Maybe three or four years into Jennings Photo, I went through a rough patch. One of the things I realized when I became burnt out was that I was not enjoying it as much as I did in the very beginning. In that first year or two of your business, you're just excited to be out, making money, doing something you love. Three or four years in, though, the joy was missing for me.
So today I am going to talk about joy and one of the things that I've done over the years that was recommended to me by a fellow community member to bring joy back into my photo sessions.
I've been doing lifestyle photography over 10 years now, and I love what I do. I'm grateful for this work. I really do enjoy the flexibility, the art, the creativity in this work, and the money isn't bad either. So I'm super grateful to be in this space, but like anybody, if you are doing something day in and day out over and over and over again, it starts to feel a little bit mechanical.
And especially when doing things like mini sessions, which I actually really enjoy, you sort of get in this robotic, weird head space where the creativity just isn't there. With weddings, too, there's a little bit of a formula to make sure that you get all of the shots. Whether it's planning for first look and then wedding party and then family formals and then ceremony, and then sunset photos, dance photos, there are these categories of images that you kind of automatically go for.
One way to add joy to these experiences is to find something unique to you to incorporate into the shoot. For example, one thing I do at every wedding is have each member of the wedding party do an individual portrait. And sometimes I just do a smiling portrait. Often I'll have them do something silly as well. It seems really cheesy when you're doing it. But from the perspective of the couple, getting those photos back and seeing the people that they love the most in the world being silly with each other really adds a lot of fun to the collection. So these are things that I started doing that worked well, that people gave me positive feedback on.
Still, there is a danger in losing your connection to your creative force, to your inspiration, to your truth magic. We all have a little bit of magic inside of us. That's just our own perspective, our own way of doing things combined with truth, which is doing something in alignment. That equals truth magic.
When you are creating from a space that is in alignment for you, that feels good, and that is honest, you're not trying to do something because you think other people will like it or copy other people. You're doing it because it feels good. When you do that with your own little piece of magic, things turn out really well and really differently.
One of the members in Photo Business Help community, is a fantastic portrait photographer named Laura. She mentioned something in one of our meetups that actually changed the way that I approached my sessions.
So Laura suggested that at every single session that you shoot, make sure that you shoot at least one image for you. That might sound like the simplest thing in the whole world, but I am telling you, it makes all of the difference when you get home, and you're looking at those photos and you're trying to figure out which ones you're going to keep.
I always get excited for the one that I shot for myself. You know what it feels like, you know what this feels like when you're excited for that one image. You're thinking about it on the drive, home, it's the first one that you look for when you're getting all the images backed up.
That's a space that you want to try and get into more and more and more. And that is what the episode about connecting with a little more joy is about. So next time you are out shooting something that might be a little for formulaic for you, try shooting something just for you.
Don't worry about if the client's gonna like it. Don't worry about if it's weird, don't worry about any of that. Just shoot an image that you might not ever give them, but that you might really enjoy editing and looking at and sharing for you.
Just a reminder, the Greenhouse waitlist is open! The program will include lots more tips like this episode's.
Find out more here: https://photobusinesshelp.com/thegreenhouse/