Published on:

4th Mar 2019

Allison Tyler Jones – Episode 022 – A Photographer Podcast Interview

In this episode, Kia interviews Allison Tyler Jones (http://atjphoto.com), all by herself, while Matt teaches at PPA Idaho. This is Allison’s first podcast, but she’s a veteran speaker and has been a photographer for 14 years. Kia was blown away the first time she heard Allison teach. Allison says her photography business was never just for fun, it has always been to support her family. She shoots exclusively in the studio, specializing in family and kids. Listen in to hear the 3 pillars that are working now in her business. Allison is excited that our industry overall is starting to become more positive. You don’t want to miss what Allison would and wouldn’t spend $1k on. You’ll love Allison’s take on the Oscar Wilde quote about being yourself, as everyone else is taken. You also don’t want to miss Allison’s personal habit that contributes to her success or her parting guidance.


Internet Resource:

Audible (Get two free book here)


Essentialism by Greg Mckeown (https://amzn.to/2XgFWMR)

The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz (https://amzn.to/2Er5u2l)

Read Full Transcript

Transcription was done by Temi.com which means it’s an AI generated transcript. The transcript may contain spelling, grammar and other errors, and is not a substitute for watching the video.

Allison: [00:01] This is Alison Tyler John’s and you are listening to from nothing to profit.

Speaker 2: [00:06] Welcome to from nothing to profit a photographer’s podcast with Matt and Kaia. We’re each week they talk to photographers and what is working in their business now so you can swipe those ideas and grow your business faster.

Kia: [00:23] This is Kiah today and I am interviewing Alison Tyler Jones all by myself. Matt is speaking at a convention today and so this is a first for me to do a solo interview and I think it’s at first for you Alison to do a full podcast.

Allison: [00:40] It is. I’m excited.

Kia: [00:43] Yeah, we’re so excited to have you here. Uh, although this is a first for Alison to do a full podcast. She is a veteran speaker and has been a photographer for uh, Gosh, how many years?

Allison: [00:56] Um, I think 1414

Kia: [00:59] years. Okay. I know it’s, it’s hard to know how long when you get our bios. So I first saw Alison at actually the national convention and I had not known who she was and I sat in her program and was blown away by how professional she is by how well she knows how to run a business and by how great her photography is. And what I loved about it is that she had come into photography, not from like a mom’s of the camera, which is, you know, very typical for women and also not from a, uh, like, uh, you know, like a big corporate job or something and wanting to do something else. She came at it from already being in the artistic industry. Uh, and so Alison, do you want to tell us more about yourself and your expertise?

Allison: [01:46] Sure. Am I, as Kaia said, I came into this industry a little bit sideways. I had a, on my own retail store. We were the first scrapbooking store outside of Utah. And I had that business for about 12 years in the late nineties, early two thousands. And, um, when we were selling that business off, I thought, well, I’ll just take six months off and I’ll just do a little bit of photography and tell I decide what it is that I’m going to do. But one thing is for sure I’m not going to make another hobby into a business. And so 14 years later, another hobby was made into a business. But I came from that aspect of when I had my scrapbooking store, the intention always was to make a profit that it had to support my family. And so when I came into a photography, uh, even though I started thinking that I would just do it for a little bit of time, the intention was always that it was going to be a business.

Allison: [02:45] And once I realized that this is what I was going to do, the intention was we’re gonna, uh, make it into a business that’s going to support my family. And so that was from the beginning. It kind of never was. Um, just for fun. Yeah. Well, it seems to me like when you do things, you do them in a really excellent way. And so even fun to you is doing things well? I’m assuming doing them all the way. A constant, uh, constant maximizing I guess you would say or I don’t know. Trying to always improve is something that’s really big for me. It’s also the thing that puts me in the fetal position in many, many aspects of my life. But it is something that I, I’m always striving to do better. So do you still scrapbook? No, that’s so sad because that kind of ruined me scrapbooking for my family.

Allison: [03:42] I always done that ever since I was a little kid. And then once I, once it was a business, I just didn’t really do it for my family anymore. I was doing it as samples for the store and um, so it kind of, it kind of ruined that for me actually. It was really sad. That’s when I have always have this vision of myself as like making these beautiful scrapbooks and creating these amazing moments. And I actually, the only scrapbook I have is a Christmas one and it’s not really even a scrapbook. It’s just like a, a book that you can like ride in. But I cut up all everyone’s Christmas cards and put them in every year and then write on it. And it’s like, well, but I’ve done 20 years and I think my last year. So I’m like, okay, well, wow, that’s awesome. Well, I, you know, with the scrapbooking store, actually, it’s funny because I had always, you know, I like many people, I love photography from when I was young and I was the photo editor of the yearbook when I was in high school.

