Shoot, it’s been a minute since I’ve blogged! But I have been doing some cool things!! First and foremost was the In Focus Marketing Summit I just attended last weekend!! Invaluable to me in so many ways and I want to tell you all about it. But before I share my experience with you I wanted to share some background thoughts about this photography thang that led me to the In Focus Marketing Summit.
I have really loved every minute of my photography journey that started almost 4 years ago, but definitely struggled on whether or not to keep it a hobby or make more of a business out of it. And I’m gonna be completely honest here, for a while I wondered if I even had enough clients that would be interested in what I had to offer, the market being so saturated! And if I got the clients, would I be good enough that they’d be repeat ones? Would they pass me along to their friends? Would they pay my going rate? ALLLLL these things constantly entered my mind over the years as seasons changed and my rates as well. And I kept thinking, is it still a hobby? Should I put myself out there and push myself to really go all in and make it a business? The fear of failure was always in the back of my mind, if it was a hobby then it was still safe from failing bc I was just doing it for fun with no expectations on myself. And if I put expectations on myself, and consequently my business, would it take the fun out of it?? The struggle was REAL!
So this past year, after much encouragement from my husband, family and friends, I finally started to seriously think about the business side of my photography. Enter the In Focus Marketing Summit! GUYS. I mean I can’t even tell you what a difference going to this Summit has made! And just within this past week! But first let me back up for a quick sec to tell you that I have always wanted some type of photography mentor when I started this back in 2016. To me thats a huge part of learning and growing in anything you want to improve in. But I struggled to find a knowledgable photographers who would be willing to answer all my 100,000,000 questions, or allow me to shadow them on a shoot or just gab with me about photography (because I love talking about it!). Now enter Jasmine Norris. I found her on Facebook about 6 months ago, prob going down the rabbit hole of social media(!!) because we had no friends in common, weren’t part of the same groups, didn’t live in the same city…. so other than both being photographers (she was much more experienced than me!) I had no idea how I actually happened upon her page but I am SO GLAD I did! I just decided to ask her a few questions about how to start growing my business–because I could clearly tell she knew what she was doing. She is a well known Lafayette/Indianapolis wedding photographer with a huge following on social media and has been featured in tons of wedding and photography magazines. So I reached out to her on FB not expecting much of a response (if any) but I was so pleasantly surprised! Not only did she respond to me after only a few hours, she went above and beyond to answer all the questions I put to her, and I mean in depth answer. So of course I immediately wrote back with follow up questions to all the answers she’d just given me to which she again promptly responded. Thus started a long FB message chain of back and forth where she was more than helpful with all my photography questions, and they were all over the board for sure! So when I heard she and fellow Lafayette wedding photographer, Victoria Rayburn, were hosting a Marketing Summit in February to help fellow photographers grow their business I knew I wanted to be a part of it!
Fast forward, to last weekend when I was actually fortunate to attend the In Focus Marketing Summit and it did not disappoint. First, the price we paid for the weekend Summit was all inclusive. It was held at an Air BnB in downtown Indy, so we didn’t need to leave the house, let alone our PJ’s, all weekend! And we had an awesome Lafayette caterer, Connie, who cooked us delicious food including amazing desserts! Not to mention, I got to meet eight other amazing photographers (which was awesome because even after 4 years I still didn’t have a solid photography community that I could call on). This, in itself ,was invaluable to me because I now have a group of women I call my friends as well as gifted photographers in their field and I can call on them to ask questions, or run ideas by. Staying all together in an Air BnB was the BEST because we had so much time together to bond as well as ask all sorts of photography questions. Victoria and Jasmine were always available to help and answer said questions as well as explain anything and everything about the new marketing information we were learning and absorbing. And they did it all while being supportive and uplifting in a field that is so highly competitive and saturated.
After the two days of informative and enlightening courses I came away feeling I had a new purpose and understanding of what I needed to do to get to the next level of my photography, to make it a business finally. I learned things about marketing and business I didn’t even knew existed, yet are imperative for business growth. And now have a clear path/idea of what steps I need to take next to get to there. And I’m so excited about where Amy Hall Photography will be going in the future! I definitely couldn’t have gotten there by myself. And as good as teachers/photographers as Jasmine and Victoria are, I couldn’t have gotten there with just them either. It took every one of the ladies I met last weekend to inspire me, to teach me, to befriend me, to get me to where I am right now, sitting on my couch writing this. It was the WHOLE DANG experience that made it so worth every penny! It all worked together beautifully and I was genuinely sad when it ended. It was so much more than just a weekend of learning marketing strategies. And for that I will be forever grateful!
And lastly, I just want to say how my experience wouldn’t have been as amazing if I didn’t have both Jasmine and Victoria as my photography educators. They are inspiring, definitely the “leave the ladder down” type of photographers. The type that once they’ve climbed to the top of an achievement they leave the ladder down to help bring others up with them (especially women helping other women)! Like I mentioned above, I’ve been doing photography for almost 4 year now and never really felt a part of any photography community. But it was amazing to see photographers like Jasmine and Victoria ( and Danyell and Rebecca and Emily and Katie and Mollie and Rachel) in a seemingly competitive industry make the choice to educate, help, include others rather than be overly competitive about it and I really appreciated that! So if you couldn’t already tell from this blog post, I cannot express to you how invaluable last weekend was for me! I hope that Jasmine and Victoria can continue to help other photographers in the same boat as me and continue to host this Summit for years to come! And because I know they can help some other photographers, I’ve linked the Waitlist for next year’s Summit below. Any photographers out there? Do yourself a favor and click on this link: