Archive for the ‘Business Related’ Category

All I can really say is “Wow.”  And my head is still spinning.

I spent the whole day yesterday at the gorgeous venue of the River Rock Casino Hotel and Conference center at ImageQuest, an annual 3-day professional photographer’s convention. This was only the second year that ImageQuest has been put on and I must say, the line-up of seminar speakers they had for this event was pretty stellar including Dane Sanders, Jasmine Star and Vancouver’s local husband and wife team Blue Olive Photography. I made it to the third day of the convention with Emily of Liberty Tree Photography and Heidi of Caged Bird Designs to listen to Jasmine and Blue Olive talk about the importance of social media and branding your business. I am also especially happy I managed to make it through the very long day of sitting in really uncomfortable chairs at 9 months pregnant and ready to have a baby at any moment. A big thank you to peanut for being so patient!

I must say the day started off with my wonderful navigational skills of Richmond *ahem* ~ we eventually got to River Rock and ended up parking what seemed like miles away from the conference center. After 15 minutes of trying to figure out where we were going, we got to the right spot and hopped right into Blue Olive’s talk on social media. One of these days I might actually join the 20th century and get a cell phone…..I used to own a cell phone years ago when we were living in Vancouver but there was no need for one after we moved to Smithers, especially since the provider we were with didn’t have coverage in that region at the time. I am realizing more and more how important all these networked tools can be for boosting a business and I know I am not even using them to a fraction of what their abilities are. I think after yesterday I have a better understanding of what Twitter is and how it can work for you. Aaaaand enter shameless plug. If you are on Twitter, you can follow me at simplyrosephoto. Or my Facebook Fan Page at Simply Rose Photography l BC Photographer. But in the meantime, I am going to go over my Blue Olive notes again and incorporate some of their ideas.

This, being my first photographers convention, it was really neat to see some faces that I recognized from browsing other websites online. I got to meet some really great people, newcomers and seasoned veterans alike, including Mikaela of Mikaela Ruth Photography in Abbotsford, Philomena Hughes from Prince George and even (drumroll please) Jasmine Star and her husband JD of Orange County, CA. Mikaela and I actually had the privilege of having lunch with Philomena, Jasmine and JD through a series of random events and it was fantastic! We chatted over salads, fries and tiramisu ~ Jasmine and JD are 100% genuine and some of the kindest people that I have met in the industry so far. They are obviously hopelessly in love with each other and JD is so supportive of his wife’s endeavors (he also shoots with her) ~ it reminds me how fortunate I am as well to have a husband that is so supportive of my pursuit of photography, even when it doesn’t feel like it’s going anywhere fast most of the time.

Jasmine’s talk for 4 hours in the afternoon (4 hours! woo!) was astounding. I am not sure I have ever been so mesmerized or drawn in by a seminar speaker before. She imparted so much valuable information that I almost felt like I shouldn’t be listening to some of her trade “secrets.” But that is the beauty that is Jasmine Star. She has no secrets. She is an open, honest book, willing to share her life and experiences as a photographer to everyone. Listening to her talk, I loved how confident she was in herself and how she doesn’t compromise on what she believes she is worth. I think a lot of photographers do this, especially new ones starting out in the business and was a really great reminder to me to not compromise on certain aspects of my business. The biggest take home lesson was that YOU are the biggest asset to your business and being yourself is the most valuable thing. There were so many gems from that seminar talk and I am still processing quite a bit of it. I hope to incorporate some of her ideas as well, but with my own spin attached. She is truly one of the most inspiring people I have come across, not just from being a small business owner that happens to be doing photography but also from a life perspective. As the one lady in the audience said during one of the Q &A periods, “Jasmine, I love you.” Indeed! Oh, and this would qualify for number 18 on my 90 in 2010 list! Even though it wasn’t one of Jasmine’s own teaching seminars she hosts in her neck of the woods, I think the amount of information I walked away with yesterday afternoon is enough to strike this off.

Emily, Heidi and Mikaela before Jasmine Star.

