From Nothing to Profit

A Photographer's Podcast


Published on:

14th Jan 2019

Everardo Keeme – Episode 015 – A Photographer Podcast Interview

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Make sure you listen in, as on this podcast, Matt interviews Everardo Keeme, who is a certified professional photographer and also a professional snorer. Everardo got into photography on accident. He was working a corporate job, loved it, won a trip to Greece and didn’t have a camera. Since he didn’t have any pictures from that trip, he bought a camera, started photographing cycling events, applied to photograph the Phoenix Open (having never been or photographed golf), got the job and has been a photographer ever since. He got into senior portraits when his daughter got into high school, hence Twelve Year Senior Portraits. He wanted a studio for senior pictures, hence Photo Fusion Studio. Everardo is very passionate about education and is excited about all of the conferences and workshops available now. Overall, photographers are very good about sharing information with each other. He’s also excited about technology and how that’s only going to keep making us better.

Internet Resources: Steer away from FB groups – doesn’t want to learn from other strugglers

Podcasts – Stacey Brown Randall, Steph Crowder, Everything is Alive

Books: 5 core ways of getting referrals – Stacey Brown Randall (

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Transcription was done by 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.

Speaker 1: [00:01] 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.

Matt: [00:16] Hey everybody. Welcome to from nothing to profit so today will be a little bit different because kyle is not able to join us today because she’s got a sick kid at home. But I’m with my good friend Everardo Akimi. He has a really fascinating story. So I think you guys will be interested to know what he does. First of all, he’s a corporate event and headshot photographer. If you guys follow them online, that’s what you’d probably see. Um, I know he’s also a certified professional photographer. Um, I know that because him and allison both did that kind of at the same time. And then he’s been the official photographer of the Phoenix Open from since 2010, which I think is the most interesting part because I’m a sports guy and that’s always fascinating to every week when you get it every year for a week when you get to do that.

Matt: [01:01] But then you’re the owner of photo fusion studios and the twelfth and twelfth year senior portraits. So welcome man. I appreciate you being on the show. Yeah, of course, man. Thanks for having me on. I appreciate it. So I have to tell everybody a little bit of a backstory about when we went to sync together and I’ll throw you under the bus and totally embarrass you. But that’s how we, that’s how we start every podcast around here is we try to handle it. I’m a big boy so we all stayed. Joy verts has a condo down by where sync is hosted. So um, every year we go down there and we tend to stay at her, her condo, and you know, some people can make it every year, some people can’t or whatever. So at the last minute a bunch of people said they could go and enjoy, had already kind of filled up the condo. So what happened is that we started like having to like move people around a little bit and Everardo and I were the only two guys that were staying at the condo that day because I think mentioned Shaylon will actually, we’re staying in a different condo and uh, so we ended up having to share a room. So we had two twin beds and shared a room together. And I’ll tell you what, man, you’re the loudest store I’ve ever, I’ve ever hung out with.

Matt: [02:09] It was, it was actually impressive. I felt like at moments that you were yelling at me, you start so loud. Well, I’ve always taught and uh, and kind of learned if you’re going to do something, do it right. Yeah, right. Yeah. I would say you figured out how to Snore, but all joking aside, obviously that was a super fun year in a super fund conferences always in. Um, I’m glad we got to do that. So. And now, you know, hopefully my parents live in Phoenix now where you live and so hopefully we can connect more and more every year as you know, since you’re in Phoenix. I’m definitely looking forward to it. And you know, and that’s the, one of the great things about living in Phoenix is um, we have about eight to nine months sometimes of perfect weather. And so, um, there’s always this old saying and I don’t know who to attribute the quote to, but it says, hey, don’t knock the weather because four to five people can start a conversation without it. Yes, that’s absolutely true. So is there anything else you want to share with the audience about yourself

Everardo: [03:00] or elaborate on what I said with your studio or anything like that? I’m just so they know a little more about you. Well, yeah, that was a good introduction. I mean really, I started photography by accident. I was working at a corporate job and I really liked it and they enjoyed it and I thought I was just going to be corporate for life and you know, doing the 401k thing and all that kinda good stuff. And um, I was in sales at the time and went on a vacation to, I won a as part of my bonus, a vacation to Greece and so here I am and like the, you know, the center of history for many different things and cultures and I don’t have a camera and I’m, the euro was really high, so the cheapy crappy little point and shoot camera that I had just wasn’t going to cut it and wasn’t really actually working well.

Everardo: [03:43] Um, and this is before cell phones were they started getting used as cameras and so I had a blackberry. And um, so long story short of that is, um, I have no pictures from that vacation. And so the next year it was like, alright, I need to get a camera. And I actually just rented one and then I was racing bicycles at the time. And um, it kind of evolved into this thing of taking pictures at the races and because I had been involved in cycling and racing for pretty much my whole entire life, I was kind of well connected in the cycling community and just on a whim, just went to go photograph the tour to Utah and the tour of California. And that just kind of what launched me into photography. And it was, I guess the funny thing is a very, very good friend of mine, her name is Mary Schwamm.

Everardo: [04:26] I’m going to give her a shout out. She is, I believe the only or one of the only female photographers inducted into the nfl hall of fame. And so I would always pick her brain for advice for photography. And for awhile there I was asking, it was like, Hey, can you give me some feedback and give, give me some advice, like how am I doing? I don’t want to do this full time. I just, you know, trying to be a better photographer. And she didn’t really respond. And about a month went by me sending her photos every week. And finally I just said, hey, come on, I need some feedback please. She’s like, well, I’ve been trying to figure out if you’re lucky or good. And she’s like, you know, why have you never thought of doing this? I’m like, I didn’t know I could make money doing it.

Everardo: [05:00] And so that’s kind of how I got into photography as it went by accident and I’m right place right time, wrong time, I guess how you look at it sometimes as you know, I’m in the interview for the Phoenix Open. I don’t even know how I got it. Like I’m barely just starting out to have a portfolio and experiment and the guy’s interviewing. He’s like, all right, cool. Well we’ll tell me what’s one of your favorite things about the tournament and being here. I’m like, uh, I’ve never been a kind of chuckled. And he was like, really? You’ve never been to the tournament but you want to be at the tournament photographer? It’s like, no, I just, I don’t like big crowds. I like other. I’ve been to other tournaments at that point. He’s like, okay, well, you know, we can, we can get through that somehow.

Everardo: [05:39] And I said, but I know everything about the tournament, like quiz me on it and asked me about the course or ask me about past winners or things like that. And so he kinda did and he was like, okay, well I guess he does know his stuff and he does know golf and he’s looking at my portfolio and he was like, you know, well you’ve got some good shots in here, so where’s the golf shots? My, I don’t have any golf shots. And he kind of looks at me again. He’s like, again, do you know what you’re applying for? And I go, look man, I know the game. I love the game. I liked the tournament, it’s in my backyard, but you know, gave me a shot. That’s all I’m asking for and if you don’t want to, I totally respect it if I’m in over my head.

Everardo: [06:11] I said, but you know, I’m also coming at this with a, a corporate background and a good work ethic and I’ve been working full time ever since I was 13 years old. So like, I can do the job, you know, if you just give me a chance I can do it and if I don’t then how about this, you can ruin my name and my reputation around town. And he’s like, alright, well, you know, we’ll give it a shot. And so yeah, now it’s been coming up to nine years now of doing the tournament photography. That’s awesome. So how did you get into senior portraits and stuff like that? Uh, that really started with my daughter, um, my niece and my daughter are about the same age and when they were going through high school kind of same thing as through cycling and through sports and through everything, you know, he’d slowly evolve into becoming a portrait photographer.

Everardo: [06:55] And so since I started with sports and started with events, it just kind of came natural to ask, well, can you take a headshot or can you take a portrait of someone? And so again, because it was sports related, I started working with the cheer team at the high school that I graduated from and I, I knew the cheer coach, uh, my niece was on the school at the time and, and then like I said, my niece and my daughter about the same age and going through high school together. And so I just started actually working with the team and it was really just not even about senior portraits. It was just about taking the action shots of them on the field or the activities that they’re going out and doing in the community and car washes and food drives and you know, uh, bringing toys to the needy during Christmas time and stuff like that.

