Masthead header

You can see the train wreck coming from a mile away: “No, I really want the lime green with fuschia and brown dots.” “Nah, I don’t need business insurance.  Nothing bad has happened to me so far.” “I’d rather just let my kids dress themselves for the photoshoot.” Yeah.  You don’t even need that situation […]

View full post »

  • Allison - I was totally “I know all of this” proud, until you used the personality traits example “intelligent, industrious” vs “stubborn, envious”… that blew my mind. It really is all in how you word it!

    PS – I want to go on vacation with you. These locations are gorgeous. 😀ReplyCancel

  • Kim - Great stuff!!!ReplyCancel

  • Glady Anne - All of this is SO true! I have attempted using these methods in the past. What I find hard to do is avoid the “but”!
    Your examples are always the best 😉ReplyCancel

  • Alexandre - Jenika, you are awesome.
    I really enjoy your blog posts as well as your writing style.
    I believe that psychology is huge in portrait photography.
    Thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Great timing as I head into an extended weekend with family! All the parenting styles converge and tension is palpable. Feel slightly armed with an agreeable approach! Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Rosie - SO brilliant and easy to understand. I will absolutely be using this advice!ReplyCancel

  • Monique - Love the article (as always) and have to throw out a props to Marketog. I enrolled in the first course last fall and still refer to my binder and the website. So worth every dime!ReplyCancel

  • Brenda - Sound advice for sure. I personally try to always see both sides of the coin (it’s just my nature), but sometimes my own stubbornness wins. This post is a great reminder that others are just as passionate about their own beliefs as I am about mine :-)

    Thanks Jenika!ReplyCancel

  • Andrew Hind - Great post and I think that it is actually a fairly natural thing to do to come alongside someone at the start and agree with them however (but!) very difficult not to then use the BUT word and undermine your good work – thank you so much for articulating this.

    I am also a firm believer in the existence of what I call “the angry people” – no matter what you say or do they will always be looking for a fight and they seem to thrive on conflict. Up against one of those you just need to know when you are beat – life’s too short!!ReplyCancel

  • Rana - Thank you for writing this! This is useful in communication with clients and is also extremely useful in dealing with stubborn people in daily life as well! THANK YOU!ReplyCancel

  • Norrelle - Hello! I’m new to your site, and am so impressed. I’m 21, and finishing up my portfolio. I’m hoping to soon be ready to start doing paid sessions, and have been a little nervous about it because I am more on the quiet and timid side. I haven’t worked with anyone difficult … YET! But I know they’re out there. Thanks for the advice!ReplyCancel

  • Christopher Pontine - Hey There,

    Your totally right when you state

    “For one thing, straight-up arguing usually backfires and results in them becoming more convinced of their own position. They’ll generate more and more reasons why they’re right, convincing themselves even further along the way.”

    Arguing never has a great outcome for both.

    Great article!!


    Christopher PontineReplyCancel

A determined knock at your front door interrupts your afternoon. You open it and no one is there.  Oh wait.  Your gaze drops down two feet and you see a spectacled kid in a soccer uniform. “I’m raising money for A+ Soccer,” he chirps.  “Do you want to buy a $5 raffle ticket?” You have […]

View full post »

  • Sophia - Hey! What took you so long to blog? I expect an apology. Haha just kidding. :)

    Just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your blog. Thank you for sharing your wisdom! :)ReplyCancel

    • Jenika - LOL Sophia! Glad you’ve been following along. Thanks for coming back and for your kind note. :-)ReplyCancel

  • Allison - Well this is timely… I just finished week 1 of Marketog (yes, I waited until July to start it, even though I purchased it in March) and it’s been well worth it so far. Even though the first week is about identifying your ideal client – something I’ve done before – it gave me some really great ideas on how to start marketing better. Week 2 starts today, and you’ve energized me to keep going!
    Happy Summer, Jenika!ReplyCancel

  • Andrew Hind - We are always told to start high up and then to make our way down but it’s really helpful to think through why this works so well. I’m not sure it really is blatant manipulation – it depends on how it’s done and the underlying motivation. Of course we all want to make a decent living and get paid a reasonable amount for our work but, as long as you still have your client’s best interest at heart, and you are offering a fantastic product for the money I don’t see any harm in this type of “manipulation”.ReplyCancel

  • Rana - I love the concept of anchoring, and it how I have my pricing guide listed. But I really love the psychology behind it- because it tells me WHY is works! Thank you for sharing!

