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Come Tell Me About Yourself | De-Lurk Day 2014

Come Tell Me About Yourself | De-Lurk Day 2014What I love most about writing this blog is that I happen to have the best blog readers on the entire planet.

If the Internet is a big city, full of glittering attractions alongside boring perfunctory necessities and weird subcultures, then I like to think of this blog as that favorite little bookstore-cafe.

You know, that one where there are comfy cushioned seats everywhere, and as you lean back in your chair after finishing your croissant with hot chocolate, you spot a dusty volume with an intriguing title and proceed to spend the rest of the afternoon absorbed in pages worn soft by readers who came before you.

(By the way – you KNOW if I actually ran a bookstore-cafe we’d have the best freaking croissants and hot chocolate in the city.  You deserve nothing less.)

And before you know it you say “Whoa, is it really 5pm?”

Because such a place would surely collect the likes of you – a smart, interesting friend full of big dreams fueled by desire and effort and sweat and confusion and heart.

It seems only fitting that once a year I turn the mic over to you.

You make this blog what it is.

You put up with my propensity for inventing words and writing excessively long posts that seem to break the rules about how long a blog post “should” be.  (I’m amazed by how often you guys will actually read 2,000 words.  It’s impressive.)

You tell me interesting, heart-wrenching stories, share observations on the things we talk about, and write me beautiful thank-you notes when something touches you.

So now, it’s your turn:

De-Lurk City

For those of you who tend to lurk in the shadows, lending your energy but not usually your voice, today’s the day to introduce yourself.

For those of you who DO speak up and leave comments regularly, this is your chance to tell me more about yourself.  Because you rarely get to hear someone’s background, even if you “see them around” regularly.

Take 30 seconds (or however many you’d like) and tell us all the following in a comment:

1) What’s your name, and where do you call home?

(Side note:  I seem to get an enormous number of notes from photographers in the UK named Andrew.  Seriously, how many Andrews do you guys have over there?  Do you have Andrew meetups?)

2) What kind of business are you in & what does your business do for you?

3) What “people issues” would you love to see explored here on the blog?  (This one helps me help you, folks.)

Oh, oh, and before you run off to type –

You already know that my favorite thing in the world is to geek out with you about psychology.  I mean….I studied it for seven years for a reason.  😉  It’s powerful, useful stuff.

I’d like to send you a couple secret missions to complete around back-to-school time. 

They won’t be hard, just amazing.  I want you to come geek out with me in a way we’ve never done before.

If you’d like to get in on this, just drop your name and email below, and you’ll get geekout priority:




I look forward to reading every word.  Probably while eating a croissant.  🙂



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  1. Candace on July 30, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    1) What’s your name, and where do you call home?
    Candace, I’m in TN (USA)

    2) What kind of business are you in & what does your business do for you?
    I’m an artist and writer, and I’m trying to develop a way to create e-courses around this. What does my business do for me? Not a lot lately, tbh. I’m doing a total site redesign at the moment (almost finished!) that will allow me to really highlight what I do and be more active in my own community.

    3) What “people issues” would you love to see explored here on the blog?
    I know I’m quirky, but I don’t think I’m THAT off. People don’t seem to respond to my copy as much as I would like, and I’m not sure why. Beyond that, I know networking is important for my business, but I absolutely detest it. I’m an introvert and tend to be a bit of a loner anyway, so maybe that’s why. Either way, I need to find a way to not hate it so much, or better yet, find a better way to do it that is more ‘my style’.

  2. Tiffany Wichert on July 30, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    1) What’s your name, and where do you call home?

    Tiffany, just outside of Philadephia

    2) What kind of business are you in & what does your business do for you?

    I am a professional photographer and my business allows me the freedom to create and be successful.

    3) What “people issues” would you love to see explored here on the blog?

    SALES!!! It is so hard to know how to push without being pushy and what makes people buy and what turns them off. How do you make better feel like they have arrived at the best decision (and at your best price point)

  3. Ashley on July 30, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Hi 🙂 I’m Ashley, and I currently call the beautiful city of Charleston SC home. I’m married to AF Pilot, so really that could change at any time!

    I am a photographer, specializing in lifestyle (oh if I never had to pose another person I would be oh so happy!), family, children and generational. My business has brought me so much joy and a feeling of adding something back to this world. God lead me to do it, and I have been so blessed. I love to learn (a nurse by ‘education’) and consider myself a life long student. My business has given me that opportunity!

    How do you convince people that they need what you are selling (I know you’ve done some one this before, i think). I receive so much joy in the photos that are taken while my daughter is playing/learning/living, and I want to share that with everyone! But everyone seems to want the family session at the beach…or park…or wherever!

    Your blog has been such a blessing to me as I started (and continue) on this journey! Thank you!

  4. Eli Trier on July 30, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    1)I’m Eli and I currently live in Bristol, UK

    2) I’m a self-employed illustrator & designer and I get to work from home and basically spend the majority of my time playing with paint and colour. I love my job!

    3) First of all, thank you for writing such an interesting an informative blog. I have found it extremely useful and informative. I’m always interested to read about the psychology of marketing and buying decisions.

    Thanks again for producing such great content!
    Eli xx

  5. Tyler on July 30, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    Hi Jenika!

    I’m Tyler, from a little town outside Boston, Massachusetts. Population 5000, and we’re literally a one-stoplight town. I’ve lived there all my life and also spent a lot of time in Boston, so I’m neither a city person nor a country person. Or maybe I’m both. 🙂

    I’m a people photographer, both posed and candid, but not in the retail market. I primarily shoot for commercial and editorial clients. My true love is the railroad industry where I work as a freelance journalist for the main magazine in the industry. I pitch stories to the magazine staff, then report, photograph, research, and write the entire piece. I also work in the industry as a volunteer advertising photographer for a railroad museum.

    I think of photography as my backstage pass to life. I’ve dodged trains in subway tunnels, shot backstage during a theatre show, and scratched zoo animals behind the ears. I’m still trying to figure out how to make a living at it (I’m a full-timer) but if it were easy, everybody would do it!

    What “people issues” would I like to see written about here? My principal struggle is trying to keep my career separate from the rest of my life. I’m stuck with labels and identity — I am a photographer, so when photography is going poorly, I feel bad about my whole life. Your “mental health for business owners” post was something that very few people talk about. I’d like to see more about how to weather this miserable, wonderful, beautiful chaos that’s life as a pro photographer.

    Keep up the wonderful work!


  6. Jen McLeod on July 30, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Hi. I’m Jen. I live in Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada (you probably don’t know where that is). I run a busy boutique portrait and wedding photography business. My focus is families. I love families. I’ve gotten a lot from your blog in the few short months that I’ve been reading it. It’s moved me to stop procrastinating. It’s made me make moves. What I’d like to see touched on more is how to turn those passive inquiries into sales. Help! What do I say? Am I talking to much? Do I pick up the phone and call rather than responding to an email? Help!

