Published on:

25th Feb 2019

Gary Box – Episode 021 – A Photographer Podcast Interview

This is an episode you do not want to miss. Gary Box is on the podcast today. Kia has known Gary since the first conference she attended. Gary is starting his 30th year of being a full time professional photographer. Matt says Gary’s Facebook group (link?) is the best photographer FB group. Gary thinks basic lighting fundamentals is missing from the education world. Gary is excited about the new technology like hi speed sync. Listen in to hear how Gary got into photography. Hear what Gary suggests you do and do not spend your $1000 on. Make sure you pay close attention to the best advice Gary received. Gary’s personal habits that lead to his success include being a recovering workaholic. He works hard and is hard on his work.


Texas School PPA- https://www.texasschool.org/

Godox lighting

FB group link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/insidetheboxphotogroup/

Inside the box hacks (Kia recommended)

Books – Audible

The Storybrand by Donald Miller (https://amzn.to/2RUcYTW)

Seth Godin (https://amzn.to/2TlElmy)


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.


Gary: [00:01] This is Gary box and you are listening to from nothing to profit.

Speaker 2: [00:05] Welcome to from nothing to profit, a photographer’s podcast with Matt and Kayak where each week they talk to photographers about what is working in their business now so you can swipe those ideas and grow your business faster.

Kia: [00:21] Hello everyone. We are so excited to have our friend Gary box here today on the podcast. And I have to tell you that I have known Gary probably from actually the very first photography conference I attended. Gary was there. I brought pictures of a high school senior doing ballet or dance or something in a CPA background. And we talked about it. He was speaking at it and for some reason, Gary, you wore, you had some teeth, like some, some, uh, like main mangy nasty teeth that you put on as a joke. Billy Billy Bob Teeth. Yeah. And so, uh, so I have known, yeah, over 20 years. And Gary, you have been such an amazing influence to the photography industry as a whole. And then just, you know, seeing what you do as a photographer over the years with high school, senior photography and then sharing and how much you shared. So I’m super excited to have you on here today because I think you’re a great example of creating profit in the photography industry over all kinds of changes. And so I think you have a lot to add to us today.

Gary: [01:35] Thank you, Kai. I’m really glad to be here. I have been in the industry for quite a while. I’m starting my 30th year professional full time and you know, I’ve run the gamut of things. I’ve gone from high volume. We were doing 1100 sessions a year at one point with nine employees to medium volume and mid priced and you know, now I’m doing a lower volume and a higher price. So I’ve Kinda got a little bit of a experience with, with all three business models.

Matt: [02:03] That’s awesome. So here’s Gary, here’s how I know you. So years and years ago I was in the pro form and you were really active in that. And uh, I didn’t really know you at the time and I, it’s interesting, we’ve gone circles wrench on them, we don’t really know each other that well even today. And then I kinda lost track of you and then about a year ago someone was like, you need to be in Gary Boxes, facebook group. And I was like, okay. So I just was like, request and you approve me. And it is like the best I. and I’ve said this before, not when you were here, I said this on a previous podcast. It is the best facebook group for photographers by far.

Gary: [02:37] Well thank you. I’ve put a lot of time into it and you know, one of the things that I’ve tried to do is keep out some of the negativity and, and bad attitudes so that, you know, the creatives can, can thrive in that environment. And I try to mix a both business and artistic elements, both of them into that group.

Matt: [02:59] That’s awesome. Um, okay. So yeah, so I don’t. So tell me where you’re located because I don’t even know where your studio is.

Gary: [03:03] Okay. My studio is right on route 66 highway in Sapulpa, Oklahoma. That’s just a little ways outside of Tulsa, kind of. I’m really a blue collar town. Most of my business comes in from other areas and uh, it’s just a great place to be. We have really low cost of living and great friendly people here.

Matt: [03:23] Awesome. Awesome. Okay, so I’m going to jump into the first question and because you kind of already talked about your expertise and I mean I think 30 years speaks for itself, so we’ll just jump into kind of what you think is working now. So you know, tell us a story of what you think is working in your business or what you think is working in the industry right now.

