For Photographers: Why You Should Invest In Education
Lately this has been on my mind, because I have spent more money than I ever have before on photography business. At first I was terrified and held tightly to my purse strings. In fact for the past three years in business I've been hesitant to invest and take care of myself mentally. I used to roll my eyes when anyone said invest in your business before anything else because I was like well what about my gear, what about this and that. But I realized the only way to truly be happy in my business is if I had the information I needed to succeed. I realized that I will never grow or get better in my craft if I don't invest in my education.
Earlier this year I took a chance and attended an amazing workshop. I met wonderful people and made lasting relationships, all while learning from some of the best photographers and adding shoots to my portfolio. Later this year I'm attending a three day workshop in Detroit and I already know it's one of the best decisions I could've made for myself and my business. This Monday I enrolled in a creative writing class at a local college. When I graduated college I always swore I'd never go back to school but three years later here I am wanting to grow and improve myself! The reason behind auditing the class is to further my communication skills with my clients, learn to write the stories behind my images and learn a new form of storytelling that I can use when photographing wedding days. I want to write poetry that go along with my photographs as well.
Another thing I did this week is book five hours of mentoring with a photographer I admire. Her business skills are outstanding and cannot wait to learn what she has to say about my business. So that's everything I've been up to! (I need a nap!)
So why am I doing all this?
We as humans get stuck in our ways, we find ways that work and it's hard to stray from what works. But constantly learning and being open to new things keeps your mind fresh, prevents burnout and keeps you remaining relevant in the photography world.
I guarantee you'll sleep better at night when you know how to run your business effiently. And everyone wants a better night sleep, right? I certainly do, that's why I'm heading to so many workshops and taking a college course! I'm not trying to convince you either way, I just want to be an open book and share what has worked for me in my business.
Workshops and finding education can be terrifying because we don't want to change and we know that if we attend and open our minds were actually creating more work for ourselves. But it all pays off in the long run. Implementing the things you learn from other photographers can increase your revenue which equals more vacation days!
It's okay to do something for yourself. Being a woman in business can be difficult. This industry can be incredibly isolating so workshops and meetups can be one of the most beneficial things you could do for your heart and soul. It's easy to get burnt out when you are going it alone but through making connections you build a support system that keeps you going when times are rough.
Another pro of workshops is that inspiration can be hard to come by. With social media pulling you in a million different directions, it's hard to maintain your inspiration. The comparison game can be difficult to pull yourself out of but opening your mind to new experiences and investing in yourself can expand your thoughts. Its difficult to think creatively when you are bogged down by what the world is telling you online. But in person it's a whole new story.
As business owners there's always something new we need to buy. Whether its a subscription to a new editing software, new gear or more sd cards, we tend to focus on the material things and forget about one of the most important things to sink money into, our knowledge. It's easy to put off learning when you need a new camera, I totally understand that. I'm just suggesting maybe you don't need that new preset everyone's getting and might enjoy education more. (I fall into this trap constantly!)
Last but not least, people love working with a business owner who knows what they are doing. There's nothing that will set your clients at ease more than confidence in your craft. They are able to trust you to do your thing, and isn't that what we all want?
So there's my thoughts on feeding your brain with new things! I want to encourage you to invest in yourself. Take your time, be brave and learn some cool stuff!!