Everardo: [07:35] And then that’s what it turned into was, you know, well, can you take senior pictures? And like every photographer starting out the answers like, yeah, absolutely. And then behind the scenes you’re like, oh crap, how do I figure this out? And so you just call a bunch of friends and call her resources. And I think luckily enough, and I attribute my business, I commend to, you know, it was really good at networking at the time and reaching out to other photographers and presenting myself in a way that I’m not a threat. I’m not out there to hurt their business, if anything, I’m out to try to help and influence their business if I can and you know, in return can you help me out with how to do some portraits or how to work with seniors. So it just kind of evolved from there. And I did it.

Everardo: [08:13] I’m not quite full time because I was still juggling the corporate jobs, still juggling the event work in the corporate work. And then doing senior portraits was probably about 25, maybe 30 percent of the business. Um, and then I just eventually got to busy after a couple years and really had to scale down and follow the corporate photography track. Um, and now with photo fusion studio, what happened there was we were a, I needed a studio at some point because the senior portraits I wanted to work in the studio and control the environment and learn about lighting and stuff like that. So I just became a member of a Co op studio and at first it was just renting it hourly as I needed it. And then as I got busier it turned into, you know, I’m renting a hours a week and then it turned into, well we have monthly memberships available.

Everardo: [08:59] Why don’t you just join the studio from monthly? Um, did that for a couple of years. And then there was an opportunity where the studio owner actually had expressed interest and said, you know what, you’re, you’re always in the studio and you’re always helping the other photographers that are here with things. Do you want to split the business? Do you want to be more involved? She was a little bit more introverted. I’m a little bit more extroverted and so we partnered together and we co own the studio for about five years. And then just this year, recently she said, you know what, I’m, I’m Kinda done with the studio, I don’t need it anymore for the work that she does is mostly stock photography. And she was losing out or kind of widdling down some of the client work that she was doing. And so photo fusion had been running as this co op to help other photographers help them grow their businesses.

Everardo: [09:43] We would mentor some photographers with their business, give them coaching, give them. And so it wasn’t just as a place to photograph out of it was actually, you know, revolved around the business because if their business thrived they will also stay a part of the studio too. So that’s, that’s the ulterior motive to it. But in the end, Phoenix is the fifth largest city in the U. s there’s enough work to go around. We’re not really stepping on each other’s toes. So with my partner leaving, so with my partner leaving and that makes sense. Um, I just really had to make that quick decision of, okay, am I going to keep the studio or you know, just let it die. And I wasn’t quite ready for it to die even though I was doing probably 80 to 90 percent of my work outside of the studio, I was still using it as like an office space or to work out over there, um, host client meetings or to meet with people.

Everardo: [10:31] And so it was still nice to have a professional standpoint from it. Plus also I worked from home with my corporate job, but I didn’t have to entertain clients. Like I always went outside. I always took my clients out to restaurants or other activities. So I, I liked it. The idea that my home was my home and that way when I was done with work I could just leave it be. So that’s when I made the decision this summer to remodel the studio and remodel it specifically for high school seniors and were. So we’re kind of. Where is it located in Phoenix, like a east west side of town where you guys were about as central as we can get just a little bit north of the Phoenix airport. We’re a little bit east of downtown. The exact area or neighborhood is kind of called the biltmore and we kind of on the border of another neighborhood called Arcadia, which I know you’re familiar with because you’re from the area, but um, I guess for others to kind of get the reference from his, uh, and that was the other reason why I liked the studio two is we’re about as central as we can get.

Everardo: [11:30] So, you know, I’d have clients coming out from Peoria, which is the northwest side of town, and I’d have clients coming in from anthem which is really far north and, you know, then I’d have clients coming out of Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert Chandler, which is on the East valley. Uh, so it’s, it’s really nice having a nice centralized location. Yeah, that’s, that’s awesome. I didn’t realize that you had remodeled the studio to come see it. Um, when I come down there in the spring for sure. So tell me, just kind of tell me a story of what you think is working right now in your business or what you think is working right now in the industry because that’s kind of the goal of this podcast always is to share these ideas with our audience. Well, as I talked to and I network with other photographers and I really am thankful of my corporate job because I knew at some point that photography was going to take over.

Everardo: [12:20] And so in the process of kind of dwindling down the corporate job, um, and really in the end I didn’t quit. I was laid off so it was actually a good thing. Um, I wasn’t sad about losing the job. Sometimes you got to be pushed out the door to make that right decision, you know? Yeah, exactly. I mean, because you could sit there building the parachute all day long, but you’re really going to take time to do it. And so when you get that push out the door, you’re like, okay, well we gotta make this work. And as I’ve talked to photographers and big towns and small towns, the more that we actually work together and partner together, the better everyone’s going to be an a. and I know that’s the whole premise of and white organizations and kind of these moments of like rising tide have started, is because people are starting to realize that that as they work together, everyone gets better.

Everardo: [13:05] And you know, at the end of the day, Matt, if you’re another commercial photographer here in Phoenix and you take one of my clients than you deserved it. And so did I, because I wasn’t taking care of my clients. You know, if I’m not providing good service, if I’m not providing a good product, then I don’t deserve to keep the clients I have. And, and that hurts. And that stinks sometimes. And you know, now that I have to pay 100 percent of the rent of the studio and other things like, uh, you know, puts a lot of stress on me. But at the end of the day, like what I’ve learned is when we are community and we work together, you, yourself as an individual. Actually thrive more, I’m at a, I’m a big part of this networking organization called Bni and one of their main, or they’re, they’re pretty much main top driven philosophy is givers gain and if you give to others the reciprocity and everything does come back to you at some point and you know, and it’s tough because like I said, sometimes you, sometimes I turn over a job to another, another photographer or refer another photographer that might be better and attack the exact same moment that I need to make my car payment...


Published on:

7th Jan 2019

Jamie Swanson – Episode 014 – A Photographer Podcast Interview

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In this episode of from Nothing to Profit, A Photographer’s Podcast, Matt and Kia interview Jamie Swanson, who is really leading the personal brand photography market.  Jamie is actually starting a new podcast about building a personal brand so make sure to listen in. She also has a Facebook group for personal brand photography you should go join now. In the beginning, 2011, Jamie really focused on wedding photography. Then Jamie really focused on Moderntog, helping other photographers grow their businesses, in all genres. Now, Jamie focuses solely on personal brand photography and growing her client’s following, through Moderntog. She offers a 6 week course on how to transition to personal brand photography. Jamie also offers a membership for photographers who have taken her 6 week course. This started because Jamie was looking for an ongoing personal brand photographer for herself and she couldn’t find one. So she decided to train them up. Client’s are willing to invest in their business and they need your work on an ongoing basis. This gives you steady and consistent income as well. Jamie also talks about goal setting, starting with her yearly goals, then breaking them down into quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily steps to reach those goals.


Link to Jamie’s class: or


Start with Why – Simon Sinek (

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Transcription was done by 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.


Speaker 1: [00:01] 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.

Matt: [00:16] Hey everybody. Welcome to from nothing to profit with Matt and Kaya. So today we have a really awesome guest that I’ve, Jamie Swanson, who I’ve been friends with kind of via the Internet for a couple of years now, but we, if you guys listened to some earlier shows and people have referenced Jamie because Jamie’s really leading the personal brand photography movement and I know she believes that that’s the future of the industry. So I’m excited to talk to her about it. But she’s both an online entrepreneur and a photographer and you may know our because she founded modern tog or the modern tog back in 2011. So you may have been part of her community. Um, but you know her, what she kind does is help photographers and you know, live their life of being a, being a photographer. I know Jamie personally because we’re in a facebook group that’s called like photographer blogger group and it’s like, it, it ranges in size, but it’s anywhere from like 40 to 50 people have a bunch of people that put together resources for photographer. So we’ve been in that together for a number of years and you just announced the other day and in that group that you actually have a new podcast coming out as well. So do you want to take a quick second and plug your pro, your new podcast and tell us anything else we need to know about you?