Gary: [03:40] Well, one of the things that I’ve always stood by is there has been a lot of change in our industry and I’ve watched, and I’ve gone through it. I was one of the early pioneers in the digital world and helped a lot of people make that transition. As the digital world has come down in cost, obviously the market has become flooded and there’s been so many people out there teaching and so much, but one of the things that I see is something that’s lacking now in today’s teaching or just core fundamentals, you know, just basic lighting fundamentals and honestly that’s, that’s how I have, how I’ve done my photography for years. I try to be current and up to date, but I still try to hold those fundamental things, you know, close to me like, you know, simply where does the light go and you know, good exposure and things like that. And I think that’s something that’s really missing in our industry right now is people teaching good, wholesome fundamentals. They all want to know the cool stuff, but not something as basic as where does the light go?

Matt: [04:43] Well, and sometimes I think they want to fix some funding with a pre for the pre-sentence. They’re just lighting it correctly at the beginning, you know?

Kia: [04:49] Exactly. Yeah. I’ve been seeing some APP just like editors on instagram and they’re just absolutely beautiful images, but what they start with could have been so much better if they just would have done the work in camera. It’s crazy. Yeah. And you definitely can teach lighting. I saw on your facebook group the other day, your video of your, uh, all your equipment, your equipment, a hallway with all of it. I don’t know how many you, you’d like tripods and nightstands, you had. And I was like, oh my goodness. Gary knows this stuff. Definitely.

Gary: [05:24] Well, you know, I have a large studio. It’s about 6,000 square feet. I’ve got several shooting areas and, and I liked to work real efficiently, so I just keep equipment setup and all these different areas.

Kia: [05:34] Yeah. That’s so fun. Yeah. People should definitely go to your facebook group and watch some of the videos of your ad laced, the latest ones where you’re hacks a inside the box hacks. And I thought that was really fun to see. So yeah. Yeah, it looked like it. So, uh, what is the one thing that you are most fired up about? In our industry, like whether you’re excited about it, whether you’re about it, just,

Gary: [05:58] you know, what, what are you thinking about these days? Well, for me personally, one of the thing that really excites me is as I’ve slowed down in volume, I am finding more time to be creative and to uh, you know, to flex my creative wings and do stuff that’s different and no pun intended out of the box and I’m really, really enjoying that. For years I was just so focused on making money, making money and I, and I did that well, but I didn’t really get to enjoy what I do well enough. So that’s more my personal view than industry wide, industry wide. I mean we continue to see technology changes that makes it easier for us to do our jobs really well. And that is just incredibly exciting. A new lighting, um, you know, that the high speed sync and all the things that are available now are just absolutely incredible tools for us to use.

Matt: [06:50] Because Gary, and here’s my question for you. Like when you started photography, were you still like lighting a match for the flash? And it was like a flash bomb,

Gary: [06:59] 30 white that far back. But a funny thing about lighting is, you know, whenever I was 19 years old and that was what, maybe 20 years ago.

Matt: [07:10] Right, right.

Gary: [07:11] Yeah. I actually bought a set of Novotron lights at the camera store in Tulsa. I financed him. It was a thousand dollars for Novotron pack and three heads and, and that was my start into lighting whenever I was 19 years old. Did you know I still use that Novotron set every single day. It’s the hair light over my main shooting area.

Matt: [07:33] That’s awesome. Yeah. Like some, like some stuff just never dies, you know what I mean? Like when it’s built well it just lasts forever.

Gary: [07:40] Yeah, I think it’s been repaired twice, but I mean it just keeps going. So. Okay, not joking about the numbers. That thing has been in use for a 35 years.

Matt: [07:50] That’s awesome. That’s a good use of your money I think. I think I broke even on that. When you’re, when you’re 19 and you spend a thousand dollars, like that’s a big deal. And so you gotTa make sure you get your money’s worth for sure. So absolutely. Um, okay. So let’s, I mean this is going fast, which is good, but let’s, let’s jump into lightning round. We can definitely take some more time. You know, lightening round implies that they’re fast answer but we can definitely take some more time. So when you were first becoming like a full time photographer, what do you think was holding you back from becoming full time photography? Or did you just kind of jump into it?

