get your hands on mostly because you don't know who you are. You don't even know what you l...
ike yet, right? So same case for you, tina you're like I'm just getting started I don't even know if I'm gonna like weddings, right? We teach workshops all over the country and I get new bees all the time in those workshops and I'm like do you do weddings today be surprised how many people in our workshops have never photographed a wedding that's okay, what better way to figure it out than being side by side with somebody who's doing it and learning but you don't know at this point if you're even going toe like weddings so you want to try everything you can experience is going to guide you here on what you like or don't like nothing wrong with growing your business his way right and keeping it this way for that matter if you want to if you want to remain a generalist and do a little bit of everything it's totally fine right? So well quick you guys right rachel what do you do? You're just weddings and seniors I'm waiting years he more in your morning has broken so you're going to take a generalist approach? Is that the path for your business? Is that where you want to be or you don't know? Is that something that's open for debate circle of life there's nothing wrong with that? What about you guys were yet you're just starting out where yet you're doing everything you do you know where you want to focus okay so not special anybody here specializing so you're going to look at specialising you want to go after pets right? But you're still doing weddings, weddings in pet certain natural connection there's another roll with that right so just keep that in mind I consider myself a little bit of a hybrid I'm not a generalist but I'm also not a specialist right I do weddings and seniors and there's a reason for that and we'll talk in a second here's the challenge it's going to require a much broader marketing strategy so think about it if you're going after wedding seniors families babies you can't advertise for weddings and things that's going to bring you baby klein's it will because of the cycle life but that's not a marketing strategy right that's more just kind of referrals but the truth is if you really want to grow your own all you seniors and weddings for an example the marketing and advertising I do for weddings is not the same marketing advertising I do for scenes they're different so you have to understand what you're getting into by being a generalist you can't focus your marketing efforts you have to take a broad approach typically gonna result in a higher volume business model which means you're gonna have to be mid level pricing so if you're a generalist you're not gonna be able to charge twenty thousand dollars a wedding it's not gonna happen if you're a generalist you're not gonna be able to charge five thousand dollars for a portrait session okay that's not gonna happen you've got you're sending the message to the market that you are in fact a generalist think about doctors I'm not comparing what we do to doctors by any stretch of the imagination, but think about doctors that general practitioner, right isn't making as much per hour or lawyers, for that matter isn't making as much per hour as that specialist is the attorney who's, a health care specialist, even within a niche within a niche that guy's making a lot of money per hour, right? But that attorney who's handling traffic tickets because he's a generalist he's not making the same amount per hour same concept here, right? So we've got him. We've tried got to try and be specific think target, macy's ford, those air general type stores, right? You would not think ford and think mercedes benz, right that those two don't don't go hand in hand for does not compete with mercedes benz for does not compete with ferrari. S o these are the kind of things you got to think about the pros of being a generalist. No matter what the market's doing, you have inoperable opportunity to generate revenue that's something else we we've got to consider. And so as for me, for a senior wedding, okay, as wedding slow down right seniors, they're going to pick up a senior slow down, maybe I'm gonna invest heavily in going after weddings because those two are not connected. And you want to think about that, but if you're just a wedding photographer, just a pet photographer and something slows down there's a hiccup in the economy, your business will struggle it absolutely will struggle. And so that's, why I like kind of having a little bit of a mix cons tougher to stand out, tougher to charge more. So if you're a generalist, you're just going to fall into the sea, all photographers, so we, I guess, go towards more weddings and seniors oh, like drink, uh, weddings in seniors and then, like, we love doing the maternity and newborns, but we don't so much advertise like, we're not like, ok, what do we need to do to get newborns? And what do we need to do to get the maternity line going? So as far as that, like, does that kind of categories you more in the generalist, since you are doing everything or we specialize in weddings? So let me take what I think you're saying, so do we shoot babies? Yes, I don't advertise it, I don't market it. You don't see it on my website, so I would not I would not classify myself as a baby photographer, right? I would not classified if somebody brought their pet to us what I photograph them, of course. But you won't see that advertise on my site and the reason that becomes important because that's, where my marketing efforts are going, so if you go to our website, I'm marking clearly towards weddings and towards seniors, I'll take anything to a certain extent that comes