  7. Allison on July 30, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    1. I’m Allison from southern California

    2. I own and run a software company that helps event rental businesses manage their inventory and rental orders. I love helping clients become more efficient and PROFITABLE while they get to spend more time enjoying their businesses and their customers.

    3. I’ve been on a behavioral economics kick for a few years now so your content fits really well with a lot of my interests. As a small business owner and an observer of small business owners, I’ve often seen people make decisions for really whacky reasons. I’m always interested in thinking about motivations, incentives, persuasion, and how to help people make better decisions…. not just decisions that feel good in the impulsive moment but become very regrettable (and disastrous) later.

    P.S. Thanks for doing what you do. You’re a beacon of light in a world of fluffy insubstantial “help” for small business owners.

  8. Jenna Wren on July 30, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    1) What’s your name, and where do you call home?

    My name is Jenna Wren, and I call Colorado Springs, Colorado home ;). I grew up in Tennessee and moved to Colorado with my husband 4 years ago…and I haven’t looked back since! I love Colorado!!!

    2) What kind of business are you in & what does your business do for you?

    I am natural light portrait photographer. My business gives me a massive creative outlet and the opportunity to work from home so I can be with my little 18 month old son Sawyer more! I JUST left teaching this year, after 4 years of teaching English at the high school level, to take a huge leap of faith and follow my heart and passion. Plus, I was teaching and running the business and feeling so run down as a parent and a person. Honestly, my business is a place of healing, balance, “zen”, and wholeness that I’ve been searching for for a while. It isn’t the business itself that is bringing these things, but the ability to call the shots, set my own hours, take better care of myself, fuel my heart and soul, balance my home life as a mom, wife, friend etc., practice yoga and meditation early in the morning (because we all know teaching hours are crazy early!), and just give back to people through my photography in ways I couldn’t do as a teacher or anything else.

    3) What “people issues” would you love to see explored here on the blog? (This one helps me help you, folks.)

    I would love to know how to really trust myself and have confidence in my work so that I’m confident stepping out of myself to market and reach people. I would love to know how to give back more to my community without necessarily undercutting my business earnings in a bad way. I’m a giver and want to share this gift I’ve been given with others who maybe can’t afford my prices or who need a little photography love. I have some ideas for charities and specialized rates for like military families, etc…but I’d like ideas that don’t cheapen the work I do have but still give to those who need.

    Thank you so much, Jenika!

  9. Cindy Palmer on July 30, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    Hi! I’m Cindy, and home is where the Navy takes my family.

    I primarily shoot beauty photography…boudoir, glamour, pinup, seniors, but also shoot weddings and families on occasion. Also trying to start a fine art line. It makes me feel like I contribute to people feeling good about themselves.

    As far as people issues, I’d like to know how to get them over their fears and have some self confidence to even come in and book a session. Getting them to get past their “need to loose a few pounds” train of thought is difficult.

  10. Marie on July 30, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Hi Jenika,

    Me: Amateur photographer in Texas, but aspiring to professional status… someday….

    My Question: In a such a crowded field, how does one lay claim to anything like authority (especially when someone is still early in the steep learning curve of this craft)? Or is that a cart-before-horse issue?

    Always enjoy reading your insights. You rock!! Thanks for sharing. 😀


  11. Madeline on July 30, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    I’m Madeline and I’m from Swansea, South Wales.

    I’m a portrait photographer, specialising in maternity, baby and family photography. I’m working on refining my photography to be more ‘lifestyle’ and am also starting to incorporate Beloved into my sessions, which so far I really love!

    As far at the ‘people issues’ I’d be interested in seeing, I think Tyler made a great suggestion about keeping career separate from the rest of your life. I’m also interested in the psychology of marketing and what makes people go from a casual interest to really wanting what I’m selling!

    I also just want to say how much I love reading all your posts. I have a degree in Psychology and Philosophy and always sort of felt it was wasted as I never ‘used’ it. I love feeling like, actually, I can put what I learnt to use in business!

  12. Jean on July 30, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Hi! I’m Jean! And I too live in a little town outside of Boston (population 5000). How weird is that? We, however are a no stoplight town. I moved here from New York City (a many stoplight town) and am trying to reestablish myself in a place that’s totally different from where I started. I photograph weddings and family portraits and I’m great at what I do but I feel a struggle with trying to convince people of that when I meet up with them. I too easily forget that people don’t assume that I know what I’m doing and I have to prove myself to them. Thanks and I love your site!

  13. Dena McMullen on July 30, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Hello Jenika and fellow lurkers!

    My name is Dena McMullen. I live in the best town ever known as Waco, Texas… Okay, maybe it’s not “the best”, but I live here so it’s gotta be pretty great, right? 😛

    My life consists of many amazing people that I call friends and family. One of which is my wonderful husband who has been by my side for EVER. We dated (on & off once) for 7 years before we decided to finally tie the knot. Marriage isn’t all glitter & unicorns, I’ve learned, but it is definitely worth fighting for. We don’t have any kiddos yet, but we have 5 nephews & 2 nieces to keep us busy for now!

    I *am* a maternity and family photographer, but unfortunately I do not have the pleasure of doing it full time just yet! I’ve been working as a full time accounts payable clerk for the past 3 years… *snore* I’m constantly working toward doing what I love full time… I will get there soon, I pray. I might not be successful right away, but I’ll be happy, right?!

    Some “people struggles” I’d like to see more of: how to TALK to people. LOL. I’m sooo not a social butterfly, so more info on making clients like you (not forcefully of course… That’d be creepy) would help.

    Welp, that’s me! I’ve been de-lurked! 🙂

    Dena McMullen

  14. Victoria Hershman on July 30, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    Hello! I would consider myself a lurker. I always, ALWAYS read, yet never comment. <3

    My name is Victoria, and I'm from all over. I call South Georgia (where I was raised) and Central Virginia (where my heart loves) home. Currently, we're in Tennessee.

    I do own a photography business, Victoria Anne Photography. I primarily photograph births and babies, as well as the occasional military homecoming. I'm adding doula to my resume as well. I ADORE being a birth photographer and I LOVE being a doula. My greatest strength is being encouraging, and I adore having a job that allows me to do just that. Both of my jobs allow me to stay home with my children (four year old Tiny Dictator and three month old Little Minion). I homeschool and I so love being able to do that with them.

    As far as "people issues" I'd like to see addressed, I'm really not sure. Maybe how to get along with other professionals? But then, that's only wishful thinking.

    I hope you have a great day! <3

  15. Meg Wilson on July 30, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    I have just begun my lurking life in this bookstore-cafe, and I love it already!
    My name is Meg Wilson. I live in Paint Lick (yes, really) Kentucky, but I was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
    I am a wedding photographer- fine art documentary is my passion.
    Regarding the people issues that I would like to see explored here- I have so much perusing of the blog library ahead of me, I will leave that question to everyone else for now!
    Thanks for what you do here.

