I can’t believe that it has almost been a year since I went to Jasmine Star’s theFIX. When I found out she was coming to Dallas I nearly fell out of my chair with excitement! I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Aside from a small photography class at our local Tech school, I had never been to a photography class/workshop/conference. I couldn’t find anyone to go with me, so I decided to just go by myself. I took off work in the middle of the week, packed up the car and headed to Dallas! Brian usually organizes all of our travel plans, but since he wasn’t going I found and booked my own hotel, printed off directions (NOTE* I had never driven in Dallas before…..ever) and Googled local restaurants.
I made it to my hotel in Dallas (only got lost, 2 times? Where was onStar??) I got there with just enough time to check into my hotel and eat really quick. I packed up my camera, notebook and ticket and headed to the location of theFIX. After driving past the entrance four times and calling Brian in a panic making him look up direction online and me trying to describe to him where I was….I FINALLY made it! I ran in the door and immediately saw a short line to take a picture with Jasmine Star!! WHAT!?!? I get to take a picture with Jasmine Star?!?! As the line got shorter I thought the following: 1. What if my face turns red!! (If you know me well, you know my face turns red about everything. I am not talking a little rosy cheeks, I mean “OH MY GOSH ARE YOU DYING?!?” red.) 2. What do I talk to her about?!?! I didn’t prepare anything! Will I be able to form sentences? (I know…I was being ridiculous) I handed the woman behind me my camera and asked her to take a few pics of me and J.Star! She said “Sure, just set the settings to what you want!” Settings? I have to choose settings in front of another photographer so I can get good pictures with one of the BEST photographers?
Its my turn. And naturally my face turns ten shades of red! At this point I had only photographed one wedding and was doing my second wedding two days later. I remember telling Jasmine this, and how nervous I was. Other than that…I can’t remember anything we talked about. I was in shock she was even talking to me! We took a few pictures then I went to find a seat! Everyone there was with someone, so I just found a seat by myself. Eventually two ladies sat next to me. I am terrible at making conversations with people I don’t know. I mean TERRIBLE. I literally said “Hi, are you two photographers?!” Seriously Emily?! Why on earth would they be here if they weren’t photographers? I am laughing out loud as I type this because it is so ridiculous. I decided I should probably stop talking at that point. Oh boy.
So theFIX. It was amazing! I learned a lot….left feeling on top of the world and feeling like I would become a successful photographer overnight! I got home from Dallas and put my notes from theFIX in my photography binder to read over later. Now here is the harsh reality. I came back from Dallas, went to work, then shortly changed jobs, then summer came, vacations, fall, football, session after session. I don’t have time to read notes, I barely have time to edit photos after work. Sigh. Terrible I know.
So here I am nearly a year later. Re-reading my notes. I am by no means what I would call the ‘successful photographer’ that I had envisioned I would be, but that is 100% my own fault. I can say, however, that my business has grown and I have implemented some of the things Jasmine suggested.
- Pricing. I charged next to nothing for my first wedding. I just wanted the experience and to do something nice for a friend! Jasmine suggested for those of us just starting out in the wedding industry to enter in the mid-low range and raise your prices every 3 weddings. So I have done that and I have learned a lot about how I want to price my weddings by doing that. I gained experience. I once photographed a wedding for 12 hours. That is 12 hours of holding a heavy camera/lens/camera bag. But it was worth the experience and I would do it all over again.
- Build Business. Jasmine suggest making other photographer friends. I have been really blessed in this area. I can’t say I have a huge network of photography friends, but theFIX gave me access to 100+ amazing photographers. Anytime I don’t know how to handle a situation, or price something, or decide if 2 weddings in one weekend is too much, I just ask and they are always so willing to help! I have also been blessed with local photographer friends who send people my way if they are busy and I try to do the same!
- Go forth and do. I can honestly say I have done this halfway. I have put myself out there more, started blogging more, and every once in a while I will admit I am a photographer to a stranger. (Why is that so hard?!) But I can be better at the ‘do’ part. It’s a goal for this year!
I am so incredibly thankful that I was able to attend theFIX. I learned a lot and feel like I have improved a lot as well. This year is going to be great. I have already booked more weddings than I had last year and my brides are the BEST! I am so thankful for my clients and the support they have for me!
So as Jasmine Star would say, stay fabulous!