Gary: [08:23] Well that was kind of back in the stone age. Um, but you know, one of the things at that point in my life as I was still young, I was starting a young family and you know, income was it. So whenever I had opened my studio I was actually working for a camera store and I spent three days a week working in the camera store, three days a week working in the studio in five nights a week in the dark room, printing for people. So that’s how I got my start. And that helped me transition the earning gap between leaving a comfortable fulltime job and being a solely dependent upon my photography. So I was able to over the period of about nine months kind of ease my way into it. And I think that’s a big challenge for a lot of people is how do they make that change? How do they walk away from knowing they’re going to have that paycheck every two weeks to, oh my God, I hope I booked something so I make some money today. And I think that’s probably one of the greatest challenges.

Kia: [09:23] Did you always know you were wanting to be a photographer, like out of high school and that type of thing?

Gary: [09:28] Oh God, no. I changed my mind like four times while I was going to college and photography wasn’t even one of them. I ended up studying marketing and photography was a hobby. I got started in high school and I actually had thought, hey, it’d be great to work for an ad agency because I’m creative and I can do some photography and all this. And the, what happened was, um, I was working in the camera store and the studio that had been in my town for 22 years, the old guy decided to shut down and retire and it’s like, wow, okay, there’s opportunity staring me in the face. So it was perceived as I bought out his studio, but I really didn’t. He shut down and moved out and I basically went in and leased the space the next day and took over his space. So that story. Yeah, the perception was that I bought out, it was a, it was, his name was ray sledge, sledge hammer. And um, he had was, he was retiring and getting out and that’s how I got my start is I just jumped in and took over this space and started. In fact, the funny thing is initially people would come in and they would sometimes write me a check and make it out to sledge photography. That’s where they had used to be going and yeah. And the bank always took the bank, took them no big deal.

Kia: [10:50] Okay. So if you had a thousand dollars right now, what would you buy? That’s photo related.

Gary: [10:57] Oh, that’s Kinda hard for me because I’m one of those people that whenever I see something I just run out and buy it without delay. So, which is why I have so much equipment. So

Kia: [11:08] let me, let me word it this way. Like if you were giving advice to somebody new in photography and they, they had a thousand dollars, what would you tell? Where would you tell them to put their money?

Gary: [11:17] I think I would tell them to go with education, a really good comprehensive education plan a. and I don’t know if that’s the answer you’re looking for. If you’re looking for just a piece of gear education is it, you know, and take a comprehensive education, you know, sign up for a Texas school class or you know, one of my in studio workshops or something. When you go to short programs, you get little bits and pieces, but when you go to a comprehensive program like like a Texas school class, whether it’s mine or one of the other 42 amazing instructors there, you’re going to find that you’re going to get all these little pieces, but you’re also going to get how these pieces work together and that’s really essential because if you take a piece from me, a piece from you, a piece from Kaya, you know, they might not all fit together and Mesh perfectly well, so you know, how I sell albums is directly related to how I shoot for albums and that’s the importance of a comprehensive education from. From a great instructor.

Matt: [12:17] Yeah, because sometimes it’s about. It’s about the nuances, right? Like, like you said, like I’m able to do albums this way because of all these things behind the scenes.

Gary: [12:26] Absolutely. All those pieces have to work together like a puzzle.

Kia: [12:29] And so the Texas school you’re referring to is the professional photographers of America as a school in Texas. That’s a week long and so the instructors there are really there to teach something that the whole gamut of whatever their subject is, so you learn a lot and that type of a situation or in a workshop and someone studio,

Gary: [12:51] you really do. Texas school is the Texas School of professional photography. It is by far the largest affiliated PPA school and you can find them at Texas school dot Org online. They just opened registration that’s coming up the end of March, beginning of April. And you’ll find classes. They’re from, you know, pure artistic, how you do painting in Photoshop to pure business to uh, and my, my particular program encompasses a full range. I talk about marketing and pricing and sales. I talk about photography, lighting and posing backgrounds and locations. I talk about efficient workflow so you can get it done and get home to your families faster.

Kia: [13:38] Yeah, that’s great.

Matt: [13:39] Yeah. And it’s cool to like Texas schools format is so long because it’s not like you get, you know, we’re going to give Gary 30 minutes on stage to tell to tell you about his whole business in 30 years career, you know, and then you’re done. Like you actually get time to like sit with people and really work with them, which is awesome.

Gary: [13:56] That’s right. It’s like reading the complete novel instead of the cliff notes.

Matt: [13:59] Yeah.