  16. Meri on July 30, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    1) Meri ~ I live northeast of Atlanta

    2) I’m building a photography business and a blog. I’m a SAHM with a BS in criminal justice with a concentration in criminology, so I love reading about psych stuff. 🙂

    3) I love reading about ways to deal with clients, get new ones, and keep old ones. I also love anything related to branding, marketing, and pricing. Really, I just love this blog because it combines my love of photography with nerdy, academic stuff. 🙂

  17. Katie on July 30, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    I’m Katie from Cape Town, South Africa. I’m trying to make it as a portrait and wedding photographer so that I can leave my corporate job, which currently pays the bills, but means that I barely see my toddler. I am battling with marketing to clients so that I can start to transition to being a full time photographer. I am also trying to increase my average sale so that I don’t have to shoot as often, but still bring in enough money to pay our bills. I am trying to sell more printed product rather than digital files, but it seems that digital is what is being asked for more and more. I love reading your blog posts and can’t wait to see what else you have in store for all of us.

  18. Allyson on July 30, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    St. Paul, MN
    Social work [full time – pays the bills] & photography [part time – just for fun & a little side cash]
    Interactions with clients, contracts, posing, etc. All interesting topics & I’d love the psychology take on them all.

  19. Regina Marie on July 30, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    ‘m Regina. Ive been following this blog since… well since it was a baby (somewhere I still have my postcard).

    My ‘business’ isnt even a this point. Its barely even a hobby. Ive been moving a lot and everytime I finally get to working on it, we’re about to move again. I think I need to figure out how to make travel part of my business… but when I do shoot, I do contemporary glamour, boudior, beauty… women’s portraiture.

    My people issues… I suffer from social anxiety (pretty severe social anxiety, which is probably why it always takes me so long to get started again). Other then the ‘just do it’ that people tend to spout, when very nervous around people… how do I get the word out there about my business? I just moved to the area, I dont know anyone, and I live in a mostly tourist area. (Also, Id love ideas on how to become a ‘thing to do’ when visiting town!)

    Jenika, wanted also to let you know this is probably my FAVORITE photography blog! As I mentioned been following it since it was a baby. I love the way you write, love the study of psychology in business context, heck love your website book too (still need to work on that, though). One of these days, when Im making more money, I totally need to hire you to help! (Or just to chat with, either way…)
    Ok, its becoming a book… back to my lurking.

  20. Laura Trovillion on July 30, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Hi Jenika,
    I am Laura Trovillion of Fisher Illinois.(in the midst of corn and bean fields) I met you at BrandCamp, as you were the whole reason I was there!
    Mostly I photograph high school seniors and their families. However I am also currently working on a book about the local organic farmers in our area and how lucky we are to have such amazing people, chefs, stores and other small businesses all providing fresh local food for our area. It has become a passion of mine that more people find out about the bounty that is right here where we live!In fact its kind of taking over my life, but in a good way!
    I guess I am most interested in writing in a way that makes people want to read. Not just facts and figures, but stories that people can relate to….In other words, more of the same please!!!

  21. Marie-Claire on July 30, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    1. Marie-Claire, Chester UK
    2. I’m a photographer. Set up commercial photography business FlukePhotography just over 2 years ago offering weddings, corporate, pr, events (anything unposed). Also love contemporary photography but little time to pursue my art as always so blinking busy doing Fluke but it’s fun and I’m having an awesome adventure. It’s tough but it’s stil early days, I guess.
    3. People issues are: conveying my value. I am different – just other people just see the price tag a lot of the time. Another people issue – an issue with myself: overcoming blocks to take myself to the next level and kick ass.

  22. Chelsea on July 30, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    1) What’s your name, and where do you call home?

    Chelsea from Asheville, NC

    2) What kind of business are you in & what does your business do for you?

    I just launched my photography business. It is intended to be a side-gig as a creative outlet but we also happened to just relocate so it is currently my only gig!

    3) What “people issues” would you love to see explored here on the blog?

    Since I’m so new at this, I’m not sure! Any way to resolve potential issues with clients is always good. I loved the last post about stubborn people… keep ’em comin’.

  23. Anneli on July 30, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Anneli from Finland. I rarely comment on anything but your blog is so helpful that I had to this time. I’m in the process of leaving nursing to realize my dream of working for myself and doing what I love (photography). Hopefully this fall it will be official!
    Some interesting topic ideas listed above! Thanks for the articles, you teach well 🙂

  24. Chelsea on July 30, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    1) What’s your name, and where do you call home?
    My name is Chelsea and I was born and raised in Oklahoma! I’m currently in Tulsa.

    2) What kind of business are you in & what does your business do for you?
    I’m a photographer and it makes me feel alive. I get to capture once-in-a-lifetime moments for people, and also plan creative, beautiful shoots to keep myself inspired and my skills fresh. It’s a wonderful creative outlet.

    3) What “people issues” would you love to see explored here on the blog? I’m new here (thanks to Moderntog!) and I have loved everything I’ve read so far. One thing I struggle with in my business is sticking to my business policies without sounding off-putting.
    Love your content!

  25. Valerie on July 30, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    Hiya! I’m Valerie and I live in Marysville, Ohio.

    I’m a photographer in transition…I was shooting portraits, seniors, weddings, etc, but I’m in the midst of transitioning to landscape, nature and travel photography (which is my true love and suits my introvertedness).

    People/business issues? Hmmm, I’d love to have the words to express my work better so that people are more engaged and interested in buying…especially when it’s not a portrait of them.

    PS: I’d totally sit in your cozy bookstore cafe eating croissants and sipping hot chocolate…you are so awesome at creating beauty in your words (I call reading “watching a movie in my mind” if that makes sense). 🙂

  26. Dawn on July 30, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Hi, Jenika! I’m Dawn and I live around Dallas, TX. Being a senior portrait photography business owner allows me to have a flexible schedule so I can have some family time (including 2 days/week of homeschooling) and it is also a heck of a lot of fun. A people issue I’d like to see explored on the blog is how to give the best customer service possible. This includes addressing problems effectively and going above and beyond – truly delighting my clients. Also, it would be helpful to figure out how to convey all that in a way where prospective clients can read about it somewhere on my website. Thanks, Jenika!

