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Choose Your Stand to grow your photography business

Today’s photography business tip is to choose your Stand. We have talked about creating your stand before, but I want to re-visit it today as we are on the precipice of a brand new year. Today we say goodbye to 2014, and we usher in 2015. Today is a great day to celebrate everything you have accomplished this year, and to ponder what is next for you… in your life and in your business. And that’s why I want to talk about choosing your Stand.

Millions of people will be making New Year’s Resolutions today and tomorrow. They will be creating grand promises… passionate goals for the upcoming year. And that is really cool! I love the idea of a fresh start, with a new year and new goals to get inspired. But I also believe that there is something far more powerful than any resolution or goal, and that is your Stand.

What is a Stand? It’s exactly what it sounds like… it’s what you stand for. It is who you are in the world, regardless of the role you are playing at the time. Your stand is timeless. It is Who you Are, not What You Do. It is not your career choice (photographer) or your goals (do a million dollars in sales), it is not your resolutions (lose 20 pounds). It is your Why. Why you exist in this world. What you exemplify with every particle of your being.

Getting clear on why you are here on this planet, and choosing a word that you can call upon to ignite your passion and inspire yourself and others is quite possibly THE most powerful thing that you can do for you, your clients, your family, and your business. When you can get clear on your Stand, people will rally around you to assist. People who are inspired by your why will be drawn to you. And people who don’t fit your why will start to fall away… leaving you surrounded by those who will add fuel to your passion and propel you toward your true purpose.

So why do I care about this so much right now? Well… because I have just recently realized that I have been disconnected from my why. I got caught up in the details, and I got sidetracked by trying to save something that I really needed to let go of. I was so busy stubbornly holding on to this thing that I thought was really important, and trying to get it to work, that I missed the fact that it simply wasn’t workable… and it never was going to be. When I looked up from my dogged pursuit of problem-solving, I realized that I had lost nearly everything that was important to me. I had let this thing do severe damage to my business, my family, my health, and my emotional well-being. And I had lost track of my stand… my purpose… my very being.

Maybe you feel a little like that too. Maybe there is something in your life that has been draining you of your energy and your passion, but you haven’t been willing to let it go. Or maybe, you just don’t feel lit up with passion about your life. Well… if that is so… Today is The Day! Today is the day for freedom and clarity. Today is the day to reconnect with who you are and what you stand for. Most of us were raised to think that much of what we are able to be, have or do in this world is limited. But it is not. We are unlimited beings, full of possibility, and able to choose who we want to be and what we want to create. So now is the time.

What do you stand for? Ask yourself this question, and think about what lights you up. What has always lit you up? If you could no longer be a photographer, what would still be there underneath “photographer” that is who you are… at your core? Find a word that lights you up.

For me that word is possibility. That is what I stand for. I stand for breaking through seeming impossibility myself, and assisting others to do the same for themselves. Whatever blocks seem to be in your way can be removed. They can be broken through. Your challenges can be overcome. And who I am is the person who will get you in touch with that belief, while, together, we clear away the fog that is obscuring your path.

The really cool thing about choosing a Stand is that it is who you are regardless of what you are doing. For example, above I explained how Possibility fits into my coaching practice. But what about when I am not coaching? What about when I am speaking, training or photographing clients? Because my Stand is not about What I am doing, it infuses everything I do. It inspires every action and gives me a strong foundation from which to make every decision and every choice. Remembering this is what eventually pulled me out of my recent situation. I thought that I was standing for possibility. But I was actually trying to force something, and force is the opposite of possibility. Force is a product of fear, and possibility is a product of love. I believed, while I was operating from fear, that I was doing everything I could to solve the problem. But I was actually perpetuating it by succumbing to fear and manipulation. When I was able to step back a bit and get in touch with my Stand of possibility, it became clear that the solution was to let it go. From my Stand of possibility, I am present, and I am clear. I am a better speaker, trainer, photographer and coach. Because I am focused on why I am doing what I do the What of what I do gets handled in the background. I am more connected to source energy, and best of all… I am free.