through the door, but very few like perfect example, we just did a truck shoot, so in our town you go figure I'm not a commercial photographer, but we had somebody in our community owns a trucking company quarter mile from our studio drove by our studio, drove by our studio and came in and said, we want we own fifteen trucks, we want a picture of our trucks, there's one day they're all lined up, they're all clean. We want something it's, a gift for the owner of the trucking company for his office to five foot, uh framed candace how much we threw a number out there because we've never sold anything, not big that's, not our average sale. We don't do commercial work way don't know, so we threw a number out there two thousand dollars for a framed campus that includes the session uh, coming in, hanging it, printing it, getting it framed for you, she said yes, wade had no idea we were doing this is just two weeks ago we had no idea you were doing. I would not consider myself a commercial photographer now, uh, this is not something I want to spend a whole lot of time with. So all I did was I came up with a number a little bit of magic that made sense for me to go out there, do something like that. I did the same thing when I was starting out. I didn't come up with some crazy number, but it was a number that was good enough for me to attract me into that. Do you see where I'm going with you? You're always gonna get those kinds of jobs, take him. But what do you want to focus on that's, where your marking in advertising where you'll make a mistake is if you say we should if I took that event right? And now said, I want to be a commercial truck photographer, and then I start diverting dollars to something that's not clearly a line of business. Good question. Um, so the cons are again as a general's becomes tougher and tougher to charge more. So based on what you're telling me your lines of business very similar to mind wedding seniors is that right? And then you do all this stuff, are you going to start coming after babies? Like our wedding clients like hey, we have like eleven of them who want to have babies now so yeah and everything we love you baby pictures we want to hire you for babies and so it's just starting to like, okay, we're doing lots of big fortunes and they'll be and how many of us as photographers get started into a niche that way so all you have to do is monitor that and make sure that as you're starting to going to this first all you got to ask yourself do you like it? Do you want to continue to do it and if you do like it you do want to continue to do it then make sure that you start building a line of business and what is that building a line of business look like? Well, we need to facebook site right? We need a sub section to our website I don't get to your website and see wedding pictures senior picture baby picture be consistent right in your your portfolio online and that'll be the way you build it right to the point here some things to consider right? We need separate branding to appeal to all the different clients my seniors don't care about my babies my babies don't care about my weddings and vice versa so maybe somebody who just got married my care about babies the truth is somebody looking for a wedding photographer he's not look doesn't want to necessarily look at baby pictures and so we need to build separate properties, separate facebook, separate websites or separate sub sites right? I don't want you to build south and kata dot com sounds and kinda babies dot com south and kat is see teens dot com it just a sub site on your site is ok but give them a nisi way to differentiate what you're offering klein communication is key and you're offering right you're gonna confuse your clients if you're not being clear what you do and why you're better than everybody else what makes your baby pictures better anything for you the same as every other baby photographer on lee you know the answer and if you're just hoping you put some pictures on your website and that's what's gonna make you better it's not gonna work you've got to explain to me as a consumer what makes your baby pictures worth paying two times more five times more ten times more whatever the case may be so messaging is very important mohr volumes oh means mohr touchpoints howyou can grow your business the more you start pumping through your business do the people who are just doing fifteen, twenty weddings a year man I love those people they got one thing to worry about right shooting and delivering either negatives or an album and then that's it right it kind of there's not much there but once you start doing like weddings, families, babies and this is massive volume that starts coming into your studio how are you managing all that who just thing about pickups when we left our studio thank god I've got my team back home right there managing client pickups right now my clients don't care I'm here in san francisco there like I want my pictures so thank god my team's back there and they're scheduling pickups and when I left there were two giant shelves filled with bags of pictures ready to go out the door right? Because we've been busy this summer and so they're look my clients want to pick up their pictures who's coordinating that on your end as you grow are you guys going to sit at the studio till ten o'clock at night waiting for a client to come pick up a bag of pictures? Are you shipping everything these air? The little things people don't think about when they're growing their business they just think I'm a photographer I'm going take pictures I'm delivering but it doesn't work that way man there's a lot of intricacies to your business let's eat