    I have wanted to do the Marketog class since Jamie’s first class but it is not in my budget for the year. Maybe 2014!ReplyCancel

  • Maria - Hi, here is a question:
    once i announce the prices of my seminar (self-awareness-psychology) from my web page how come the client will negotiate that price? I think it will be rejected or not accordingly to his pocket or his needs. In all cases it seems to me that i cannot interact with the client. That’s why i made some experiments and have concluded that if it is given a low price they will participate more than if i give a high price and if nobody comes then i have to reduce the first price which doesn’t honor nor the seminar neither me. What is your advise or any other idea?
    Thank you,
    Maria X.ReplyCancel

  • Kara Whaley - I’m rereading this again. I love all your posts, but this one sticks with me! I’m revamping my pricing, this is so useful.

    Thank you!ReplyCancel

Meet Angry Jenika: (Why yes, that is me wearing a shower cap covered in shaving cream.  I have no explanation other than:  Such things happen when you hang out with Kristen Kalp.) Not many people ever meet Angry Jenika – but you know what the quickest way to meet her is? To blog (or facebook, […]

View full post »

  • Kelly Pettis - The shaving cream photo reminded me of a song I lip sinc’d in 6th grade… the chorus line was – Shaving Cream, be nice and clean, shave every day and you’ll always look clean.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - Oh, how I needed to read this. Thank you. I haven’t written in almost a week (my usual is 5/wk) and I couldn’t get to the writing in my head without getting through an explanation first. Now considering your advice, I’m just going to write. TADA!ReplyCancel

  • Sontera - Holy freakin’ amen!!!! I have thought the same exact thing for so long! I hate going to read a blog post and see that opening liner. We are all busy, that’s life, don’t remind me. I hope a bazillion people read this! Thank you for writing this! :)ReplyCancel

  • Olga - Great tips! I agree 100%. There is no such excuse as “being busy”. If you really WANT to do something you will find the time to do it!ReplyCancel

  • Cynthi - Amen! This is seriously one of my biggest pet peeves. And I know I was guilty of it in the beginnings of my blog, but I stopped when I started seeing all over other people’s blogs. And suddenly when I began to see that as a consumer I realized all those tacky things that you’ve pointed out so nicely here. Thanks for the awesome post, as usual!ReplyCancel

  • Leanda - I heard of the ‘touch it once’ idea in relation to emails a few years ago and it’s something I have found particularly helpful. I’d never thought to apply it to education! What a great idea, excuse me while I slink away to finish Irresistible Words…. 😉ReplyCancel

  • Leanda - So sorry! I replied to the wrong blogpost!!!! hahaReplyCancel

  • Sarah Shotts - This is so true! For any platform.

    My sister and I also have a vlog and our only rule for ourselves is not making videos about how we haven’t made videos. So many people do this!

    After all as a reader when the blogger/vlogger/newsletter is back we want to hear more of what they’re good at… not excuses.ReplyCancel

  • tracy - great tip and I always feel guilty not posting on my blog enough but will no longer feel I have to apologise! thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Heidi Thompson - I LOVE this post Jenika! Showcasing poor time management on your blog like that is NOT a good idea.ReplyCancel

  • LK Hunsaker - I agree! except for one thing: I’m a sporadic blogger and I’m sure my loyal readers are quite used to that and they don’t seem to mind. Still, when I blog, the views are good. Post tags. They do wondrous things such as bring in new people who haven’t the faintest idea or concern about how long it’s been since your last post. No, you won’t disappear into nothingness if you’re sporadic or away for a while. No, you don’t have to be regular. Yes, we all have plenty of other things to read. I prefer blogs that aren’t too constant, to be honest. I can’t stand to go read a blog post that sounds like filler just so the blogger is constant. Waste of my time.ReplyCancel

    • Jenika - Hey Loraine! Thanks for your note!

      I don’t think we actually disagree; I’m saying consistency (e.g. expectation-setting) is important, not regularity. If you’re consistently sporadic, you’ve set an expectation for how often they should hear from you so they know that they should come back later. That’s what I was arguing for at the end – if you can’t or don’t want to blog regularly then own it.

