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Defining Your Goals - 10 Year Plan

Lesson 9 from: From Images to Art: Storytelling in Wedding Photography

Jim Garner

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Lesson Info

9. Defining Your Goals - 10 Year Plan

Next Lesson: Unleash Real Profit

Lesson Info

Defining Your Goals - 10 Year Plan

We've evaluated our business we may have decided that it's time to make a change ok, we've embraced the art focus philosophy okay? We're gonna go for it right? We took that took the right road we're on that path that journey we found our creative inspiration for us we've developed a new style we call it the experiential style and we found that it really adds a lot of value to our clients and as a result it leads to great create sales for us and people really valued what we were doing. So my challenge question for you step three is what speaks to you who inspires you you really need to know this you really need to know what kind of where you want to go with your work and, you know creative live has a great source of constant feat of people that can bring you to that next level of inspiration. I'm grateful for creative life for doing that but who speaks to you and who are your icons developed them and making them multiples and have him outside the field outside of the field of wedding fo...

r harvey perhaps some within some without some not but look as far away as you can so that your work will look different then the work in your region okay and it's okay to emulate but don't copy styles because then you'll be labeled a second person into that and that's not good you want to be the first in your region into a new new place okay so think about that I used to think the points we talked about creativity to help you do that okay that's a big c moment big c think big c step for we're getting there so to find your goals and structure your business this is when it all starts to come together and in making it work they're making these steps work so this is actually a quarter of one and two in season one okay we need to define goals and structure business it's got a quote for you by failing to prepare you're preparing to fail isn't that the truth? Benjamin franklin said that man I'm talking about a guy who always looking toward the future setting goals and achieving those goals you have to have a roadmap in place don't you so uh that's why you're here today may be listening now because we're providing that road map for you we're helping you understand this road map so ask yourself is this a hobby or career and either way it's okay this is a wonderful hobby for you just wanted to produce beautiful work make a little extra income the taking the right road taking the path through to art focus philosophy is is definitely right way to go if it's a career I think personally it's critical and absolutely required you must you must have a philosophy of delivering something that goes beyond individual pictures you capture so so here we are again we'll take the right road we're gonna do this do it right you going for it I hope you follow us on the path because every one of you decide to go for it are welcome to join us here and so many friends and many of them educators that I'm getting text from during the break we're like way to spell it out everyone should come and join us and b story shooters br producers everyone everyone there's room there okay and again it raises the bar for everybody so we must create a sound plan in order to make it work so ask yourself where am I gonna be in ten years where exactly do I want to be in ten years I know exactly where I wanna be I wanna be shooting just beautiful weddings a handful of them or a dozen beautiful half destination weddings half local and have a commercial business as well I want to photograph families select families and I also want to have a studio that the people inside are studio also are doing the same and thriving within our own studio location making a living out of the studio and in ten years I wanna have a quality of life that is within the standards I set for myself and I want my children to have time with me okay I also want to be planning for retirement and I want to be planning for a long, healthy future uh beyond retirement okay, how many of us do that? Not very many unfortunately, I think the creative field in general were chronic about not planning for our future it's a problem guys I teach or taught last quarter retail photography it at their shuttle central community college is one of the requirements that you know each class period we bring up how you're going to be put your business plan to practice for your retirement as well it's not just about making it it's about planning for the future in school you got to do it so that's what this section is about creating a sound plan a plan that's attainable it's okay, we're gonna work backwards can work backwards backward engineered so let's talk about how do we do this the pros and cons of going for him you need to know the hurdles you'll have a long way who's definitely pros it's gonna be mostly fun creative career okay, you have freedom of structure you do what you want to do all right? I love that fact that, um I'm kind of an outdoorsman I'm an endorsement too, but I want to go get on in the mountains or get on the water because we have both here in seattle and I want to be out in nature all right, I get to do that next monday and tuesday kind of psyched about it, I'm really excited about it, so I wouldn't be able to have it be working, you know, for another business so there's definitely a pro to be have that flexibility passion for adrenaline oh you wedding for tire first you are adrenaline junkies, aren't you? You know it, you get to fulfill that need to like hey man, we have to produce no matter what, what the weather's like adrenaline fear of the unknown. I love that the time is your time, not always, but it issue there's a lot more flexibility of owning your own business there's a lot more work to it's going to be on the cons to there's an unlimited opportunity if you have the right path in front of you ok sky's the limit on actually you're sick, the level of success you attain, it really is sky's the limit even in this economy that we're dealing with in america in seattle in general, build your own culture is great! We had