It's something in the way the say it. Or rather, and maybe more to the point, in the way that they don't have to say anything at all. It's a shorthand. A cipher. A lyrical language known only to them. It's Oh do you think that place still serves the.... and a yep, yep they do. A Really? The one with the label with the.. and a mmm hmm, yep, the one that's blue. It's an entire conversation without really saying a word. It's a look. A knowing. That feeling that somebody, some one single person in this entire great big world, just...gets you. And there's no greater feeling in the entire world than the feeling of gets you.
Michelle & Adam met when she moved into his building. Where according to her, he had the much better apartment. Soon friends of friends became friends and they all started hanging out together as, well.... friends. But group gatherings turned into time with just the two of them. And conversations that need no words. And what Michelle soon found in Adam, was someone who could finish her sentences. And a world with just the two of them, where somehow everything just felt complete.
Bright & early tomorrow morning, Justin & I will be heading out to catch a flight to Cabo to attend the What If Conference. I've never been to Cabo myself, or Mexico in general, so I've been (not so) secretly hoping that there's a mariachi band there waiting to greet us at the airport. You know, kind of like the leis in Hawaii. But instead they give you your very own maracas and a sombrero. And then together you sing a stirring rendition of La Cucaracha. After which a flash mob descends upon the lobby and performs multiple bouts of the Macarena. Frontwards and backwards.
Just know if that had been an upgrade option on Expedia when we booked the trip, I totally would have added it on. Totally. (Expedia, are you listening??)
So in light of our impending tropical travels, we thought we'd devote an entire J&M Ten to just that. Just what is our SPF of choice? Are we pool or beach people? What would we take with us if we were marooned on a desert island. I know you're just dying to know. So, read on to find out!
Feliz Viernes, y'all!
PS: Don't be jealous of my mad drawing skills. That fruity drink is legit, right?? :)
Pancake Session: Ginny Corbett on Workflow & Renewal
We haven't gotten to really hang out with Ginny Corbett in real life. But just from the internet, I feel like we already know her. (The internet is a powerful thing, my friends!!) Her name had come up from so many different people that I love & respect, that it got my attention. I started paying attention. And following along. I wanted to get a feel for what she was about, what she stood for...and what I can tell you is this: I was way beyond impressed. Let this be a lesson. Whether you know it or not, you are always representing yourself and your brand. And people are always paying attention.
And from what I've been able to observe, Ginny is the real deal MacNeal. :) She is kind, funny, humble, endearing and so so helpful to other photographers. And she has some really gorgeous work, at that! I first started really hearing about Ginny from her For the Love Workshops and then most recently I saw her announce the Renew Workshop. I clicked over and started reading along, and everything she said just....moved me. I think it's something that we all need to hear. And that's when I knew we had to get her on here. So that she could move you too.
Iím excited to introduce myself to many of you for the first time today. †It is such an honor that Justin and Mary asked me to be a part of their Pancake Sessions. †Iíve looked up to this couple since Iíve been in the photography industry. †I love how freely they give to other photographers, and Iím excited to share a little bit of my passions with you. †My name is Ginny Corbett. †I am a wedding photographer based out of Raleigh, NC, and today, I wanted to chat with you about how I strive to stay renewed and inspired while constantly pouring out my heart and soul to my clients week in and week out. †I figure that if I can keep my creative cup full, then I will have plenty to offer my friends, family, and above all...my clients. †
1. †Know your Strengths
Have you ever felt like there are areas in your business that no matter how hard you try, you can not seem to stay on top of them? †For me, no matter how hard I try, I can NOT seem to be great at keeping my financial books organized. †Iíve spent YEARS beating myself up about it. †I read books about it, invest in programs that will help me track finances, even ask my other friends for advice on what system I should apply to make myself better at it. †But, no matter what...I can not seem to force myself to sit down in front of my computer and input all my receipts into Quick Books every week. †I avoid it like the plague. †I was starting to feel pretty hopeless about it. †Until, I was introduced to Strengthsfinder 2.0 by a friend. †He explained Strengthsfinder like this....every individual is created uniquely. †We all have our own set of strengths and we are the most effective when we operate in those areas. †Hearing my friend talk about it was a breath of fresh air. †For years I have been enslaved to my weaknesses. †I thought that if I focused all my attention on my weakest areas, I would eventually overcome them and turn them into strengths, thus producing a better version of Ginny. †The unfortunate thing was that I did not experience much success in my years of trying to transform my weaknesses. ††So, after talking with my friend, I immediately rushed to Barnes and Noble and purchased my copy of Strengthsfinder 2.0. †Enclosed in the book is a code used to take the test online. †30 minutes later, after I had finished my test and received my report, I laughed. †Itís no wonder why I lack in the business side of my photography business. †These are my strengths (in order): Futuristic, Positivity, Empathy, Adaptability, and Restorative. †If you put me in a situation that involves planning out future events (like photography workshops) or big picture ideas, I thrive. †If you put me in a room of people, I come to life. †If you put me in an environment that needs problem solving skills...Iím all over it. †Itís almost as if I was created to do those things.....duh! †However, if you put me in an analytical business setting, itís like my brain shuts down. †Or, if you ask me to sit behind my computer and input data, then you better find someone to stand beside me with a bull whip, because thereís a good chance that it wonít get done. †
So, all Iím saying is this, find out what your strengths are and spend your time and effort operating in those things, because youíll find that you will be renewed when you operate in the areas that you are gifted in. †Then, outsource the rest. †
2. †Invest in an Automated Workflow.