Allison: [04:44] And so when I started that business, I thought, I really thought it would be more photography. Like I thought we were going to do, uh, have dark room because this was pre digital. I thought we were going to have dark rooms, we’re going to be doing Polaroid transfers and all these cool art journals and this really, really photographically heavy, uh, thing. And then I realized that everybody just wanted stickers and scissors that cut paper into weird shapes, you know? And so, um, but I realized that there was actually a lot of money on that. You know, we did about a million dollars a year on a $20 average sale. So we, we run a lot of volume through that business and it was a good business for a long time, but uh, you know, nobody really wanted to photography until the very tail and as everything was going digital then it was funny because all of our photography classes kind of took off and everybody wanted to do photography at that point.

Allison: [05:34] So you thought it was going to be more like kind of fine arts fucking but you it was more crowd. Totally. Yeah. Nobody, nobody can get Polaroid transfer. What like, I mean we did do a few of those classes but I’m really, everybody just wanted to pile on, you know, 50 stickers and, and, and it was fun. You know, we definitely went, went out and like an archival standpoint in acid, this and that. But you know, it was really, really fun. I look back now and I, I when we first started and we were, you know, putting up all these racks of stickers and all that stuff. I said to my business partner at the time, I said, you know where this is all going, we’re going to end up back where we started with, with like black pages, black photo corners, black and white pictures with like the little, you know, the little late, what is the word I’m looking for, the border around it. And then Hawaii, you know, riding in white pencil, we’re going to all come back from all this like excess back to this streamline. Simple. And it’s like when you look at artifact uprising and a lot of these places now that are, you know, fulfilling. That’s exactly what it is. It’s, I’ll come back to that really simple spare clean. So it’s kind of funny.

Kia: [06:40] Well that is interesting because when I heard you and had a scrapbooking store and then I saw your work, which you really just described your work, black and white, simple, clean. I was wondering where the connection was and it makes more sense that you had assumed it would be more of like an art based and now you’re your APP at. So let’s segue into your, your uh, current photography business because that ad, it sounds to me like your current photography businesses even more successful than your scrap booking business. And so, uh, this, the name of this podcast is from nothing to profit. What’s working now in the photography industry. And so I, we would love to know kind of what, what are you doing and you’re in your studio now with your photography now that you feel is really working well. Okay.

Allison: [07:24] So our studio, I am, I do exclusively studio work. I gotten to the point where I really, we don’t do any location and I specialize in families and kids and my business is basically based on three pillars, which is that it has to have an artistic fields. So it’s our, that at least my tagline is art that happens to be your family. I want our longterm relationship with my clients, so I’m not a one and done. I don’t want to create a marketing arm that’s just going to chat, jam a bunch of people in my funnel. I’m hoping that some, some of them, well we’ll buy and then I don’t care if I ever see him again. So we’re really based on relationship and referral. And then, uh, the other pillar is a finished product. So, uh, we create pieces of art for our client’s home and that’s where we start from.

Allison: [08:18] That’s what we’re speaking from. The second, the very first phone call we’re talking about finished products. We do not sell printable digital files, so are a longterm relationship and a finished product. Those are the three things that my business is based on. So it, it’s working for us and that, um, we’re not competing with the, anybody that’s a shooting share model in our, in our market. Uh, we just, I don’t really, we don’t really see ourselves as is in competition in that respect. It doesn’t mean that we think we’re beyond competition or whether we think we’re so cold. It’s just that that’s, we’re just in a different business. We’re providing fine art for the home. Uh, we’re helping solve those kinds of problems. We’re not so much focused on, oh, what’s this cool. We’re not some, we’re focused on the shooting. We definitely want to create something amazing and fabulous for that, but it is for their home.

Allison: [09:19] And so that’s really what’s working for us is that I’m not, I’m trying not to be distracted by everything else that’s going on because I started out in my home for four years. I, when I saw my scrapbook in store, um, I didn’t, you know, want it to just go into overhead overnight because I didn’t have a business established. And so I have a home that has a basement. And so for four years I shot out of that basement and did a sales sessions in my dining room. And then once it was kind of taking over the house and I could see that I was at a certain level of income and I knew that I could support, uh, that I could still be profitable and have a studio, a rental, you know, be able to pay studio rent. Then we made the leap to s s downtown studio.

