Recently I was invited to teach at Mark Maya’s Workshop in Durham NC. It was such an honor and a privilege to be able to share my knowledge with other photographers. I’ve been shooting weddings and other work for about 3 years now so it’s not surprising the next step in the progression is education. I’ll also be teaching along side some other creatives later this fall at The Photo Rehab which I’m very excited about. Teaching was something I never really gave a lot of though to be honest. It’s not something that comes naturally. I’m the kind of person to overanalyze everything so finding a subject to teach on was something that I questioned quite a bit. I finally settled on the idea of community and how that can help or hurt your business. Essentially what I wanted to convey to the workshop attendees was some hard lessons I learned along the way.

My first year or two in business was a struggle as I’m sure most photographer’s first years are. My work was good, not great, but good. But I was lacking the one thing that really helps all small businesses. Community. I was living in a town I didn’t want to stay in and doing work that wasn’t inspiring to me. Because of that I wasn’t reaching out into the local community and making connections and partnerships. It was a huge detriment to my business as I was getting it off the ground. I was of the mind that I could do everything by myself and I didn’t need help from outside sources. Clearly, that stubbornness was not paying off. It wasn’t until I accepted the idea that having a community that you’ve built which includes, past clients, friends, family and even people I’ve met online or reached out to. Those relationships for the basis for any strong business. Once I accepted that idea my business started growing so much faster and I in turn was learning and improving more. Now with my recent move to Portland it’s become more important than ever to reach out and establish a community. It’s those folks that are going to support and sustain your business long term.

 

I hope you all enjoy the photos. The two models were used during one of our teaching sessions. They were absolutely fantastic! Please feel free to leave any of your comments below. I love hearing feedback.

 

African American model smiles at Mark Maya's Workshop in Durham NC Two African American models sit on mid century modern yellow chair at Mark Maya's Workshop in Durham NC Two African American models sit back to back looking at the camera at Mark Maya's Workshop in Durham NC Two African American models posing together at Mark Maya's Workshop in Durham NC Two African American models look off camera while the sun sets behind them at Mark Maya's Workshop in Durham NC African American model reaches out towards another model at Mark Maya's Workshop in Durham NC African American model sits in yellow mid century modern chair laughing at Mark Maya's Workshop in Durham NC African American model stands holding vintage camera at Mark Maya's Workshop in Durham NC Close up portrait of African American model's faceat Mark Maya's Workshop in Durham NC Two African American model's pose next to each other in warm sunlight at Mark Maya's Workshop in Durham NC

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