Mar 31-14

GratefulsMarch1

A horseback trail ride adventure at the Biltmore - n / Sabbath rest and time to get outside and enjoy creation - w / Celebrated my bachelorette weekend at Lake Gaston with my closest friends - c

Photographed this sweet couple's engagement session - e / Winston sleeping on the job in the studio - n / Weekend getaway to the Biltmore Estate with my favorite person on the planet - w

Celebrating the Future Mr. and Mrs. Robin Joel Fleming with an Oyster Roast - c / 2 favorite guys - e / Enjoying the brief spring weather at Goodberry's, of course! - n

GratefulsMarch2

Brown Eye Blue Eye's amazing calligraphy class - n / Using my new moneymaker camera strap at a styled shoot with RRE - n / My sweet Dad's 50th birthday party - c

Wedding shower hosted by my dear three best friends - c / Kiwi claimed the stolen basket - e / Celebrating Callie at her sweet bachelorette weekend - n

Sweet new equipment for wedding season - w / Clear the clutter! Completed our first ever yardsale - n / love my fam - e

 

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Mar 28-14
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•••
Jared and Jordy. Even their names go together in the most adorable way! I loved capturing this sweet mini-engagement session. These two   are getting married in New York City, and I couldn't be happier for them. They kindly agreed to model for a styled shoot collaboration with my friend Becca (Jared is Becca's brother!), and they couldn't have been more beautiful. Becca warned me - they would be super fun and easy to work with since they are actors. I don't think I expected to laugh quite as much as I did! It was such a joy photographing these two. We added a mini-engagement session onto the end of our day together, and I got to see them really loosen up and just be themselves. Carefree, full of laughter, and real - I could have photographed them all day.

I discovered that Jordy is quite the calligrapher, too! She hand-lettered our paper goods for the styled shoot, and I was quite impressed. Be sure to look at her work on Instagram!

Grateful for you both, and blessings on your sweet wedding and marriage ahead!

Film Processing: Indie Film Lab

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Below: I'm so in love with this image.

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Mar 26-14

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This is the first post in a series on organization that I am so excited to share. Since writing this post back in 2009, my principles haven't changed, but many of the ways that I implement those principles have improved greatly. Goodness - technology alone has changed so much since then! (Hello, USB drives! Cloud software! High res downloading!)  Here is a quick summary of the areas of life I will be covering over the next 2 months:

How I Stay Organized

Work   -   Time   -  Home   -  Money  -  Personal  -  Spiritual

Before I move on - are there any areas of life I'm missing? Feel free to leave a comment if there is a particular area of life you are interested in hearing about.

I'll be blogging roughly once a week for the next 2 months to cover all of these important areas of life that require 2 main things:

1. Consistent and diligent work

2. Great systems and tools that work for you

•••

Today's focus: How I stay organized in my work!

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(Pictured above: My Monthly Goals (5) Powersheets (6) and Workflow Wall (10))

How I stay organized in my work

1. Keep my email inbox at zero.

This one isn't easy, friends. I don't succeed at this every day, but I strive to. The mark of a good business is healthy and quick communication. It's also important to have a great filing system within your emails, so once you respond, you can file it! Being an email ninja is key. More to come on how I quickly respond in my time organization.

2. ShootQ.

If you are a professional photographer and you don't use ShootQ, you're missing out. Yes, it's $40/month. If you can afford it, it's totally worth it. Here are the ways ShootQ keeps me organized: Email Correspondence / Lead management / Automated Billing / Automated Emails / Online payments accepted / Workflow implementation / Entire NRP team is in sync with workflows / Tracks referrals / Online contract signing / I have 40+ pre-drafted emails ready to send / iCal integration. 'Nuff said.

3. Back up photos on a regular basis.

I back up my RAW files 2 places as soon as I finish shooting a wedding/session:
- the Drobo  (has additional internal backup drive)
- 2014 External Harddrive

We back up high res completed JPEGS 3 places as soon as we finish the workflow for a shoot:
- the Drobo (has additional internal backup drive)
- 2014 External Harddrive
- DVD labeled and alphabetized
- (4th location: the client's home after final delivery!)