Allison: [10:08] And we’ve been there since 2009 and so, um, once, so when I was shooting from home and in the basement I was doing maybe 40% studios, about 60% location. And then as I went into the studio just more and more, the more I, I’ve always loved studio work from, from day one. I’ve loved it and I love the ability to control the light no matter what time of year when no matter what time of day. And I love, uh, I love the relationship with the subject. I love that interaction. And so I just felt like that when I was either introducing props or a lot of background or environment, it was detracting from the, to me, the most interesting part of the image, which was the person. So I just, the more spare and clean I got, the happier I was with what I was doing. And then it also happened to be that as I was not running around, you know, for three hours getting to and from a shoot and breaking it up and putting it up and taking it down, it just was so great. The studio just seemed to really be a great fit for me.

Kia: [11:16] Well, and you, uh, because you do the studio lighting and the really simple images that plays into the three pillars of your business. It’s so funny because I’m like, ah, I should be taking it. But you’re your simple simple images obviously look more like art, but, and then your, you know, the simple images are going to go in any home, but also because you’re doing similar images over time that lets you keep that relationship where you’re not creating one specific look for one specific time. So that’s really interesting. Hear that.

Allison: [11:53] Uh, so my next question for you is what are you most fired up about in our industry? Um, what is something that you’re excited about? Something that you’re worried about? Just uh, you know, you, I know you just spoke at the, again, didn’t choose speak this year emerging. Yeah. At the national convention. And so I’m assuming you saw trends and kind of thought about it a bit. So what are, tell us what you’re most fired up about the photography industry now. The thing that I’m most excited about as I really feel like, you know, 2003 was when it was the first year that more people shot digital then found. And so, you know, exponentially that’s just grown. And here we are. And I think that we had that a ton of people coming into the industry kind of churning around down at the bottom, editing 24 hours a day, not seeing their kids.

Allison: [12:46] A lot of women, a lot of women not valued and not valuing what it was that they were doing. Like, oh well it doesn’t take me that much time so I shouldn’t charge that much or whatever, you know, fill in the problem here. You know, and I, it’s interesting to me to see people that have, uh, you know, and our trade organization would say that they’re the, at the bottom, there are a lot of photographers that are new that are coming in and they kind of churn around the bottom at about the two year mark. And usually they wash out at about two years. They’ve just had it. They, they’ve, they’re editing themselves blind. They’re tired. They’re not making any money. It’s horrible. And it’s taking away from their family. They have no life. But if they can get, if they can get some education, some point in that two year period and realize, oh wait, I actually have to charge it.

Allison: [13:34] You know what I’m worth. I actually have to, you know, make this into a business and take this a little bit more seriously. Um, they can do really, really well. And so I, I saw a lot of that when I was at imaging this year. There are people that are just out there doing really, really well. And I’ve, um, I belong to a group of photographers. Um, it’s a group called XXV. Um, and it’s just, uh, you know, some of the really great portrait photographers and a commercial photographers and we s we all sat in a room in spring of last year and every single person that stood up said, this isn’t my best year yet. And so I think that’s pretty amazing when you hear the dire or if you get online, like, I mean, my gosh, if you go on to any Facebook group, it’s a doom and gloom, oh my gosh, everything’s going to hell in a handbasket.

Allison: [14:28] There’s so much competition. All these mommy, mommy know moms with the camera or just ruining, you know, ruining the whole industry. And it’s not true. It’s not true. So the, you know, the, the, um, the recession’s over people are spending and that they’re not going to just spend on just anything. There’s a specific thing and it’s going to be a specific thing for, you know, Kai, you’re going to have a different thing that people are spending with you then they would spend with me. But I think those who are willing to really figure out what their secret sauce is and how they want to do business and what the value of that is, um, are going to do really, really well. And that’s true of any industry and any time in history, uh, but this is the best time in history. It’s the baby boomers have them the largest amount of disposable income and the history of the world.

Allison: [15:18] And there, those are definitely my clients because that’s that older mom, um, that the millennials are hitting their stride in their careers and they’re starting to, I’m starting to see a little trickle of millennials, Coleen saying, um, you know, I just want a real photographer. And I’m like, well, what does that mean to you? And they’re like, well, you know, I mean, we’ve been going with my luck. Sister in law has a nice camera or somebody in my neighborhood, you know, and we just want somebody that is just like knows what they’re doing that can tell us how to dress, can tell us what to do and that we’ve heard that y’all, you know, printed out and come and hang it on our wall. And that’s what we want. I just don’t want to have to deal with it anymore. So, uh, you know, we’re not catering to a DIY clients how we’re catering to people that want to have something done for them.