      I also can’t stand filler. I understand why people do it. But if they feel compelled to create filler, they should just set a new standard of consistency (“now blogging 2x a month instead of 4″) so people know when to come back.

      I get what you’re saying though – that you can leave without explanation and come back. Of course. I think so doing will probably lose you a far amount of traffic unless you do it regularly and people know that they should come back. You’re hurt the most amongst new readers who haven’t made visiting your site a habit yet…if you’ve already got a pack of faithful followers then they’ll probably wander back. I do think expectation setting is a good principle to be teaching though, so that’s why I wrote what I did :-)ReplyCancel

  • LK - Jenika, agreed! And if you’re sporadic, you should have the email when updated option available. I shared your tag line blog on my FB page. Great post! Glad I found you through Project Underblog.ReplyCancel

  • Kristen - ::mwah::ReplyCancel

  • courtney bowlden - Thank you!!!! I needed to hear (or read) this. I do feel guilt, but I will never say sorry for being “busy” again. I truly just hate blogging.ReplyCancel

  • Tara Eveland - I’ve never really thought of it like that, but so true! I’m going to have to go and check my blog now and see just how much I’ve done this, if I have done this on my business blog, I know I do it too much on my personal blog :) Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Yannis Larios | Greece Wedding Photographer - So true! That’s why I also omitted the dates at the posts in my blog. I am not sure that they were of interest to anyone, let alone they were giving away if I was late in blogging or not!ReplyCancel

  • Adam - Hi Jenika,

    I found your blog through top 10 blogs of 2014 and I absolutely love your writing style already!

    When I started off with some of my other projects I made some of the above mistakes listed but the whole “Sorry, I’ve been busy.” line is a total cop-out on most peoples part. I let go of that line a long time because seriously with my day job and my personal life and side businesses yes I may be busy but so is everyone else.

    Personally this is my favorite segment though – “And if you can’t or don’t want to be consistent – own it. Admit it. Let go of the angst, it shows through anyway. Blog when you blog.”

    I found out a long time ago if I try writing when I’m not in the mood or really feeling the topic it becomes harder and harder to write and stay focused on the subject. However when I get that feeling of being creative at a certain time I put pen to paper and let the words flow.ReplyCancel

  • Anthony - Makes sense. I read (sorry, cant remember the book) that when starting presentations, even if you’re late, dont start with an apology and explaining why you’re late. It diminishes your credibility. Good advice.ReplyCancel

  • Rana - I know for many people it is hard to remember WHEN to blog. You get caught up in your day to day life and work that it just sometimes slips. I found it really helpful to set a weekly reminder when my blog post is due using the Asana to-do list app.

    It is just a gentle reminder that I am do for a post. Personally, I try to post once a week. Whether that be client sessions, or information that my potential clients will find useful!ReplyCancel

  • E. Harkins - Thank you so much for the great advice!ReplyCancel

  • Shelley - OMG, thank you for this post! I am embarrassed to realize that this is so me! And after reading this, I realized I hate it too. I just went back through my blog posts and deleted some of those sentences. At first I wondered if that was something I should do, but then I thought, “hey, it’s my blog” :)
    So thank you again!ReplyCancel

  • Celia G | Breakfast at Target - I had a yoga instructor recently tell me, “I hate when I ask people ‘How have you been?’ and they respond, ‘Oh, just SO busy!’ – it’s like their time and to do’s are more important than anyone else’s.” It was a slap in the face but ironically a welcome because I know I had been guilty of that. It really was selfish of me and honestly a little pretentious to think people were sitting around their computers waiting for me to post… and if we really are all “so busy,” then goodness knows I don’t need to make excuses or remind people of my whereabouts because it’s LIFE for cryin’ out loud. I think for myself I felt like I was falling behind; but once I realized I was taking time to produce quality work, I didn’t feel that at all. Great post and thanks for getting this out there!ReplyCancel

  • Helen - Dagnamit! I’m afraid this is me from time to time. I love my blog, it’s a great asset to my business but when I’m shooting lots it gets neglected. I’m guilty as charged for apologising to my ‘readers’ and making weak excuses! Thanks for the post, really good to get a sharp rap on the knuckles to steer me in the right direction! xReplyCancel

  • Michelle - OMG – I could not agree more!!!!!! Thank you for this awesome article.ReplyCancel