opportunity, I I work with my favorite people in the world, honestly and and that has happened we've built our own culture, we have brought the type of people that share the same joy, joys and I get to be around that every single day and that's pretty need when you get to build your own culture community or work alone if you like working alone is pretty wonderful so diversity in assignments every day I have something different it's it's ah a storytelling and wedding photography has enabled us to have a level of success and wedding photography that diversifies us into the images I showed you this morning were able to do lots of different things outside of wedding photography because of the sex success we have in the profit we get from our weddings so do what you love okay the pros are strong they're very, very strong let's talk about the cons um certainly it's hard work you are not only the photographer actually when is my next con is this is pretty in line with this you're gonna work your butt off especially getting establish especially getting things rolling you're not just a photographer you're actually a photographer. All your camera time is very little to be honest it's especially getting rolling year the garbage man you're the mailman. You are everything okay? Take out the garbage. You got a file? Your accountant? Yeah. It's it's actually a lot more work than just taking taking pictures telling stores so time behind the camera actually very little especially the beginning later in your career that's ok, but the competition is definitely fierce we talked about where that competition resides primarily in the picture taking philosophy that I'm helping you through but it's also very irregular paycheck you gotta be able to balance that you know, in the beginning days katarina was a marketing manager and I was shooting commercial work during the week and weddings during the weekend and she rounded it off until we finally said we could do this we can go for it once we had the road map to success okay, once we're on the right path okay um ongoing education boy you're never done but at least now we have places like creative we have great resource is on that resource is that we could get educated you're never really done I bet you there's a lot of people at home working on images right now listen to this right now in the background kudos to you guys uh must reinvent irregularly you talked about this earlier point you can't reinvent every three years anymore you gotta reinvent every year and that's what I do baby steps that the book that I just showed you the young book that is my reinvention reinvention this year showed it you guys I've seen it my clients will be seeing that first I guarantee I will be putting those in the hands of brides this year in many, many hands of many brides so but there's a lot of uncertainty right now in the industry a lot of certainty which way to go? I hope I can help clear that up today but bookkeeping uh it's not a creative person so joy is it we'll agree bookkeeping not the creative thing but some people will enjoy it I wish I had your brain uh but I don't my lovely wife takes care of that thank you very much, henry but the cost is huge to get started you know you gotta have some good equipment you've gotta have a fast glass it's so important tomorrow we'll go over the lens is that I believe you need the ones you need and we'll give you an order of when you should get each one if that's helpful to you it's marketing you gotta always be and social has added so much additional time that we didn't have starting out social work is it just eats up a lot of your day and you need to be you be strong on it but but uh learn your techniques to be efficient at it so you must do everything until you make it uh either way do it right ok, so to be successful you got to know you're clear go goals it's hammer through these slides okay understand your history of photography and I'm giving you my history to understand where we all came from um if you're just now entering perhaps so we don't understand the history of the market find inspiration in others it's a community you must find inspiration and others learn how to emulate others without copying their work ok learn your equipment to forget it become a business professional know how to say no that's the heart oh boy was that difficult when we first had just when we first learned how to pre qualify our client and say you know what I really love to photograph this bride's wedding but I don't think she's the right for this style I don't think she'll values aren't the same way so we just you know, found awaited teo say no without actually saying now and lo and behold the right bride would come around for that same time period that's the hard part I wish I asked the guzman's about that because we had a conversation about that a couple of months ago were like uh we're having to say you know good bye it feels like we're saying goodbye to business and the reality is they book that same weekend book the right bride that really valued a larger book or some artwork okay but again here's the cool part the more of us subscribe to this the more the type of clients of value the art will come into the field as I've said three times maybe four times so there's going to always be the right bride for you if you have to say no you have to look professional you have to hold your own um which is the hard part for me to study your competition your master the understanding light how light works can't wait to share fit are working with light tomorrow with you guys were going to a great location make art from from a picture to story that's what you gotta do make art from a picture story know the art of communication is we're talking about ah little bit later communication communication communication that's day three people willing to do it at all times master the balance of marketing oh my gosh marketing you gotta find confidence in your pricing we're going to get into it and know the value of reinvention okay, backward engineer your future okay so we're gonna talk about ten year business plan by the way you need one you need a businessman you absolutely must have a plan in place don't worry if anyone's interested in taking all of our tools we talked about transmission tool tool kit the toolbox has a business plan in it to help you structure