I make it a goal every year to attend a photography conference. Despite being in my eighth year of business as LYYP, I firmly believe that there’s always more you can learn — be it technique, post production, customer service, marketing, you name it. Putting aside the rapid rate at which technology changes, creating better and faster ways of doing things, it’s important to look carefully at your process and consider whether you’re getting stuck in an inefficient or sub-optimal practice simply because that’s the way you’ve always done it. I never regret my trips, and I always come home with a nugget or two of new information or inspiration to put to work in my business.
This year’s conference, The Family Narrative in New Orleans, was definitely no exception. I took home several practical, actionable items that I’ve slowly been unrolling and will continue to unveil in the coming months. (One of these items is a refresh of my website. Did you notice? What do you think?).
On top of the practical things, though, The Family Narrative gave me a good solid dose of two slightly less obvious truths that, I think, affect any creative business owner. ONE, connections are key. The wonderful and delicious moments of connecting with my clients during their photo and ordering sessions account for about 5-10% of the total time I spend working as the grand poobah of LYYP (give or take). The other 90-95% (-ish) of the time is spent sitting at my computer alone. Uploading, culling, editing, backing up, preparing, creating, designing, writing, blogging, emailing, invoicing, ordering, packaging, mounting and framing, blah blah blah. All by myself. Photography can be an isolating business. I’m surrounded by supportive family and friends in my life, of course, but there’s nothing like spending time with a truly simpatico photography nerd (or two or 45) who gets super excited about alllllll the same things that I do. It’s validating and refreshing.
TWO, we have to make time to play and shoot for ourselves. A reality of my life is that my kids are getting older and they don’t love my camera all the time. I’m not going to stop taking photos of them (sorry guys that is NEVER going to happen), but the days of me being able to play in photography with abandon with them as my subjects are more or less over. But play is a requirement for growth in any creative area, and photography is no exception. I learned in NOLA that I have to make it a priority to find other playgrounds.
This last idea explains, I think, why there are ZERO photos from either of my ‘good’ cameras (the Canon and the Fuji) of the occasion of my third child’s fifteenth birthday. I was feeling a little sad about it last night as I gathered up the monthly “moments”, until I found a particular little video of his morning ‘muffin party.” I stuck the candles in his muffin, queued up the camera, and asked told him to “make a wish!” What was his wish, you’re wondering? His wish was that I would “get that camera out of [his] face.” Ahem.
Thankfully, I did find some other gems on the iPhone that fulfill my need to document my favorite moments of the month — a few more from NOLA and a bunch of other random family moments from March 2018. I’m happy to have them.
And of course, there’s always my trusty Instagram feed for the month:
So yeah, turns out March was a bit of a mouthful.
Thanks for looking,