some questions absolutely uh jenna asking what's the best way to get my sports parents to understand I do more than sports I took a lead job this summer but I'm hoping to turn some of those clients in a newborn family etcetera clients so how do you how do you bring him over from one john or to another yeah, so that is a great question and that's a generalist that's the biggest challenge we all have right is getting the messaging out there that hey hey I do weddings you'd be surprised how many of my senior clients I just had a senior client come in last week and she's like this is her second daughter that we've done the senior pictures for, but her older daughter who didn't come to us for senior pictures is getting married and she's telling me all about this wedding and like how did she not hired? She didn't come talk to us, right? So clearly she didn't know shame on me that we photograph weddings and I try to be as clear as possible because in my space I've not only got senior pictures hanging, but wedding pictures on my website senior pictures, wedding pictures, all those things they're hanging so how do you do it? It's going to start with your website? There's got to be separate sub sections up there to do it, but if you're just posting online, which has a sports photographer there's a very good chance you're just posting all your stuff online that is problem number one because they probably goto a portfolio side and I know I'm assuming a lot of things here but they probably go to some portfolio site, and they're just seeing the images you photographed from a game or something like that. Well, there's no incentive for them to go back to your main site and see who what else you offer. So maybe the better way to fix that is instead of sending people to a portfolio site is send them to your actual website, right? Maybe it would be south and kata dot com slash sports, and that becomes the launch point for your portfolio site for sending them right there. Now I have to get to your site and do that, but how about this? How about we take it a step further? Everybody who you've done sports pictures for I'm hoping that when they go to see the sports pictures, you're capturing their email address, uh, you're forcing them to log in if you're not, you've got a big problem ahead of you. Now you take all those e mail addresses and push out a monthly special f y I this month is senior senior portrait month. We're offering fifty percent off our session fees that is a simple, cost effective way to get out there, so I hope I've answered your question given you an idea, too, sal rape if this kind of a general question says as a newbie when would you say you should know whether you're a specialist or a generalist? How do you decide that I'm going to get to that in my very next live so with that being said it took me about two years or more to figure out where I wanted to be in my career and I'm gonna show you some horrific pictures here in a second but it took me about two years to figure out where I wanted to be did I want to baby sit I want to seniors families so as a beginner you don't know and I would say as you start doing enough of it you trust your instinct you've got to do what you love if you're not doing what you love, you're wasting your life right? So for me yeah, I'm a work sixteen, eighteen hours a day I tell you what I don't feel like I'm working I'm having fun and I bet a lot of you here right? It's a labor of love when you're doing what you love we talked about this last night, you're never working right even though you're always working if that makes any sense and so that's where you've got to get it when you start finding those sessions that you can't wait to be part of and for me it is weddings and seniors I know I'm doing what I love and the minute that starts getting old I know I don't and you know what it was for me babies I love I don't want all kids I love certain kids let's put it that way you said you loved one kid there is one thing I love that is true she's got my heart she's she's two years old it's it's my buddy's daughter with evolve at its he's my partner there his daughter sofia she is all kids were like that I'd probably have fifteen kids right now it just makes me smile every time I see her so but I don't have a passion a love for children right? I don't have kids we don't have kids and so I knew that I was doing a disservice by chasing that niche it's just not what I wanted to do and so you've all got to think about that to let me get one more question before I start talking about specialists absolutely so you talked about bringing in you know and just chasing whatever you can when you first get started adrian far from england whose regular welcome adrian said you promised he was going to get some questions answered today be well and he's been asking a lot of she has been number one if we specialize in a certain area and a client comes to us for something completely different what we normally do how do we price for that especially if they want different products what we normally offer well, agent, I just gave you that example, right? The truck picture, I do not photograph trucks at all, so I made up a number where I was like this whole if I run into any issues, any unforeseen challenges editing, I screw up the canvas for some somehow I was covered, and so I made up a number that was high enough that they could have actually said no, and I would've been okay if they said no because it's not my area of expertise. So I kind of pulled that number out of my butt and it worked out, so I got a two thousand dollar sale for what equated to be fifteen minutes of time, so I hope they're not watching right now, but I