4. Day Designer / Simplified Planner.

My favorite thing about these planners is the ability to map out your day, hour by hour. The first thing I do every day is prioritize my tasks, then schedule my hours for maximum productivity. I am currently using the Day Designer, and I've thoroughly enjoyed it. I'll be trying the Simplified planner for the last 6 months of this year, so I can experience both! More to come on how I effectively use my planner in the upcoming post on how I organize my time.

5. Setting monthly goals.

I love setting goals, as you know. I've been blogging my monthly goals on the 1st of every month for almost 5 years now. (I think this is my first ever monthly goals blogpost!) This keeps the big picture aspect of my business organized. When I can step back and look at a chunk of time, even if it's just 1 month at a time, I accomplish things that I would otherwise let slip away. 

6. Powersheets.

Love love love my powersheets. They are a powerful tool for setting goals 6 months at a time, which is a manageable way to plan and track even bigger, long term goals for your business. They are wonderful! My favorite part is the "Tending List" you see pictured at the very top of this blogpost. It breaks down your monthly goals into weekly and daily tasks. I keep this on my desk. That way, my big goals are always in front of me.

Part 2 of Organization in Work is coming soon, so stay tuned!

Comments: 6

  1. Mattye March 28, 2014 1:33 am

    The first thing I thought when I read this was, YES! This is good stuff! Thank you for sharing! It is so, so good to see how other people manage and make the most of their time. I can’t wait to see part 2! Also, I have to agree that powersheets- tending list especially- are a complete game changer. They are so very effective for setting, tracking and accomplishing goals!

  2. ANNIE March 28, 2014 9:53 am

    YES! Love organisation posts. (I’m an organisation junkie myself). I’ve heard the “inbox to zero daily” mantra from you a few times, in posts, Instagram etc. Today it’s sinking in. New goal!

  3. Ashley Flores March 28, 2014 3:55 pm

    Oh this looks like it’s going to be a great series!
    xoxo

  4. Organization in Work: Part 2 | Nancy Ray Photography April 3, 2014 2:23 pm

    […] sure to read Part 1 of How I stay Organized in my work if you missed […]

  5. Kaya April 5, 2014 3:13 pm

    Hi Nancy! These tips are great! Thanks so much! I would love to see more about the Work Flow Wall! It looks so good!

    Thanks!

  6. Kick in the Spandies Saturday | Jessica Jordana April 12, 2014 3:07 pm

    […] Ray’s Organization Series (One, Two and Three):  I believe I’ve read each of these posts at least 2-3 times.  Nancy is a […]

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Mar 24-14

Snow Day!

The Rays ~ by Nancy Ray ~ one comment

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Happy Monday, friends! In honor of this (hopefully) last cold front of this winter, here are some fun film images of our little Ray family enjoying the crazy snow that caused hours of crazy traffic, power outages, and a milk-and-bread-frenzy at the grocery stores a few weeks back. Oh, Raleigh, I love you. I hope you never get snowplows, always close schools, and never lose your sense of magic when it snows!

Film processing: Indie Film Lab

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Comments: 1

  1. Lorin March 26, 2014 3:18 pm

    So much fun! We’re hoping for the last of snow here in Virginia, too :) Bring on the springtime!

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Mar 21-14

“Christians should so spiritualize our hearts and affections that we may
have heavenly hearts in earthly employments.”
Thomas Gouge

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(Image by Eric Kelley)

“Be laborious and diligent in your callings… and if you cheerfully serve [God] in the labour of your hands, with a heavenly and obedient mind, it will be as acceptable to him as if you had spent all that time in more spiritual exercises.”
Richard Baxter

I am always humbled and amazed at the amount of emails I receive that go a little something like this:

Nancy, I have a passion and love for photography, but I don't know how to incorporate my faith into my business. I desire to honor the Lord in all that I do, but I don't know how to be a business owner and a Christian without being too preachy. How you translate your faith practically into your business?

