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One Small Step for Man and What it Means for Us

Posted by on July 20, 2012 with 4 Comments

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Forty three years ago today, in the reflection of the sun, one man did the impossible… the incredible… the unbelievable.  Stepping off of the lunar landing module Eagle, Neil Armstrong became the firm human to walk on the surface of the moon. Even more impossible to me, is the fact that while being  240,000 miles from Earth, Neil Armstrong was able to speak these words to more than a billion people listening in their homes: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Even though it’s been more than four decades and are technology has evolved by leaps and bounds, it’s still nearly impossible for me to try to grasp all that happened on July 20th, 1969.  When you think of events such as this, do you ever feel like it’s to incredible to be any part of the “real” world that you live in?  I use to, but not anymore… Now I understand that there is imperfection and humanity in all of us.  Neil Armstrong wasn’t a statue of a man with out feeling or fear.  But he was willing to risk it all for a dream!  Consider this, when Armstrong spoke his famous quote, he later admitted that it was slightly garbled by his microphone and had meant to be “that’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”  He then planted his left foot on the gray, powdery surface, took a cautious step forward, and humanity had walked on the moon. (source)  But what if he had chosen not to take that step?  What if fear of the unknown had won?  What if, as he began to place his foot on that powdery surface, he suddenly invisioned failure?  He saw himself floating off into space forever more – never to be brought back down to Earth again… What if with that thought in his mind, he climbed back up the ladder and said, “nope, can’t do it.” It sounds ridiculous, but I wonder… How many people – on the very brink of incredible – let fear stop them from taking that very last step that welcomes them into the reality of their dreams? Refuse to waste time questioning the possibility of your dreams, instead, let your dreams be illuminated by the wonder of possibility.
Filed Under: Inspire Me
Are you ready for more? I'm determined to prove to as many photographers as will let me that you can have passion, profits and time for a great life.

I create six-figure photographers, and I'd love to teach you, step-by-step, how it's done. This is happening for photographers from all over the world who are just like you. Let me prove just how wildly successful YOU can be!

If you're ready to take your business further, sign up for email updates (it's free).

Expression Trumps All Else

Posted by on July 18, 2012 with 0 Comments
When I first started my journey as a photographer…  I was new.  Well that’s not obvious is it?!  But I was also new  in the sense of what I saw when I was culling through images at the end of each session.  I was looking for the exposure to be right, their eyes not to be shut and, well, my clients not to be blurry.  If I had those, I was doing pretty good! As time passed, my photography evolved – more than anything else, experience was teaching me the lessons that I had been trying to learn in theory for way to long.  Theory is just that, theory until it’s tested… it’s true in science, it’s true in those crime shows I watch and it’s true in photography.  More and more I began to understand lighting and posing and framing.  With each new session under my belt, I gained a better understanding of how to bring it all together. But the final element of my photography was recognizing and capturing expression.  I’ve noticed when I critique other photographers through my private mentoring or as a celebrity photographer on Chic Critique that I’m not alone on this.  For many, it seems that the last piece to fall into place is expression. Today, I consider expression to be the most important element in any photograph that I capture (with the understanding that it’s exposed and lit properly).  I’m constantly looking for how to bring out more expression and more personality from my clients.   I believe that expression trumps it all… Posing. Background. Props. Wardrobe. Location. … They all come second to expression. Every time an image really grabs me, it’s because I can feel the emotion. Test the theory… the next time you’re blog hopping over to one of  your favorite photographer’s sites, really pay attention to the expression. If you can’t feel the emotion, then the photograph is missing its heart beat. Emotion doesn’t have to be all smiles either. It can be sadness, contemplation, frustration, anger, silliness, sadness, joy and a million other feelings in-between.  But emotion must be there. If you’re wondering what you can do to bring your photgoraphy up a notch, go through your portfolio and judge it based only by expression.  Remove all the images that don’t quite have “it” and replace them with your best work that really captures the heart beat of your clients!  

What do you think? Does expression play that large of a roll? Join the conversation in the comments below or on the Facebook Page. Chat with you there!

Filed Under: Photography Technique
Are you ready for more? I'm determined to prove to as many photographers as will let me that you can have passion, profits and time for a great life.

I create six-figure photographers, and I'd love to teach you, step-by-step, how it's done. This is happening for photographers from all over the world who are just like you. Let me prove just how wildly successful YOU can be!

If you're ready to take your business further, sign up for email updates (it's free).