went out there for graft truck, right? I used my my brand new camera, so I got a phase one medium format camera that I wanted to test on this, and so all these things were in that quote, if that makes any sense, I knew I was doing something I wasn't comfortable doing. I was never worried that I wouldn't be able to produce a good image. I just I didn't know the landscape, so to speak, all right, erin vinny said, uh, recommend separating all the different subsides, even when the portfolios for each one is aren't very strong. Yes, I do. I know what you're talking about. When you're starting out. Maybe maybe don't do with that first year, right in the first year you're just you're still at generalised don't misunderstand what I'm laying out here, it's general, a specialist in those first two years, you are going to be a generalist because every you're just hustling for business, so those first two years, I would keep everything out there and up there until you get a little bit more of your portfolio. Bill. But remember what I told you about your first two years you're hustling, you're doing pro bono work, you're getting out there investing that sweat equity, because so if you look at your portfolio and you're like I'm a senior for tarver, but I have one senior on my website explain to me why you're not out there photographing ten seniors for free. When I wanted to break into glamour, I photographed fifteen people for free, okay, even at this stage of the game, so I'm not sweat equity, something I'm still willing to do at this stage of the game, so get out there, invest in it and build your portfolio, and then by that second year now you should have enough good work where you can separate your your sub sites or your portfolio so now you're gonna get to that point as we did where as time went on we started to focus on just weddings and seniors and the reason was simple first of all I started focusing on profit centres what's making me money yeah I want to do what I love but I can tell you one thing I love more than anything and that's making money and so I love the finer things in life we're all there I make no apologies for it I like nice clothes I like nice food I like to travel I am not going to apologize for being or wanting to be successful and nor should you you should never feel bad about being successful so instead I started focusing on profit centres and trying to balance that with what I love first what's what's going to make any money and so the baby's first year was a program we did I don't know if anybody out there's doing baby's first year but it didn't work out for me, man, because I started attracting clients that we're comparing us to the picture people you could go to the picture people or any of those other studios for fourteen, ninety nine and get a kazillion wallets and eight by tens and four by six is and we started falling into that run no matter how hard we tried not to, so we were shooting people we sold our baby's first year program for I want to say for ninety nine for the year and that was all there sessions that was a pre natal newborn three, six nine, twelve so it was like five or successions all bundled into that okay? And our thought was, hey, we'll make money on the session fee nothing could be further from the truth they'd come in and newborn or at prenatal and they'd buy one eight by ten of them prenatal and we start scratching our heads man were like, this isn't good and then they said, well, we'll come back afterwards and we'll buy it no, they don't they're never going to come back and buy because time moves forward, they're not going to look back, so then they come in at a newborn and we get all these amazing pictures and maybe they'd buy one or two eight by tens are five by sevens I see you smiling. Is this something you're facing right now? Um actually kill a pretty slick way to go about it is that they come in they want to maternity with a like seventy five dollars a session fee, but it's a two hundred or three hundred dollars minimum purchase order for each sessions that's brilliant, so they come in and each one heir like all sweet, I got to spend this money and they and its money already spent, and so they're not worried about it and then buy time there at the very end, like I wanted album, maybe I want to, you know, so it's just kind of what do you do? That's a brilliant idea? It was ahead of my time because I couldn't figure it out and I saw what do you do? I'm curious, uh when you say it's a minimum order, if they don't order, what if they say I don't we're not buying any we haven't run into that problem, you will write and you better know better I would think about it, that's the only thing I'm giving you that see what happens when they come in and they're like maybe a sum that goes towards, like at the very end, like, okay, that's fine after or anything from the three month, but some kind of written way of saying you have to you have to be willing to enforce that that's the challenge if you enforce it, I'll give you a big hug, it's hard to enforce that stop, because if you do, you run the risk of scoring up the next three sessions with them right? You create some bad blood but if you're communicating that upfront, even if it's just kind of this unwritten soft rule that's kind of good because then at least mentally they're ready to spend and that was the miss for us they were coming in, we ran it with no minimum orders and I was I just felt like if I could produce good images he's a good discussion, by the way because everybody out there is watching this they're going here's one way of doing it here's another my way didn't work right? So try something different, but we were under the