Allison: [16:04] So that I think that those things are, I see more and more of that and I think that there’s enough business out there for everybody. And I feel like that the, our industry as a whole is starting to become a little more positive. You’re always going to have the negative naysayers out there who are going to, you know, just say that it’s all going bad and it’s never going to be good. But usually those are people that are either scared or what. There are people that, um, maybe they had it good at one time and never really evolved their business.

Kia: [16:36] Yeah, I think that’s definitely true because I’ve been in the business long enough to see you the transition from film to digital to see the transition from proofs to, you know, in person sales. And so every time that there’s a change, there are people that don’t have a vision and are just used to doing what they’re doing. Uh, but one of the things that you were just saying is, uh, I think what, what you’re seeing is that the consumer is starting to have more money than time. And so as a, you know, photographer, we’re in both a product in the service industry. And so to be able to help them gain more time, which is what you’re doing, uh, they’re, they’re not having to figure everything out. You’re consulting with them, you’re planning, right? Yeah. So, but you’re helping people trade their money for more time and service, so,

Allison: [17:25] right. And what I found is that even people that have a lot of money and there is still, it’s, it’s rare to find somebody who will take responsibility for something, who will stand up and say, you know, I know how this is supposed to go and I know I know what you’re supposed to wear. I know how I’m in a light it, I know the concept I’m going to use, I know where it’s going to hang on your wall. I know how we’re going to frame it. And let me take this over and handle this for you. And in any industry, honestly, no matter how much money people have, it is very hard to find that level of expertise and, and that level of people willing to take responsibility for the process from beginning to Anna. And so, and if you’re going to do that, if you’re going to take responsibility from beginning to end, you have to be able to charge for that.

Allison: [18:12] And there, there are people that are willing to pay for it. So I think in the beginning when I kind of started down this road, you know, you kind of go through this thing of like when you’re raising your prices or whatever, you’re like, oh, I just feel bad. I want everybody to be able to afford me. And I had to let that go. Like everybody is not going to be able to afford me. The people that want to do it themselves, that want to, that just want those files and that want to go and order Shutterfly books and all that kind of stuff, those are not going to be my clients. Even though I love those people and they’re my neighbors and they’re, you know, I got to church with them and they’re my friends and stuff. But that doesn’t necessarily, there’s those people that want that level of service are not, I’m never going to spend the money whether they have it or not with me because they, they think they can do it.

Allison: [18:55] I’m catering to the people that don’t want to do it. They just want like, I just need to show up in what you told me to where you’re going to figure this out. You’re going to direct my kids, you’re going to make it this whole magic happen. We’re gonna have a great time while we’re there. And then in a little while you’re going to show up at my house and, and style it all my walls and then I’m going to take credit for all of it and, and tell the story to myself and others that I’m a great mom and that I value my family. And maybe she has a great mom because she didn’t to make it off for sure cause absolutely. Yeah.

Speaker 4: [19:27] All right. Awesome stuff guys. Hey, on that note, let’s just take a quick break and we’ll be right back. Hey everyone, tell me if this sounds familiar. You look at your calendar and notice you need clients now so you do a little marketing and get some phone calls. You get busy helping those new clients. They scheduled sessions, they place orders and life is good, but once they’re done, your calendar is empty. Again, the reason is you didn’t have time to market while you were busy. Sometimes your business feels like a rollercoaster, and let me tell you something. It is, and believe me, you’re not alone. Photographers everywhere have the same problem, but I have some great news. Max Business, Allison Ragsdale, photography after years of trial and error has cracked the code. It works so well. He’s created a new class all about it. It’s called get clients now a dead simple approach to getting photography clients.

Speaker 4: [20:15] Everyone at from nothing to profit is excited to share this info with you because this system helped Matt and Allison book hundreds of clients this year at their studio. And the best part about this system is that it’s simple to set up and it works while you’re sleeping. No hard selling or creepy marketing. All you have to do is help your clients answer their most pressing questions. Clients love the system and say it is the number one reason they book with Matt and Allison. If you’re interested in learning more about this system, go to photo podcast.com forward slash simple Matt has created a short free video that introduces the system. If you like what you hear, podcasts or listeners get an exclusive discount on the full class. So make sure you go to photo podcast.com forward slash symbol and sign up for the free video. It will help you book more clients now and create the business you’ve always wanted.