Kia: [13:59] Perfect. Yes. Okay. So you’ve got a thousand dollars. Number one you would buy, you would do some sort of comprehensive education if you weren’t doing education. Like what’s, what’s the piece of equipment that you think is like the best new thing out there that’s really like you’re excited about whether you have it or whether, whether you would want to buy it.

Gary: [14:18] Well one of the things I’ve been fired up about the past couple of years is the. I’m a big fan of the [inaudible] sliding. They have brought really high performance lighting down to an incredibly affordable price and it just does an amazing job. And so, you know, that’s one of the places that I tell people there’s a lot of people that are so weak on lighting and so light investing in that lighting and learning the difference, getting out of that, I’m a natural light photographer, a mode because you don’t understand lighting, you know, learn and let it separate you from the masses of people out there with just point and shoot cameras.

Kia: [14:57] Well, I think natural light. What’s funny about natural light photography is when I started doing natural light photography, most people only did flash and they didn’t, couldn’t really even see the light. And so I really think if you have, like you said, both sides of it, you know, both understanding how to work a flash, how to create the light that you want and how to see it and get it, then you’re going to be a fully rounded photographer too.

Gary: [15:23] Absolutely. I, you know, I pride myself on being able to lie down, handle pretty much anything that throws my way to studio lighting, lighting up a whole cathedral. I have lit up football stadiums that night. Just can you throw at me, you know, I can handle it

Kia: [15:39] with your personality alone, right?

Gary: [15:43] Maybe

Matt: [15:44] that’s awesome. Okay. So here’s the next question. So if you got to. So if you’ve got a thousand dollars, what is the one thing that you wouldn’t spend it on in the industry? Like, you know, it doesn’t have to be a particular thing, but I mean, what’d you not, you know, by a 19th lens or would you or what? What’d you do? You know,

Gary: [16:03] you know, I wouldn’t spend it on actions and presets and things like that. I think that that’s a huge weakness and people use it as a crutch and you know, if you, uh, if you learn to develop your own style, it’s funny how many new people say, oh, well that’s my style. That’s not a style. It’s a set of lightroom presets that you bought for $89. That’s not a style. I think that those things can begin to hold you back and limit you creatively and technically both. So I steer clear of all that. You know, I’m constantly asked, what kind of presets do you use?

Kia: [16:39] None. Not Not one, nothing. Right.

Matt: [16:43] So, but you, but you edit like in light room and just use the sliders and stuff like that.

Gary: [16:48] Yeah. Uh, well I’m uh, capture one fan produces better skin tones, but yeah. So you know, I shoot everything in raw, try to get it as close as I can, take it into capture one and you know, I might tweak exposure color balance or something a little bit and then I output them. My goal is to really spend as little time in post production as possible because while many photographers are sitting there and staring at a monitor, I’m already done and starting a new session and making more money.

Matt: [17:17] Yeah. Well I mean the light room preset thing, they’re trying to accomplish the same thing that you’re doing. Right. They’re trying to just click one button and get out of there, but it doesn’t necessarily like do exactly. You know, it doesn’t, like you said, doesn’t create a style like you really want.

Gary: [17:31] No, it’s just,

Kia: [17:35] it’s not real. Yeah. That’s so interesting that you say that it’s not real because I think a lot of people think that doing that makes it look more real, but I could literally name the instagram accounts that they come from, you know, who’s what, look that that particular thing originated from, you know, whether it’s all orange or whether it’s super moody or that type of a thing. I think what is interesting about that Gary, is that I think they’re like doing certain looks is, is really trendy and people are going to like it, but I think it is really trendy and so long term, you know, in a 30 year photography career, not making your images have such a, you know, such a homogenous one note look is better for longevity to.

Gary: [18:26] Yes, we’ve all looked back at some of the things we did in the past and thought, oh my God, what was I thinking? And I, I know I have, you know, hairstyles, how we dress and our photography as well. What was I thinking? But you know, I, I think that a lot of the current things that people are doing right now are going to fall right back into that and a few years are going to be going, oh my God, what was I doing? What was I thinking?