Jamie: [01:33] You’re the sweetest thing. Sure. Um, so my new podcast is called the personal brand journey with Jamie m Swanson and basically since 2011 I’ve focused on growing the modern tog brand because I didn’t want to have to be the face of my business. I think a lot of us, you know, don’t want to have to be like the person, but I’m seeing more and more that the way to get ahead is to really build those personal connections. And so it’s basically chronicling my journey of starting a personal brand. So it’s not photography specific, but if there are photographers listening who want to be more of the face of their business, I mean your art, if, if your name is your business then you already are doing that in some respects. But basically I’m just talking about all that I’m doing and the strategy behind it so you can find that. But otherwise I have a personal brand photography group on facebook that’s free that you can find by going to PBP And that’s probably, I’m on instagram to you, Jamie, m swanson, but that’s the best way to find me. Thank you.

Matt: [02:33] Yeah. Awesome. So share a little bit about your, like your expertise and what you’re known for and for the people that haven’t come across to you yet in the industry.

Jamie: [02:42] Sure. So I started my photography business back in 2008 and I, I started like many people do kind of doing whatever I could get paid to do, but in 2009 we decided to niche down into weddings and to pursue doing photography full time. And so, um, we did, we, we focused in on weddings and we did that a full time starting in 2011. It took us about a year and a half to go from just starting out to completely supporting our family with photography. And then I did that for quite a while and then we moved to Minnesota and had our fifth and sixth children and we had a really hard time finding childcare up here. So since moving up here, we’ve just kind of done a little bit of portraiture on the side, um, and then had focused more on helping other people get clients through the modern tog.

Jamie: [03:33] And last year it was about a year ago now I had made this decision to start doing more of the personal brand stuff and was going to focus on instagram originally. And I needed photos. Like, yes, I can take photos, yes, my husband can do some. But I wanted somebody who could come and do these photos for us and we couldn’t find. I mean, we can find thousands of photographers who take beautiful images, but we had a really hard time finding people who really understood what we needed as online entrepreneurs in like to grow the social media following that we wanted and to really not just take a pretty headshot or a perfectly posed photo, but really understood how to capture our story and do it in such a way that it would help strengthen the personal brand that I wanted to grow. And so the light bulbs went off and basically I would the modern tog I had been.

Jamie: [04:24] I started that in 2011 and had been teaching pretty much any kind of photographer how to grow their business because I love photography. But I’m even geekier about the business side. Like I love the business side. And I, um, so I was helping wedding photographers and portrait photographers and um, it was pretty generic. And since last December, I’ve niched down and focused all in on the personal brand photography because I realized that I wasn’t the only entrepreneur, an online entrepreneur or influencer who needed images and that there were a ton of other people out there who would want these images on an ongoing basis because if you’re trying to grow on Instagram, you need to post daily and you don’t want to be spending half an hour a day taking selfies that aren’t even going to necessarily strengthen your brand and all that. So yeah, it was really big eyeopener.

Jamie: [05:14] But I’ve, I’ve niched out and I really believe that that’s. I know you said that, but that’s where we’re going in the future with, um, the industry and professional like to be profitable as a professional photographer. And so I’ve completely focused on that since it was, I think December 27th was the day that I shared about it with my audience for the first time. And since then it’s been my sole focus because it’s, it’s just made everything easier for my photographers. And it’s, it’s really, I’m seeing so many businesses transformed and I’ve done some shoots since then with that too. I, I love it because it’s kind of like wedding photography, but it’s way less stressful because there’s no, like crazy mother of the brides running around. Right. So anyways. Yeah. So Jamie, since I,

Kia: [05:58] since we haven’t ever met in person before, I have heard of modern tog and I’ve heard your name before. I would love to know even back further. So you say you have six children, how old are they? What did you do before you were a photographer and what is your husband involved in the business now or that type of thing? Just to get to know a little bit more about who you are.

Jamie: [06:19] Sure. So I’m back in 2008. When I started my photography business, I was working as an actuary for an insurance company full time. At that point I think we had, we had three kids when I started working as an actuary or do we have to know? We had to, when I started my business, we’re about to have our third of my kids right now are 13, 11 and nine and then five, three and two, sorry, we’re, we’re in that stretch of birthday so I have to stop and think about who’s had their birthday yet or not. So we have everything from teenager all the way through toddler and it’s, it’s insane. That’s true. So back when we, when we started the business, it was just me and my husband was still finishing up college and so he was just doing some community classes on the side while working a part time as well.

Jamie: [07:13] And when he was done with his classes for that and when he graduated, uh, he decided I made him come with me to a wedding or to, to carry bags. And we got excited by all the really fun, you know, Dslr gear because gear’s fund and um, he, I, you know, like probably like most photographers out there, I’ve been like, look at this photo, look at that. I get so excited. And he had a really great eye for it. So I’m like, well if you’re here you can grab a camera and you know, I basically, we took an afternoon and I taught him the basics of shooting manual and I’m like, just shoot for fun, you know, like, we don’t need any of the images, but he was really, really good at it. And so he did that while he was in college for a little bit with me, just kind of practicing. But then when he left college he did join me in the wedding photography full time and I mean he’s, it wasn’t like he was a second under me by the time he was through with college and we did that full time. He was just as strong of a shooter as I was. And so we did that together until we moved to Minnesota in 2013. And um, so we. What did you want to know about kids? I can’t remember.

Kia: [08:23] No, I want to know how old they were and uh, and where you came from. And then. So now I just to, so I understand. So modern tog is what you do for a living, both of you. It’s

Jamie: [08:36] the majority, I know he doesn’t do that at all. He’s got a business and the pickleball industry of all things, but um, so I, we do, I mean I do a handful of shoots per year but I get so much more joy out of watching, like helping other photographers get clients and still do some because I want to be relevant. I want to know what’s going on, what’s working and you know, all of that, but the majority of my time is spent helping other people to really grow the businesses they want to have so they can have, they can leave the job they hate or they can finally do photography full time and actually make a living beyond just, you know, minimum wage or less. And so that’s where I focus the majority of my time. Okay. Awesome. And so modern tog what you do with it as help people by blogging and facebook groups for thin view, like you sell products or is it a subscription or how to.

Jamie: [09:30] How do people kind of get your, get your expertise? So I’m with the modern tog right now everything I’m doing is personal brand photography based and so I, um, I sell a course that helps photographers pivot into personal brand photography. It’s a six week course. I offered a couple times a year and then before I run the course, I do a challenge because most people, the beauty of personal brand photography is that since clients need this over and over and over again, you can actually book clients that work with you for years at a time every single quarter. Right. And so I, most of the photographers now that I’ve been doing this year only need about 12 ongoing clients, these recurring clients to make a full time living and because it’s commercial in nature, you can charge more for it than regular portraiture. And so it’s really my focus on helping people get these recurring clients.

Jamie: [10:27] That’s what the course does. It helps them pivot into it. And then, um, before I run the course, I do this challenge because it sounds too good to be true. Like, you know, only needing 12 clients and not having, you know, once you’re fully booked, you don’t have to worry as much about marketing and all that because you have your clients. Right. And so, um, a lot of people say, well, how do you find these? These people don’t exist. They’ll just do it themselves. Nobody’s going to pay, you know, as much as a wedding or whatever for a single shoot. And so I do this thing called the [inaudible] weekend challenge where I basically, I do it for free and I tell people, Hey, I’m going to be opening my course up, but I know that um, you know, this might sound too good to be true or whatever else.

Jamie: [11:03] So let me help you get your client, like get some clients for some portfolio building clients to, you know, to see if they’re out there. Because most people don’t realize how many online entrepreneurs that are because they may have friends that they don’t even realize sell stuff online. Or I’m making a really great living online because they don’t necessarily live any different than them. And you know, people don’t always get it, huh? Well a lot of people are in such a niche group that you don’t, you don’t find them unless you’re looking for them. Totally. And so I basically give them a script in it. I call it the, I think I call it the starter script where they can take it word for word and posted on social media. And the goal is to help them book at least two clients at $500 a piece over a weekend.

