Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My brand new parachute - debrief of the Jasmine* & CreativeLive workshop

Guys - I am finally back to Europe, and it's been a long way home! From Seattle, to Houston, to Amsterdam and then finally about pilling up miles in just one trip :) Ching, Ching, these go directly in my miles piggy bank for my dream trip to Bali....ha, be still my heart.

But wait, back to Houston...or Amsterdam....or wherever it is that I was on Monday. I usually would mind spending so many hours in a plane, but this time I could have cared less. I had so much to think about after the workshop ended. Ideas and thoughts running wild in my little head. All of the things that Jasmine* talked about, her shinning personality and all things wonderful that she and JD are, meeting such wonderful & inspiring people as the CreativeLive Five (miss you guys!), just took over my need for sleep. And got me thinking about how, when back in Denmark, I was going to use this experience to move things forward with photography. Because it is. Big times.

Before coming to the workshop I was ready to jump off the cliff. I was going to throw myself into starting my photo business and dedicate myself to learning photography inside out. No matter how big the gap was. Because that's really what I wanted to do, and I just know that life is too short to leave your dreams on the side. Now that the workshop is come and gone, not only am I still ready to jump off the cliff - but what I feel that I have now is a brand new parachute, a parachute that will hopefully get me where I want to land. If I can direct the parachute correctly, that is -there will be strong winds pushing me to the sides I am sure, problems that I don't yet expect that will come my way.....but hey, that's just life. I feel so much more confident in my abilities to do this.

So here are my biggest take-aways from the workshop - not that I didn't want to write every single word that J* said, full of its "Awesome", "F'REAL" and "Amen Sista''" :).....but let's keep it to the things that struck me the most so that I don't spend the rest of the week writing this post :) And bore you out of your mind with that.

About running your business:
- Run your business like a business, not like an expensive hobby. Outsource what you don't like/can't do well enough. It's all about streamlining and making your business as efficient and lean as possible
- When you are about to take something new on, just think "Is this going to move me where I want my business to be?"
- Underpromise/overdeliver. This will ensure you are leaving people with the best experience possible.
- Create your own game. Everybody has strengths and weaknesses, every market is unique. Make sure you play a game that puts your strengths in the forefront.

About building your brand:
- A logo is not a brand. A brand is made off all things that make people FEEL about you and your brand. Create a connection with people.
- KIR - Keep it Real. People will connect to a much hire level with you if they can feel that they know the real you, that you are not faking it.
- Be YOU, show YOU. By doing that, you will either connect or repel. If people like YOU, they will talk about you.
- A website is your handshake, a blog is your voice. Ah, how much I love this analogy!
- Sometimes it pays off to just BE NICE. People will be more inclined to talk about you, because it's all about the experience people get.

About improving your photography skills:
- Work on the 10x10 rule (10 different poses in a 10x10 space). If you can master that, you can master a whole new range of things.
- "It is what it is". Sometimes we can't control the weather. Bad light. Small space. Or a crazy mother in law. There is no such thing as perfect conditions. It is what it is, learn to run with it in your photography and you will get stronger at your art.
- Always strive to create for yourself. Of course you need to shoot for the client. But always remember to push yourself, go beyond your boundaries. Shoot outside what you are comfortable with.
- Always look for inspiration. In magazines. In movies. In the little girl playing down the road from your house. Let your photography infuse in all that inspiration.
-Practice practice practice. You can study the perfect compositions, know the "perfect" formula to the "perfect exposure" by heart.....but there is nothing like getting down and dirty with it.

Geeze....that's a long post, hope you are still with me! Oh, and one more thing that learned is so important: having a good support system, people that you can count on for when things hit you left and right- just like J* has her JD. Just like I have the best hubby who took time off from work to take care of our little girl while I went running after my dream in Seattle. And just like this little girl, who makes my heart go boom boom every time she looks at me, and makes me want to be the best I can be for her.

Because it's important that she knows, that it's important to live your dreams.


Jewel said...

I loved watching Jasmine Star and the Creativelive five!

Wonderful post. You summed up many of J*'s most important points very eloquently. The idea that you must follow your dreams and jump from the cliff not only for yourself, but as a way to set an example for those who look up to you is beautiful! I'm looking forward to seeing the lovely work you do.

Melanie said...

This is a great post! Thank you so much for taking the time to write these behind the scenes posts for everyone. I really enjoyed reading this.

Jasmine said...

So glad to hear you're back home and with your it! :)

Victoria (AKA KookyCatChick) said...

Well said Audrey. I can't wait to watch from the sidelines as you put all these great ideas into action and move your business forward. You are an amazing woman with the heart and soul to make it happen and I'm rooting for you all the way.

John Lewis Photography said...

Hi Audrey, you have clearly had a wonderful experience, I hope things go well for you in the future. Thanks for summing up the course so well, I am going to print off this post and study the points you have raised. They seem to just about outline the whole event.

It was the strangest thing, having tuned in for so many hours I felt like I was invited to the wedding not an intruder or outsider, it really was a great experience.


Peter Hearl said...

Great post Audrey, well summed up. I to am going to make some big changes to me and my business after watching Jasmines course.

Best of luck to you,

Many thanks to jasmine,JD and the Creativelive team.

ajira said...

I have the same exact motivation... I want to model a life lived fully and with love to my now seventeen month old. He is divine and I am grateful.

Lourdes said...

great post!! I've been kind of following your blog since I saw you on CreativeLive with Jasmine* and JD. I have to say.. i feel so jealous for what you guys (the creativeLive 5) have gone trough! and can't wait to see how this experience changes your business, your photography and your life! I wish you the best and promise to stay tuned!
Lourdes, the ArgentinianImported in Belgium!

Shannon Gillespie said...

Your baby is just so beautiful. And she's going to be so proud to have such a loving and talented mother :)

Kelvin said...

I was watching the class most of the time but you are so lucky that you can attended in person. I was overwhelmed with info. My notes are here and here
I am still digesting them. Let me know if I miss something.

Catie Ronquillo said...

Ooooh merci beaucoup! For sharing your story, your perspective, and most of all you. I've totally enjoyed following your blog since the CreativeLive course, and can't wait to see what unfolds for you! :) Great post!

Ale said...

Hola! :) Newcomer from Creative Live.

What drew me most to you is your EXCITEMENT! I feel that way a lot of times with photography, my mind running 100 miles a minute full of ideas and inspiration. J* is incredibly honest and giving! SO happy that you were able to take so much away like we were. Happy jumping ;)

Audrey said...

So many new faces around the blog - thank you all for stopping by and telling a bit about yourself, your life, your dreams....I love it! I feel like I just got myself a big new family :)

Anonymous said...

Beautifully said! It is a perfect recap of such an amazing weekend. I can't wait to watch your business grow!

Ria said...

Audrey - Thank you for this post! I am so grateful that you shared what you learnt with us all. The advice is sound, and the inspiration thrilling - it was so great watching you all! Live your dreams - can't wait to see you flourish.
p.s. your baby girl is beautiful!

Cindyu said...

I've watched LIVE as much as possible and then purchased the downloads to watch again and again. I enjoyed so, so much watching all of you soak up all J* had to offer. What an incredible experience it must have been!! Congratulations on being chosen. You made probably the one point I needed to hear most...that EVERY photo doesn't have to be PERFECT! I think that has been the thing that most holds me back. Thank you and good luck to you on this journey that is just so much darn fun!!!!

William said...

Great post Audrey. I'm going to work on the 10x10 for sure.