this ten years success okay it's also have all those documents were going to get into this later but don't worry just keep in mind when you've reached this place in the transformation and it's quarter to okay it's season one quarter too when you get to quarter to I want you the challenge for you is to put together a ten year businessman and I'm gonna help you through it so don't worry too much right now but you also got to think beyond I want you think about retirement so ask yourself what is your photography inish and what makes it unique this is all part of your business planning who are you? You're perfect target clients and what is the value for those type of clients? What is the value what they value what they love what what do they appreciate? I'm here to tell you the type of weddings clients I have really value what I'm showing you today I've identified my competition okay how much financial investment is necessary to get to that place? Okay, where are you after one year? Three years, five year goals where are you? You know exactly it's really actually quite simple. I need to be here by that period time. Okay? Do you have a clear understanding your finances? What partnerships would you like to enter into vendors who? What partnerships you have you heard me talk about my partner graphics studio and I'm gonna talk about a photo lab art for the walls aren't for the hand aren't for the coffee table all those air covered in my two partnerships okay and there's more and I'm going to go into partnerships big time um tomorrow for you because you have to have a refined product okay, so identify your support team, identify your monthly sales goals to meet your overhead and turn a profit question next is like are you able to execute your business planet organized intentional and streamline manner? Can you do it? Do you need to get help to help you do it so lister next concrete steps identify the roadblocks this is on our all this on in our road map to success outlined okay, so five years ago I was thinking about quality life at five years ago I wanted to get to this place where I have a significant of profit I showed you what we did in order to achieve that call we've achieved that goal, but now I want to talk about the near and far like near goals that you should have in the far goals so the near living food clothing it's the bottom of the pyramid stuff shelter, transportation, life's life's expensive, isn't it? Man is hard to just buy groceries these days, is it not? We gotta keep that in mind when we're setting up our business, we need to have a significant profit and that hundred dollars per hour back in the day for me per hour, twenty five dollars for a roll of film I don't think I could be surviving right now with amount of effort in love that we want our clients to have with the proctor produce for them now it's completely different and the majority of the cost of the wedding is it in the of the product and that is nothing but profit to go towards these things and to the next level too and as retirement. So beyond the studio, this is the far identified personal long term goals. Ok, so the home partner kids vacations lord knows you guys need a vacation. Don't we all need him regularly, right? I see smiles who we do health most important savings calling jj oh, my gosh. Retirement and for me to weddings I got a plan for for little girls so I'm excited to do that who's gonna shoot that wedding I wonder please. Yes, experiential photographers please allow valor and stepping up right on. So the far okay quality of life that's what we're after that's what the style will produce for you. Okay. Oh, my gosh, savings! We got to bring it up. I know it's math. I know said assad. Try to eventually have a goal setting aside ten percent create a savings plan. He's. Very common, very basic, but they need to be part of your business plan moving forward. Okay. Plan savings plan for your future make it happen. Savings and retirement savings and retirement savings retirement you can do it in this field but I don't I don't see how I could have had I not changing of the philosophy into story shooting so here you are back in the steps very exciting we've covered honesty value in your business we've embraced the art focus philosophy we're going for we found our creative inspiration identified our unique style share with you mind I'm inspired hopefully you did develop yours um defined our goals structured our business we're going to create a business plan and now a challenge question for each and every one of you what information do you need to achieve your goals what do you and I just want you to write down a couple things what do you need to achieve your goals I want also want to challenge you to just consider that business plan you have to do it now but I need you the next two quarters to have something in place for your roadmap to be successful. Okay? You throw back uh delinda in port orchard how do you have something to show and really convinced people of the quality of something when you're just starting for weddings you just start offering a discount and silly upgrade your product in prices do you shoot weddings for free at the beginning when you're trying to reinvent yourself this way or invent yourself for the first time you start doing I sure appreciate that question because yes, a reinvention to require something to show and if you're just starting out and you just, you know, getting busy with your you know, maybe you want to shoot weddings you want due in from the south, you need to go out and do it and maybe you someone hasn't hired you to do it, so you need to do it as a gift as a portfolio creating moment on your career and you show that visually show that this is what I'm doing and that leads that starts the ball that starts the boulder rolling down the hell we've done that in every area of our life when we have a reinvention infact I showed you headshots are headshot business in the first segment that happened this last year free chute for everybody and we need portfolio having just this is what we want teo business plan was put into place, complimentary photos for anybody that came to the studio had two dozen people come, they totally blessed us. Now we're rolling without business, and so my hope is that you get inspired, you're gonna do a plan, a visual plan in place of creative plan, I'm