impression that if we did know minimum orders, the work would drive them to purchase something and that didn't work that didn't happen at all because they kept thinking we're gonna come back in in three months I'll buy something, then I'll buy something that expensive kids are like I have no money you guys there's I don't start hearing about the diaper conversation that's exactly right? So that's what would start happening that's a good idea I'll be curious overtime how that plays out way followed our passion we wanted to develop a name for ourselves in a certain niche we want to develop a name is a progressive wedding company as a progressive senior company, right photography I want you think ferrari, starbucks, louis vuitton and we'll talk more about starbucks in a second because you could make an argument that starbucks is a general list but they're really not specialized in what they do they specialize on coffee now one point some of you may not even realize this starbucks tried to open music stores don't know if anybody out there even remembers this, so if you go back like five years ago massive massive fail on the part of starbucks, but they were innovating like I said, innovation can be messy and here it was messy they thought, hey, people come into our stars, they're listening to music, but do you ever notice when you go to starbucks now that right? The cash registers is a couple of cds that's leftover from them trying to go into the music business? And so we'll talk more about that in a second. I like this hybrid approach don't stray from your court so whatever your core business is, whatever you're known for right, try and stay within that and you'll there'll be some variance, but try and stay in that and you and you'll be successful. One genre I think is pretty dangerous, anything goes wrong, you have no plan b, so I cover this earlier if you're just focusing on weddings, just focusing on seniors or even glamour if there's any hiccup whatsoever you've got no plan b so I like having that hybrid approach but let's go back to starbucks right? They tried opening these music stores I'm gonna go back that could be wrong my date's going back like five years ago okay? They tried opening these music stores I've been in one of them I didn't get it I walked in and I was in. You guys have never heard of it, huh? I wonder if anybody out there you haven't heard of you never heard of it either you guys are in seattle I'm surprising and see it you walk into this store it was this white very clean sterile store not used to the normal starbucks looking field you think of starbucks you think of like a living room comfortable environment this is not what this was and had stools all around the outer perimeter and it had headphones right so that I could go up, sit down in theory, grab a cup of coffee, sit down put on the headphones and by music somehow some way okay failed failed miserably and they got away from it but that doesn't stop starbucks as you is entrepreneurs will try and fail you don't give up today they created two things among many others these are two things worth noting something called the reserve line so what do I have in my studio that higher level product the black label right that black label collection is that upper end it's where something like this will sit this video player that's where that'll sit so they created there's and it's called the reserve line right? And so their reserve line is this higher and coffee you're paying like five bucks or more for a cup of coffee that's right? That's high starbucks is high already, but they're saying, hey, you're willing to spend in here I want more of your money and I gladly give it to him every time I'm in one of those reserve stores I gladly give it to him. They make the coffee a different way it's made almost like a french press single cup of coffee and so it's for that coffee connoisseur that is becoming very successful right now it's been launched in select markets, they're testing it and it'll launch well, I feel like a representative of starbucks something else they did recently here's a launch starbucks evenings has anyone seen that dude? I'm in having in starbucks evenings we were stuck at dulles airport about maybe about a month ago we were stuck at the airport and they have one in the airport. It is like a restaurant accepted to starbucks and so you're in there, they have pizza, they have ah wine, so we're stuck in this airport it's me, taylor and alissa and they're getting pizza they're getting appetizers. They got a bottle of wine that was brought over, but you're yet you're in starbucks. So I'm drinking a cup of coffee. It's got that? Starbucks feel an environment. Except now they've got an evening menu. So starting at four p m they start serving more of a dinner menu. But it's the whole thing. It's not sit down service where you got a waitress coming to you? You still go up to the counter? You still ordered? But it's got this amazing feeling there. That's. Another thing starbucks is doing to innovate and push the category of coffee there. Trying to see consistently how far they can push that category. So what's the challenge to you what's. The takeaway. How far can you push your category? Right. So for me, what is that? What that inspire me to do? That inspired me to sponsor that bridal show that's. Not something I would normally do but it's something that I can continue to do to push limits. That inspired me to go after video rights. Or two years ago, I started offering video production cinematography that inspired me to go after that. So you got to start thinking differently, and those are all the reasons why so things to consider as you become a