In a world where comparison runs wild because social media has taken over and peoples opinions seemed to be shared as gospel truth these days, I found myself sitting in large warehouse in Atlanta (thanks again Zack Arias) with near tears streaming down my face as Mr. Jonathan Canlas shared his heart. He shared his inspiration, his workflow, his business strategies, his tag lines, his client experience, his _____ (fill in the blank because he shared it ALL with us! :)
I have been to workshops in the past but this one was (and still is) different for me!
You see, we’re at this crazy transition in life right now…packing our entire house and selling it, expecting a baby in mere weeks and having many conversations about “our future” as we plan and dream and get excited about these changes. Without making this crazy personal, I’ve struggled with some of the changes that are coming my way…what will my days as a part Mom/part business woman look like? Is this even possible? How are other people doing this? Will my photographs and my creativity go down the drain because I’ll be so exhausted to even do anything else besides cook dinner? But as I sat there and listened to Jon gush about his photography, his life, his kids (all 8 of them!), his family, the reasons why he photographs….it dawned on me!
To him, it isn’t about knowing and practicing business the way that he does it. To him, there isn’t a special “formula” that he stirs together to form photographer success that he encourages you to emulate. He doesn’t have special secrets that make him more sought after than the next, he is simply FULL OF PASSION! To him, it’s about being a photographer, a family man, a Dad, a husband. To him, it’s about being an artist. And to him, it’s about falling in love with your craft over and over and over again.
He is an artist to the core of who he is! It’s about having a voice and a vision for not only your business, but your photographs and your life.
It wasn’t about what cameras you shot with or how you chatted with a client to make them book you. It wasn’t about your workflow or marketing strategy, Sure, don’t get me wrong…..they are all important pieces to a puzzle when owning a business. But what I should have realized long ago, is that the passion that I have for my craft as an artist that is FAR greater than the steps and strategies that I take to run a business. And THAT is what will get me through any transition in life! :) As a soon-to-be Mom I NEVER thought that I’d feel partially crippled by the idea of becoming a Mom. I always imagined that I’d have 4 million eager feelings and 900 excitements about a baby (and I still do…trust me, boy do I ever) but as a woman with many dreams of success of my photography (and textile) business, I felt like it was going to turn me upside down into a world that I didn’t even begin to know how to navigate. And it will. And I’m ok with that. Because what I realized as Jon shared for three days, is that it’s about MY passion and MY journey and MY desire as an artist to know that this is the EXACT reason why I’m a photographer in the first place.
To me it’s about people and stories and light. It’s about living the life that I have always dreamed out with my family. I’m a photographer and an artist because I HAVE to be and no amount of change in my life will ever effect that! :) Eh?
Jon is a teacher and a giver and an inspirer! :) He instills confidence in the slightest way and encourages growth in places you didn’t realize. For three days we all scribbled notes as he eagerly shared strategies and how-to’s, we watched him photograph couples and got a renewed fire for the way he interacts with clients and we spent time learning and learning and learning together….and those three days were perfect for me! :) Amazing food, fabulous conversations, the “house of integrity”, and rolls and rolls and rolls and rolls of FILM! :)
Sure, I learned some tips and tricks in running my small photography business that I KNOW will change the way I do things….and I also learned plenty of strategies that will make my business more successful (YAY)! :) But more importantly, I walked away with a renewed fire inside of me for the craft of photography and the desire to be an artist!!! :)
I’ll be posting a SLEW of images throughout this week of my amazing time in Atlanta…but for now, here is a glimpse into my experience in Atlanta! :)