Take, for example, these few excerpts from emails I've received:

"I'd absolutely love the opportunity to sit down with you and pick your brain with a couple questions I have about the photography business, how you got started, and how or if being a Christian affects your business in any manner. I've read all the posts you've put on your blog about these topics. But one of the things I'm curious about is how you look at your work as something glorifying to the Lord. That's one thing I've struggled figuring out on my own."

"You are doing precisely what I want to do - living a purpose-filled, goal-driven, dream-achieving life that motivates and inspires other people. Please don't underestimate the influence you have on those who watch you shine! The Lord is doing great things through you."

"I've been praying. A lot. And I feel like God is pulling at my heart. I know that he wants more for me, and he has greater plans than I could have ever imagined. I don't want to spend long hours working at a job I don't love. I want to have the time to spend with my husband and future family. I want to be inspired by other women of God. The photography community is so selfless, and I love that so many photographers love sharing their knowledge. I want to be a part of that... I know that I can do something I love. I know that I can use that as an outlet to share Christ. And I know that I can follow where he is leading me."

This post is going to be full - so let me warn you now. You might want to bookmark it and come read it again later, when you have time. When I write from my heart, especially on an important topic such as this one, I don't like to take shortcuts! So grab a mug of coffee and sit with me as I share my journey as a believer and businesswoman.

“If God be God over us, he must be over us in every thing.”
Peter Bulkeley

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“Have you forgot … the milkhouse, the stable, the barn, and the like, where God did visit your soul?”
John Bunyan

I believe with all of my heart that if you follow Jesus, you shouldn't separate the secular from the sacred. You shouldn't live one way on Sunday, and live differently the other 6 days of the week. You should live your life pursuing Jesus and loving Him with your all, no matter where you are working.

This belief began when I was in my high school. At my church youth group, there was almost always an opportunity at camp or missions trips or retreats to go forward to the altar if you were "called to ministry." I was a leader: very active, on the worship team, on the prayer team. I went to every summer camp and every missions trip.  And yet every time this "call" was presented, I never, ever felt the Lord calling me forward. I was completely at peace sitting, just praying about it. I honestly had a hard time  with this "call to ministry." Wasn't all of life supposed to be ministry? Weren't the disciples fishermen? Why did I have to walk forward to answer this "call," when I believed wholeheartedly that ministry was to happen every day?

Let me quickly say that now that I am older, I do understand and believe that there is a special call and anointing on people who are called to be in ministry full time: pastors, church staff, missionaries, etc. I have come to realize that I wrestled so much the wording of it: "Called to ministry" did not ever sit right in my spirit. We are ALL called to ministry if we believe in Jesus.

“It is in your shops where you may most confidently expect the presence and blessing of God.”
Richard Steele

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Choose that employment or calling … in which you may be most serviceable to God.
Choose not that in which you may be most rich or honourable in the world.”
Richard Baxter

And in the same way that many are called to be pastors, I believe others are called to be school teachers, authors, computer programmers, scientists, and politicians. I am called to be a photographer and business owner. We are all called to serve and to minister to anyone in our paths, no matter what our job is! This is one thing I love about my church today: the emphasis is always to walk in your giftings and callings, no matter your career.

Ironically, yes, I am married to a youth pastor! We do ministry together in a church context on a weekly basis. It is the most fulfilling work, too - to see lives change and teenagers decide to follow Jesus with everything they are. But hear me on this: every job is important. If we were all in the ministry, we wouldn't have electricity or plumbing or the internet or food or books, etc etc etc. God put a passion in you, specific strengths and giftings IN YOU, that you might shine His light in your industry.

I think in those moments when I was young, God was preparing me for this, now. His hand and calling was on my life even at a young age. God gave me this business, and He put in me everything I need to fulfill my calling for His fame.

So how do I do that today? What does that really look like?

Here are some practical ways I implement my faith on a regular basis in my business:

1. I strive to live a life of balance and boundaries.
My life does not exist to fuel this business. This business exists to fuel my LIFE. It's taken years of hard lessons (and I'm still learning), but this is a vital part of understanding how to live out your faith in your work: your identity as a believer is found in Jesus, NOT in your work. Taking a regular Sabbath, having firm work hours, making quality time for me and Will to spend together, enjoying a hobby, planning time and trips with friends, and saying NO to allow margin in our lives has prevented burnout. It also fuels my creativity and enhances my desire to know the Lord more. 

