Like many others, Meg Borders became interested in photography after her daughter was born. And like others before, Meg made some mistakes during the early days of her business. She finally put her business on hold to create a plan and work on branding—and her new focus on senior girls has allowed her to thrive.
A few topics from today’s show:
- Don’t rush into business—have a business plan
- Take time to concentrate on branding
- Give yourself time to discover which aspect of photography you like the best
- For outdoor portraits, don’t leave clients an option on timing—Meg always shoots her senior sessions two hours before sunset
- Be who you are, and don’t try to be someone else
Check out some of Meg’s gorgeous work below, and see more on her blog.
Photograph by Sarah Rhoads
Shari and Mike from ShariLee Photography caught my eye a while back. This couple out of Vancouver consistently shows off deliciously beautiful photographs on their blog, and I liked them even more after sitting down to chat over Skype.
In this interview, hear Shari and Mike talk about:
- Fear and risk taking (getting uncomfortable and “going for it”)
- The “aha” moment
- Business vs. art
- Starting over as a “newbie” in a new city
- Building a support system
- Staying true to yourself as an artist
See Shari and Mike’s recent work on their blog.
P.S. A little Whitespace update for you – we’re extending our early bird rate to everyone until Saturday, August 6. Use the coupon code egghead when you check out and get our blogsite design + blog layouts for $175.
Laurel McConnell has the kind of personality that you can’t help but adore, and she does an amazing job of showing that bright personality throughout her work.
Laurel was originally studying psychology at the University of Washington when she made a dramatic leap and enrolled in the Art Institute of Seattle to study commercial photography.
After college, she found herself in a bust economy with plenty of student loans. After an advisor set her up to photograph her first wedding, she was hooked.
As Laurel puts it, a lot of people get caught up in the art and fun of photography, and they forget to build a solid business plan and business structure. Hear more about Laurel’s story, as well as her sound business advice in this week’s episode of Field Notes.
Recommended Business Resources for Photographers:
Enjoy some of Laurel’s beautiful and fun wedding photography:
Justin and Mary Marantz blew me away at WPPI this year, so I knew that I had to talk with them for the Field Notes podcast to share their story and words of wisdom. In this interview, learn how Mary Marantz went from Yale Law School to co-owning one of the fastest growing photography studios on the East Coast when she met her now husband, Justin.
“Nobody else in this world is going to give you permission. Nobody is ever going to write you a letter or an email or knock on your door and go, ‘Okay, now you get to go out and chase your dream.’ And nobody did that for us, and when we first decided that we were going to have the business and I was going to turn down the law firm offers, there were a lot of people who said, ‘What are you doing? You can’t be serious’…You have to be the ‘can’ in your own life. You have to be the permission that you give yourself to chase whatever is is that you want to do.” —Mary Marantz
Recommended Reading for Photographers:
A little beauty from this talented team:
As a teen, Dale Benfield worked as a printer in his Dad’s photo lab, so it was a natural next step for him to become a photographer himself. Dale started his photography business right out of high school as a way to pay for college (his first wedding involved a ceremony in Klingon—you’ll hear more about the ensuing hilarity in the interview).
Dale continued the photography business on the side as he pursued a career as a high school teacher. Five years ago, he gave up teaching and moved to Arkansas to be closer to Meredith, who he recently married in Italy. When the business blew up, Meredith joined him full time.
Learn how Dale and Meredith have grown a booming business by staying true to themselves and constantly striving to better themselves in business. Also hear Dale’s philosophies about being smart with money—including his approach to buying new equipment, investing in himself and avoiding debt while starting a photography business.
A few gorgeous photos from Benfield Photography:
See more of Dale and Meredith’s awesome work at the following:
Jill Devries studied communications in college and landed a great full time job after school. While second shooting weddings on the weekends, she realized that she wanted to transform her passion for photography into a full time career. For the next year, Jill continued to do photography on the side, learning, growing, networking and building up her professional equipment. After a busy year, she gave herself a goal of 20 weddings on the books before quitting her full time job. She went full time in April, 2010, and she hasn’t looked back.
Over time, Jill has learned to take photos that reflect how she sees the world—photos that are true to her unique vision. Rather than trying to be like someone else—an easy trap to fall into—Jill does her own thing, and she never feels like she’s in competition with other photographers who have their own styles.
In this interview, Jill tells her story and addresses what it’s like to run a business as an artist—dealing with fear and uncertainty while always pushing forward.
Recommended book: Love is the Killer App by Tim Sanders
A very small sampling of Jill’s amazing body of work:
See more amazingness on Jill’s blog.