specialist. You've got to excel and innovate whatever you're doing if you're gonna be a specialist, you better be damn good at if you're gonna be the go to wedding photographer in town you're gonna be expensive and if you're going to be more expensive, you better be offering a superior product and service unique style what do you do it to stand out from the crowd? Is your style the same as everybody else's and we'll talk more about style tomorrow how do you define your style? What do I have to do to get there to differentiate myself? But you better have a unique one you can and should charge more you cannot be a specialist in charge a generalist price okay, this afternoon we're gonna cover pricing and packaging and we'll get into why that's so important you have to become an expert. What is becoming an expert me? How do you become an expert? Is itjust I'm an expert, I'm a great photographer. What is the community have to see you as an expert? The community has to see you as an expert. So how do you do stuff like that? You write we've reading articles for bridal magazines how to select a wedding photographer when I went on that tv show I told you about this morning and I was on, they brought me on is our photography expert okay so now we come on the show and I start talking about here's what you should consider when doing family portrait here's what you should consider when hiring a wedding photographer start writing for the local magazines in your area have any of you taken me up on that did you have you looked into that uh just newspaper what we haven't done the actors were waiting for the studio to be a hundred percent ok jules no come on girl right that's why we're talking about what's next man we got to start doing this stuff and so I want to see you go after the stone procrastinate on this because this is going to take time to ramp from magazines the magazines don't come out once a month magazines come out you know bi annually so there might be one and there might be a summer issue in the fall issue she got to start going after this stuff higher price point equals you must be good right perceived value goes to the roof and so that's why I remember we were talking about earlier said you can't start lowering your prices you start lowering your prices you're competing on all the wrong things because as you lower your price must not be that good you could be the best wedding photographer in the world if you start lowering your prices you're not that good perception is reality but if I start raising my prices look how much he charges you must be good sucks, but that's the world we live in, okay? And so we have to understand how that works on consumer behavior, it's all psychological, clear messaging and clear marketing strategies. So if you are going to become a specialist, you need tohave clear messaging, clear marketing strategy so that your clients understand who you are and what product or service you offer. But most importantly, what makes you better than everybody else if they don't know that when they go to your website, if they don't have a good experience on your website and you've left right all the dirt out on your website, so to speak, you're gonna have trouble doing that. God investing brand awareness brand awareness for me is sponsoring the bridal show, sponsoring that ryder show or the album? Sorry, sponsoring that app does not necessarily equate to booking more weddings, but everyone in there is going to know that logo. They're going to know my wife, they're going to know the film's logo because they're going to see it over and over and over again. That is brand awareness, and then, of course, your product offering has to be unique. This is a unique product offering right a picture box of folio box with a built in video player. I would say is a very unique product offering there's no one out there doing that and so if I'm going to charge superior prices you bet your right you bet that this sunday when I'm at the bridal show this bad boy is gonna be sitting there and I'm gonna be offering this bundled in with my video players right? So now I consider my my bride's hey if you check out the special this is real time marketing advertising this sunday when I'm there book video and photography and get a free picture box with twenty five per incident right so now they're video will be on this in addition they'll have pictures from their wedding in their house after incentive right? So now I'm coming up with new things to differentiate myself from my competitors there kind of a little back on generalised photographic ce miami what are your thoughts of adding a high volume school and sports division to a high end studio? Are those two incompatible? They are incompatible those brands have to be separated absolutely so if you want to do that hi vying sports totally fine but if you want to do like uh the elite level just create a sub brand okay so you can you know I'm making stuff up let's say salvador's and kind of tired he's the high end you know wedding division then come up with like studio acts, studio c something like that it's a mid level high volume right so somewhere they're still connected to the main brand but you've got to create some level of separation I don't want to land on your website and see both I think that would be disastrous for your business that's a really good question is great okay, this goes back to like when we started talking about the products and you know all the things that you find this is from vias who says do you have do you come up with all the marketing ideas yourself or is there somebody in charge of this or do you have a company to do it for you? And if you're not good at coming up with new