Robin Quinn Brooks here. I’d love to get more acquainted with y’all, so pull up a seat and a glass of lemonade while I tell you a little about who I am and where I come from. Born and raised all over the state of North Carolina, my coastal heritage is my greatest pride. I bared my adolescent years in Raleigh, and in 2006 fell in love with the breathtaking town of Boone. My whole life I’ve been an avid historian and in 2008, I thought I’d make it official with photography as my craft of choice.
Some trivial tidbits…
I’m a total movie buff.
I love the smell of old books. I also love to read them.
Take me to a new city and I will sniff out the best coffee shop within 48 hours.
I was born a traveler.
To all you aspiring photographers or photographers young in the business, like me, let me leave you with a bit of encouragement. Build relationships. You will learn more about photography and be more successful in the business the more you nurture your relationships. If you have a little training but you want to further your knowledge, seek out opportunity. Assist. Second shoot. Pursue internships. Contact photographers and heed their advice. You can learn more in one conversation with a photographer than in any class you take.
Oh, and shoot in manual. ALWAYS.
Top 10 Things I Learned From Nancy:
1 • Branding, branding, branding. The way you present your business-through everything from your photography style, to your logo, to how you package your products- is a crucial part of success.
2 • Set goals, write them down, and cross them off as you complete them. As obvious as this may sound, it really does help you to be more efficient and prioritizing your business and your life becomes a piece of cake.
3 • Communicate with your clients. Nancy’s constant rapid-fire response to client emails and her attention to their needs and questions are truly inspiri
ng. Sometimes (okay, most of the time) this part of the job seems tedious and exhausting, but in the bride’s eyes, it can be the difference between a frustrating wedding photographer, and one who puts you at ease in a time of severe stress.
4 • It’s okay to say no. Sometimes you’ll have to turn down a session, or even a wedding. There are only 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, and 52 weeks in a year. Realizing the limits of your business and staying within those limits can keep you from overwhelming yourself. Not only that, but attempting to push yourself to accomplish more than you are physically, mentally, and financially able to can be very detrimental for your name in the long run.
5 • Organization will keep you sane. Not just in your workflow, but also with your accounting. Keeping all your receipts and records organized will allow everything to run much more smoothly when it comes time to do taxes.
6 • Happiness is contagious. Every time I showed up at Nancy’s house she greeted me with a smile and a hug. She made the studio into a joyful work environment and I couldn’t help but catch the happy bug. Every day seemed like a blessed experience, not like work.
7 • Social networking is incredibly beneficial for the growth of your business, even for those of us who aren’t bloggers. This is something I learned that because of my stubbornness, I have yet to put into practice! But just by seeing how far Nancy’s business has come since her blog started, I know it to be true!
8 • Stay away from credit cards! And have LOTS of patience. It may take several years for your business to grow using only cash, but it will be totally worth it. It may take incredible strength on your part (and mine) not to go out and buy two 5D Mark II’s along with some L series lenses right off the bat. Work with what you have, don’t overprice for what you can produce, and wait. That, along with some good old-fashioned work ethic will have your business up and running in no time.
9 • You get out what you put in. If you shoot weddings part time, and don’t invest financially into your business, it will not, and cannot, grow beyond that. I learned that the hard way.
10 • Internships are crucial for budding photographers. Working with Nancy was my second internship. I learned a wealth of knowledge from both, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I did another one down the road. There are numerous internship opportunities for photographers in all avenues- wedding, studio, product, food, portrait, photojournalism…etc. etc… and you will learn more during an internship than you will in any class you take.
Thoughts from Nancy…
Robin was the best thing that happened to me this summer! Seriously. Love this girl. I took so much time in choosing who would fill the shoes of my intern, and she definitely was the perfect fit. Her constant communication with me, her cheerful attitude, and her willingness to do random/crazy errands for me with enthusiasm made this summer so productive! Her internship has come and gone… all too quickly if you ask me.
Her next step in life is pretty incredible. She will be traveling The World Race. Go check it out if you haven’t already! And if you feel so led, support her mission in 2012. She is going to be changing so many lives, and you can be a part of it.
Robin, you are one special lady. Never stop being you! So excited for the future the Lord has for you.
A few more photos from her last day at the NRP Studio… we were so sad, but I think Winston will miss her the most!
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