  27. Joanna on July 30, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    1) Joanna from Montrose, Colorado (born in Rhode Island, raised in Connecticut, educated in NYC, moved to Colorado two years ago)
    2) I’m an optometrist 45-50 hours/week, and my husband is a mechanic, but we JUST signed a lease for a studio (TODAY!!!), and we will have our Grand Opening in a few weeks. Our side photo/video business will help us pay off our student loans quicker (optometry school isn’t cheap, unfortunately). We just got married 4 months ago, so when we start having kids in a few years, I don’t want to be a workaholic and let someone else raise my kids. Heck no! So we are working our butts off now so we can enjoy our family later 🙂
    3) How to have a IPS without sounding saley. I want to start off my IPS sessions with “I don’t want to sell you anything. I will simply show you what we offer, and if anything jumps out at you, let us know.” or something, but then that almost sounds like i’m not confident in my products. I think having a studio will help us because it was less formal in our home and maybe that wasn’t professional enough for them to drop a few hundred dollars on products, but I’m still nervous. I live in a small town and I don’t want to be “that pushy photographer lady.” I’m only 26, and my husband is 23, so we have a lot more years to live in this town 🙂 We want to start our studio on the right foot!

  28. Chris Scott on July 30, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    I’m Chris and I live in Colorado Springs, CO.

    I’m in the business of helping pro photographers put more art on walls, more money in their pockets and more sessions on the calendar. =)

    I’m always up for hearing more and more about the psychology behind sales. Why people buy, why people share, what makes people want to tell others about a company or an experience.

    But really, I’m looking forward to reading anything and everything you have to say because you’re all brilliant and whatnot.

  29. Alexandra on July 30, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Hi I’m Alex based in Oxfordshire, UK. I’m a professional wedding and portrait photographer. What does my business do for me? Well not only does it allow me to have a creative outlet, it also allows me to spend precious time with my 4 y.o. son. I’m very lucky to be able to do what I do.
    What people issues do I have – I’m really poor at reading people, in fact I probably could do with a degree in psychology but I think I’d love to cover more sales – especially on selling myself to potential clients and also getting more wow reactions to my work, that would be nice!

  30. Christina Gressianu on July 30, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    I’m Christina, in Fort Collins, CO. I’m a portrait photographer and my business pushes me to overcoming my quiet, introverted-ness. I love connecting with people, but find it hard to do without a camera in my hands. People issues… I’m only ever having to overcome myself, so it’s not really issues with the people “out there”… more just the monkey in my head. Thanks!

  31. Wendy on July 30, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    1) What’s your name, and where do you call home?
    I’m Wendy from Saginaw, Michigan.

    2) What kind of business are you in & what does your business do for you?
    I photograph portraits of people, typically 1-4 of them at a time, in a relaxed lifestyle-type way.

    3) What “people issues” would you love to see explored here on the blog?

    This is a hard question! Topics that relate to marketing are always of particular interest to me. I’d also be interested in anything that relates to being in this business as an introvert and a bit awkward. Not necessarily shy and not lacking in confidence. Just introverted and I don’t mind being this way. But many things are written for the more extroverted photographer.

  32. Emma on July 30, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    Hi, I’m Emma from Christchurch, New Zealand!
    I work in admin for an electrical company, but in my “spare” time I do family and newborn photography. I’m wanting to transition from having a day job to being a freelancer but it’s scary! I also studied digital video post production and have just started collaborating with another wedding videographer and editing his footage. I love editing, being a bit of an introvert and since being switched on for a whole day photographing strangers can be draining, so I hope this collaboration is going to work out well as he’d much prefer to shoot than edit and I’m the opposite!
    As far as what I’d like to see more of on your blog – sales. I don’t really know how to make $$ doing this. For too long I charged way too low and I’m sure some people didn’t book because my prices made it look like I’m not good! Now I need to work out how to get people to actually buy things rather than the bare minimum for a shoot. I certainly used to give too much away in the packages which didn’t encourage anyone to spend any more!

    Also, I just finished going through your irresistible website worksheets and I’m currently changing my website over. I’m excited about the possibilities now!

  33. Jennifer on July 30, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    Hi! I’m Jennifer and I live in Kentucky. I have a full-time job (graphic design for a magazine) and a side pet-photography business that I’m still in the process of launching. I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts and learning from them as I was building my website and setting up various marketing materials. One of the things I struggle with is pushing myself out my introvert comfort zone … I’m in my zone when dealing with people’s dogs, cats, horses, etc., but sometimes still feel awkward in “directing” the animals’ people.
    Thanks for sharing all your insights with all of us!

  34. Wayfaring Wanderer on July 30, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    My name is Jessica (aka Wayfaring Wanderer) and I’m a wedding, engagement and lifestyle photographer based in Boone, NC. I’m known for capturing the spirit of the folks I photograph–the expressions, gestures, and details that are outward expressions of our innermost selves. I love working with couples, individuals and families who are committed to travel, adventure, and laid-back lifestyles. If you think we might be kindreds, I’d love to connect!

    I’m continually fascinated by your posts that discuss pricing and how to entice them to buy without being super salesy!

  35. Kim on July 30, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    Hi, I’m Kim from Sydney, Australia. I’m a network engineer and have worked in IT for, well, ages. I have been trying to get my photography biz off the ground for the past 3 years when I first started doing some PB shoots, then I got pregnant with our first bub and have had 2 kids in 2 years which has slowed down plans a fair bit. Getting back into gear now and wanting to focus on womens portraiture and the other things that go along with that such as families and couples. I love your blog, have missed it being a more regular part of my reading and love hearing the “why and how” behind what people do. Thanks!

  36. Natalie on July 30, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    Hi! I’m Natalie. I live in a small town right outside of Tuscaloosa, AL (USA).

    I am a new photog and aspire to focus on newborns and maternity. So far my business has not done a whole lot for me but like I said, I am just starting out. Actually had my first newborn session today. I have only done families and children in the past.

    I would love advice on how to up sales without being pushy and how to show the value in fine art to an area that is used to shoot and burn photographers.

    Thanks for sharing your talents with us! I love reading your blog!

  37. Joe on July 30, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    I am in PA. I was a photographer for 14 Yrs part-time. I shut down due to health problems. I recently retired and am in the process of going back into business again, but I am confident I can start over. I have not really enjoyed life since I shut my business down. I am sure I can do the types of photography I want to do and make a good living at it. Besides Photographing people and just about anything else keeps me feeling young. Fun things like websites and blogs are my next step.

  38. Stephanie on July 30, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    1) My name is Stephanie and I call several places home, like Munich, Suedtirol and Wanaka. Since 3 years I live in Christchurch, New Zealand.
    2) I am an artist and work as a photographer. When I photograph I am so happy and in the flow that I am not hungry at all. I forget that there is a component called “time” and I just “am”. Meeting people, seeing in their soul and creating the “soul shot” again and again makes me unbelievably grateful. I have the gift to see into people’s souls and I love the moment, when I can show the client how beautiful they are – outside and inside…
    3) Just follow your gut. You are such a wonderful writer – thank you for writing about so many interesting topics. I just love to read them. You have found your real gift. love, Stephanie

  39. Charlsie on July 30, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    Hi, My name is Charlsie Oliverson and I’m a newborn and child photographer in Kingman AZ. I started my photography business 3 years ago and I’ve already moved it 4 times since starting. It’s helped me get to know so many people in all the new areas I’ve lived. Otherwise I’m really shy and I don’t think I would put myself out there as much as I have if it wasn’t for the business side of photography. I love all the topics you discuss and find them very helpful. We are in a digital age and my hardest obstacle is to help people see the value in printed products over digital. Sometimes I feel like people get so caught up on the idea of digital they don’t really consider all of their options. Anything to help me communicate and open the minds of my clients to other possibilities we be very beneficial.