2. We work hard.
I believe that work is good. When the Lord created Adam and Eve, He gave him work: a garden to tend and animals to name: responsibilities and work to accomplish. I am reminded that my most fulfilling days include time with the Lord, a productive day of work, and meaningful connection with the people who are most important to me. 

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3. I manage my business finances with integrity.
I wholeheartedly believe that God gave me this business to manage. He owns it, I simply run it. With that said, I strive to be completely transparent in all aspects of my business. I explain the pricing thoroughly before booking, so no one feels cheated. I charge what I truly believe is fair and good. I constantly work to increase my value in this industry. I always strive to over deliver. We have a great bookkeeper and accountant. We organize our receipts and mileage. We pay our team on time. We do all of those little things that are tedious, because businesses run with integrity are businesses marked for success.

4. I read scripture every morning to begin my day.
My morning routine is vitally important to me! Every morning I wake up at 6am, drink coffee, read my Bible, write in my journal, and read part of a book. I am in the right state of mind to begin my day, and it re-centers me on the Lord. I strive to live out life as a Proverbs 31 woman. It's hard to do - I'm far from it. But she shows me that it can be done! Filling my mind with Scripture is the best way to start my day. It DOES translate in how I work each day.

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5. I pray on the way to every wedding and session.
Oh I used to get so nervous before shooting. I still do get a little nervous sometimes! When I ask for the Lord's help, it calms my nerves. When I focus on serving the couple, it takes the pressure off of me and shifts the focus to them. The Holy Spirit is called our Helper. Ask Him to help you, and He will.

6. I keep my eyes open for opportunities to love others, and I act on them.
Faith without works is dead. This will look a little different for everyone, but you have to keep your eyes open. One time on a wedding day, I prayed with a mother of a bride who was scared to death it was going to rain. With tears in her eyes, she looked at me and wanted everything to be perfect. I knew she was a believer, so we held hands and prayed the rain would stay away, and it did.  Another time I shared my faith with a client who was not a believer - she was going through a difficult time in her life and needed someone to talk to.  Another time, when a bride unfortunately had to call off her wedding, I asked to pray for her on the phone. She was brokenhearted, and I shared this verse with her. 

Disclaimer on #6: this takes some serious help from the Holy Spirit. There are PLENTY of clients that I have not prayed with, because it would have been awkward. If you get a feeling that you shouldn't pray in a situation, hold your tongue. Build trust - do not break it! Show Jesus with who you are and how you work. Don't feel like you need to talk about Him all the time - He will do the talking for you if you stay close to Him. But if there is an opportunity, take it. Don't walk in fear, but DO walk in wisdom.

7. I walk in joy.
Being a business owner is stressful and demanding. It helps when I loosen up and have a little fun with my job! I smile when I work. I hug my couples - no handshakes here! I jump in the Photo Booth for some good laughs. I take my work very seriously, but I don't take myself too seriously. I work as if I'm serving the Lord, not men. How can you contain your joy when you think of it like that?

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So, that's my foundation: I view my business as my ministry! They are not separate, they are one. I am not perfect, but I strive to  honor the Lord and love others in every aspect of what I do. So whatever job you find yourself working today, view it as your opportunity to shine the Lord's light.

"And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him."

Colossians 3:17 

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(Image by Eric Kelley)

And this is my favorite quote concerning our work:

“The main end of our lives is to serve God in the serving of men in the works of our callings.” 
William Perkins

Quotes found on Pastor JD Greear's blog

Comments: 17

  1. Em March 21, 2014 10:46 pm

    Wow, what a post, friend! I’m not surprised you get so many questions about this topic, because you are a beautiful example of it working well. I love everything you shared here, and I wanted to add one more quote – one of my favorites: “If it falls to your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music … Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.” (Martin Luther King, Jr)

  2. Megan Gielow March 22, 2014 5:24 am

    Nancy! You are such a beautiful, shining light. Thanks for sharing your heart and wisdom so openly. I needed to hear this today.

