A quick word to my fellow photographer friends…

The Holiday season is upon us. For portrait photographers, it is our busy season. We are shooting, edited, having sales sessions, and trying to still be present with our families. It is our crazy time. It is also the time that we get inundated with things to buy!!! Oh my goodness, the *things* to buy. From now until the New Year any social media or email will probably include a link to a workshop. Or the newest system that will help you sell. Or the greatest ‘get your life back on track’ help.

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The availability of **things to buy will be unreal. And they will just keep coming. Some will be worth it. Oh some of the workshops will be life changing workshops. And worth their weight. But some of them will only look pretty on the outside. If you are like me you sometimes think ‘they must know something that I don’t.’ I mean there is a workshop to buy now that I have seriously considered buying. Until I looked at what is being taught. And I know how to do everything that is being taught. I might not be the best at it yet, but if I practiced I would. So do I need them to tell me how to do it (when I already know) or do I need to practice and get better on my own?

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There will be business workbooks and guides. And photographers telling you how to have a work life balance. Before you spend your money don’t be afraid to ask questions. My work life balance does not include a housekeeper, laundry help, or nanny. Is the workshop/workbook going to tell me that theirs does. Is that really work/life balance or is that buying help? And there is nothing wrong with buying the help you need to balance your work life and your home life. But if you want to know, ask. It can’t hurt to ask. My favorite work/life balance tip came from Kristy Dickerson at Shutterfest, who said she woke up at 5am. She could work from 5-7am and was well rested and the rest of the family was asleep. I have been doing that for almost 2 years now and it is a life changer.

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Also with business there will be workshops that come up that tell you how to run a ‘successful’ business. Please, please, please don’t be afraid to ask how they define success! Before you spend your money, make sure their definition of success is in the range yours is. I define part of being a successful business as you being able to pay all of your families bills with your work. But if your new workshop giver doesn’t pay their bills with their camera then…. that might not be the workshop for you.

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This blog post isn’t meant to deter you from buying. By all means, purchase what you want to purchase. But I know of a system for selling wall art that I just had to have last year that I don’t use. I remember a workshop to ‘find the light’ that told me nothing more than shoot in open shade. (I am still bummed that I spent $60 on that!) I remember the awesome year long workshop where I would basically get to shoot along with other photographers and they would be in the forum with me learning. Yea, they posted a 3 paragraph post at the beginning of the week. And had lots of money from me who was fooled.

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And the newest, the one that is on sale for just a little while before the price goes up, buy it now to get the best deal! Now is the time! Yes, that is all in my head. That is my head telling me that I need to know that information and I bet there is some information that I might need. I mean, they must be successful because they look it on the interwebs. Aaaannnnnddddddd…. stop. Do I need it? Nope. Do I want it? I really don’t know. Do I feel like I want to be like them so I want to find out all they do? Absolutely.

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Dallas Children's Photographer