ideas being innovated, can you hire someone to do that for you? Those air awesome awesome questions so let's start how we do it internally internally there are four of us that constantly sit down right? I don't want anybody it's kind of funny when we do our teaching workshops on the road and we're out there and people are with us, they get to meet kind of my entire team and you hear of met part of my team one former fashion it's not just me right? I'm kind of like the dancing monkey behind the scenes taylor's very involved lis is very involved in a host of other people depending on what we're talking about if I have an idea it doesn't mean it's a good idea my team you have to have people around you you can trust to tell you your ideas sucks and that's very very important right because we all have these ah ha moments where the light bulb goes off we're like brilliant and then you start talking to people who are like that's kind of dumb right so I like to surround myself with people who are willing to challenge me and I need that right it doesn't I'm to make the final decision right you is the owner of your business should make that final decision but ultimately when you have an idea and you may have this in your marriage is if you work with a spouse how many times have you had an idea where you say something here's my idea your spouse comes along and builds on it and that ends up being a better idea right that's what all the look girls are shaking their heads but the guys are like starry eyed you know she's always right my wife loves to tell me how she's always right so yeah I understand but you want people around you that will help you build that idea informant right? You throw out that rough idea and that you want people to take that and help you but let's say you're not good at coming up with ideas can you hire someone that is tough in our business I think because so much of our business is tied to us as people right? So if I had somebody next to me who knew nothing about my business just like throwing ideas out there you should do this you should do this you should do this I would find myself consistently redirecting them but I know that's not the core of our brand no not the core of our brand so I don't know I apologize I can't give you better answer I would be unwilling personally to hire someone to own my marketing I own and heavily involved in all our marketing but I have a team of people around me to help me craft it so maybe that's the better solution for you surround yourself with people when I say people doesn't mean employees that could be friends family who are willing to be honest with you if you got friends or family who everything you do, I've got people like that in my life everything I do is great and brilliant I actually don't talk to those people the people I talked to where the people who tell me I suck those are the ones I want cause I want to make them believe I don't suck that makes any sense all right c j b since perception is reality does the car you drive matter someone else was talking about how you dress does your personal brand have to be tied into these your your public brand as you grow and evolve? I think so, but that might fly in the face of what other people have been taught or train so back to, you know, true story for me as we have grown in our community. The biggest challenge for me is being so recognizable, and I can't just go to the store and be in sweat pants. We have been taylor and I a ship, maybe I'm sharing too much information we'd like to grocery shop it like one o'clock in the morning. I don't know why that's when it strikes us when we go to the grocery store and we typically look like slobs, I'm walking around in cargo, sure it's flip flops, dirty t shirt, whatever is going on, right saying for taylor, no makeup hat on it is inevitable every time we go to the grocery store now we run into people who know us want have a conversation, right? So you understand what I'm saying? Like you can't suddenly as your brand starts growing, you have to be on all the time, so for our cars, I make no apologies, I have a mercedes benz c class five fifty for an suv, we have a g l for fifty when we roll up to a wedding we typically are in better cars than our clients who are doctors attorneys and so we just did a wedding recently I just picked out my new it's a brand new c allies five fifty I roll up all the groomsmen are huddled around the car they're all attorneys so all of them could not come to the photograph right? And do the group shot? They just wanted to talk about the features of the car is that a good thing or a bad thing? I think it's a good thing because it signals to one of two things either I'm being overpaid right for what I do or I'm good at what I do and so I like to think it's good what I'm good at what I do and that's a sign of success so what I find is that the new building would you spot if I'm photographing weddings so I need a million dollar building to operate out of maybe ask maybe no, but what does it signal the clients when they roll up to that building and see that building they see success right? And people want to be around other successful people so think about that right now as you're growing I'm not suggesting to you by any stretch of the amount of imagination that you go out and start buying brand new cars and all that stuff would be like south told me to that's not what I'm suggesting but I need you to start thinking about that because if you're rolling up in a beater where the doors are rotted out right a cz you open the door that's not we want are you putting your window up with your hands toe get it upright that we've got to start investing in the brand you