– Posted by Alumni Intern Whitney
Hey everyone! Remember me?
I’m sure you’ve all been dying to know what I’ve been up to since my internship (Season 4!), so I’m going to tell you! I’ve done a lot of traveling, 4 countries and what seems like half the United States! My husband and I bought out first home, which means I’ve learned to use power tools and all that home improvement stuff. OH! And I’ve taken A LOT of pictures. A LOT! Because Mark always said..shoot more. My three month internship with Leah and Mark started in January of 2011. Hard to believe it was a whole year ago, but let me tell you…things have changed since then.
Out here in the real world, the internship continues. I have taken every bit of knowledge, conversation, and experience and molded it into my own business. It’s different doing it on your own with no one there to motivate you to shoot. I don’t have a Mark in my ear telling me what I should be doing better anymore. It’s just me and my camera and the fire that was lit inside me last January. Here’s what I’ve learned.
Business is trial and error. Not every idea is going to work out like it does in your head, but it’s still worth trying. Imagine if that one perfect idea that changed your business was right in front of you written on a yellow sticky note just waiting for you to try it. Just go out there and try.
Marketing is key. Before the internship no one even knew who I was. Why? Because I didn’t tell them. I wasn’t putting myself or my photography out there. How was I going to book fabulous weddings when no one even knew about me? Yeah, that’s right…I wasn’t. Blogging on my intern blog really showed me the effect of showing people my work. They were responding to me and I was finally getting feedback. Now I tell everyone. I carry 100 postcard size gift vouchers in my purse at all times. (Something I learned from photographer Sue Bryce) Every time I meet someone new, I give them one.
I want them to try me out…experience me for themselves, then tell their friends about it. I also purchased a sponsorship post with A Practical Wedding because I knew Mark wouldn’t keep doing so if it wasn’t a brilliant idea. I blog weekly and I post my latest work everywhere. Facebook, twitter, pinterest, tumblr, flickr, you name it…it’s there. I have conversations with people about my business at church, at the gym, at Walmart, at the bar, everywhere. Tell everyone, show everyone and you will start getting more business.
Keep learning, but don’t listen to everything you hear. Not even Mark knows everything, so you should do what’s right for you. If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s to run your business the way you believe you should. Post internship I’ve tried my best to keep learning. There is just so much knowledge out there. Attend workshops, seminars, CreativeLive sessions (because they are FREE and great!), anything you can get your hands on. Soak up that knowledge, and then learn to sort it out in a way that makes since to you. If you can do that, you’ll love your business more. And it will be your business…not someone else’s idea of one.
Collaborate. I can’t tell you how much I’ve gained from letting other people be a part of my business. Find yourself a group of people that enjoy what you’re doing and work together! Amazing ideas will come. Second shoot for each other. Share what you’ve learned. They can help you fill your calendar with clients and you can help them fill theirs. Never become too successful to share.
Most importantly, love what you’re doing. Your photography business is going to be like a marriage. Sometimes you’re going to hate each other. Sometimes it’s going to be the best thing in your world. Just always remember why you fell in love with it in the first place. If you can do that…you win.