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!


Big thanks to Heba for capturing these images!

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“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!

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

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