Matt: [18:54] Yeah. Well the interesting thing too about presets as well as like somebody will click a preset and I don’t know, maybe maybe it’s like a really washed out, like really muted look. Right? And I think you implied this, is that not every lighting situation you’re going to be in, will that preset allow you to be loud, allow you to use that preset, right? Because you can’t, every situation just can’t be like kind of washed out and mute it down, you know, there’s certain. So, so, so then your whole. Yeah. So then you’re holding yourself back technically because you’re like, oh I can’t shoot this situation like this even though you should, because my preset or my style or my brand is not going to allow me allow it to work. You know,

Gary: [19:34] the really funny thing about many of those actions is, you know, I’ve tried them, a variety of them and if you’ve run them on a properly expose, good colored image, they really do a horrible job. It looks, it doesn’t, it doesn’t work at all. You’ve got to start with something that you underexposed by a stop and a half and was ridiculously cool in color and then it makes it quite not so bad, but if you start with a good image, none of those things are going to help it at all.

Matt: [20:03] Right. Because it already stands on its own. Right.

Kia: [20:07] Okay. Next question, Gary. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Gary: [20:15] There are a few and most of them stem from the very beginning. One of my mentors, whenever I was first getting started, children’s photographer by the name of Les Peter, so now to broken Arrow, Oklahoma really helped give me a lot of guidance and something he told me at the very beginning was it’s always better to apologize for price than to apologize for quality, and I think that’s incredibly powerful and that has stuck with me for 30 years now. Well over 30 years because that was before I went full time and I think at some of the best advice I ever got. It’s always better to apologize for price than to apologize for quality and that just that that absolutely rings true to everything that I do. Another thing that’s been hanging over my desk is a quote for 28 years. About my second year in business, I was at professional photographers of the ozarks in Springfield, Missouri, and Gary Fong was giving a program.

Gary: [21:09] Gary said something that I wrote down and it impacted me so heavily. I typed it out and hung it over my desk. When I got back to the studio and that quote was learn the basics as a foundation. Then discard them for more passionate expression and I absolutely love what that means. And, and, and I reflect that in my teaching today. Learn your foundational basics and then you can start breaking those rules for a creative reason. One of my sayings is if we break a rule for a creative reason, that’s where art comes from. If we break a rule out of ignorance, that’s where crap comes from.

Kia: [21:47] That’s funny. I was waiting to see what was going to say. Okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s so true because, you know, when, and I think a lot of times when you’re an artist, I know I felt this when I very first started out, I was, I was like, well, I have to be so creative. I have to do all these different things. And um, my mom who was teaching me at the time and she taught me how to paint, but she also taught me photography. She was like, first you have to copy people, you know, the masters copied people are, you know, they, they had their, they copied who they were learning from and then they took what they learned and created and so I think that there is a time and a place to do the basics, to copy, to do the same thing so that you, you know, you have the tools and skills to be creative later. Great Advice. That’s awesome. Yeah, that’s, that is good advice. We can pat ourselves on the back here for the next couple of minutes if we want my advice. It was Gary’s advice. I was just resave it.

Gary: [22:57] Well, you know along those lines, Chi, if you look at the early works of, of people like Picasso, you know, his early works was more traditional standard and everything like that and he learned how to shade and shadow light and things doing the classic style and then once he had mastered that he went off on a totally different direction.

Kia: [23:20] Yeah. And I think, you know, in our society, there’s so, so much that we like celebrate early, like early genius, you know, like, oh, there’s only 16 and they’re doing this or they’re only 20 and it’s so much about youth and uh, you know, doing, you know, youth and being some sort of artists at the same time. And I don’t think that that is not as a natural. That doesn’t mean you can’t be artistic when you’re younger, but I do think like you’re saying those presets are covering up, but just a lack of knowledge a lot of times. And I don’t think that they would prefer to do all that work to get the good image when you could actually just have the good image in the first place.

Gary: [24:01] You’re exactly right. And you know, something that I’ve said many times about myself and my own work is I’m far from the best photographer out there. There are so many people whose work I look at and my jaw just hangs open. Wow. That is amazing. I will never ever achieve that level of some of those artists. But the one thing about myself is I’m phenomenally consistent. I’m not up and down and all over the place. It’s just very, very consistent. Good, clean, sellable work. That’s what I’m after.

Kia: [24:34] Yeah. And that was our next question, actually. One of your personal habits that contributes to your success, which you’ve just said consistency is one of them, which I think is, is a key to success over a long period of time. Definitely. But do you have any other personal habits that you would say really contribute to success?