Allison: [21:02] Okay, so let’s move on to the lightning round. So these are kind of quicker questions and uh, so I’ll just ask and then you can kind of answer as we go. So because you transitioned over from, you know, a different business, this is a great question. So what was holding you back from becoming a full time photographer? Well, I didn’t want to build it, the business around it at hobby, which I think I said that before. And I also just was like, I didn’t, I was really worried about building a business all around just me, the business I had before. I could take six months off and write a book and the business would just run without me. And so, and that’s a valid, that that was a valid concern and it, and it continues to be a concern. I was right. It was hard to build a business around yourself.

Allison: [21:47] Yeah. And Do, does your, do you have family that works with you in the business? I made my husband quit his job and about five years ago and so he, he’s, he works with me and so I’ll, 100% of our income comes from the studio. That’s, that’s what we do. Yeah. Yeah, I’ve done that too. We don’t right now, but my husband is a pastor and so a good portion of our income definitely comes from the photography business. Okay. So if you had $1,000 right now, what would you buy that’s photo related? Oh, I didn’t see that on the only a thousand. Yup. I would probably miss or just whatever. I would probably, I’d probably buy the iPad pro just because I keep putting off buying it and I really want it. I don’t really need it, but I just, it’s so sexy and I really want it. But I think it’s, I think it’s more than, I think the iPad pro like pimped out is like probably three grand. So yes, I think it is. That’s interesting. Uh, for Christmas, uh, I got my husband the surface, uh, and, and we had never, I look, I haven’t owned a PC item. I don’t know. I don’t know if I ever have. And so that was really a weird feeling. He was like, I just think it’s better. I think I’m more, I want to try it. So he cheated. You cheated on Steve so bad.

Allison: [23:08] Okay. So if you have $1,000 right now, what would you not buy? What I not buy? What are some examples of things that people have not bought? Well, I think like, uh, you know, templates or you know, like some people have said education is what they would spend money on and other people, you know, like that kind of thing. What would you suggest people to not spend their thousand dollars on you? I mean, I’m assuming you just walk to the trade show, so there were things that you were like, Ooh, well I think, I think people, you know, get caught up in, uh, I think the reason that Matt put this question in is because I think the people get

Kia: [23:46] caught up in buying things that they think are going to make their business better. Yeah. And, and so that’s kind of the question, right?

Allison: [23:53] As well. What I would not buy as I would for my business. Actually for the thousand dollars I would buy $1,000 Amazon Gift Card or audible so that I can just, because I such a book and audible book and a reader, not that’s, that’s actually what I would buy because, because that is what I actually do buy. What I wouldn’t buy is probably things that I have bought a lot of, which is I bought a ton of like creative live. Uh, I mean, well I shouldn’t say creative. Why or you know, like online education, things that I think in the moment like, oh that sounds really, really good. And then I never even opened them, look at them or whatever. You know, I, I, it’s like I would say I won’t let myself buy another one. That was until I’ve used the last one that I did that prompt.

Kia: [24:43] So not necessarily that those aren’t valuable, but that you, you know, you need to be ready to use them.

Allison: [24:49] Yeah, exactly. Cause I, you know, you buy that stuff and then you’re like, wait a minute, I think I have something like that. I needed to go back to, I don’t get or organize it, like somebody needs to come up with a way to organize that stuff. But I don’t know if that’s a really good answer.

Kia: [25:02] Well I think that’s good. You wouldn’t buy education until you’re ready to use that education. Like I just bought a class, which I never spend that much on things, but I, I’ve done it. I set aside time every day. You know, every time I spend time with it. Actually it’s a Jamie Swanson, her personal branding and Huh, I never do that type of thing. But we interviewed her on the podcast and I thought this is, this was one of my lists of things I was going to launch this spring. I thought if I invest in this and sit down and do it, you know, I could have figured it out. Like I could have ended around at her, you know, found other people that have, you know, obviously been in her class, copied them, but I was just like, first of all, I think that doesn’t have integrity, so I’m not going to do that. The second of all, I think if I spend the money, it’s gonna make me do it right. And, and I, and I have, I’ve already, you know, the two lessons in have got more done than I think I would have gotten without doing it.

Allison: [25:57] That’s awesome. Okay. I know what I wouldn’t buy it for real. I know what I wouldn’t mind. I would not buy a another like lands or piece of equipment. I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t buy that. And really it’s been a really long time since I used to just really be into that. Like I was just sure that if I bought that next is it would make me a better photographer that, uh, really equipment is just what it can do. And if it’s not, if I can’t do what I need to do, the only reason I’m going to buy something as if I just get to a point in my creative journey to where I cannot go past that without that. Um, and I need, I need to have a pretty compelling reason for that just because it needs to make money.