The fuzzy peaches that cost Emily her lunch with J*!

Jasmine Star.

Wow. I never realized I had grown a double chin. I hope that goes away….

Quite a bit has been going on lately and I’m trying to pace myself a little bit more. Sleep seems to evade me now at night, however I feel like I am adjusting accordingly. It’s amazing how this is all coming together, my body just seems to know what it’s doing on its own. The next part is scary, but millions have gone before me. It can be done!

I attended my first Small Business BC seminar on Monday titled Branding - More than just a Logo. It was led by Angela Bains of CA Design Group, which is a Burnaby-based branding firm. There weren’t many of us in the seminar and two of us were photographers, which ended up being a really great time of networking and sharing ideas. And all of us were women! I walked away feeling really good about being a small business owner and all the possibilities in the future.

Small Business BC is a really fantastic resource for any business owners out there who are just starting out or are looking for some help. I am planning on taking some more seminars in the future and even take advantage of their consultants in developing a complete business plan. It’s going to be a big year in organizing my business foundations!

I have been thinking more and more about this little one that is coming, looking after a household and running a small business. I have found myself on more than one occasion feeling rather overwhelmed at maintaining all of these daunting tasks but I felt empowered and hopeful after reading a blog posting by Roxanna J. Hooge about being a “Momprenueur.” Everyone I know that has kids has been saying how horrible the first three to six months are sleep-wise but somewhere in the back of my head, I keep thinking and hoping that everything will go fairly smoothly. This new phase of life is certainly scary and we feel completely unprepared but excited all at the same time. I am positive that it will take time to figure our lives out all over again….but so worth it!

I am fairly certain I will never accomplish number 84 on my 90 in 2010 list. We have gone to Ikea about three times since we moved to Vancouver two and a half weeks ago and haven’t been able to come away without at least one item in hand. Today, however, had an extremely good purpose ~ a change table and a few other last minute items.

We also got distracted in the marketplace (surprise) and were looking at some cute drinking glasses that would match our dishes that are actually stored away in crates at the moment. We looked at each other and my husband says to me, “What do we need nice drinking glasses for? We should be buying these plastic cups instead.” He leans over into the adjacent bin and pulls out those brightly coloured plastic cups that everyone with kids has (along with the accompanying tiny plastic plates).

So we bought a set.

I never thought I’d ever own any plastic cups like this. But seriously, what’s the point in glass cups with kids around?

I have also been meaning to take some photos of the gorgeous cherry blossoms a block away from our place. The crabapple blossoms outside our front door are just beginning to bud and will take another few weeks to bloom, but my favourites are definitely a block away. They look like heaven on a stick and smell just as nice. This is the kind of “snow” I don’t mind!

Bad news.

My workstation is fried.

This is extremely bad news for me as I have not backed up any of my business materials, production software or internet links which I rely quite heavily on from my extensive research the past 1.5 years. I do have all of my photos backed up on an external drive and all of my RAW files backed up on DVD’s so at least that is good news. All of my music, my journal I have sporadically written in the past year and a half and other personal items don’t seem to be recoverable at this point by the store we purchased the computer from.

I do have a name of a data recovery specialist that I am going to contact tomorrow to see what’s possible and how much something like this is going to cost. And the crazy part is is that I was going to make recovery discs of everything this weekend. Lesson of this story is….ALWAYS BACK UP YOUR COMPUTER. I always thought something like this couldn’t happen to me, this is the first time I have never had an issue with electronics like this. I have realized that I too, am not immune to electronic malfunction. I have learned my lesson in an extremely painful way.

I am hoping that something can be done to recover my business folder. I have a lot of work ahead of me if it can’t be recovered or if it’s too expensive. Rebranding (again!) may be closer than I think…..

T-minus three and a half days.

So much to do, so little time!

I am feeling a bit overwhelmed right now with everything that has been going on around me. The closing on our house is this Friday. We just sold our beloved Delica van. We begin our 1,150 km drive to Vancouver Thursday night in a U-Haul with two cats in the cab. We are leaving Smithers with considerably more than we arrived with 4 years ago. And neither of us are really stuff-people.