Gary: [24:51] Oh, I probably have more personal habits that, that don’t know, you know, all those bad habits. But we’re not here to talk about those. We’re going to deny it. I tend to be incredibly, incredibly hard working and that is probably too much. So I’m a recovering workaholic. Uh, you know, I spent years, you know, whenever I had been in the business at about 20 years or so. I spent 20 years working almost 80 hours a week. So I kind of scratched my head and say, isn’t that really 40 years of experience? Yeah. So, you know, I, uh, I’m incredibly hard working and, and, and honestly I’m very hard on my work to someone might see some of my images and say, oh my God, this is amazing and I’m picking it to pieces. So I’m constantly pushing to grow creatively to, to grow technically to, to, to know everything I possibly can and work hard at it. I’ve said many times I know a lot that I don’t know it all and I’m not going to be satisfied until I do.

Kia: [25:57] Yeah. That’s fantastic.

Matt: [25:58] Yeah. So here’s the, here’s the way I would summarize it if I was telling somebody about you, Gary [inaudible], like I said, I don’t, I don’t know you very well. I mean we’ve ran in circles for 10 years together now, but if I were to say like, Hey, what’s the formula to get to 30 years in business like you have? I would think just by talking to you and knowing a little bit about you, it’s hard work and then just being humble, you know, like I think you’re one of the most humble photographers ever. I mean, you have way more experience and way more knowledge than some of these rockstar photographers, but man, you are so humble and it’s so refreshing to be around somebody like you.

Kia: [26:29] Are you saying security is not a rock star? He’s a rock star, but he doesn’t. He doesn’t come on stage and like fireworks go off.

Matt: [26:38] He’s like, here’s the image I tried to create earlier and I don’t even know if I like it, but you know, you know, like he’s like just about it like this. This is where I’m at in my journey.

Gary: [26:45] Really awesome. You know, I went through that phase, you know, back in the early days of digital I was, I was speaking all over the place. I had written a lot of books. I had studios around the country hiring me to, to come in and help them convert to digital and you know, and, and, and I’m not afraid to say, you know, I got a little bit of a big head at that point, but you know, I’ve, I’ve grown past that and my focus now and one of the things that I really love is helping others achieve, you know, some of the success that I have, the absolute greatest part of teaching is when one of your students send you a photograph of the new Harley that they bought with the increase of business this past year since your workshop or the New House that they’ve been able to make a down payment on and get into that is the best, best part of teaching is hearing those success stories from your own students. People that have gone from a $700 average to a $1,700 average after taking my class. That, that just makes me feel great to know that I have helped enrich somebody else that much.

Matt: [27:51] That’s awesome. Um, okay. So next question is, I’m an internet resource that you would recommend to people we’ve already plugged your facebook group, which is one of the best, and we’ll put, we’ll put a link in the show notes to that, but any other internet resources you use to keep you fresh or.

Gary: [28:05] Well, uh, my facebook group inside the box photo group is certainly one of them. I don’t do too much on the Internet and, and you know, I probably do more books right now than anything, but I’m constantly looking to feed myself. I see a new technique and I’ve got to steady it, whether it’s from a, an article on the internet or a book or a youtube video or whatever, you know, watching phenomenal artists like Richard start event or been shirk, you know, I just, I shake my head in bewilderment at what comes out of those guys and, and, and I love watching them and growing and taking pieces and bits and pieces of it. I’m a big fan of, uh, you know, I mentioned a going to, you know, taking a class. I’m also a big fan of taking classes myself. I try to take at least two workshops a year from somebody else as well as if you see me at PPA imaging my, but will be in a chair with my ipad taking notes.

Gary: [29:06] I’m, I’m looking to grow. I want to grow really. So what classes have you gone to recently that you have enjoyed or learned? A lot from? Uh, this year I took two classes. I took and measure mckay did a video class and I took that, got a lot of new techniques and video I think video is as part of our future, but I’m really interested in video more as a marketing tool than a product to sell to students. Um, so I really wanted to learn a little bit more about, um, about video and um, then I took a class with heather beetles and Jeremy Right out a ppa one day this year about catering to the high end client and got a lot out of that as well. So in addition to just short programs, those are two actual workshops that I took this year that I found really, really growing.