Having a clear Stand, or as some call it, Why, ┬ácan simplify everything in your business and your life. It can remove the distractions of the details that can become so overwhelming at times. Creating a marketing plan, setting up your chart of accounts, payroll, hiring and firing, all of the things that you need to handle in your business will become easier when you have an undercurrent of an amazing purpose for Why you do what you do. Your Stand is the rock on which to build your business foundation. So, if you haven’t already done so, create your Stand TODAY, and start 2015 with a strong foundation for success.

If you want to learn more about this, “Start with why” is an amazing book that can help you get even more clarity of purpose. I highly recommend the audio version, that you can carry with you on your phone to help remind you every day how to live from your Stand … or your Why.

Please share with me your Stand, so that I can support you in being who you have chosen to be in the world. Give me one word that speaks to you, and everyone around you, what you stand for and/or why you do what you do.

Happy New Year!!!

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Busiest Event Photography Weekend

The first weekend in December is always the busiest event photography weekend of our year. It’s actually a madhouse! We do more revenue in the first two weeks of December than we do in the first or second quarter, so planning for them all takes a huge amount of focus and intentionality. This video shows what our portrait studio looks like when it has been taken over by the huge amount of equipment required to pull off the dozens of events coming up. Being a speaker, trainer, educator and coach is a lot of fun for me, and I really love it. But I am a professional photographer too, so this time of year is as busy for me as it is for all of you out there. Forgive me for my lack of videos lately, as I have been focused on working with my coaching clients, preparing presentations for upcoming speaking engagements, and prepping my businesses to serve my photography clients for the holiday season. After December 15th, things will slow down a bit, and I can rest up for the new year.

I can’t wait to see all of you in 2015! It’s going to be a fantastic year, and I hope you will come along with me for the ride.

 

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Moscow International Foto Awards 2014

Just_Me_And_My_Monkey

I am excited to announce that my portrait “Just me and my monkey” won an honorable mention in the Moscow International Foto Awards for 2014. If you would like to see the image posted on their web site, just follow the link Moscow International Foto Awards 2014. After having all four of my images at the International Print Competition for PPA chosen for the General Collection this year, I thought it might be fun to enter the Moscow competition. It sure was exciting and unexpected to have my image chosen for an award!

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Free Coaching Session

In an effort to improve my blog and provide my listeners with the most relevant and up to date photography business tips, I am giving away free coaching sessions to the first 20 folks who click on the Mini Coaching Session button here on the blog page.

To receive your free coaching session, you will be subscribed to my blog list. Don’t worry… you can always unsubscribe very easily later if you decide it’s not valuable for you. This is simply the only way that we can legally email you.

Be prepared to bring to the call your most challenging business problem, so that we can transform it together.

So, if you would like a free coaching session, click on the link. And… feel free to send it along to your friends if you like. There are only 20 spots… so Don’t Delay!

I look forward to speaking with you soon!

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Cha, cha, cha, Changes

Changes are coming to my photography and business tips blog. Exactly what that looks like is still being created, so I can’t tell you what is going to happen, but I can tell you why things will be changing.

Providing value is only possible when the provider understands what the providee wants and needs. With so many different photography business models and specialties, it has been a challenge to provide photography and business tips on a daily basis that will be relevant to everyone. For example… I can give you the tip to set up profitable pricing, but without knowing your level of experience, your comfort level with sales, your market, your financial goals, your Cost of goods, I cannot, in good conscience, offer you a detailed pricing model.

One of the most powerful things about having a coach is that they know you, your business and your goals, and that makes it really easy for the two participants… the photography business owner and the coach… to design a plan of attack that will create the biggest change in the shortest amount of time. Up until now, I have tried to provide pretty general photography and business tips without getting into much detail. My hope was that the tips would be valuable to most photographers who found my blog. But I am finding that sharing the “what to do” is less empowering than sharing the “how to do it”… which is what I provide as a coach. And… to do that I need to understand where each person is coming from.
So how do I do that on a large scale? That is the question that I am struggling to answer, and I would appreciate any feedback that you can give me while I look at how to improve my blog for the benefit of my subscribers. What type of programs appeal most to you? Do you prefer webinars, one on one phone calls, mastermind groups? Would you rather pay an hourly rate to get expert one on one assistance or would you like a small monthly fee to have access to a membership site that includes lots of programs to help with specific topics? What are your biggest struggles right now in your business? And what would it be worth to you on a monthly basis to solve those challenges? I want to know more about you guys and your businesses, so that I can find the best ways to help you succeed.