Kia: [26:38] So what, uh, do you, what do you shoot Canon or Nikon? Nikon. I’m a, okay. Yeah.

Allison: [26:44] Yeah. And what Lens do you shoot a, I am a like a 70 to 200 like I love us at me. A 70 to 200 do you have a like a long studio to be able to get back and get those full family shots with your I do. I’m, I mean usually on my bat like I with my back against the wall all the time. Okay. Yeah, it’s a really big family. Then I’ll shoot a 24 70 but I love the compression of a 70 to 200 and I always have, I, I would love to have a 200 but I’d have to, you know, you have to knock a wall out and you would have to get Arnold source snugger arms. Totally. Okay. So what is the best advice you’ve ever received? Well, the, the bet I thought about this when I got the questions and I like that there’s just such a loaded question and I, and I think everybody’s heard this advice, so don’t turn off the podcast.

Allison: [27:43] And I say this because I kind of have a little bit of a different take on it, but it’s to, you know, ask, one of my favorite quotes is a Oscar Wilde said, be yourself. Everyone else is already taken. And uh, you know, your mom always said that to you, you know, just be yourself. You know, when you’re in junior high and you’re like, nobody wants me. But I think in this industry in particular, it’s a good idea for life in general. But in the, in our industry in particular, the combinate, what cannot be replicated is you. And what we do is we are creating, we are in many ways the product and the, I found that the more I went to an inward and the more I went who I already was more of who I’m becoming more of, who I already was, the more successful I become.

Allison: [28:31] And when I, when I first started, I think when you first start in any industry, you kind of look around and see what everybody else is doing. Kind of like, well, how is this business done? And you, you feel like, well, okay, that’s, that’s how we should do it. But I feel like this industry has been so completely disrupted that the old rules don’t really apply. There are some basic principles that apply across the board in business that will always be true, but it’s so, it’s so different. And a lot of the things that, that people have said from time in memorial just really don’t apply anymore. Or maybe they don’t apply for you. And so if they don’t, if those things don’t apply, then how, how could you do business? So for me, an example of that would be, well, okay, you know, digital is kind of, you have to sell digital files.

Allison: [29:21] That’s just the way it is. If you’re not doing it, you’re going to be left behind, you know? And I just decided I sell digital files for the first six months I was in business. And then I realized there’s no way because, and it wasn’t because I thought, oh, I’m not gonna make any money. It was because I was going over like to my sister’s house and she has some, you know, 20 by 30 canvas on the wall that she got printed at Costco is to be black and white, but it was purple. And she’s telling everybody in our neighborhood that I did it. And while they might not be able to tell the difference, I was mortified, you know? So I realize, okay, no, I have to have that control over how this whole thing is going to go down and, and this is how I want it to look.

Allison: [29:57] And so, and, and I second guess myself a lot too because I’m an oldest child, so, you know, oldest children, you must be right. It must be perfect where always looking around and everybody loves me is everybody thinks I’m great, you know? And so, you know, I had a lot of anx about that. Like, am I doing it right? And then finally I, I would, I would say, am I doing it right? And then I’d second guess myself and listened to other people. And then finally I would just say, I don’t care. I’m just going to do it this way. So I quit looking at what other photographers were doing. I quit worrying about what everybody else in that quote unquote industry wasn’t doing. I don’t really spend a ton of time online in forums and that sort of thing. I really just kind of how my own vision of how I wanted knew it and, and that’s been working well for me.

Allison: [30:37] Now that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to look around at the industry or look around artistically and see if there are ways to evolve the word because like we were saying before, I don’t want to get stuck in this. Well this is the way I’ve always done it. I’m always, you know, very worried about like, am I relevant? Am I still, you know, am I evolving the work? Am I still staying interested? And I think once you’re like 15 1415 years into your career, those are two very interesting topics. You know, it’s a lot of things I talk about a lot of people that have been in business for a long time is it, it’s like, Hey, am I even relevant? And what I’m doing and my is, is my stuff’s still there. Does it still resonate? And then do I want to put a gun in my mouth every, you know, September looking down the barrel of the holiday season, you know, like what’s going to keep me interested and keeps me moving forward. And usually that’s some kind of a creative challenge, whether it’s the creativity and the business or the creativity in the work itself. And for me, I like both of those things. So that’s a really long answer for just be, be yourself, do it how you think you should do it. Okay.