Matt: [30:02] That’s great. Okay. And then books, you said you were a book person, so any, any specific books that you would recommend?

Gary: [30:09] You know, I used to not, I used to have a problem reading books because I’m always on the go, I’m a little bit add and I’m go, go, go, go, go. One of the smartest things I did a couple of years ago was I bought a subscription to audible and so now I get my books on tape and I can listen to them while I’m mowing the yard or while I’m driving down the road or or anything like that. So if you’re a busy person and you find it hard to sit and read, get a subscription to audible, it’s not that much money. It’s a, it’s an incredible tool that you can feed yourself with the book. I just, I just listened to and I’m actually listening to it a second time because I was so impressed with it and I want to sink more of it in is the storybrand by Donald Miller and it’s a phenomenal book. If you, if you’ve read it, you know exactly what I mean. If you haven’t read it, read it or listened to it on tape or something like that. It is a phenomenal book. And so, uh, that’s my most recent love right there. You know, Seth Godwin and a lot of other marketing people produce a great audio books. And so I’m all about audio audible now. I’m, I’m a big fan.

Matt: [31:26] Yeah. Matt and I both went to a Donald Miller storybrand conference to. Oh, that would be awesome. I know we’ll have to talk about it more. It was really good stuff. It’s really good. And then, and then it was weird, like I fall, I followed around, I found like a roadie and followed them around for like the next year, like not on purpose, but I was going to have a lot of conferences like two years ago and he was speaking at like all the, all the marketing conferences I was going to. And so like every chance I got I would pull him away and like ask them additional questions and it was like, it was huge for our business and just for me as a marketer to get my head wrapped around his ideas because they’re so smart.

Gary: [32:03] I totally get that. Like I said, I listened to the book and I’m like, Oh my God, I’ve got to listen to this again. I’ve got to soak more of it in and, and catch more of it. And so, um, yeah, I’m, I’m a big fan of his as well.

Matt: [32:16] That’s awesome. Okay. So that’s kind of where we want to leave it, but I’m definitely give us some parting advice, you know, to, to photographers out there as well. And then also let them know the best way to connect with you.

Gary: [32:27] My parting advice is just never ever stop growing. You know, I’ve been in this industry 30 years and I’m still growing and I’m still learning and I’m still developing and I see some of the photographers in your old timers, there are some that think that they know it all and they won’t sit in any classes and things like that and then you find others that are still going to classes and still trying to learn. I want to continue learning as long as I can. So my, my advice to everyone is keep growing, never ever stopped growing and you know, the best way to connect to me is probably through my facebook group. I’m very active there. Whenever I’m sitting at my workstation, it’s always on right on my laptop and I, I stopped retouching and I’ll make a comment and I go back to retouching and then I’ll go make a comment and stuff like that.

Gary: [33:14] So people asked how do you do it all? And it’s like, well I’m usually doing two things at once is how. So anyway, that’s my best way to get ahold of me and learned for me is a start there. And then I do offer, you know, in studio workshops and things like that if people want to grow, I’ve still got a few openings in my Texas school, 2019 class coming up. I’ve sold out the past two years, but I have not yet sold out right now. I think there’s four or five spots left in it.

Matt: [33:42] Perfect. Yeah. So we’ll link, we’ll link that below in the show notes as well so people can check that out as well because I’ve never been to Texas school, but I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about it. So maybe it’s incredible. Maybe we need to put it on my 20th. Twentieth. Gary, thank you so much for coming on. This was really fun to talk to you.

Gary: [33:59] Absolutely. I’ve really enjoyed it. And uh, like I say, I, I, I love the opportunity to share.

Matt: [34:05] Cool. All right, well Gary, here’s the deal. We’ll go get a mountain dew together next time we’re at the same conference together and because we can’t go another 10 years without actually sitting down and having a good conversation. So. But thank you so much. That sounds great. Awesome. All right, well thanks guys. We will. So yeah, I’m just awkwardly trying to let the audience go right now, so we’ll, we’ll talk to you guys next week with another guest. Until then, have a good one guys.

Speaker 2: [34:29] Thank you for listening to from nothing to profit a photographer’s podcast with Matt and Kaiya. 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.



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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.
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