Intro Price Extended… And Why

Posted by on July 17, 2012 with 2 Comments
TWO MORE DAYS: I will be **extending the introductory price** for The Thriving Photographer until Wednesday, July 18th. You can find out all about our cart crashing fiasco underneath, but the bottom line is this… If you missed it and you’re kicking yourself for it… You can (and should) stop! This is your lucky day; you have ONE MORE CHANCE! AND THIS IS WHY… Over the weekend, our brand new spiffy shopping cart program lost it’s spiff! Everyone’s orders were being declined, and my email was lighting up like a Christmas tree. I was pretty much stuck until Monday because the support I needed wasn’t available until then. On Monday morning, I woke up at 6am, went for my run, and then settled in for a long day trying to get everything sorted out. As of 3:36pm yesterday, I had entered every single order manually and processed all of the emails myself. I had spoken to both PayPal and our shopping cart programmers over twelve times… And they still insist it’s the fault of the other! At long last, I clicked “send” on the final THRIVE download-related email and successfully got a test transaction to process correctly. And then… I decided I really – really – needed some chocolate. Unfortunately (or some might say fortunately), I’ve been eating healthier lately, which sadly meant that there was no easily-accessible chocolate. And this left me with only one option… Make. My. Own. I made the cookies as fast as I could, because – like I said – I  really needed that chocolate! As I finally bit into the very first one, I realized I had grabbed the wrong container of oats. I had made crunchy, chewy No-Bake Cookies with old fashioned oats instead of quick oats. Yuck!! … So I did what any rationally sane individual would do… I sat down and suffered through the whole chewy mess of them. Oh the torture. {wink} Because of all of that… and in response to all of the emails… I will be extending the introductory price for The Thriving Photographer until **Wednesday, July 18th**. For anyone who was trying to process their transaction but couldn’t complete the order, I am so sorry and genuinely thank you for being so persistent in your efforts and for your incredible patience!! And for those who just happened to have lost track of time and missed the deadline? Well… it’s your lucky day! xo’ Leah
Filed Under: Business
Are you ready for more? I'm determined to prove to as many photographers as will let me that you can have passion, profits and time for a great life.

I create six-figure photographers, and I'd love to teach you, step-by-step, how it's done. This is happening for photographers from all over the world who are just like you. Let me prove just how wildly successful YOU can be!

If you're ready to take your business further, sign up for email updates (it's free).

Following Your Passion WON’T Make You Happy

Posted by on July 16, 2012 with 4 Comments

There is so much talk about passion.  And I am certainly a huge part of the passion discussion!  I talk about passion all the time.  And make no mistake, I live for passion!  So it may feel like a mean trick to tell you that passion won’t make you happy, but I’m serious – it won’t!

Maybe I should explain?

I have the privilege of coaching and  working with incredibly passionate and creative-minded people from all over the world through my program, The Thriving Photographer™, as well as through my coaching services.  Photographers come to me for help; they come to me to fix their problems.  They have all the passion one would think is necessary to be satisfied, but-they’re-not.  And for good reason.  They’re not making any money; they’re not being appreciated for their creative contribution, and their life is not in balance.  On their current path, there is no chance in sight to live an experience-based lifestyle.

Are you starting to see what I’m seeing?   

They come to me because their clients are trying to negotiate down fees that aren’t high enough as it is.  They come to me because the balance in their life has been turned upside down.  Spouses are distant and even angry over their “passion.” They come to me because they are overwhelmed by guilt over the constant distractions of work which take them from their babies.   They come to me because no one ever taught them how to really run a business, and as a result of “winging it,” their homes are falling apart because there just isn’t enough time for it all.   They come to me because this “passion business” is starting to feel like an anchor that is making no contribution to the household income.

They come to me because something needs to change…   Passion by itself isn’t enough.   I know this because there is no lack of passion for the people who I help.  (At least… there wasn’t when they started.)  In fact, some of them have found that their passion has left them downright miserable.  There is a disconnect between all the things that they love and this photography business that they are so passionate about.  Without having the pieces in order, happiness cannot be sustained.  It’s but a fleeting moment that comes with a booking… and leaves as soon as the work sets in.  It comes with making dinner… but is replaced when you “sneak away” to work.  And it is often replaced by the feeling of guilt, settling like a cold and damp cloud over your home.  So let me say it again…  Passion is not enough.

The Recipe For Real Happiness:   What I have come to learn and recognize as the true source of happiness is a balance-centered life that is interwoven with passion.  I see it over and over with those I train, but first and foremost – I speak from experience.  The “sweet spot” of living,  as in the ‘I can’t believe this is MY life’ kind of happy, is a combination of passion, skills (being so good they can’t ignore you) and balance.

We all start with the passion.  You have a passion for photography.  But passion alone will not make you great.   Mozart did not start being “Mozart” the very first time he plucked at a key on a piano.   Steve Jobs wasn’t “Steve Jobs” the first time he sparked an idea for change.   The Wright Brothers weren’t the “Wright Bothers” from the beginning; they were just two country boys with a dream of flight.   When we can begin with passion, that is a great thing!  How many people get to start with what they love?  When we can evolve that passion into a supberbly crafted skill in which we excel, we start seeing a great thing transpire. But even with all of that greatness transpiring, without balance… it’s still lost.