Jamie: [11:52] And so I give them the script, I give them the process, we walked through it together as a community. It’s really fun. We do this huge event and then, um, we watch what happens and the goal is that they could make at least a thousand dollars over the weekend. That’s why it’s called the [inaudible] weekend. And then if they do decide that they want to continue moving forward with this and really pivot into the personal brand photography, then they’ve already got the money. They need to take the course. So I do that for free. I have the course and then I do have a contract that I created with an intellectual property lawyer because personal brand photography is kind of like a hybrid between traditional commercial photography and portraiture. It’s, it’s a mix between traditional commercial photography and portraiture and so the contract is kind of a hybrid between the two as well.

Jamie: [12:42] And we. I had, I had recommended a different commercial contract for a while, but so many people were having to customize so much of it where there are lawyers that I just, I found a lawyer who was willing to work with me and create something that’s specific to this niche. So I have the contract, I have the course, and then for anyone who goes through the course, they get an exclusive invitation to a membership that they can join to work with me on an ongoing basis, but that’s only available to people who have gone through the course and that’s specifically focused on taking it and doing all of the marketing going forward. So that’s, that’s kind of the things. I do have some old products that are still out there that people can buy, but that’s what I focus on. I’m sharing with photographers.

Kia: [13:24] I’m really impressed because what you’ve done is found a need for photographers, but not necessarily like it doesn’t sound like it was what you were doing for yourself, but you created you. You’re teaching people how to do it even though you didn’t necessarily do it first. Right. Would that be.

Jamie: [13:41] Well, what have to say? What happened was that I. I was my ideal client, like I wanted this and I couldn’t find. I literally went to Google. I searched every term I can think of because there wasn’t a single term that was one of the things I’ve really pushed us using the term personal brand photography and I’ve been using it within my entrepreneurial communities as well to help raise awareness with entrepreneurs so they know what to look for when they’re looking for a photographer for this, but basically I’m like, okay, these people like they. There’s so many photographers who can take beautiful photos, but they don’t get what I need. They don’t understand my mindset behind this. They don’t understand that I’m not going to credit them on a facebook ad because I’m paying to get that out there and I don’t want to have to credit people every time I use a photo because it’s going to hurt my business and the goal is to help my business, right?

Jamie: [14:35] Or they don’t necessarily want to give me rights to let a graphic designer edit the photos, which I know makes every photographer bristle. But if I’m going to have a designer creating marketing materials for me, they need to be able to, uh, and I don’t do big editing tweaks, but if, you know, if, uh, if somebody does have a very distinct style on their instagram or something, they need to be able to apply their filters to it and not have the photographer freak out. And so there’s differences in personal brand photography that are very different from traditional portrait shirt. And a lot of them actually, um, are like the opposite of best practices in traditional portraiture that make it very different. And so I basically said, what is it that I need? And then because I wanted a photographer, I could hire on an ongoing basis and I just could not find someone out there that, I mean there was a couple people and I saw the opportunity to help photographers get clients like me who were willing to pay for it even though I could do it myself and I had all the gear who didn’t.

Jamie: [15:36] I’m, I’m at a point where I want to grow a...


Published on:

31st Dec 2018

New Years Special – Episode 013 – A Photographer Podcast Interview

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If you love Kia Bondurant, you’ll love this podcast episode! Matt interviews Kia about her New Year’s tradition. Kia chooses a word of the year, every year. Kia tried it first with her best friend in 2011, then her husband, Andy and the first time was totally off the cuff. Her first word was “create”. Her second year/word was “stewardship” to step up her care of things. Listen in to hear more of Kia’s words for each year and how she looks back on how her words changed her life. In 2015, Kia also picked a word for her studio, in addition to her personal life. In 2018, Kia’s personal word was “words”, which she expected to be about writing and reading. But 2018 is the year Matt and Kia started this podcast! Kia’s word for the studio was “double” and this year she is purchasing her studio building and doubling her square footage. The word you pick in January might mean something completely different or new in December. Kia has 6 action points to pick your word of the year, so make sure to take notes!


  1. Pick a word (pray about it – don’t overthink it)
  2. Have faith (your word is going to be important throughout the year)
  3. Look for signs
  4. Take action (tell people about it)
  5. Be creative (putting the word into your life)
  6. Be disciplined
  7. Celebrate how the word made your life better (Bonus)


Link to Andy’s writing/blog about word of the year:


Read Full Transcript

Transcription was done by 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.

Speaker 1: [00:01] 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.

Matt: [00:16] Hey everybody. Welcome back to from nothing to profit. So if you are a big fan of Kaia, this will be your show because this is our new year’s show and if you’re listening to this. When it first came out it came out on New Year’s eve and I wanted to interview Kayak because she does this really cool thing and I’m going to give her the floor to kind of explain it. But her and her husband did this thing every year where they, they come up with a word of the year to kind of focus their business and she told me this a couple of years ago and it kind of just blew my mind when she told me about it. But. And I’m not very good about it, but this is going to be the year I’m going to do it. And so part of the show is to teach you guys all what she’s doing, but also to hold me accountable. So I actually do this year. So Kaya, I’m gonna pass the floor to you. Tell us about this whole a new year’s thing that you do with the word and all that stuff.

Kia: [01:06] Okay. Well, I’m super excited to share this because it’s been something that was a really unexpectedly positive and you know how sometimes you’re like, okay, know I need to do this. It’s going to be so good for me. Especially with the new year. You’re like, I’m gonna lose weight. I’m going to start exercising. I’m going to give up pop, you know, whatever or soda, whatever that type of thing is. And this was actually just something totally off the cuff that we started doing. And I had read it. I, I’m, I’m definitely not the first person to do this at all. I actually knew one of my employees, uh, probably 15 or 20 years ago told me that her mom had her do this every year and what she would do is choose a word and then make a collage out of magazine images that describe to that word and then put it on the wall and look at that all year long.

Kia: [01:58] And I thought, oh, that’s clever. And her first word I think was journey or something like that. And I thought that was really clever and I didn’t do anything about it. But, uh, I was reading maybe on the bloggers side or something like that, about someone choosing a word of the year. And, uh, I had been meeting with my best friend from college. We’d been meeting for coffee every morning to talk and pray together about things. And I said, what if we do this together? And she’s super into words. Her, uh, her love language is words of affirmation minus not minus touch, but no one can send me hugs if you want. But I, but I thought she would really enjoy doing that together. And so I, we’ve talked about it and we came up with our words that we were going to do and so it was something that we kind of talked about throughout the year and I told Andy about it, my husband and at the time he was starting to blog and so he decided to do it with us as well and he kind of just did it because we did it and I was talking about it but it.

Kia: [03:02] But it wasn’t something that Andy and I personally like made this big, you know, we didn’t like have dinner together with candle light and she was our word or something like that. It was all just kind of like off the cuff. And it’s been really interesting. I pulled up my list.

Matt: [03:18] So you and andy have different words because like the word is much more personal to you and what you want to work on than it is like a family word.

Kia: [03:25] Yes. Okay. Well, yeah. So we actually a, and they don’t do it every year, but we encourage our kids to choose a word and we talk about it. And a lot of times our youngest will choose whatever Andy chooses, which is pretty sweet, but some years they choose things that are really brave, you know, really surprising. And uh, it’s been fun to see what they do as well too.

Matt: [03:49] Okay. So do you have a couple of your words that you’ve done over the year?

Kia: [03:52] Yeah, so we started doing this in 2011 and so it will have been eight years. Yeah. Eight years this year. And so my first word was create and uh, and a lot of times what I’ll do because uh, you know, obviously I just started in January and I have a little bit more free time in January. And so like that year I did like, I like watercolor and painted create unlike did this little designs and things like that. And then I put it on my, like on my phone, I’m not a super crafty person, but then every once in a while I’ll sit down and just do something that comes into my head. So it’s not like I do that kind of thing a lot. So create was my first year and then the, my second year, this was a hard year was stewardship and so like I just wanted to take care of all my stuff.