  3. Jenna Shriver March 22, 2014 2:27 pm

    Nancy, Thank you so much for sharing your heart and for your boldness! With every word I was reading, both yours and the quotes, my soul was singing, “amen! amen! amen!” I’m so grateful for women like you in our industry who I feel like co-workers with because we have the same mission and purpose. Keep shining His light, sister!

  4. Emma Dhesi March 22, 2014 2:58 pm

    What a marvelous post, Nancy! Thank you so much for taking the time to write about this matter. My favorite blog posts are the ones in which you share your thoughts on living for Jesus.

  5. Elizabeth March 22, 2014 3:56 pm

    Wow, that was such a blessing to me! Your faith is absolutely incredible! Thank you so much for living our your faith and being an inspiration to me! I pray that I’ll be able to live out my faith in my business like you are in yours!

  6. Ashley Flores March 23, 2014 4:07 am

    This was beautiful. I work as a college recruiter and I often tell people “high schools and college fairs are my mission field.” Some of them understand and some look at me like I’m crazy, but either way, I know I’m there to show the love of Jesus :-)

    xoxo

  7. Kate Robinson March 24, 2014 12:35 am

    Hi Nancy, thank you so much for sharing this passionate post! It is completely inspiring. xx

  8. William March 24, 2014 1:51 pm

    Excellent post, wife! Loved your explanation of everything specific you do to try to keep ministry in mind while still running the business. And it has to be a deliberate, intentional thing. It doesn’t happen by default; you have to work at it. Great job. Em, I LOVE that MLK quote as well!

  9. Gretchen Saffles March 24, 2014 4:57 pm

    Nancy, I love this so much! The Lord has showed me the same thing through Life Lived Beautifully. Even in our work we can worship and glorify Him. You do that beautifully and I loved getting to be ministered to by you on our wedding day. :) Can’t wait to see you in September!

  10. Lida March 24, 2014 8:14 pm

    Seriously, even though we only briefly met a year ago, I love you so much! Thank you for guiding us into our ‘ministry’ as wives, women, business women, and photographers. The moment I brought God into my business it’s flourished! Praying for you!
    xoxo,
    Lida

  11. Sadie March 25, 2014 4:41 am

    It’s been a rough day, from my photographer side of life. A friend posted this on Facebook, and I clicked with hopes that you would share something to ease the burden of the day. Peace and memories of why I started doing this in the first place came pouring back into my mind and spirit as I read. Lord, keep me from forgetting … it’s all Yours.

  12. Allison March 25, 2014 8:52 pm

    Nancy, this is what I needed to hear at this very moment. I’m a student in University and I have no idea what I want to do career-wise once I graduate. But I DO know that whatever I end up doing, I want to be a light and show the joy of the Lord. THANK YOU for reminding me it doesn’t matter what it is I end up doing, as long as I’m doing it for the Lord and His glory. You’re incredibly inspiring, thank you for being you!

  13. Danielle March 26, 2014 2:20 am

    Nancy, these are great practical tips! I just read Tim Keller’s book, Every Good Endeavor, and it was absolutely one of the most helpful books I have ever read on this subject! This is a topic I am super interested in learning more about and helping others understand well!

    Thanks again for sharing!

  14. Breanna March 26, 2014 11:12 am

    Beautiful as always Nancy! I have seen how Christ is infused in your work just by reading your blog, but it is so great to hear some specifics on how you strive for this on a daily basis. You are truly a blessing to all of your clients, and it is obvious you are following God’s lead. Keep up the lovely work my sweet friend!

  15. Sarah March 26, 2014 2:16 pm

    What a wonderful message and just what I needed. The Lord literally dropped this post in my lap at the perfect time. Thank you for being such a wonderful example of how we should handle our businesses and show the love of Christ!

  16. Karen March 26, 2014 6:37 pm

    Thank you for this beautiful message! You are truly a beautiful person and God’s light shines so brightly through you!

  17. Trent April 7, 2014 11:21 pm

    LOVE this post for so many reasons! Such an inspiration Nancy!