If I can spend less time behind my computer, and more time living adventurously, then Iím a happy girl. †So, there are a couple of tools that help me automate my life. †
ShootQ- ShootQ is the most effective tool I invest in. †Itís like having a full time assistant for only $40 a month. †It manages my bookings, bills my clients, manages my contracts, organizes my client communications, and allows me to set up an automated workflow so that I donít have to repeat myself over and over again. †Itís amazing how easy it is to keep up with each client, because each client has their own workflow. And at any given time, I can see where I am in the process so that Iím not racking my brain trying to figure out where I left off. †
I will say, that ShootQ was intimidating for me. †I remember getting all pumped up about it, signing up, and then getting completely overwhelmed with setting up all the emails, contracts, and workflows. †So, I highly recommend purchasing the Youngrenís complete workflow. †You can find it under the ďMarket PlaceĒ section of your ShootQ site. †When you purchase it, itís quick and easy to activate, and youíll be amazed at how fast youíll be a ShootQ genius. †
Action Runner- Action Runner is great because it allows me batch edit my photos with multiple Photoshop actions. †I made a little video to give you a peek at what my workflow looks like using Bridge and Action Runner. †
Text Expander- Donít you hate it when you have to type the same thing over and over again? Text Expander†is another great tool that Jeff Youngren introduced me to this year. †It allows you to type up automatic emails and assign a short cut to them so that all you have to do is type out the shortcut and the rest of the email will appear. †For instance, my shortcut for my signature is ďsigĒ. †When I finish typing out an email, I type three simple letters ďsigĒ and my signature with all my social media links pops up. †I use this a lot with frequently asked questions. †That way, Iím not wasting time on repetitious emails. †
3. †Do What You Love
Iíve found that the root of my happiness is rooted in my heart. †So, from this point on in this blog post, Iím going to start using a lot of heart language. †I LOVE photography, but Iím not passionate about every genre of photography. †So, last year, I started paying more attention to my heart and what energized me with life and what didnít. †I began to see a pattern. †I found myself over-the-top excited when I was gearing up to shoot a wedding, but when I was driving to a family shoot, photography actually felt like a job. †So, I decided to focus my business and shoot ONLY what I love, and the result of that was freedom. †Now, every day feels like a hobby because I actually love what I do. †I love meeting with brides over coffee, I love photographing engagement sessions, I love being such an integral part of the grand scheme of my clientís love stories. †Now that Iím immersed in only weddings, I no longer dread certain photo sessions. †So, I encourage you to listen to your heart. †Think about what gets you excited in photography. †Do you find yourself on Pinterest pinning wedding photos, or are you shopping on Etsy for cute baby swaddles? †Once you pinpoint what brings you the most life, then focus your business on that area and become a specialist for that field. †
4. †Indulge in LIFE
This is the last thing Iím going to chat about today. †This is my most passionate topic. †Itís short and simple. †Indulge in the little things in life that bring you joy. †Life really is short. †When I first started photography, I put all the things that I loved on the back burner and pursued photography full-force. †The result of that was being very busy and experiencing what some may call ďsuccessĒ. But what it led to was me being isolated in my home office editing photos in premature burn-out mode. †So, now, after all the things Iíve listed above that have helped me work smarter, I have more free time to really indulge in life. †Roasting coffee. †Music. †Spending time with family. Traveling. Going to concerts. †Rocking chairs. Massages. †Sunsets. †Wine. †Itís these things that increase the quality of my life on a day to day basis. †Itís because I indulge in the small things that bring me peace that I actually live a renewed life. †So, my advice to you is this....allow yourself the luxury of making what you love a priority in your life. †If you like antique shopping, then schedule a monthly shopping trip. †If you love the movies, then go to the movies at least twice a month. †If you love sleeping in, then make it a point to have one day where you are able to sleep in. †Believe me, youíll find every excuse to skip out on your indulgences, but if you donít do those things, then your cup wonít be overflowing, and you will not be able to give what needs to be given to everyone around you. †
So, take time for yourself....enjoy life. †
Ginny is going to be taking her Renew Workshop filled with even more life balancing goodness to 5 cities across the South this February & March. I highly recommend you check one out!!
Today is our all things Vegas post, announcing two very cool things (Ok, ok so *I* think they're cool, but I think sitting home and watching Fraiser re-runs is a wild night. So my perception of cool may be a bit skewed) that we'll be hosting while we're out at WPPI!
The first is our (now) annual J&M Sunrise Shoot Out! What's that? You picked up on the "sunrise" part? Yea, that's part of the deal. So as to not conflict with any of the other goings on at WPPI and so that we have some really pretty light, the shoot out will be starting at dawn o'clock sharp on Tuesday Feb 21st and we'll have you out in time to hit that first platform class. Yea, it'll require a lot of coffee....but I promise to make it worth it. The other catch is this: last year we put on the Shoot Out entirely free as a thank you for all that you guys do throughout the year to support us. Well this year, it's nearly free. Let me explain. :) We are still going to keep the price super low ($99) as a thank you for all that you guys do, but we decided to charge a small amount for the tickets this year to help raise money for an incredibly good cause. (It will all be going to that, not us!) I'm not quite ready to say what that cause is yet, but I promise you if you come to our Platform class it'll all make sense. And I know that you're going to agree with me, it was for a really REALLY good cause.
The second thing is our J&M Walk Through Alum Mix & Mingle This will be taking place at 9pm on Monday night, Feb 20th at the Centrifuge Bar in the MGM. It is open to any past Walk Through attendees as well as last year's shoot out group. The only thing we ask is that you "send an RSVP our way" in the comments below letting us know if you are for sure in or not. We just have to have a head count for reservation purposes. We can't wait to see you all there & get our mingle on.
Trust me, it's going to be way cool. I may even re-enact some Frasier episodes for you.