WPPI, Changes and Gooberness
Yes I said it. Gooberness. Is that a word? Well it’s now my word if it isn’t. IÂ personallyÂ trademark myself as a goober. But I’m ok with that. I pride myself in being a goober. Â I’ll tell you why in aÂ minute.
This last week Adam and I took a trip to the land of sin, starsÂ and feathers. Yep, you called it LasÂ Vegas. HoweverÂ thoseÂ three words would notÂ describeÂ theÂ experienceÂ we left with. Â Adam and I went to Vegas to go to WPPI; a convention and trade show for professional wedding and portrait photographers international. It’s a place for us to gather, learn and drain our bank accounts for some really awesome newÂ equipment.Â Â Boy did I want everything, luckily I have Adam to bring me back down to earth and remind me that I have a bunny at home to feed. I did leave with some pretty cool stuff. Amazing newÂ friends,Â knowledgeÂ andÂ meeting Jasmine star and Bambi Cantrell were some pretty cool things to leave with too I might add.
I left withÂ inspiration for myÂ business to help us grow not just as photographers but asÂ businessÂ owners.Â BecauseÂ that’s what I’mÂ running,Â a successful professional photographyÂ business. I love taking beautiful photos. I love the feeling I get when I take aÂ stunningÂ shot for someone to have as a keepsake for the rest of their lives and the lives of theirÂ childrenÂ andÂ grandchildren. It’s more then a photo, it’s a memory. My job is to create memories in a fashionable and stylized way. Â But without knowing how to run aÂ businessÂ correctly and adequatelyÂ IÂ wouldn’tÂ be able to produce an amazing service andÂ experienceÂ for my couples that lasted much longer than just when theyÂ receiveÂ the photos.
Some of the things that stuck to me from my classes at WPPI were that changes are necessary for aÂ successfulÂ business. Keeping it fresh. Adding new things all the time. If everything stays the same it gets boring, but not just that, yourÂ businessÂ won’t grow or expand. Changes areÂ necessary.Â SpeakingÂ of changes Adam and I are in the midst of adding some changes to ourÂ business. We are adding some pretty cool stuff. I cant tell you yet. It’s still in theÂ beginningÂ processÂ of having it added in but it’s big and its great and I cant wait to tell you! One thing I can tell you is we found our albums!! Finally! It took forever but the trade show had every possible albumÂ companyÂ that works directly with professional photographers available to look at hands on. Â We found it and I am designing one to show all of my past present and future couples of what they can get. Once its all done I will let every one know. Very exciting and it’s very classy.
Taking charge is one thing I already do but was very muchÂ emphasized. I’m the art director when It comes to the photos. People hire me because they want amazing photos that they can not produce themselves. They hire meÂ becauseÂ they like my photography and want it for them. If IÂ don’tÂ step in and take control of the visual aspect, whetherÂ it’s with theÂ posing, lighting situations or the way the decorations are set up forÂ photographs,Â then my couples will not get what they hired me for. I refuse to be a fly on the wall. That’s not my style. IfÂ that’sÂ the type of photography someone wants, then I’m not the right photographer for them. I step in, take control and make sure that the visual aspect will turn out the way I want it too, the way I see it, becauseÂ again that is why my couples hire me. They like my work, my eye and the way I see things from aÂ photographersÂ stand point. That means if I need to haveÂ somethingÂ moved to get a visually stunning shot of it then it will be moved.Â BecauseÂ again I will stress this, My couples hire me to get great shots. I need to produce that for them and styling isÂ everythingÂ for great shots. Cake or not, if it needs to beÂ movedÂ to get that shot….I’ll letÂ someone know. lol. I’m not moving a cake by myself. But you get the picture.