I’ve watched people wait to launch entire businesses, websites, and blogs until they “get the tagline right.” And writing a tagline can be a peculiar kind of torment…trying to distill your entire life’s work, your months of planning, your sleepless hours of dedication into six measly words?  Have fun! Yes, a good tagline can be a magic […]

View full post »

  • Charlotte Reeves - Great post as per usual Jenika! I’ve been using “telling your pet’s story” as my tagline for years, but have recently expanded it to say “telling your pet’s story with light, location and expression” – as I feel those 3 elements are very important aspects of my work. Now though, I feel it’s a bit long! I’m going to work through and see if I can shorten it to make it more succinct, based on your advice. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Marit Welker - I was content with my tagline until I read this. Major food for thought! Still love the message of my tagline, but now, I need to present it shorter and more succinctly! Thanks for the inspiration!ReplyCancel

  • Katie Doherty - This article ROCKS! So happy I came across it. Lots of good ideas.ReplyCancel

Note:  Physical health is more than just ‘not being ill,’ and so is mental health.  Sometimes people say “mental health” when they’re trying to put a supposedly more positive spin on “mental illness” – but it’s something we should all pay attention to.  The opinions in this post aren’t just directed toward those living with […]

View full post »

  • Brooke Snow - This is just sooooo good :) I’ve never thought of having a mental health plan in the same way that you mention it here, but it is so vital! My own personal trigger is not getting enough time to myself… it makes a world of difference for me when I get time alone in the mornings to start my day on a good mental note and then I typically need a mid day break from parenting where I can have time alone again and having some time at night helps too…If I have those small moments to myself I handle all the rest of life with so much more grace :) Thanks for your thoughtful post!ReplyCancel

  • Tonya Damron - what a view!ReplyCancel

  • Suumin Birks - Thanks so much for this post Jenika! I’m an illustrator, not a photographer, but I’m a massive fan of your blog and the insights that you provide on here. I’m sure most creatives (actually, scratch that, most people) are familiar with the “Things are going so well!!!” “Oh no they’re not…” kind of thinking cycle and its awesome to have some good processes to be able to prepare for and deal with that. Love it!ReplyCancel

  • Bethany - Thank you so much for your post! I got out my paper and went through the three steps. Very enlightening! When I’m not right in the middle of being overwhelmed, it was so much easier to figure out a better way to respond to various stressful situations. And they should be really easy things to implement. Love that! One trigger for me is my kids whining. The minute they start, it’s like a little monster comes out of me. :) Instead of reacting though, I have decided I need to take a deep breath, go down to their level and explain that it overwhelms me and then help them to resay whatever they are trying to say without the whining. Sounds so simple, and should make a big difference! Thanks again for your post!ReplyCancel

  • Kristin Kozelsky - Thank you so much for this! It’s perfect timing for me. I’ve been slowly coming out of a long period of depression and one of the things I find helpful is getting outside for either a short jog or walk each morning. Next step is definitely identifying those triggers and making response plans. Thanks for the insight!ReplyCancel

  • Corporate photography - I agree completely with your need for mental health plan. It is indeed the need of the hour for professional photographers today!ReplyCancel

  • Mabyn Ludke - You write how I think. I’m going to be here a lot! :) Thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Jay Banks - I was never thinking about mental health in the way of making a list of concrete situations that made me angry. I used this method to find out the real reasons behind them what helped me to realize that my main trigger is when people don’t keep their promises. That’s very important for any business, I guess. Thank you, I see it more clearly and I’ll try to follow your steps.ReplyCancel

  • Apulia Weddings & Leisure - Very inspiring! I need to try this, thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Tara - Wow this is a great post! I just shared it with some friends in fact because I have honestly never thought of this! This post right here is why I LOVE this site! Keep up the great work and thank you for taking the time to run this site.
    For me I will say that my triggers are when I don’t spend enough time in putting God FIRST, as in daily devotional quite time/praying/ext. that I do lose my patience faster, I get agitated with myself and things that go wrong much easier, and I’ve been implementing some big changes already in my life to correct this, so reading this post just reassured me that I am on the right path. Some people need a daily early morning jog, or a starbucks with a friend, for me its my religion and feeling that I am spiritually feeding my soul, mind, body through the word of the Lord before I try to tackle any of that days worries and stresses :)ReplyCancel

  • Si Young - I explained to my son that you can’t buy time, so do your best to enjoy it.. Great article..
    All best