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My Story

There’s really very little value in listening to tips if you don’t trust that they will help you. So, today I am going to talk a little about my story, so that you can determine for yourself whether my experience will be useful for you in your photography business.

Having run portrait studios for other companies with significant success, I started my own event photography business in 1999. That was a tough time in the industry, as digital was just starting to take hold. Other photographers, long time pros in the industry were skeptical of digital, and many were vowing never to switch. The technology was extremely expensive and changing rapidly. I was forced to upgrade very expensive equipment on practically a yearly basis to keep up with the changes, and with hardly anyone else in the same field (delivering portraits onsite at events) I had to make my own way. The five years experience I had from managing studios for a national chain gave me a pretty good leg up, but Wow… was it ever hard without anyone to follow or network with! That business is now 15 years old, and going strong. And two years ago we added a portrait studio. This time there was tons of education and successful businesses to emulate. And that’s exactly what we did. Getting a business up and running successfully in two years is a lot better than 15. I have learned a ton along the way in the photography industry, and most of my lessons were painful. I don’t want you to have to struggle the way I did to figure things out. My tips are short, and they don’t have a lot of detail. If you follow them, you will find that you are probably going to need additional information to implement them. But that’s ok. The tips will help you avoid the land mines that you didn’t know were lurking below the surface, and with the basic concept in your mind, you will be able to go and get the education you need from the experts to fill in the gaps.
If you need help along the way, you can always make comments on my blog. And… if you need one on one coaching, I would love to be your coach. Just give me a call @ 512-997-7429.
Soon I will be offering some online training that goes into a lot more detail than I can cover in these short daily videos. If you have suggestions for classes you would like to see offered, please let me know.

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Photography Tips – Use Light, Dark, Light, Dark in your photography to improve the depth in your images

Attending photography classes, conferences, conventions, and seminars is a great way to advance your skills in photography quickly. Last week, at The Texas School of Professional Photography, Charles and I were privileged to be able to attend William Branson’s class on classical painted portraiture. William’s work is strongly influenced by painters, and one of the great tips that he shared with us in class was about lighting for the subject and the background. If you want to improve the depth in your images, and make them look more like art, use the light, dark, light, dark technique. In this video I will show you how it works.

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How to grow your photography business – Photography & Business Tips – Don’t compare yourself to other photographers

Whether you are a seasoned professional photographer or a newbie photographer, comparing yourself to others is not the best way for you to grow. Focus on what you can improve upon, and always strive to do better than yesterday, and your photography will continue to improve day after day.

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How to start a photography business – photography & business tips – Don Dickson Texas School of Professional Photography

Join me at SWPPA as Don Dickson, the executive director of Texas School talks about this awesome and unique photography education experience.

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Kate’s Blog is Moving!

Hey everybody! I just want to give you all a heads up that we will be moving my blog this weekend. The wordpress.com site doesn’t have all of the features I want to be able to provide you with great content and other cool stuff.

So… here’s the deal. My blog will be at the same address, starting on Monday March 3rd. The site will stay at the current location for this weekend, but I will not be posting my Saturday video, and I will be taking Sunday off as usual. This will give us two days to migrate the site over without losing anything. On Monday, you will see a brand new site. Yay!!!

The most important thing I need to tell you is that if you are currently “following” my blog, you will need to subscribe again on Monday, or you will no longer get notices when I post new videos. There will be a subscription area on the right side of the blog where you can easily sign up.

Okie Dokie. That’s all for now. I will do videos Thursday and Friday as usual, and I will see you all again on Monday!

Have a great weekend!

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