Kia: [04:42] We had some land and then of course my kids and I felt like I wanted to step up my care of things. And then 2013 was believe. And that was a, that was a big year. That one, uh, like some years, you know, I’ve chosen something that’s more like, like, do you like a do and action. And then some years I’ve chosen something that’s like a really super internal. And so 2013 we had made a big life change. We moved our home, I’d moved my business and started my own business. And so I was like believing like, okay, God, God, am I going to be able to do this? Like I don’t know, so I’m just trusting in you. And so that one, that was a big, big year. A big, what was the word again? Believe, believe. And I always make fun of like, you know, like I’m, it’s funny because I do it, but I make fun of it too. But like people that have plaques with words on it.

Matt: [05:40] Yeah. Because that does some of that stuff doesn’t feel authentic.

Kia: [05:43] Yeah. Yeah. It’s like a pinterest quotes. And so I’m like, Ugh, ridiculous. But um, but yeah, and especially a word like believer, I’m like, oh, this is so crazy. But um,

Matt: [05:55] it’s interesting. I don’t want to tell you how you go back to your list in a second, but just talking to you guys like you know, what your word is and you know, what it means to you and you can articulate that at any point, but it’s not like you guys are wearing t shirts around with it on the front of it. You know what I mean? Like it’s just been such an interesting conversation that when I’ve talked to you and andy about it because like, you’re like, yeah, it gets brought up like this is my word of the year or whatever. And you’re like, wow, that’s really awesome. Then we have a 10 minute conversation about where you’re at with it or why you chose that word and it’s just like, it’s very, uh, thoughtful thing. It’s not designed to be cheesy or anything like that.

Kia: [06:27] Yeah, yeah, absolutely. For sure. Yeah. And so my next year was healing and next word in 2014 and then in 2015, this is another do word was morning and that was kind of when that trend was coming in where everyone’s like, I get up really early and I do all these things before my day starts. And so I did that for months and it’s funny because now I’d get up really early, almost every morning and at that point I had been like Andy would get up, get the kids going and then I would get up later. And so, um, I think it’s funny to look back on those words and go, oh my goodness, like that word I thought I hadn’t successfully achieved it because I only did it for like life a [inaudible] yeah. But, but sometimes the like the effect of it can be years later too.

Kia: [07:22] That’s really interesting. Yeah, so then that same year I actually decided to do a word for the studio and so 2015, my word was morning and for the studio it was developed and so my goal with that was to develop the people that worked for me. And it’s really smart. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So that was fun. And then 2016 was open for me and I had been doing some life coaching and the picture that I really got, I’m a super visual and so one of the big pictures from that experience was like being open to, you know, just like being open to people, being involved in my life be just kind of opening up letting. And so the picture is like a girl standing girl, me standing in a field with my arms open wide, you know, like that, like twirling in the field with your arms open and like kind of in a, in a, uh, like receiving way. Um, so that was 2016 and then for my business it was integrity and I just, there were some things that I really wanted to like drill down and change in the business. So not that we were doing anything illegal.

Matt: [08:35] No, no. Yeah, but you wanted your focus would be there

Kia: [08:38] to be really authentic and um,

Matt: [08:40] and then yeah, I mean having integrity being your word versus like shopping. Those are two different than, you know what I mean, like, so hey,

Kia: [08:48] hey, now I, I was honest with you and our money talk and 2017 was help and so that was, that was a hard. Is your personal word? That was my personal word. Yeah. And it was like receiving help and actually I think it was kind of, I didn’t do one for the studio that year, which was actually just like the two just last year. But I realized at the end of the year that my staff had stepped up and there were so many things that I was not in charge of anymore that they took over. And so it was pretty incredible. Just like going, okay, I don’t have to do every single thing. Other people can help me and just learning to ask for help. I didn’t really like that word so many years. I, you know, when I, when I, I, I don’t really want to do it, but once I have the idea I’m like oh I have to do it, you know, like this is it.

Kia: [09:43] So 2018, we’re getting to the end of 2018 and I had one for the studio and I had one for me personally. And I think the thing, the reason that I keep doing it is because it is just almost shocking to look back and go, oh my goodness, this was what my word of the year was and look what happened. So this year my 2018 word was words and I thought it was going to be me like writing, you know, like do it and I have done a lot more writing this year and like maybe started, you know, like actually getting down and making a blog happen or a book or something like that. But what are we doing right now?

Matt: [10:23] Yeah, no, we use words every single week. Now

Kia: [10:27] this podcast is a perfect example of how words have been become much more. It was, it was about me sharing my words essentially. And so this podcast is a perfect example of the word of the European played out. That’s my word was a double and I thought that was going to mean we’re going to double our business, which I thought this is ridiculous. I should not choose this word. This is going to be crazy. But this week I’m supposed to meet with my landlord and possibly by my studio building and it will double the square footage of what we, um, what we’re in right now. Yeah, that’s amazing. I know. It’s really, really crazy. So, uh, you know, I know we just went through all the different words that I’ve done and I think when I’ve talked to other people about doing it, they just get so nervous. They’re like, oh my goodness, this is so hard. I, I just, I have to really think about this. And I don’t think it has to. You have to take yourself that seriously, you know, like I think anything you choose is going to make you think a little bit more about it all year long, you know, and really just live a little bit more intentionally.

Matt: [11:41] That’s really good. So I mean because I do like how you said like, I don’t even like this word, you know what I means. That’s where some people would just work on a word for so long that like it, you know, they just overthink it and you just the word and you’re like, well this is our word and I don’t even like it. I wish I, I wish it sounded smarter, but it’s this, you know, you just go with it. Um, and it’s, uh, it’s also so interesting. I think learning about this from you, just how the word takes on its own. Meaning as the year goes on.

Kia: [12:13] Yeah.

Matt: [12:13] You think it’s going to be one thing in January and then by the time the following January comes around at mental, whole, new, a whole new thing?

Kia: [12:19] Yes, absolutely. Yeah.

Matt: [12:22] In some years, like you said, are really deep and personal. And other years it’s not super, you know,

Kia: [12:28] at the soul level, you know, so it’s more of a, like an actionable thing. I try to avoid the actionable ones because then they feel more like New Year’s resolutions at the same time. I mean, it’s kind of, that’s what it is. So, um, is it, you know, something to kind of guide your year.

Matt: [12:45] So are. So are there any, are there any questions or exercises or anything that you do to get the, like how do you.

Kia: [12:51] Yeah, I have actually, it’s funny, I pulled up a, um, when I spoke at an event, I have one, two, three, four, five, six, six action points for choosing a, you know, doing your word of the year. Could share those for sure. Here you go. So first of all, choose a word. So don’t overthink it. So here’s a list of words. Joy, freedom, risk, develop, grace, rest, hope, trust to transform, overflow, dream, grow, listen, attack, bold, restore more help. Those are all words I know people have used. That’s cool. Yeah. So just choose a word. And for me it’s something that, you know, because it’s faith based for me, I pray about it, you know, I asked God to bring something to mind for me, so okay, so literally she’s a word and I started thinking about it and at the beginning of December, uh, and just start kind of coming up with ideas. So the second action after you’ve chosen a word is have faith. So whether it’s a spiritual thing for you or not have faith that your word is going to be important to you throughout the year

Matt: [14:02] because you got to trust it because it may not even seem like it’s relevant for months at a time.

Kia: [14:05] Yeah, absolutely. And sometimes I’ll even be like, whoa, my goodness, what was my word again? Because sometimes like, like one year I did healing but I was going to do health and I kind of went back and forth and then, you know, by the end of the year I was like, okay, it was healing, you know, like I wasn’t exactly sure. And this year was going to be words and then it was going to be right. And then I was like, okay, I think it’s words. So

Matt: [14:26] yeah, I liked it. I liked how it’s a little bit more like higher level. Yeah. It can take on more means but not so higher level. That doesn’t mean anything.

Kia: [14:34] Yes. Yeah. Okay. Let’s go. Keep going. Okay. So then the third thing, after you choose your word and then you choose to have faith, uh, is look for signs. And so I think this is kind of fun because um, we will look for that word in different places, you know, whether it’s like whether we do it specifically, like one year we were, andy and I were in a shop and they had scrabble like giant scrabble sets and you could choose your word. And so he chose his word and a scrabble set and kept it in his office. And that’s cool. And then, uh, I’m looking at the office wall and hear. And so one year our words, we’re bold and open and so I don’t remember who bought them, but you know, like the, they’re like a foot tall, a plywood letters. And I just, he, I do this sometimes andy comes home and he’s like, oh, she’s hammered a bunch of letters on the wall and then one year I painted all a bunch of words, but especially my word on the kitchen wall.