  40. Sara Arrigoni on July 30, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    I’m Sara from the Seattle area. My passion is photographing families and married couples, with my favorites being birth sessions and couples sessions for married couples (long after the honeymoon stage). I am working toward getting my photography to be a steady, reliable part of our budget, and I would like to continue that. I would like to be getting compensated fairly and set appropriate boundaries for my business… I fall prey to feeling guilty for charging friends and such. (I know, I know!).

    As for people issues… I’d love to have tips on dealing with friend inquiries (how to not feel greedy, but also how not to be giving away the farm), the best responses to initial emails that are focused mostly on price when I would like to focus more on value and what I offer, how to get people to realize that by steering them toward print and album products I am not trying to “hold out” the digitals from them but that I actually want them better served and not just ending up with a disc in the drawer, how to close the deal on an in-person sales session (I tend to do well with the “reveal of the images” but I think not good at really getting people to spend on their “wildest dreams” products–probably again because I almost feel guilty that would mean shelling out serious cash.

  41. Fritz A. Kolmerten on July 30, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    1) What’s your name, and where do you call home?Fritz I am in Zionsville, Indiana, USA
    2) What kind of business are you in & what does your business do for you? Retired teacher, work at Amazon. Want to start a B&W landscape photography business.
    3) What “people issues” would you love to see explored here on the blog? How to have enough confidence to put work out in public.

  42. Leanda on July 30, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    Hi my name is Leanda. I’m a long-time ‘lurker’ and occasional ‘commenter’.

    I live in rural Australia and I started my photography business on a shoestring about 5 years ago. I specialise in photographing families with newborns and young children.

    I’ve learnt so much from this blog and also ‘Irresistible Words”. The biggest thing I’ve learnt sofar is how to be able to word an email reply to say ‘no’ without actually saying ‘no’. Now instead of replying to wedding enquiries with “sorry, I don’t shoot weddings….” It now goes more like this “thanks so much for your email and Congratulations on your Engagement! I currently specialise in photographing Families so I’ve included a list of fantastic local wedding photographers for you below…..All the best for planning your big day!” It’s amazing how many emails I get saying thank you! With the old response I just never heard from them again!

    I enjoy reading blogposts and tips about writing, writers block, and how to give people the answer they think they want to hear, in a way that makes them see things your way 😉

    ps. thanks for all your hard work Jenika, you rock! 🙂

  43. Britanie on July 30, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    My name is Britanie and I live in a small town in Central Kentucky. Although I have only lived here a year, it is most definitely home. I have never felt so much like I belong somewhere as I do here.

    I love photography and I was running a business but right now I have two small children (4 and 2) and so I am taking a break from the actual business part for a while. I just don’t feel like I have the time or energy to put as much effort as I would like into a business. So, for now, I am a hobbyist that occasionally gets paid. Photography though, does a lot for me. I have ADHD and I can almost never focus on anything. When I am taking pictures I can focus. Everything is clear and I get into this awesome zone where nothing else matters. I seriously feel like I get high off of it.

    As far as people issues… hmmmm…. I have a really hard time talking to people. I even feel nervous just going into a bank to cash a check. I don’t know what to say to anyone and I am constantly worried that people are just going to think I am totally weird and then never talk to me again. Clearly this can be a little bit of a problem when doing portrait photography. So far, I think people generally forgive my lack of social skills because they really like my pictures but I think if I could learn how to interact with human beings and not feel like a teenager on a date with Johnny Depp every time anyone talks to me then the business side of things would really improve and I would be able to take better pictures if I could communicate what I want my clients to do.

  44. Asashia on July 31, 2014 at 12:37 am

    Hello from Silver Spring MD! I’m a full-time wife, mommy, and teacher who would love to build my photography business to the point that I could leave the classroom 🙂
    The creativity and challenge that I find through photography is invigorating and I love it!
    I honestly don’t quite know what I would love to read on the blog. I usually don’t know until it plops in my inbox and then I say “I was just thinking about that!”
    Thanks for all you do to keep us informed and motivated—a true blessing!

  45. Robyn on July 31, 2014 at 1:40 am

    1) I’m Robyn! I’ve lived and grown in Oklahoma my whole life, and it’s a great state to call home.

    2) I am a wedding photographer who loves nothing more than quirky people celebrating their love in a crazy fun fashion. I’ve lived my whole life with a camera in hand, shooting everything I could find. But capturing couples in love are where my heart truly is.

    3) I would love to hear about how someone with severe social anxiety disorder can thrive in a creative entrepreneur business! I struggle every day, but when it comes down to it I know this is what I want to do. And I head-over-heels love being a business owner. It would just help to learn how to ease up on the struggles and enjoy even the scary aspects of it. (Like speaking on the phone, and networking with other vendors.)

    This is my absolute favorite blog, and thank you for being so awesome, Jenika! <3


  46. Amy Vanderbroek on July 31, 2014 at 1:44 am

    1) What’s your name, and where do you call home?
    Hi! I’m Amy from Denver, Colorado.

    2) What kind of business are you in & what does your business do for you?
    I am a Pet Photographer so I get to hang out and have fun with people’s furry kids. I mostly love to photograph dogs in a natural outdoor setting. Right now my business isn’t doing a whole lot for me since I’m just starting out.

    3) What “people issues” would you love to see explored here on the blog?
    I would love some ideas on how to handle people who don’t return calls/emails. Wether it be other business owners or clients. Seems like people find it easier to just ignore you…even if you’re super nice.

  47. Mary on July 31, 2014 at 1:46 am

    Oh Jenika I LOVE. THIS. BLOG.

    1) What’s your name, and where do you call home?

    Mary, I live in Santa Maria CA that’s just in between Pismo Beach and Santa Barbara. Pretty awesome.

    2) What kind of business are you in & what does your business do for you? I am a family photographer- newborn, maternity, baby, family, etc. my business helps me use my brain and meet new people. Two kids 2&4, it’s nice to go and be a grown up and use my art once in awhi- no, like all the time. But I try not to get too busy.