Balance is being able to see the difference between what is necessary and what is habit.   Balance is being able to work and love what you get to do, but then being able to change focus, to switch gears and dive into your family relationships (your spouse and your kiddos) with that same level of passion and commitment.  Too many people say that there family comes first, but their actions disagree.

Following your passion is a beautiful thing. But passion does not need to be confined to one aspect of your life. I am passionate about photography, helping women become successful and confident entreprenuers. I am also crazy passionate about being a wife and a mommy. I am even passionate about cooking… and vanilla ice-cream.

Happiness is having passion, profits and the time to enjoy it all it through a fabulous life that is centered around your family and your faith! True happiness is in finding a balance for it all.

Filed Under: Business
Are you ready for more? I'm determined to prove to as many photographers as will let me that you can have passion, profits and time for a great life.

I create six-figure photographers, and I'd love to teach you, step-by-step, how it's done. This is happening for photographers from all over the world who are just like you. Let me prove just how wildly successful YOU can be!

If you're ready to take your business further, sign up for email updates (it's free).

Gather & Use Testimonials to Prove Your Value

Posted by on July 13, 2012 with 21 Comments
Testimonials are social proof  for potential clients.  A testimonial says that the experience that we say we’re going to provide, is really what will happen. When you’re just starting to think about using testimonials, it can be a little intimidating trying to gather them up. But I bet you already have several and you just didn’t realize it (hint: check your email archives for the final correspondence you had with each client).  In today’s video I’m going to break down the best practices for gathering testimonials and then tell you exactly how to use them for maximum impact! IF YOU ENJOY THIS VIDEO, MAKE SURE YOU SUBSCRIBE TO OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL! Background by Drop it Modern (Spangled)
Filed Under: Videos
Are you ready for more? I'm determined to prove to as many photographers as will let me that you can have passion, profits and time for a great life.

I create six-figure photographers, and I'd love to teach you, step-by-step, how it's done. This is happening for photographers from all over the world who are just like you. Let me prove just how wildly successful YOU can be!

If you're ready to take your business further, sign up for email updates (it's free).

Don’t Look for Easier

Posted by on July 9, 2012 with 0 Comments
Some days I’m awesome… other days I’m not. Some days I’m on it… other days I forgot. When you find yourself in the middle of one of those days when you just wish things could be easier, I’d like to suggest that you wish for something else instead. You see, if it were easier then everyone else would be doing it too. And you’re not everybody and you don’t want everybody trying to be you. So. Instead of easier… try to be better. Instead of simpler… try to be wiser. Instead of settling… try to remember that you’re amazing. I know that if you stop and think about it for a few minutes… You’ll start to remember all kinds of things that were once really hard but have since become a breeze! It’s not that they became any less difficult, it’s that YOU got so much better. All is within reach.
Filed Under: Inspiration
Are you ready for more? I'm determined to prove to as many photographers as will let me that you can have passion, profits and time for a great life.

I create six-figure photographers, and I'd love to teach you, step-by-step, how it's done. This is happening for photographers from all over the world who are just like you. Let me prove just how wildly successful YOU can be!

If you're ready to take your business further, sign up for email updates (it's free).

Monthly Giveaway – July Ed.

Posted by on July 4, 2012 with 4 Comments
The monthly giveaways are just that, a giveaway that lasts the full month. Stop by, check out the awesome featured vendors and enter to win everything you see! We love featuring products that we think are super cool and we also love making our readers day’s brighter…. put those together and what’ve you got? Bipety, bopety, boo-ya – it’s a new giveaway every month! Speaking of every month… Congratulations to Leslie L. winner of our June Giveaway 1. Red, White & Blue Striped Paper Garland by Hobbie Creek Designs (On Facebook!) 2. Crochet Red Sock Monkey Hat & Diaper Cover Set by MRocheCrochet (on Facebook) 3. iPhone 4 Case – Retro Twin Reflex Camera by On Your Case Store (On Facebook!) 4. Hand Made Postal Shortbread Cookies by Madd Bakes 5. Foodie Magnets – Contributed by Go4Pro Photos 6. All kinds of fun – Contributed by Go4Pro Photos  

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  a Rafflecopter giveaway
Filed Under: Giveaways
Are you ready for more? I'm determined to prove to as many photographers as will let me that you can have passion, profits and time for a great life.

I create six-figure photographers, and I'd love to teach you, step-by-step, how it's done. This is happening for photographers from all over the world who are just like you. Let me prove just how wildly successful YOU can be!

If you're ready to take your business further, sign up for email updates (it's free).