Kia: [15:38] And so everyone would come over and they’re like, oh, your words are all on the wall. So, um, so those are not necessarily looking for signs, those are aerating signs. But um, but yeah, so we look for the word and kind of. It always seems to jump out at me. I’m like the, I almost always all like averse will jump out in...


Published on:

24th Dec 2018

Jeff Richardson – Episode 012 – A Photographer Podcast Interview

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Today’s podcast features Jeff Richardson (@Richardsonstudios), who has been in the industry for 24 years and considers himself a maverick. Listen in to learn about Jeff’s upbringing and how that’s translated to his business, such as how being homeschooled caused him to question everything. He’s all about attention to detail and creating extremely good, high end content; including content for ourselves. We need to show what we do, tell our story too. Make sure you catch why Jeff thinks there won’t be a photography industry in the next 24-36 months. Jeff also says it’s important to start and end the day right and he uses the 5 minute journal, morning and night. Jeff’s parting advice is to find one thing to improve, then get after it. Then you can move onto the next thing.


5 minute journal (

App: We Croak (


Jordan Peterson – 12 Rules for Life, An Antidote to Chaos (

E-Myth (

Read Full Transcript

Transcription was done by 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.

Matt: [00:01] Hey guys, this is Jeff Richardson 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 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. Welcome to

Kia: [00:23] from nothing to profit. We are so excited today to be interviewing one of my very closest friends in the photography industry. I feel like he’s kind of my brother Jeff Richardson and Jeff and I met many years ago, probably 20 years ago when we were like probably just out of college and I remember an image that he had photographed and it was at the national senior photographers convention and it was a couple standing on in front of a railroad and they were just draped all over each other super provocative image and jeff was dressed very conservatively and I was like, oh my gosh, I have to get to know this guy. And so anyway, we’re excited to introduce jeff to you. He would call himself a maverick in the photography industry. He’s been a photographer for 24 years and I know he did that. He specializes in luxury portrait photography. So Jeff, we are so excited to have you here today.

Jeff: [01:21] I am pumped to be here. This is super exciting. And Are you hearing me right now?

Matt: [01:26] Yeah, you’re coming through just fine. So I have known each other for a number of years as well. We spoke at some conferences together and uh, yeah, he’s an amazing person to be around and I don’t. Jeff, I don’t know if I’ve ever. If I ever appreciate you while I’m with you, that’s amazing actually. But I know I appreciate you when you’re not around me because the mental game that you cause when I’m not around you, like from conversation, like we’re having a conversation at a conference and I’m like, yeah, yeah, yeah. And then I leave and my mind is going a million miles an hour. Is this still weird?

Jeff: [02:05] You’re like, wait, what did he say? Oh crap. Oh my God. Yeah, that’s A. Oh, I would say we have a very rich history in the photography industry would be put in it. We put it mildly. Right, right. I’m, uh, I’m, I’m very passionate about our history. I think it’s fantastic and lots of good things in the future, that’s for sure. So yeah, I’m pumped to be on this with you guys. I see what you guys are doing. It’s very cool. The consistency is already starting to show and uh, we’re uh, excited to be part of it. Um, I would say I’m very, I don’t want to sound like a Douche, but I’m very selective on my photography education where I, where I throw that out at night and I don’t yet know why, but I’m excited to be honest with you guys. I think it’s Super Fun. So anyway, how do we, how do we start this thing? What do you want? What do you want to know from me?

Matt: [02:49] Yeah, I’m just. Any other expertise? Is there any expertise that you want to share that Kinda didn’t share in terms of what you want?

Jeff: [02:55] Well, I mean we’d be happy to jump when do we want to keep this somewhat, but I mean we’ve got. So I was actually thinking about when, when Kira was just give me the introduction, it’s, I think it’s been right at 20 years since I met Kyle was trying to think. So we installed our phase one digital system in actually onset nine slash 11, 2001, which is a whole other story. But. So I had. So I think you guys had switched just prior to that. I feel like go ahead. Gone faith. So I think we met in 1998 at sp, which is be exactly 10 years from now and that’s when I first week. So we had them like maybe the next following year we had like dueling portfolios that were up for like senior photographer of the year are kind of like we’re in the higher competition thing and I’m like wait, this girl’s work.

Jeff: [03:40] It’s really good too. Dang it. So what is this person who is this person? And we instantly just kind of with our family history of photography, we kind of instantly kind of became like I guess almost like brother sister, kind of like, um, what are you doing? What are you doing now? What are you doing now? What are you doing? This is working, this is not working. Just all this constant back and forth, and then obviously a huge evolution through seniors, our suits, spi which is senior for their national one and spa and there’s just so much, so much history that’s just rich. Anyway. So, um, uh, so you, when you say expertise for me, I mean, so a little bit about me. I was raised pentecostal because Kai was talking about me and concern that was raised pentecostal. I was homeschooled. So those, those two items in my early childhood, I think looking back, give me a kind of a strong appreciation for tradition and odor.

Jeff: [04:33] And yet then they also kind of the juxtaposition of that, they also, the homeschooling causes me to kind of question everything and why is this happening and why are we doing it like this? So that’s kind of developed my personality I guess. So to speak, in, in, in the industry, if you were asking me what my expertise is, I would say that posing humans very naturally and flattering and almost like in an emotionally woking kind of way of finding the best light for face shape, body shape, and then moving a step further and how to break down kind of family dynamics and expose, underline relationships and emotions in portrait photography is probably what I seek out and probably enjoy the most and then translating that into kind of an upscale consumer portrait photography experience. So you take some of those skills and knowledge of the industry and then you move that into kind of a brand and kind of really translates into where I’m at right now is Richardson studio in my, in my career.

Jeff: [05:28] So anyway, [inaudible] I give you a little bit of kind of my insight on quote expertise and you’re definitely, you’re definitely known for your senior portrait work. I mean, I know you and your wife do other stuff as well, but yeah, it’s funny you say that because we’re. We’re actually in the process of trimming that down to a very home because I just, and that’s when we might circle back around to that at some point, but right now positioning yourself with the industry being something for everybody is, is not awesome. I we’re know we’re, we’re merging baby family, we’re merging that into one kind of category and then senior in portrait, so senior family, edgy lifestyle, senior family photography. Upscale is where we’re at with the portrait side and then we have the. We have the corporate commercial side, so we’re basically going family, senior corporate is what we’re going with our with our brand. Really kind of narrowing down to well just content. So I guess for, for people

Kia: [06:25] content. Yeah, I think that’s a perfect word. And then the other thing too, Jeff, is your second generation for photography, is that right? Or third?

Jeff: [06:33] At least second. I would say probably third would be more accurate. My grandpa had a. my dad’s dad had a print shop slash tabloids, like local tabloid, so he was a printer slash photographer sorta so to speak, and then of course my dad was a full time commercial and portrait photographer for instill is and then then I of course. So yeah, I would say third would be would be. It would be a fair assessment. Yeah, I think I was looking, I think except for maybe a couple thousand bucks that I made when I was roofing houses in high school. Every single dollar that I have ever made in my entire life has come from photography. It’s really wild when you look back at it, like know there’s no, there’s no other source of income except for creating a photograph. Someone liked it and they purchased it. Bizarre. Completely. Completely bizarre. Yeah. That’s really cool.

Kia: [07:24] So on that note then, talking about, you know, every single dollar that you’ve made in your life has come from photography. Obviously. You’ve been through all kinds of changes over the years. So what would you say is the story of what you think is working now for your business? You started to talk about it a little bit. Yeah,

Jeff: [07:43] sure. Yeah, yeah. It’s narrowing down is where we’re getting to artist specific genre. I would say attention to detail is what’s working and making it really, really good and then once you make it good, make it a little better. Like I’m old and I’m very self critical, but right now I’m like dammit, my work just needs to be better. I need to see something better out of myself and so I wake up everyday kind of like trying to improve the experience and what’s missing and where the gaps are at and then how is our client reacting to what I’m creating and then then you can kind of follow the market changes a little bit. Sorry, I feel like I interrupted you as you.