    3) What “people issues” would you love to see explored here on the blog? (This one helps me help you, folks.)

    you’ve covered so much of what I didn’t even know I needed to know. You know? So I’m sure you have touched on everything. But some of the issues I have are keeping people on deadlines, they take forever and get stuck on choosing images from their galleries. Usually this isn’t a problem as I get them to choose while I’m there at our viewing appt. but sometimes I do have out of town shoots and that’s a correspondence bowl of spaghetti.

    I also have such a hard time up selling. I am a soft sell girl, but even people who express interest in a product just won’t pull the trigger.

    Also, scheduling at times when I’m available. My clients want me to work weekends and whenever and I have to get sitters lined up in advance for those cute kids I told you about. I sweetly tell them when I shoot and why and usually they are fine with it but things can get out of hand easily.

    Oh and one more thing! I just recently had a client who didn’t “feel right” about the poses I was asking of her, didn’t like how her images looked and it just went on and on, with her very nicely wriggling out of everything and asking for more. Exhausting.

    Anyway again- you’re the best of the best

  48. Marisa on July 31, 2014 at 1:47 am

    Hi I’m Marisa from Cadence & Grace Photography in Melbourne Australia (and I am a serial lurker on this site)! I photograph weddings and family lifestyle sessions – which I would like to shoot a lot more of.

    My key people issue, is getting brides to meet with me. They are very much in a research phase when they are planning which for a lot of them means they are not receptive to meeting straight away. If we meet, then they generally book. I want to know how to make them comfortable with meeting so that when they are ready to book I am top of mind.

  49. Michelle on July 31, 2014 at 2:11 am

    G’day! It’s Michelle from Canberra, Australia!
    My 9-5 business is mostly corporate/advertising. My passion is travel photography!
    I am fortunate that my 16 y.o. son has wanted to pursue a career in photography also, so now photography has also become our quality time together 🙂
    My current issue with a small handful of clients at the moment is that they like my work so much that they push me for ALL of the photos from the shoot, & I struggle to make them understand that it is not possible as I have built my reputation on the high quality collection I deliver to them. This makes them feel like they aren’t getting everything they paid for, which is frustrating… Cheers!

  50. shelle on July 31, 2014 at 3:09 am

    I’m shelle and I’m lurking from Edmonds, WA. I am a very part-time pet photographer but love macro work and love the post processing stuff. I’m not much of a sales person but perhaps you could explore how the mindset of the photographer may dictate how a photography session and sales session goes. If the photographer really doesn’t care if the client buys a small or large amount of product does the client feel more relaxed and more likely to buy more then they expected? Wondering because this just happened to me. The client was very enthusiastic (which is so fun) but I really, really didn’t care and (bless his heart) he bought way more then he thought he would.

    Love the blog. Thanks Jenika.

  51. Asya Spears on July 31, 2014 at 3:35 am

    My name is Asya and I am currently living life in Los Angeles! I am new to your blog and excited to learn more!

    I specialize in portraits and special events, including conferences, workshops and parties! I started taking photos for events I attended then realized that I loved documenting the day to share with others. Right now, my business serves as a great counterpoint to my graduate studies, and I can definitely see it continuing to grow after I am done with school.

    Do you have any insights on market to students? I think everyone deserves a stunning headshot but we have been taught to pinch pennies. With the popularity of camera phones, what are some key ways to differentiate a custom portrait session from a smartphone shoot?

  52. Julie on July 31, 2014 at 3:43 am

    I’m Julie, and I’m a portrait photographer in Portland, Oregon! I don’t read all the time, but man, do I love your blog! Every time I read one amazing article I wish that I could somehow read all of your great posts at once. (Like a book of your greatest hits that people could keep on the desk to read once a month! :D)
    I have no idea what issues I want to explore. All of them? 🙂 That’s why I come here, to see what interesting things you talk and teach about!

  53. Leigh on July 31, 2014 at 4:39 am

    Hey! My name is Leigh and I’m from Manitoba, Canada. My tiny business is all about children. I just love ’em! Buut, it’s little. As in, I’d like to grow my business. I was taking it slow while I had kids at home, but now they’re both in school and I’m ready to step it up. So, what does it do for me? Well, it gives me a creative outlet, but I’m with Candace from TN. It doesn’t do a whole lot, tbh.

    The psychology I’d love to hear more about is setting up routines, and working on follow through. I’m done with treating my business like a hobby and ready to work on the professional aspects. I’d also like to learn to network better. Just getting out there and yelling from the mountain tops is not my style. I have a hard time talking up my work, and I prefer it to speak for itself (I really think it does!)

  54. Tina Bolton on July 31, 2014 at 6:44 am

    Morning, I’m a bit late to the party but in here now! Tina and I’m from Barnsley, Yorkshire uk but live in beautiful Hampshire, uk ( my husband is Andrew does that count!!.) I like to think that I helped to start the whole maternity portraits trend in the UK (I was one of 4) and am still going! I love my portrait business but lost my way a few years ago after a house fire and don’t seemed to have recovered my mojo quite as much as I would like!! I feel into photography training by accident and love it, my clients seem to love me too. My psychology issue, hire do I become profitable and still be me? I feel add though I compromise my ‘likeability’ by trying to make a profit on building relationships with clients.
    I LOVE your stuff it’s amazing and soooo useful x

  55. Krishni on July 31, 2014 at 7:22 am

    My name is Krishni. I am a hobbyist photographer. who does part time photoshooots and weddings on weekends. I live in South Africa and have been doing this for the past two years. I would like to specialize in wedding photography. I have no formal training but a formal background in art and fashion design. I have been fairly busy recently and have been making some good pocket money, but would like to get to a level where i can do this full time and quit my day job. I would like to see more blogs on marketing my business and how to get my clients to come back for more.

  56. Louisa on July 31, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Hi, I’m Louisa and I live in Birmingham in the UK. I don’t have a business (I’m 14) but would love to in the future! I love photography, and I often find myself spending more time reading photography blogs than actually taking pictures (that’s what brought me here!) Even though many of your posts don’t really have relevance to me, I find myself reading them anyway because they are so interesting!
    Thanks for writing a great blog!

  57. Alison Barton on July 31, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Hi I’m Alison, I live in the West Midlands in England. I’ve been in business for 5 years, before that studied photography at college and university and was an assistant for 4 years. I am a natural light portrait & wedding photographer, it’s a pleasure to do something I love as my job. My main struggle is finding the right clients and getting the booking.

  58. Karen on July 31, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    1) What’s your name, and where do you call home?
    Karen. Wilmington, Delaware

    2) What kind of business are you in & what does your business do for you?
    I’m a dog photographer who will be quitting my day job in a month so I’m just starting out even though I’ve been shooting dogs for 14 years.

    3) What “people issues” would you love to see explored here on the blog?
    I’m concerned about in-person sales. I went through that process as a customer and it felt more like extortion than anything else since the price went up 40% after the IPS meeting and I hadn’t seen the photos and would never see them again if I didn’t purchase them. I ended up spending way more than I was comfortable with and had terrible buyer’s remorse. I don’t want my customers to feel that way. His prices were obscene ($700 for a 12×12), but that was only part of the problem.