Dedication andÂ sacrifice. No one becomes the topÂ photographerÂ in the nation over night. It takes years. It takes a lot of time, money and sacrificesÂ on your end to be successful. Time. I can not tell you how long I sit at my computer. From emails, editing, studying,Â blogging, networking. Time in practice, practice, practice. Money. It takes money to have a business. My couples do not hire meÂ becauseÂ I am theÂ hobbiestÂ with the Â kitÂ lensÂ whoÂ likesÂ to take photos. Investing tens of thousands of dollars inÂ equipmentÂ to be able to give my couples and clients the type ofÂ qualityÂ and service I provide was a must for me and myÂ business. It was aÂ sacrificeÂ I had to make. It was scary. Dropping 15 thousand dollars intoÂ equipmentÂ in a short period of time isÂ frightening,Â that’sÂ a huge chunk of money. But my clients pay a lot of money for me to give them greatÂ memoriesÂ and IÂ wouldn’tÂ let them expect anything less then top quality gear andÂ knowledgeÂ from a photographer who knows how to use it. It doesn’t stop at 15 grand for camera gear. The costs go on, you need highÂ efficiencyÂ computers, professional editingÂ software, back up hard drives, marketing tools, the list goes on. Â Spending a lot of money on equipment isn’t gonna makeÂ someoneÂ a great photographer either though, it goesÂ beyondÂ that. Being able to make personalÂ connectionsÂ with people. Really caring about what you do for them and really caring about them is what makes a good photographer a great photographer. I’ve heard this one photographer say I don’t care about my couples, I don’t want to know them, TMI I just want to take their picture…. I thought to myself Â how the hell are you going to truly get them to be themselves in your photos. If there is no personal connection , there is no trust. If there is no trust , they wont feelÂ comfortableÂ showcasingÂ their trueÂ personalityÂ in front of your camera. If they do not showcase their personality then the photo is not of them, it’s of their body yes, but not of THEM. That’s what really makes a great photo. That’s whatÂ Â makes them fall in love with the photo when they see it. That’s what makes Grandma and Grandpa want to buy that photo, it’sÂ becauseÂ they see the person they know, the one they love in an amazing visually appealing shot that stillÂ showcasesÂ theirÂ personalities. It also becomes more than just a photo session it becomes anÂ experience. That takesÂ dedication.
Now don’t get me wrong, I do pose when the time isÂ necessary. But I get toÂ knowÂ my clients so IÂ knowÂ what types of poses will work for them. Â I listen to my bride talk and watch how she acts in her dress so I can tell what I can do with her. If she’s very scared ofÂ lettingÂ it touch anything and getting the slightest bit of dirt on the dress then I’m gonna know that my bride will not want to go lay down in that flowerÂ fieldÂ outside for shots. If I pay attention to theirÂ personality’s, talk to them and truly get toÂ knowÂ them I will know what type of poses and shots I can get them to do. Again, thatÂ incorporatesÂ theirÂ personalities. If they are bubbly theÂ photosÂ will show this. If they are more reserved the poses and type of shots will be more reserved and calm.
This brings me to my gooberness. While I was at the Bambi Cantrell class for learning how to incorporate lighting and posing together I met these two lovely ladies who are photographers in Utah and Alabama. All three of us happened to be sitting in the first row of the class when Bambi called us up to helpÂ demonstrateÂ some posing techniques you can do during the bridal party sessions. Adam was ever soÂ brilliantÂ as to use our Ipad to record it. OMG. Ok I was not in my mostÂ adorableÂ outfit to be on stage in front of a class of 1000 photographers. I had woken up at 6 am and wasÂ runningÂ on 3 hours of sleep. I can say that was an every day thing. So my outfit and hair is well …ewwww.. lol.. Don’t judge me!!! You can see in the vid I was the first one to run off the stage when she said we were done, Â I said Peace! But WHHAATT?? When I heard a gift was being given my 5 foot littleÂ embarrassedÂ self waltzes right back up on that stage .. I like gifts =)
Becki Kanigan - Loved your post Nicole! I’m so glad you got a video of that, because it really was fun to be involved with it all! You and your husband are so sweet, I’m so glad we got to meet y’all!