Kia: [08:22] No, no, no, no. That was perfect. But. So what, what’s an example of like a, a thing you’ve seen that you’ve changed or something that you’re like, okay, I need to work on this?

Jeff: [08:30] Well, I mean I recently just went through in the beginning of the year, I just flushed. I just sold all my camera gear and got rid of all of it and bought all new Nikon gear, new new lenses. I thought, well, this is resolved. I bought all new pro photo photos like I need a better. I need better light, better consisting better tools to do my job and I just want to stand out. It has to be. And then and then now it’s like locations, I don’t know, you kind of just thrown away all my everything I’m looking at in the industry and go into like what, what, what does art look like? What are people investing in when it comes to content and art? What do they need and what’s happening. So can we give you a backstory? So there’s this, like it was randomly on facebook the other day, just one morning getting up, doing my morning routine, going through things that inspire me.

Jeff: [09:13] And I came across the face on facebook of all places. A band called Joe Bonamassa. Have you guys ever heard of this fan? No, I haven’t. And it’s like this like old school luxury, high end. He’s got a girl plays this like, I’m not even sure. It’s like a, it looks like a violent. It looks very Middle Eastern of and he’s doing like remake of like conway twitty, the rows and it is the like the visual and the visual work, the visual video content. He’s performing like the Chicago theater. It’s just really, really good and I’m looking at it in the soil. I’m listening to it and I’m playing online but this is incredible. So I’m like, so I tap over so it’s a sponsored link on facebook so I tap over into it. I get up on. So I felt if I go all the way through and listen to some of his music to checking out where like he’s in Chicago, Chicago theater on our anniversary and it’s like, oh my gosh, Michelle and I would love this to go to Chicago Day.

Jeff: [10:04] This would be super cool. Didn’t do it, but literally followed his content all the way to almost clicking by on $800 tickets at Chicago theater. And I’m like, wait, what? What has happened? And it literally came from extremely good, high end content and so that’s kind of my position is if we’re going to stand out, we just got. This has got to be better. I’m sorry, we just got, we got, we got, we got from stand out from mom dogs and I mean you can bleep this out or shit or whatever you want to call them to talk because we’ve. Because we’ve got to stand out the quality as professional. We have the resources, we actually have the resources to make our work better. So I think it’s starting to make our work better

Kia: [10:45] as future portrait professional portrait photographers and account.

Jeff: [10:52] I mean that’s in a sense that you’re, you’re right. I mean we’re going to raise the game a little bit. That’s why I agreed to do this. Yeah. And, but you felt like this for awhile. I mean obviously you’re, you’re working on different things right now, but I mean this has been an ongoing conversation because I’ve known you for like four or five feet is about as I add adhd, dyslexia, whatever. I get super bored in a hurry.

Kia: [11:17] Well, I seriously, well some friends and cousins and all my head that so many people I know are and I think just being able to self direct what you’re learning and what you’re doing, I think that’s now you’re like, this is what I’m going to do next, this is what I’m gonna do after that, and the next thing. I think that’s part of that.

Jeff: [11:37] It tends to leave a trail of destruction sometimes in your path, so you have to be a little careful. Your inner circle isn’t. Oops, sorry about that. I still love you. I promise I didn’t mean to like walk completely overused. Well, and I think another thing known you for awhile, I think

Matt: [11:54] that your view on risk is higher than a lot of people. Like you’re willing to like Israel gear and invest in new stuff and just see if it works out.

Jeff: [12:04] Yeah. I actually bought soda. I bought all Sony gear and it was cool, but I just couldn’t get past the whole. I’m the single rental single lens reflex. I had to see my subjects in real time, so actually took it off, took it all back $20,000 a year, took it all back up and Roberts. I’m like, Hey, uh, yeah guys, I, I can’t use this. So it’s like a. So you’re inside the window at school. So no problem Jeff. And so yeah, they were great. But yeah, that was super risky. So anyway, so yeah, so kinda like, so Paul, my pattern, I basically, I had my part quit working in like 2011. I was born with congenital defects so the whole like you’re going to die probably kinda hits you. So then I’m handling, let’s just do this little, this little little and uh, let’s, let’s do it.

Jeff: [12:46] Right. So that, that, that kind of transitioned me from the, like when I started Richardson Studio 2007 to like this, like 180 seniors a year and get them in as much as you can see in your models, you know, just Bam, Bam, Bam. Cranking it out to more like the do a little better job. What if we tried to raise the order average? You know, it’s possible, so and, and, and it succeeded. I mean I went from shooting 160 170 seniors a year at a, you know, a $1,700 average to shooting like 70, 80 senior. My target is 80 seniors at 3000. That’s my goal. Target all the time. So 20, 16 we hit that and it’s a better place.

Matt: [13:25] Definitely a better place. Yeah, it’s definitely a better place. So that’s awesome. So way off track. Sorry. No, no, no, you’re perfectly on track. So what is. So what’s one thing that you’re fired up about? Like in the industry or like you know, when you talk to people about the industry, what do you hold true or what are you excited about telling me what’s going on? I don’t know man. It’s tough. I think that might be a better option for me.

Jeff: [13:48] I don’t know that I’m actually fired up about anything in the, in the photography industry, what, what I am. What I do see though is the rapid change has given me some energy, like the fastest. It’s, I mean it’s, you know, I don’t think there’s going to be a photography industry in 24 to 36 months. I think there will be incredible content creators and really, really, really good artist. And so that’s, that, that math, that fast paced change is given me a ton of energy right now because I’m processing, you know, what digital files look like and how to, how to market those as a product and I mean like really market those as a product and that kind of transition. So yeah, I mean I’m, I’m fired. I’m fired up about the change, the economies bustling. So if we can really find our niche and our expertise, uh, there’s some big things that are happening. It’s not so much in like photography but it’s, but it is, it’s in, it’s in graphing with light, with photons and creating work for people. So it’s kind of a roundabout. I guess I’m evading the question but,

Matt: [14:48] but you and I’ve had conversations about this for years about where the is going and stuff and I think we’re starting to hit another like inflection point where it feels like it’s moving faster and there’s more people adopting this idea and a 100 percent agree. Yeah. And I. and it’s just so sometimes you know, those inflection points can be scary, but also sometimes you just have to put your head down and just go into them and figure...


Published on:

17th Dec 2018

Goal Setting – Episode 011 – A Photographer Podcast Interview

Read Show Notes

In this podcast, Kia interviews Matt about goal setting. He compares goal setting to creating a road map so you know what opportunities to take throughout the year. He recommends brainstorming everything you want to accomplish for 5 minutes, dreaming huge and small. Think about where you want to be 3 months, 3 years, and a lifetime from now to give you short term and long term goals. Listen in to learn more about SMART goals. Matt also has specific questions he uses to reflect on the past to help shape the future; you’ll want to take notes! Then Matt explains how he turns his goals into action plans so he can accomplish them.

Resources – Questions Matt uses to reflect

What was the best part of 2018?
What was the lesson learned from that?
What was the most challenging part of 2018?
What was the lesson learned from that?
Who & How did you positively influence someone in 2018?
Who made you laugh most in 2018?
Who or what were you most grateful for in 2018?
What still feels incomplete to you?
What will you do to handle it?
What would you change about how you managed your stress in 2018?
What do you wish you would have done differently this year?
What are you most proud of in regards to your finances in 2018?
Where did you find the most peace and calm in 2018?
What advice would you give yourself at the beginning of 2018?
What will you do less of in 2019?
What important relationship do you want to improve the most next year?
What do I most want to be thankful for 1 year from now?
What do I want to become an expert in the next year?
What are you most excited about for the next year?


Read Full Transcript

Transcription was done by 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.

Speaker 1: [00:01] Welcome to from nothing to profit, a photographer’s podcast with Matt and Kia 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. Hello everyone.