  59. Sarah Shotts on July 31, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    1) I’m Sarah from NW Arkansas.

    2) I’m a wedding photographer and cinematographer. My business allows me to meet new people and tell new stories. I’m also branching more into freelance blogging and cinematography outside the realm of weddings. More stories in more mediums = more adventures.

    3) I’d love a networking for introverts type of post. I’ve relocated to a new area and am having to build all my connections from scratch.

    Thanks for all you do! I adore everything you write and can’t wait to hear about your secret project. <3

  60. Dan G. on July 31, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    1. Dan G. from Reston, VA
    2. I am a nature / landscape photographer. I work full time and do this on the side. I primarily sell photos at craft shows. I have a website where I can sell online, but don’t sell much there yet.
    3. I would like to find my ideal customer, find my niche, and find out what makes my work different / better than others out there. I also enjoy learning things about people that are subconscious or not readily apparent – it’s pretty cool!

    Thanks for your blog!

  61. Kim on July 31, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    1) I’m Kim and located in Ohio.

    2) I have a fledgling wedding and portrait business that I am getting ready to try and get off the ground. So, right now, it doesn’t do much for me other than suck my money. In the next few years though, I hope that it will help support my family. As a note, my “day job” requires a lot of interaction with people, and, since I’m a supervisor, most of them are the REALLY unhappy/mad ones. I love that so many of your blog posts, like the one before this, are applicable to more than just creative industries. I have picked up many tips for dealing with people here at my day job as much as I have for dealing with photography clients.

    3)My biggest people issues are internal. I go through phases where I’m confident I can do this, and then think I never could. I would like to maybe see a post on overcoming fear, and I like the other suggestions previous commenters have made.

    Thank you for this blog Jenika! I’ll return to my lurker status now!

  62. Monisha on July 31, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    1) What’s your name, and where do you call home?
    Hi, I’m Monisha and I live in Upstate NY

    2) What kind of business are you in & what does your business do for you?
    I am the owner and founder of a wardrobe consultation business. Mu business allows me to follow my dream. I’ve worked in corporate America for many years (in the fashion industry) but have always longed to be an entrepreneur.

    3) What “people issues” would you love to see explored here on the blog?
    Along with others that have suggested this, I too would like some more information on the psychology of marketing. Thanks so much!!
    PS- I love your blog, I’m a lurker, but I do read your posts and newsletter 🙂

  63. Tara on July 31, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    1) What’s your name, and where do you call home?
    *I’m Tara and I live in Southern Illinois, but I really think of home as more than my address, its where my family is and where love, joy, and memories are made.

    2) What kind of business are you in & what does your business do for you?
    *I am in the business of 1. Being a Christian, wife, and homeschooling mother 2. Fine Art Portrait Photography. My business gives me an outlet to express my inner emotions through storytelling in my images, it also gives me a place where I can connect with others that have the same interests as I do and I am continually learning more and more about myself, my skill, and people in general.

    3) What “people issues” would you love to see explored here on the blog? (This one helps me help you, folks.)
    *Id love love to learn why so many photographers feel threatened by others doing the same thing in their area. When a new photographer comes on the ‘scene’ I have seen the most awful things done to them; heck not even people in the same towns, states or countries even. Id love to know the psychology behind a page like the one on Facebook that is ‘You call yourself a photographer’. Why do these women feel so insecure about their own work that they insist on browsing online and posting to point out others flaws, it does not make sense to me. They say now that it is to help others, but when it first started I was the very first person they attacked, and their ‘goal’ then was to get people to stop doing photography altogether. Well I didn’t stop, I just used it as fuel to get better, learn more and achieve things I never thought possible. But SOME, MANY people are so hurt by stuff like that, they quit forever, and they could have really used art and photography as a positive thing in their life. So I would just want to know the psychological aspect behind that sort of mentality, why it quickly evolves into a ‘pack’ mentality (is it so that the people that agree with them feel more secure that they themselves will not be attacked)? Anyways, yea that’s something I’d love to explore as well why people start out and feel a need to steal from others. AND I’d love to find out why people go years in their business never expanding, but keep going with like facebook only advertising and $30 shoot and burn just to undercut any competition in the area. These are all things that I am perplexed by. Thanks! Love your page and always read your articles! I just wish you wrote more often! 🙂

  64. Heather on August 1, 2014 at 2:51 am

    1) I’m Heather and I currently reside in Columbus, GA (USA)
    2) I have a small veteran owned/operated photography business
    3) I guess how to realize the value in the services and items they receive.

  65. Tiffany Vaughan on August 1, 2014 at 5:12 am

    1) What’s your name, and where do you call home?
    Tiffany from Langdon, Alberta Canada.
    2) What kind of business are you in & what does your business do for you?
    I am an accountant by day and photographer by evening/weekends mainly shooting families. I am shooting my fourth wedding next weekend! My business hasn’t been doing much for me lately as I had twin boys in the past year, but would like to get serious again about marketing myself.
    3) What “people issues” would you love to see explored here on the blog?
    I would like to make people (aka family & friends) understand that my time and creativity is valuable and shouldn’t be free.

  66. Maria Ramil on August 1, 2014 at 9:47 am

    My name is Maria Ramil. I am from Spain but have lived in UK for 18 years.
    I am a portrait photographer with a day job (agency work) in social care. I learn daily from meeting all kinds of people in my agency job. I’m still building my photography business, and learning my way around marketing and other aspects of running a business.
    I wish I could take my social care ‘persona’ and mingle at business events, dealing with enquiries, blogging etc with the same confidence I feel around toddlers, disabled kids or frail elderly people. Easier said than done, though, as I feel such a beginner dealing with PR and all the politics (and social media, sales, propaganda, etc) of being in business.

  67. Rebekah Nemethy on August 1, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Hi I’m Rebekah and I live in Lake Peekskill, NY (about 45 minutes north of NYC)

    Right now this is my business: 90% product photography 10% pet photography and 0% art photography sales and this is what I want my business to be: 50% fine art photography sales 50% pet photography and 0% product photography. Learning product photography was invaluable to learning some photo skills I never would have otherwise but it is not something I can do forever without going crazy!

    I know you mostly write your blog for people who want to learn how to get sessions booked, but if you ever think there is any demand for teaching how to sell art to people online please write about it! That’s what I’d love to learn more about. Of course, I will still read everything you write and try to apply it to my business any way that I can, your words are gold!

