Earlier this year, I attended Sarah Bradshaw‘s The Intentional Photographer workshop. How I decided to make the decision to go is a little fuzzy. I remember seeing it pop up on Facebook as a sponsored post and I remember a college friend plugging Sarah. But how I actually decided that I wanted to go, I don’t remember.
But what I do remember was how much the workshop rocked my world.
I’ve attended workshops that talk about what lenses to shoot, what settings to have, how to pose, how to book clients, what to blog, how often to blog, how often to use social media for your business, etc. And while all that information is helpful and good. It’s just not what I need/needed.
I’d been stuck in the comparison rut. I’d been stuck in the not-good-enough rut. I’d been stuck in the business taking over my life rut. I had basically been stuck. Why was I doing my business? What did I have to offer? Does my business even matter? What is my life?
I saw the name of the workshop and it drew me in.
Intentional – adj – done on purpose, deliberate.
That is what I wanted to put into my business. I was done just doing things for the sake of doing them or because someone else was doing it and said I should do. I wanted my business to be my business. And that’s exactly what Sarah shared at the workshop. She talked about her brand and what made her tick and how all that translates to her business. It was awesome.
“Turn off outside voices and look inward. Unfollow people, unsubscribe from blogs. Create quiet. Find people who can hear your heart. Try new things; be willing to find yourself somewhere new.” – Candance Hacket
Sarah gave us a ton of after workshop homework. And to be honest, I haven’t even completed half of it! It takes time. Soul searching. Life planning. Value defining. One day, I do hope to finish all of that homework so that it’s nicely defined and worded somewhere. Because what I have thought about and completed has changed my business and personal life – for the better.
I could type on and on about all the things Sarah spoke on, but two topics really stuck out to me.
One, is the true meaning of brand. When I think of a brand, I think of its logo, the colors, the slogan, a website – all visual things. But what a brand truly is is what’s at its core. What are the values behind your business, the reason you do what you do, why you believe in your business. No matter how your visual brand changes, the core will always be the same. Starting to think about the why really helped shed perspective on why I have a business.
The second topic that really brought everything – life and business – into perspective was living an intentional life. Similarly to Sarah, my faith in Jesus Christ drives and defines my life. It’s my core. So if my life is based upon that belief, why wouldn’t my business have the same core? “Work is there to support the main goal – so how do we get out from under the work and just live?” If that isn’t convicting, no matter what your core, I don’t what is!
As much as I strive and obsess over my business, my business is not my life.
Sarah asked us to think about ourselves “Who do you want to be in 5 years? 30 years? At the end of your life? Where does your business relate to those answers?”
I mean, seriously, if you’re a photographer and you’ve made it this far in this post and haven’t convinced yourself yet to take this workshop, you totally should! The second Intentional Photographer workshop is happening in November and if you’ve been struggling with the same things I’ve mentioned above, you totally should go!
Sarah, is awesome and sweet. She is super talented with both photography and with teaching. She also has impeccable taste and will put together a fabulous styled shoot where she helps walk you through why she takes pictures the way she does. Intentionally!
I’m endorsing this workshop not because I have anything to gain, but because YOU do. I have no doubt that it will rock your world too, for the better.
Photograph intentionally. Work intentionally. Serve intentionally. Love intentionally.