Kia: [31:42] Yes. And that’s going to make you successful because I think we can’t necessarily go into this, but what was, what I think is really fascinating thing that you said at the very beginning is we’re all selling a different product like you and I could be next door to each other and have completely different clients and both have successful businesses, right? Because we’re selling completely different products and there are buyers for both. You know, they’re like you said, the business is, there’s not a rule that, you know, things don’t look the same like they used to, so, right. That’s very true. So share one of your personal habits that you think contributes to your success.

Allison: [32:20] Um, and 2010 I was probably about 275 pounds and I had just always been heavy as an adult. And uh, I got, I started to really impact my health and I decided that I was going to change that and I before, but, uh, I, you know, a few things kind of coalesced and I, I lost a hundred pounds over about 18 months. And so part of that process was I realized I’d been going on diets for a long time and I would always think, when can I stop this? Like, you know, when can I quit the Diet? One, can I quit the working out part of it? And it was, for some reason, this time, this journey, I realize this is the rest of my life. This is what I have to do. And I’ve always lived in my head. I’ve never really been a pee girl.

Allison: [33:10] And uh, I’ve been like all about the brain and the personality and I finally realized, wait a minute, this is the brain carrier. I need to take care of the brain carrier. And so, um, my habit is that I work out six days a week, usually about six o’clock in the morning now, not on Saturdays, but I’ll work out a little bit later. But working out every single day has given me actually an extra two to three hours in the day and really good hours when I’m awake and, and really, really, really going. And so I established a rule that three days a week is my minimum that I can consider myself successful and six days a week is optimal. And that that little mindset has really helped me in other areas in the business that I was always kind of all or nothing. Like if I’m not doing it all the way, then I, then I just forget it.

Allison: [34:03] I’m not going to do any of it. So that establishing a minimum successful and then an ideal and being able to swing between those two things has been super helpful. But just that, that exercising first thing in the morning just gets me up and it gets me, my mind’s going. And uh, I usually arrive at the gym like 20 minutes early so I can plan my day and make notes and, um, it’s just been a game changer for me. That was amazing. I, I didn’t know you before then and it’s so funny cause I, I immediately think your cheekbones, but I love your, it’s just, it’s hard to imagine, but it’s, it’s neat to hear that. Uh, that’s a really neat success story and a really neat personal habit. So, uh, you said you would spend money on audible, so I don’t know if this is going to be your internet resource or not, but what are some, what does an Internet resource that you would recommend to our listeners?

Allison: [34:58] You can say if you want. I think audible is, you know, for, especially for people that have a hard time reading, uh, either have a hard time making the time for it. I’ve had a lot of people say, how do you read so many books that I just fall asleep when I, you know, at the end of the day I’m too tired. But um, you know, just, I don’t have a long commute to work. Uh, but even still just having books loaded up on my phone and being able to listen to, and Bluetooth just in that little time in between errands, whatever, you can get so many more books read that way. And, and it’s, it’s a different way of processing it as well. You know, it’s like sometimes if I really am the book that I’m listening to you and then I buy it in the print format too, so I can go in and make notes.

Allison: [35:41] And then of course I have to buy it on my kindle too because then I need to read it, you know? So I have very many books in all three formats. So I would definitely say audible. If you could only have one internet resource in your life? Uh, audible would be the one for me for sure. What is really interesting, I’m an, I’m not a good listener and so I, I do like podcasts, but um, I am not, I like to listen to a whole book. Sounds scary to me. Like I’ve never listened to a whole book, you know, except for, but I read probably several books a week and it’s a different kind of a different, what I found, I’m not a good listener either and because I’m like, I really add, but what I found is that it’s kind of like a, it’s like I, I picked different things up from it.

Allison: [36:31] Like, so I listened to it and I’ll hear like, oh, that was really interesting. And then, then I go back and I read it and I was like, it just, it almost like it’s coming from a different hemisphere in my brain. You should try it. You should try just one because with the audible, when you first sign up, I think you get the first book free. Yeah, no, we have like credits. Like my husband just sent me them. He was like, you should, you should get some books. So, so speaking of that, if I were to do that, what books would you recommend? And you can do more than one if you want to or just one. I know, I know. Well this, that’s like picking your favorite child. It’s probably easier to pick your favorite child. But honestly, one book that I read or listened to every six months minimum is a book called essentialism by Greg mccown.