To be honest, I hate packing. I don’t know anyone who does like it. Although it feels really good to be getting rid of certain things and start paring down our belongings. Neither of us are people that like to be tied down by large commitments like owning a home, we have come to realize. At this point in our lives, anyways. It feels really good to be in a more fluid state again. And I hope our kid will be flexible enough to go with it for the first few years until we come to more of a place where we can settle down again.

It’s kind of sad saying good-bye to the first home you’ve ever owned. I didn’t think that it would affect me as much as it is…..or maybe it’s all those crazy hormones. Yup, I’ll blame the hormones.

I won’t have very good internet access after Thursday and I’m hoping to take in a bit of the Olympics over the last weekend. It might be a bit until I get myself all sorted out, but expect a big posting when I do!

I look awesome these days, but very excited! Sweat pants has become a regular clothing staple, even in public. Wow.

On an entirely different note, I have been granted membership to Greener Photography, which I did a posting on last week. I’m pretty excited about this and look forward to learning more as I go along with my business. There are a few small things I have to change so I will be spending some time after our move doing some research into CD/DVD recycling, low-energy desk lighting and reusable batteries.

One of my goals this year was to apply for membership to Greener Photography which is a community of professional photographers that agree to adhere to certain environmental standards in their businesses. On their website, the 4 core values are described as this:

  1. Preservation ~ Conserving the resources that go into creating photographic images.
  2. Reduction ~ The good old 3 R’s!
  3. Local Production ~ Shipping goods can produce an enormous amount of pollution.
  4. Cruelty-Free ~ Fair treatment to animals and people.

The organization has been going through some major changes the past year, including a new membership system. I’m just waiting my turn to apply! I’m really excited to begin networking with other photographers who have chosen to go this route and what kinds of ideas they are coming up with in regards to “greening” their businesses. And it’s not just about making my business “greener” but also a daily reminder to make better choices for the planet.

I’ve been doing a lot of work behind the scenes as we are preparing to move and waiting for the arrival of our first kid and I can’t wait to start finalizing some things so I can reveal them to you all!

I have a problem.

I am a compulsive website-changer.

You may have noticed that the look of the site has completely changed. There is a good reason for that. Let me explain.

This past week, I have been doing tons and tons of research on green media delivery - meaning how the heck am I going to give my clients their images using materials that could be reused and are made out of recycled products but still look classy, fresh and are high quality. I think I’m getting really close to making some decisions on a few suppliers for custom made USB drives made out of recycled plastics and reusable presentation tins, which I am getting really excited about. Once I finalize that, all I need to do is find some pretty details to dress up the insides of the tins and what you get is a snazzy little package of your digital images using green products from other companies that have established environmentally-friendly practices.

As I was going along this week in my research, I realized not only how much work it is to find the right kinds of products with the quality that I am looking for, but also how much more green principles could fit into the realm of photography. It’s definitely a way of rethinking how things have been done traditionally in the way of wedding albums and other things like leather DVD cases that aren’t as sustainable, but I am really hoping that others can join me on my little journey and start thinking about the products they are offering to their clients and how they could make some changes to their businesses. It’s a lot of work but I think with a little creativity and gumption, you’d be amazed and surprised at what you could find out there.

Soooo, that being said, I was beginning to analyze the current look of my brand and didn’t feel that it was appropriately reflecting “green.” So I changed it. I changed the colours to make it all feel lighter, a bit earthier and a bit fresher. I won’t be surprised if there are some tweaks along the way (who are we kidding, there are always tweaks!) but I think this will work better for the direction that I am heading in with my business. What do you all think? Drop me a line and let me know your thoughts on this new look!

On  different note, I am booking weddings for the summer of 2010! So if you are getting married or know of someone who is and you like my style of work, then pass this along! It’s almost February and summer is just around the corner!

I will be in Vancouver for the summer but am available for some travel dates so if you live further away, don’t hesitate to contact me and ask.

Happy Friday!!

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