are your brand so I am sharing with you dirty laundry is I've been doing all day this is cp over the years right so he went back into the archives on dh started looking at I hope everybody appreciates this by the way because this is killing me to actually show this is garbage man but this is my first year and I thought in two thousand seven I was like I'm good right it turns out I really wasn't s o this is when we were trying to be everything to everyone so this was a uh prenatal shoot right this is horrible on so many levels okay love my clients here they were happy with the pictures I guess that's all that matters but is a photographer what was I thinking about here? What is going on in the bottom corners of this image and why are they yellow right? What kind of editing was I doing? What kind of lighting was I practicing here? I didn't know what I was doing though I was experimenting I was getting out there what was I doing here? This is horrible right where his arms coming from right? So if we start looking at this from an artist perspective why is it tilted so much? Where is where is arms coming from? Where is he and what's going on in the bottom right hand corner there we got his armpit in the picture like I had no direction on what I wanted to be when I grew up right? So taylor went out and she said to tell him like we're gonna be on creative live I want to show our brand evolving because everybody looks at our brand is where it is today and I think it could be an overwhelming or a daunting task when you look at our business and where it is today if you're a newbie and you look at us and you're like god I want to be there you have to understand there's a path to get there we did just wake up and we were there so she's like oh, I got some good stuff and it's yeah it's good all right, so then we go to two thousand eight I'm still dabbling with babies this is a picture I showed my clients what happened to the guy up in the top left hand corner put his face off all we want is his bottom lip that's all that matters look at my poor mom her expression she's got double chin like why did I do that? This is horrible why's that what is going on and what's going on in the right hand corner what is that pillow is that pillow a primary element in the picture right what was I thinking about here? This is horrible I actually showed this to my client all right let's fast forward let's go to the next one but beth ninety seven's quote was just very simply yuck thank you the devil is the hero in that shot what's the pillows the hero is the hero here yes yuck is the only answer I think she's being to find by staying young you know but hey I can I can laugh at myself I can look back on these and see these as growing pains but about this I got this beautiful couple right now this is start me starting to find my style there's nothing wrong here are feeling intimacy I feel the connection but highlights are not my friend here I blew out all my highlights what about shadow detail? Screw it make everything black right what's happening to their skin tones I'm destroying it right? So this is me though two thousand seven two thousand eight finding my way I'm experimenting, experimenting with editing I'm experimenting with a photo shop and I'm experimenting with posing I had no guidance I'm her arm I'm cutting it off in the armpit, right? My client loved this picture by the way and that's ultimately all that matters right? So when you're starting out really all that matters is your client's loving but if you're committed to excellence to growing, you have to look at this work constructively and be able to say to yourself this sucks right? This is not a good image that we're showing here. This is horrible now fast forward to two thousand nine boom one year later now you're starting to see style that represents the brand you see today architecturally involved, right? So I started incorporating architecture into my work, right? This is this is two thousand nine, so think of the difference between what went on in two thousand eight to two thousand nine, right? I'm a completely new photographer because the entire time I'm committed okay two doing mohr to increasing my work toe looking at it constructively what am I doing right? What am I doing wrong? What can I do better? You have to be committed to look at your work constructively and not have people around you that can't keep blowing wind up your ass telling you how good you are get your ego off the table, ok? If my eagle were on the table, I wouldn't be able to show you this madness it's not. I'm committed. It is madness. There's no working for it. Right on dh fitz is saying seeing these shots make me feel so much better. Especially as a newbie starting out thinking, oh, my gosh it's okay to mess up and she handles says it's. Very encouraging, aaron very I feel the same. Thank you so much for showing it and for being transparent. That's. Awesome! I'm gonna be received. I don't know if people gonna be like duty socks. Let's, tune out. I want to get a couple more mike and canada says love the love. This gives me hope, which I really appreciated that awesome everybody. And ultimately that's what it's all about, right is showing you the path that we've come from from a very short window of two thousand seven to today and also seeing how how things just changed overnight from away toe nine, right? And us finding our style. We're gonna talk more about that, but understand what I went through? I constantly looked at my work. I cleaned it up, wanted to improve, kept going to training, kept doing things right at the time. There was no creative life but kept learning, learning, learning to get to that next level.