going t twenty spreads its going to storytelling we need introduced the bride introduced the groom, etcetera were going toe visually showing you're on your way, by the way, we're gonna talk about that in, uh, in the next segment and especially tomorrow how you shoot the individual stories we're gonna actually do that together and I can't wait for you to see that so it'll definitely answer question we cannot wait it's going to be fun eso you talked about doing other areas of photography is, well, family photography and do you apply this same philosophy of storytelling to family photography? That was a question from dale photo I'm so glad he asked this yes, this philosophy works with old genres outside of commercial work you can do day in the life of a family we've loved doing these where a family lets us to come for one maybe two hours sometimes three sometimes an entire day I've done that before where you were just falling around and you're gonna story tell you got a story to tell the images of the maybe the child waking up in the morning getting out of the crib coming out of their bedroom with messy hair and the story tell and you know walking out of the house you cross walk into their next spread, which is, you know, the family at the beach you tell a little beach store you by the way you could do this over seasons not only one shoot, but you could you could do a season like four seasons of a family and sell it as one package, one story, one album okay and I just actually did that with an engagement shoot we wanted four seasons with this bridegroom and for a gift I gave him four separate shoots all right and they're going to a very big beautiful signing book assigning book is designed with a lot of extra negative space white usually theme and the guests will sign in the negative space in the book okay we're going to like thirty five double page spreads probably in a young book and it will eventually have all these wonderful signatures and little messages from the guests at the the reception and it will live famously on their coffee table forever more so and by the way we're going to be super profitable on that because they're going to buy their large book and it's it's just right in line with the experiential style so many questions here in the audience or ends up clarifications so what you're doing is you're gifting a session to sail the book not about sales so much when that were not but that's that basically the endgame of god there and that's the magic part of it I didn't realize so I'm creating portfolio with the emilian marshall book and I said hey how about some additional time I'm just going to give you but it's not making a photo shoot was this make it a fun experience and it led to this amazing store that I had no idea what's going to happen and so I eventually thought, you know, I'm gonna charge that time, but oh my gosh, we shot somebody spreads and they needed to increase the size the book it happened naturally, and if you go about it, not with the attitude, if I give this away, it'll come back no, if you go into with attitude like, hey, I'm gonna do this regardless because I don't want this client actually have a much more beautiful day. Then the tenfold rule kicks in and it comes back to you because your heart was there, not your sales mind and there's just thiss karma thing and I feel strongly about because I've done it for years now put your efforts into the experience of your client and they will reward you every time if that's your mission. So and we have a lot of questions coming in that I know are things we're going to be covering later in the workshop or tomorrow, especially when we're shooting so folks, we're going to do in a lot of shooting tomorrow, and we'll be talking about technical and other lighting issues, then one question I'm actually not positive if you are going to talk about, so I'll ask it now photo, poppy and italian wit and a few others wondering about locations and how do you deal with a location that is not ideal which I know something happens, you know, I have slides on that for you guys to absolutely understand how not only locations that are horrible, my, my, my dear friend, bambi control, she calls it the first church of ugly ville, and I love that because that's, where you start, you started the first church of ugly ville and that's, your given weah's photographers were given horrible, rainy days, horrible locations, etcetera. Now you've heard me talk about the style allows you to put simple images together and have exact same impact is that wow shot that you've been looking for all along, but instead we're good with simple images were okay, so because of the style allows for that, you could be in the worst location in the world. Just change your format into a tighter look or more emotional look meeting go in with the bride and groom. Good news. Tomorrow we're shooting at a difficult location. We are going to be at a different there's, some beautiful elements there, but I'm really going show you it. You don't need perfect locations to make beautiful spreads that impact you emotionally, just another standing of light, understanding of your equipment and on a few tricks that will share with you along the way.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Foldable Field Guide
10 Steps to Success

Ratings and Reviews

Ester Knowlen Photography

LOVE LOVE LOVE all the bits on how to create a wow shot without stressing about getting it/catching it by chance. So SPOT on!! A little bit of planning, a little bit of vision, and great ideas/recipe for amazing "wow" shots that are prompted and genuine (unique just like the people we shoot), rather than stressed over and chased. :) Amazing video!! :) Thanks Jim Garner!!

222 N 43rd Pl

This is such an amazing course. It is my first purchase that I have made with Creative Live and I couldn't be more pleased. Jim shared so much information and so many insights. It's great to be able to watch the segments over, picking up something new every time. Taking volumes of notes! I am starting to implement Jim's approach to photography—storytelling. I am just starting out in wedding photography and am so excited to have found this gem tutorial! I would highly recommend this to any photographer who wants to take their work from photographs to art.

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