Allison: [37:17] It’s Greg, g, R, e. G. And his last name is m. C. K. E. O. W. N. And uh, it’s just, it’s just excellent. It’s just about keeping the main thing, the main thing, keeping focused on what really matters. And it’s not, not really, but in business it’s also higher level too, like in life. But the thing that I loved about that when I first started reading, as he talks about that if you’re good at what you do and if you become successful, it’s actually becomes this complicating situation because then everybody wants you for different things. And so people are just constantly pulling at you. And then so success breeds more opportunities, but not all opportunities are created equal. So how do you pick from the things that are, so his thing is we’re not choosing from like the crap from the good, like anybody can do that. We’re choosing the good from better or really, really good things from excellent things.

Allison: [38:22] And so how do you pick that out? Those are hard things because we want to do everything. And so it’s just the concept of prioritization that we can’t do everything that for every yes, you’re saying you’re saying no to something else and need to realize that. And in, in our society and how we live now, especially with all of the distractions and everything we have, we really think that we can do it all and we really can’t. And so he’s talking about how we’re just making a millimeter progress in a million different directions rather than going long and deep into something that’s really, really amazing. And so it just, it centers me and it helps me refocus. But I, that book I love. And then the other one I would say for anybody listening to this podcast, especially if it’s from zero to profit, would be Mike McCollough. It says the Pumpkin plan. Yup, Yup. That I’m reading their own right now. Oh my gosh. That, that is, and that’s another one I read. I read and, or listen to. And I have that in every format. I love that guy and his, that book, that book and profit first, his other book, profit first change my business for sure. Yeah.

Kia: [39:31] Yeah. That book was great. It’s so funny. I had the book of centralism and I read part of it and then I left it at a on purpose at a, uh, echo hotel on the side of a lake in Guatemala because I was like, you know, I should leave it here because I don’t have to carry as dean in a centralist and leaving the book behind someone else. But see if you had it on audible, then it would make it one way, that pain and then, then you can have it with you. So. Okay, I’m Alison, thank you so much for being on here with us. This is amazing and I would love to keep visiting, but we want to keep it in our time and so we would, I would love to hear any parting piece of guidance that you would want to give our listeners and then the best way to connect with you. The last piece is that right?

Allison: [40:17] I would give anybody listening to this is that that thing that you’re looking for, that you’re just sure is on the horizon, it’s going to make all the difference in your business. That’s going to make all the difference in your life is not on the horizon. It’s within you and you have the ability and uh, all it takes is just to, to find it for yourself. And so quit looking outside externally and take time, you know, maybe every day or if you, if that’s too much once a week, once a month, and just sit and think about what it is that you’re doing, maybe right. Maybe Journal and just make a list of like the things that are important to you that you really want out of your life, how you see your business, how you see your creative journey and just do what really at the core response resonates for you. And you will be more successful than you could possibly imagine because it doesn’t exist because you haven’t done it yet. Your secret sauce, you’re special, you’re your amazing success. And the reason why you haven’t found it yet is because you haven’t done it and you’re the one that’s going to do it.

Kia: [41:28] That is awesome. I’m sitting here going, I’m so glad we made for this today.

Allison: [41:34] So where can people find you online? My website is a TJ photo.com and uh, if anybody would like, one of the things that we, that I would love to give to anybody that wants it is I have a really great consultation form. We didn’t really talk about that. And I’ve used it though. I’ve, I just looked at it the other day. Good. Yeah. I haven’t really great that competition for us. I would be happy to send to anybody that is wanting to do better with consultations and their business and that can be that. We will send that to you. If you just email jessica@atjphoto.com and she will send that right out to you. Awesome. Will thank you so much for being with us today and uh, you all listeners have a great day. Thank you.

Speaker 2: [42:23] Thank you for listening to from nothing to profit a photographer’s podcast with Matt and Kaia. Be sure to subscribe for more business strategy and ideas to help you create a profitable and successful business you’ve always wanted. See you on the next episode of from nothing to profit.


Show artwork for From Nothing to Profit

About the Podcast

From Nothing to Profit
From Nothing to Profit join Matt and Kia as they interview professional photographers and found out what is working now for their photography business
Welcome to “From nothing to Profit, a photographers podcast”. Every week Matt Hoaglin and Kia Bondurant interview successful photographers that own profitable portrait studios. The goal is to find out what is working in their business now and see what is making them so profitable. From marketing tips to business secrets, Matt and Kia will ask all the difficult questions so you can take your business from nothing to profit. If you listen to this every week, not only will you have an action plan to grow your business but you will know what the best photographers in the world are thinking about right now. Your competition will have no idea what hit them. You will steal market share and have a list of amazing marketing ideas to use all year long. If you want your portrait studio to supply for your family this is the podcast for you. Stay tuned as we interview the very best photographers in the industry so you can swipe their marketing ideas and business practices.
Support the show