Motivational Mondays: Trusting Yourself

“A bird sitting on a tree is not afraid of the branch breaking, because its trust is not on the branch, but on its wings.”

-Unknown

Is Blogging worth it? – Tuesday Tips & Tricks

I recently went in for a job interview at an online distributing company that was looking for a Web Content and Social Media Specialist – I wasn’t really looking for a job but since it was so close to my house and the pay wasn’t so bad I thought I should give it a shot. After sitting down with them and talking about the position for about an hour and a half they seemed interested in hiring me but said they would call back the next day. So I came home and started thinking whether I wanted to take the job or not if they did offer it to me.

Then I came to the realization that if I was going to be writing about a business as well as updating their social media constantly I should be doing that for my own business. But then I asked myself, does blogging really work and is spending time on social media really worth it?

I constantly hear other photographer’s like Jasmine Star and Susan Stripling talk about Blogging, Social Media, and SEO and at first it was all gibberish to me. I have now begun my research and realized that maybe Social Media through Facebook isn’t the best way anymore because of how much things have changed now, especially with the whole paying to boost your post issue. But, there are other ways to keep yourself on top of Social Media: Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Vine, and so many more apps that are being developed each day can help you stay on top of the game.

In this industry finding ways to stand out and marketing yourself for free can seem challenging but it becomes easier as we begin to put more effort and time into it. Blogging is a great way for SEO, in other words for Google to find you through keywords, and if you write articles that are interesting to people they’ll start following you, pinning you on Pinterest, and sharing your posts – meaning they will help get your name out there. One of the best things about blogging, at least from my own experience, is the ability to have your clients/followers/subscribers get to know you as well as grow with you and see your evolution as a photographer.

I have noticed that when I write blog posts about the props I use for my newborn shoots and how I make them I drive people to my blog. People are always looking for content that will save them money, teach them how to do their own DIY projects, or even help them grow as a professional photographer. I love sharing secrets with people because I wish someone else would’ve shared them with me when I was first starting out.

From my perspective blogging has helped me reach lots more people than Social Media. But, I do link my blog to all my social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and I make sure to pin them on Pinterest. That will only drive more people to your blog which will drive more people to your website and your work.

Tuesday Tips & Tricks: how creativeLIVE has changed my life

CreativeLIVE has changed my life in a way I didn’t even think could be possible. I have learned to have so much more confidence in myself thanks to the workshops I have watched through this online channel that I don’t think I could’ve ever gained from school. I have yet to visit a workshop in person but it is truly one of the things on my to-do list that I need to accomplish soon.

I have previously posted on other blog posts about creativeLIVE and how I recommend it to other photographers but I have never gone in depth about it. I have watched numerous amounts of workshops and even purchased the ones that I really loved so I can watch them whenever I need to; I have also found my favorite photographers through the workshops.

My favorite photographers would definitely have to be Zach and Jody but I also love Jasmine Star. I have watched every workshop from both of these photographers; the latest one I watched is the reSTARt workshop by Jasmine and it definitely gave me that “oomph” I needed to rebuild the business in 2014 and RESTART! I can’t even begin to tell you how that workshop has helped me change the way I have based my business in the past 3 years. Starting with how to design my website and how to price my collections, all the way to identifying what my brand is and how to network with vendors and even other photographers.

I have never missed a Zach and Jody workshop. I have learned so much of the technical stuff from their workshops but especially how to establish a real relationship with all of my clients which I believe should be the CORE of every photographer’s business, especially a wedding photographer’s.

The best part about creativeLIVE’s workshops is that they’re free while they’re being broadcasted LIVE if you don’t watch it I truly believe is because of laziness or arrogance. And both things will not get you anywhere. Laziness will not allow you to learn new things and expand your horizons and arrogance won’t either. Why do I mention arrogance? Because one thing I have noticed is that many people in our industry don’t want to be taught how to do things differently because they think they either don’t need need to be taught because they know everything or they don’t want to be taught by other photographers.  One thing I can tell you from my own experience is that if things aren’t working then you must be doing something wrong and it doesn’t hurt to watch the workshops. Especially if they’re being broadcasted for FREE all day, BUT, if you work all day and simply don’t have time to watch it purchasing them for $150 or $79 while they’re being broadcasted is I think something that’s doable and that will help you out in the long run. In order to succeed in photography one must invest their money and their time.

Motivational Mondays: Sacrifices and Ambition

Many of you know I am on vacation in Nicaragua. I came unexpectedly for two reasons: to visit family and to see what the market is like out here for destination weddings. But sometimes we make plans that God ends up laughing at. I got sick with strep throat and had to stop what I was doing to stay home (with my grandma, aunt, and her family) and it was a major eye opener.

Living in a third world country is not easy for many. The opportunities are not around the way that we have them in the states. Yet there are so many of us that still complain on how bad we have it. It’s not until you get out and visit one of these countries that you realize how great you really have it.

I have cousins that have majored as engineers, architects, dentists, doctors, or finance majors and barely make $300 a month, yet we complain that we don’t have the latest trends. I have family members that ride the public bus every where they go with no a/c, yet we complain because our car isn’t a Mercedes or BMW. But one thing I know for sure is that I am so grateful to have the father I have.

My dad left the country when he was 20 years old. In search of better opportunities and because at the time Nicaragua was going through a war that he didn’t believe in and didn’t want to fight for. He moved to Honduras for 5 years and then to Miami. In Miami he worked at a Burger King to provide for my mom and me but not once did he regret leaving his country, he kept promising himself and my mom that he would one day become a computer programmer and he did.

That hunger and ambition was his drive. He had to make sacrifices and leave his country, language, parents, sisters, and family at a very young age to become what he wanted to become because he didn’t want to live a mediocre life. And that’s one of the things he has taught me. He’s always pushed me to find the one thing I love and never give up, to push it enough to where I perfect it and make it in life using my talents. But the most important thing he has taught me is to always put God above all things because He will help you through it all.

Maybe I’m a little homesick right now or maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been watching a bunch of people living a not so great life that’s made me so thankful to be where I’m at – all thanks to one man that sacrificed and had the drive to better himself…

I want MY dad to be able to say that all his sacrifices were worth it because they got ME somewhere in life. THAT is enough for me to have that drive and ambition that he once had at 20 years old.