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Mar 19-14
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More and more in business, our heart is teaching and sharing all that we've learned the past 6 years of business. After posting about our new Mentor Sessions a few months ago, we received lots of interest and emails from photographers who were interested, but who lived too far away. They requested half days, or video streaming mentoring sessions. After discussing the logistics, Will and I are happy to offer brand new options for our mentor sessions!  To see the full pricing and information, click on the For Photographers link in the right side bar.

Mentor Session Pricing

All-day Mentor Session: $1895 (limited to 5 / year)

Half-day Mentor Session (Online option available): $900

2 hour Mentor Session with Nancy only: $450 (Online option available)

I loved reading these words from our most recent mentor session with Danielle, who did a half day mentor session since she lives in Colorado Springs:

"Reading, going over @nancyray & @willrray AMAZING business tips, my mind hasn't stopped spinning since yesterday. They introduced me to new goals, actual action steps, and better business branding for my clients!! So excited."

Spots are limited for 2014. Email the studio if you're interested in securing a spot!

Comments: 1

  1. katelyn james March 20, 2014 2:24 am

    Excited for you guys!!! xoxoxo

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Mar 17-14
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Megan and Baker are the epitome of a sweet Southern couple in love. Just as genuine and considerate as they come, these two greeted me with kindness like we were old friends. With a hug from her, and an outstretched hand from him accompanied by, “Hey there young lady! Baker Bell, nice to meet ya”, we set off around the Capitol Building to take some pictures.

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They were fun to watch as they interacted – two strong personalities that are independent and complimentary at the very same time. It quickly became obvious to me that separate from each other they are strong and secure, but together they are stronger – one of those couples who you just know is going to accomplish great things together. They made each other laugh often as we all swapped stories and got to know each other. By the end of the session, in true Southern fashion, Baker and Megan had invited my husband and I to dinner with them. Their genuine kindness and warm spirits absolutely blew me away.

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Megan and Baker, I loved getting to know you guys and can’t wait for your wedding day!

Comments: 1

  1. Toni S March 18, 2014 1:45 pm

    These pictures make me so happy! Megan and Baker are such a wonderful couple!

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Mar 10-14

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In February, I had the honor to speak alongside my dear friends The Schultzes at the WPS Roots Workshop in Chapel Hill. I was reminded at this workshop of the immense value of sharing knowledge. The room was filled with advanced, successful photographers as well as beginners who are just trying to start their businesses. We spoke on "Branding and the Client Experience," and I learned so much from Geoff and Cheyenne, even while I was up there speaking with them! I also had the opportunity to take notes and hear from several other gifted photographers, including Tamara Lackey - and amazing businesswoman and photographer I've wanted to meet for some time now.

It's often times difficult to commit to another workshop, another photography convention, another trade show, another bridal show, another webinar, and on and on and on. Believe me, I know. There are so many learning opportunities out there in the photography industry, it can be so overwhelming! And if you're not careful, you'll end up being a total workshop junkie, spending all of your hard earned money on continuing your education. But that doesn't mean you should never take the time to learn.

I say all of this to simply share this truth: if you want to be successful, you must make time to learn from others.

Yes, you have to count the cost of attending workshops, but some are worth every penny. This workshop was only $125 for WPS members! I learned so much. I continue to learn so much from my friends in this industry - so many that have advanced far beyond where I am today, and I learn from those who are still growing their business. Workshops are an investment in knowledge, in yourself, and in your business. While it can be overwhelming to decide which workshop to attend, there are plenty out there to fit all different budgets! It's just that simple.

I have this standing rule for myself: I don't sign up for the next workshop or mentor session until I've applied absolutely everything I possibly could from the last one. Then, once I've implemented all of my notes and lessons, I know it's time to sign up for another workshop to keep my business healthy and growing. That way, I know that I making the most of my investment!

For my photographer friends: here are some of my notes from the workshop. I hope it helps you stay motivated to grow and learn!