    You’re Irresistible Words course was AMAZING – it go me fired up to start blogging again with confidence. Thanks so much for that =)

  68. Andrea Doziér on August 1, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    1.) Andrea Doziér from Dayton, OH

    2.) Wedding Photographer & Commercial Photographer | My business brings me an ability to connect with many incredible & creative people. I love an assortment of photography, so what I do is great because I am continually stimulated but also challenged. I love that I get to connect with women in business who are looking for helping identifying their brand in a visual manner. My background in Graphic Design makes this a perfect fit for me.

    3.) I’d love to see you continue to explore the topics of separating work from life, psychology of buying (love those posts), and also your thoughts on photographers who are highly sensitive people. It’s taken a long time & a lot of practice for me to get used to the “social” aspect of weddings, but now I realize that my characteristics of being highly sensitive also help in how I am able to photograph my clients unobtrusively & kindly.

    Thanks so much! -Andrea

  69. Liz on August 1, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    1) What’s your name, and where do you call home?
    Hi! I’m Liz and I live near Chicago.

    2) What kind of business are you in & what does your business do for you?
    I’m a wannabe photographer. I take pictures as often as I can, but I don’t run a legit business yet (someday!).

    3) What “people issues” would you love to see explored here on the blog?
    I’d love some visual psychology stuff (and perhaps you’ve already covered this). . . but how your mind can be tricked by things / colors / perspective, etc.

  70. Laine on August 1, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    1) What’s your name, and where do you call home?

    Laine Torres, Brazilian, but living in Minnesota. I do have two homes, but let’s stick with Andover, MN.

    2) What kind of business are you in & what does your business do for you?

    Photography for families, HS seniors and professional headshots. It’s an avenue for my creativity, time away from my husband (keeps us both sane) and provides me with some extra income. I have a day job as a Marketing Coordinator (at my in-laws family business), but want to transition to full time when the money makes sense…

    3) What “people issues” would you love to see explored here on the blog? (This one helps me help you, folks.)

    How to close deals and upsell without pushing for it. That’s currently my biggest hurdle.

    LOVE your blog. Thanks. 🙂


  71. Sarah on August 2, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    1) I’m Sarah and I’m in Essex, in the UK (Definitely not an Andrew!)
    2) I’m a wedding and portrait photographer with leanings towards the more alternative market. While it seems to be pretty big round most of the UK, Essex doesn’t seemed to have cottoned on too much yet so I’m finding it a bit of a struggle to get my style across to people. I am also a newly trained up Paramedic, something I’ve been doing for the last 6 years. I run my little business alongside working full time and I’m generally pretty knackered!
    3)”People issues”… Would you be so kind as to talk about some of the practicalities of working with clients – getting them to pose and how to relax them in front of the camera for one thing! Also, one of my favourite posts of yours was the 3 questions to ask to get the feedback you need – posts of that nature are always very much appreciated 🙂

  72. Gretchen on August 19, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    1) My name is Gretchen Kostedt and upstate (Clifton Park), NY is where I call home.

    2) As of this past weekend I am the chief operator of Gretchen Kostedt Photography, LLC. : ) I’m also a cardiology clinical research coordinator. My 8-5 job gives me the money to be able to explore my photography career without feeling pressured. I am hoping that in the future I can cut back to part time with the research and focus more on my photography without decreasing my pay.

    3) I don’t know that I have anything to add to this one, but I’m sure I will have more “people issues” that need to be resolved as I get going. I’ll keep you updated!

    Thank you so much for this blog. It has been very helpful and informative in getting started!

  73. Rana on August 21, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    1. I am Rana and I call St. Paul, Minnesota my home. I grew up in Sleepy Hollow, IL and moved to Minnesota was I was at the tender age of 10 with my parents.

    2. I own a newborn (and maternity) photography business. My business is still a baby but it is starting to grow. Working with newborns brings me happiness and a sense of pride.

    3. Web conversion. I am getting more and more traffic to my site (thank you to Lawrence Chan SEO class). But I am loosing people. I would love to reduce my bounce rate. When people do call… what will convert them from prospect into client? Etc. Also… in the photography industry pricing is all over the map. How can we, as photographer educate our clients and show them the value of a higher priced luxury photographer (like myself) over the shoot and burners?

    4- Thanks for being awesome. Congrats on the new tiny human you are growing!

  74. Michele Kendzie on August 29, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Hi Jenika! I’m Michele and I live in Fredericksburg, Virginia (but lived the first 30 years of my life in southern California). I am not in business yet, keeping busy learning photography, considering going into business, and spending time with my three homeschooling kids.

    For me, photography is my way of holding on to pieces of time. I even named my personal blog “Moments That Won’t Run Away” after the quote by Eudora Welty. I’ve been studying photography seriously for four years now and have come to realize I’m a documentary lifestyle photographer, not a portrait photographer.

    People issues? I’m terrible at selling myself; so bad, it may prevent me from going pro. So I need encouragement and help with how to put myself out there.

    Thank you for your awesome blog. I’ve been a subscriber for nearly a year now, but haven’t been reading it regularly. Today I was reminded of it, and I’ve determined that I’m going to prioritize it among all the many great things I’d like to read.

  75. Candice on September 9, 2014 at 11:49 am

    My name is Candice, I live in Oklahoma, and I’m married with 3 children. I just found your blog last night and it couldn’t have come at a better time! You see, I have a 4 month old who refuses to sleep. I’m talking awake literally all night from midnight to 6am! I’ve spent the past three hours rocking him and reading your blog. I’m addicted!!! Let me explain more: I’ve always done photography as a hobby, but just in the past year decided to jump in and try to make a profession of it. Before I worked in a cooperate job, Strategic Planning for a bank. I loved it but there have been some major changes to my life in the past two years that have allowed me to focus on other things. So what I’m trying to get to is that I absolutely LOVE your style of writing. I have a degree in Strategic Communication and I’ve studied a lot of psychology. I’ve read every article and blog that I can find and nothing has impressed me like yours. So as for what I want to see, exactly what you are doing now!!
    P.S. I’ve been putting off my website for sometime now, but an older article I read of yours (I believe from 2012) has me on my laptop working right now!!

  76. Kristin Smith on September 26, 2014 at 10:30 am

    1. Hi, my name is Kristin. I live in Decatur, Georgia – it’s right next to Atlanta, so we have a small town feel right next to the big city.
    2. My husband is a commercial photographer, and I help him run our portrait studio and our school portrait business. I just shoot for the school portrait business. We have been in business for 10 years, and I feel very fortunate that we are able to raise our three boys solely with income from photography. What I enjoy the most in our business is the marketing and the relationships we develop with our clients.
    3. I’d love to see information about building a following, or tribe online. How do you connect with people online in a way that they become sneezers?

  77. Micah on October 4, 2014 at 7:32 am

    Hi jenika,
    I’m Micah and live in Lagos, nigeria. I’m a photographer and sincerely I would like to thank you jenika for all your blog post. I would like to read a post on how to really treat a business like a business and how to convert people who make enquiry to paying clients.
    Thank you

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