Watch this and be inspired to say no a little more often.
- Simplify your website: minimize the "clicks." No one wants to click through 200 gallery images. Dropdown menus are dated.
- Don't offer so many choices or options. (Ie: Don't give your client 1500 images after their wedding day. It's way too much.) Watch the Paradox of Choice to know what I mean.
- There are new fancy Canon flashes that actually have radio transmitters inside of them! (I don't stay up to speed very much with the latest and greatest equipment, so this was a fun discovery! Pocket Wizards aren't a need when using these flashes.)
- I decided to get a Holdfast Moneymaker after trying one on at this workshop. It was a great hands-on way to make my decision!
- I discovered Fundy - an album design software that I never knew about.
- We see images in this order: 1. Light/brightness 2. Contrast 3. Detail 4. Color 5. Sharpness
- Plan your images based on what you want to sell.
- I have a new book added to my 2014 list: The Soul of Money. Can't wait to read it!
- It's important to use money as a conduit to communicate what you care about most.
- Give generously towards the things that mean the most to you. (Instead of spending on a whim!)
- When you see other photographer's success, CHEER IT ON! Don't get all cranky and jealous. Give them high fives instead.
- Study images that evoke emotion and observe what they have in common.
- Defend your creative position. If a bride really wants a photo in front of a white wall, then you can give that to her, but make sure you also get something that YOU are confident in. Don't let the client determine every creative choice - remember that they hired you for YOUR creativity!
- Work hard with a lot of enthusiasm.

These are just a few notes from the workshop. There are so many benefits to investing in YOU! Stop and think about the most important ways to invest in your business.  Sometimes that means equipment, sometimes that means a new website, sometimes that means a business book, and sometimes that means attending a workshop or conference!

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Big thanks to Heba for capturing these images!

Comments: 2

  1. ANNIE March 11, 2014 8:24 am

    Lovely inspiring ideas… for any profession, I feel (I’m not a photographer). Really enjoyed the Apple video x

  2. Lorin March 11, 2014 2:27 pm

    “There are a thousand no’s for every yes.” Yes!! Thank you for sharing what you’ve learned, Nancy, so we can learn from you!

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Mar 07-14

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Amy and Luke's wedding celebration was simply stunning. Who isn't amazed by a wedding that has real snowfall on the dance floor? It took place at the Cotton Room in Durham, and Erin McLean designed and planned the details with her classic glittery style. My favorite features? Silhouette menus, glitter tablecloths, candlelight, silhouette chair signs, and pink hues throughout the decor. I especially loved watching this couple together. When Amy and Luke saw each other, everything else fell into the background for them. They became different, happier... it was like a light turned on inside of them. They glowed, and a contagious joy was felt by anyone who watched them together.

Another favorite thing about this wedding was the rich Jewish tradition that was so important to this couple. Amy and Luke provided yarmulkes available for gentlemen guests, they were married under a chuppah, they had a special private ceremony signing their Ketubah (the Jewish marriage document), they broke the glass in their ceremony, and they included the festive Horah traditional wedding dance where all their guests lifted them high in chairs on the dance floor. I must say - that was personally my favorite part of the evening! Everyone was laughing so hard, it was so much fun to capture it! I couldn't stop smiling.

Amy and Luke, congratulations on a lovely celebration!

Venue: The Cotton Room
Officiant: Rabbi Michael Shields
Cake Artist: Ashley Cakes
Florist: Tre Bella Florist
Event Designer & Coordinator: Erin McLean Events
Reception Band: The Dickens
Hair Stylist: A Go Go Salon
Makeup Artist: Make Up For Your Day 

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Comments: 2

  1. Stephanie March 7, 2014 5:34 pm

    The Cotton Room is one of my very favorite wedding locations in the area – so beautiful! I am loving all of the stunning details of this weddings – and the snow is epic!!

  2. Abby March 8, 2014 7:46 pm

    Absolutely beautiful. As always.

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Photographer, wife, and worshiper... I am a Southern girl who looks most forward to waking up each morning to drink my coffee, read my Bible, and soak in the beauty that surrounds me. These pages chronicle my work, my life, and the things that I love most. You'll also hear from Callie, Will, and Elizabeth - my amazing team who has so much to offer. Thanks for visiting, I do hope you stay a while!
Nancy Ray