Kia: [00:18] Welcome to from nothing to profit. Today is our goal setting show and I’m Kia bonderant and I am going to be interviewing Matt Hoagland about how he sets the goals throughout the year and I’m super excited because I have some ways that I do goal setting, but it’s not my main thing that I do where we have our new year’s show. We talked about word of the year and that’s really my way of starting the year. So Matt, I’m super excited to hear what you have to say about goal setting.

Matt: [00:50] Yeah, it’s really fun. This is something I felt like I kind of thrive in. I would love to know what my wife and employees think, whether I thrive in it or not, but it definitely helps me a lot and I feel like it moves our business forward in a major way. So yeah, I’m excited to share what I have to offer.

Kia: [01:06] Okay. So tell us about like what you do when you set goals.

Matt: [01:10] Yeah, so I think it’s important to set goals every year because it’s kind of like, for me it’s like a roadmap, you know, it’s really hard to know where you’re going unless you have a map to kind of tell you where to go. So it, it goal setting starts as the start of the process of figuring out what the roadmap is for the year. But, and part of the reason that happens in the roadmap happens is because you’re establishing priorities as soon as you say these are my goals and there’s actually I think a bigger part than goals which is called, which I call an action plan, but we’ll get to that in a second. But it establishes your priorities so that you can start looking at the world, your business, whatever it is, through a certain lens and decide like, okay, all this stuff coming at me. Like what actually, what do I need to pay attention to? Because you know, as you get a million opportunities in the, in any given year to, you know, to change things in your business, but if you don’t have your roadmap and you’ll have your priorities, you don’t know which ones to take and which ones not to take because they all sound like good ideas at the time.

Kia: [02:06] Absolutely. I feel like I always come up with so many things that I can just run around like a crazy person. So yeah. So how do you do that? Like what kind of different goals do you set?

Matt: [02:17] Yeah. So, well I have a couple of different goals. So one of the things that I do is I kind of design. I start the process. So like I said like a five minute timer and I kind of just do like I just write down everything I can think of that and dream up of for like the next year. So this case 20, 19. So all set. I’ll set a timer and I’ll say what do I want for 2019? And I’ll just write down all these different words and brainstorm it and just get it all out on paper and some of the stuff is so crazy that it’ll, it’ll never happen, you know, like win the lottery, you know, like I could write that down if I really wanted to and I can turn that into an action plan and try to win the lottery. But like that, that some of that stuff is so far fetched and I put a.

Matt: [02:54] But the secret is I do put that stuff down. Not that particular one, but I put far, we just read stuff down. So. And then even the little things and just that five minutes of quiet time by yourself running down. It’s amazing what you actually write down. So wait, wait, wait. Okay. So how long do you set the timer for? Five minutes. Oh, okay. Did you say that? And I missed it? Yeah. Just so just five minutes. And then B, you find yourself writing the same things down every year? Mm. Yeah. I mean there’s some core stuff that I write down that was kind of the same every year. But then kind of what drives our action plan for the year is some of the new things we write down that are come from the clarity of writing and those other things down. Let me rephrase that. So there may be something we write down five years in a row and the reason it never gets put in place because that’s maybe not the right way to say it.

Matt: [03:45] Eventually you get clarity around that particular word and it becomes, it morphs into a new word that you actually like, oh, that’s what it actually means. This is what I really want, you know, so like, like it may make more money maybe written down for five years, but you know, on the fifth year you actually, you say it’s not really about making more money, it’s actually about making my business more profitable or something like that. And then it kind of changes the whole thing. So total side note real quick and then I’m going to get back to the kind of goals with question, the kind of goals that I write. So one of the things that allison did recently, my wife, which was pretty cool, is she watched, I sent her a video and then she actually did this, which was amazing, cause I don’t even remember the video, but she took it into action is they had you write down 25 things that you wanted to do and then you’re only allowed to pick five because supposedly there is science behind the fact that you can only pick five things to actually accomplish.

Matt: [04:38] And so she, there’s 25 things she wants to do, but what are the top five? And then once you accomplish one of those then you can pick something else off your list, but you can only focus on like five at a time. So that’s kind of a side note that I’m going to look at doing this year. But with that being said, the goal to kind of the kind of goals I set, it’s like I have like one year goals. Where do I want to be from a year, a year from now? Where do I want to be three years from now? Where do I want to be? Just three months from now and then I kind of have like these lifetime goals, they tend to be around like retirement or you know, longterm super longterm things. So I kind of group, once I write down for those five minutes, I wrote down on my dreams, I kind of group those into like, is this, are these one year things, three things, three month items or lifetime items.

Matt: [05:21] Um, and the idea is I want longterm and short term goals to keep me motivated because you need short term goals to be able to feel like you’re winning, but then you need longterm goals to actually steer your life, ship a certain direction. Yeah, yeah, for sure. Um, and then the other thing that I always focus on, and I’ll get to this in more detail in a second, but I always make sure people have probably heard this a thousand times, but that your goals are smart and if you haven’t heard it, the idea I have, I have it written down here. So it’s basically, they’re specific, they’re measurable, they’re attainable, they’re realistic, and then trackable and some other people have used, instead of attainable, they’ve used like achievable, realistic, they said relevant instead of trackable, they said timebound and I actually liked the time, the time bound one better than the trackable one. So all I just make sure all of them are specific, measurable and that I could actually pull them off and know that okay,

Kia: [06:17] your, uh, your first list, your first list is like, just everything you can think of and you start organizing them into the different categories and then you make you change them to be smart.

Matt: [06:31] Yeah, exactly. So that’s kind of just, that was kind of like the overview of how I view the process, how you use the process. So, so one of the questions people always ask me is like how do I reflect on the past year and, you know, how do I actually get some of these ideas out of my head because, you know, like what do, what do I ask myself to actually think about it? Because, you know, goal setting can be kinda overwhelming. So I have a list of questions that I go through an answer, um, and I don’t necessarily just do this in five minutes, but I definitely make some quiet time for myself and I answer these and I don’t always have to answer them just in one day, but when I read, when I’m reflecting, so I say like what was the best part of this last year and what lessons did I learn so that, that flushes out some ideas. Okay. What’s the most challenging part of last year and what did I learn from that? So it brings up some different.

Kia: [07:24] The best part, the worst part kind of,

Matt: [07:27] yeah. Who, who and how did I positively influenced somebody last year. So that brings up like giving back and stuff like that. Yeah. Like who made me laugh the most last year? So that kind of like who do I probably need to be around more because I see them in a positive light. Who or what was I most grateful for last year? So that starts to really make you think, oh, you know, what was really good and just good reflection question. Right. And I have a bunch more, I’ll keep going. So what, what makes you feel and see what still makes you feel incomplete? So like what are you still missing or what do you still thriving after?

Kia: [08:05] Like frustrated about or like this the, I didn’t get that done.

Matt: [08:10] I also have a sub question for that. Like what will you do to handle it? So like it starts that starts the action plan process of what’s, what can I actually do about that? Incomplete filling. What would you change about how you manage your stress last year? So that helps you think, okay, what was stressful last year and what did I in hindsight now since I’m removed from it, what should I have done differently? Uh, what do you wish you would have done differently last year? That’s just kind of a general question. And then switch back to the positive. What are you most proud of last year? And I always do. What do you also most proud of in regards to your finances? Because finances are really important to me. A lot of my, unfortunately a lot of my happiness and um, how identify success and stuff is wrapped up in finances, so I just have to be very clear about that.

Matt: [08:56] But not everybody has to do the finance one, but you just have to keep it balanced. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Where did you find the most peace and calm last year? Just another way to think of ideas and I, you know, make you realize like this was a good thing so I should probably move towards that. Not Away from it. Uh, what, what advice would you have given yourself at the beginning of Twenty 16 or 20? Sorry. Twenty 18. I’m looking at a list from 2016 right now. And these, again, these are just questions I’ve picked up over the years that I thought are good reflection question.

Kia: [09:25] So they’re not specifically from any certain like these are, this is your personal list.

Matt: [09:30] Yeah. And you know, like one year I did the passion planner, so probably from, there’s a couple from probably that, but it’s a compilation of a bunch of different things or you know, I went to a networking meeting or something and whatever. Uh, what do you want to do less of this next year? Again, just about like balancing the positive and negative of what I need to move towards and what I need to move away from. Yeah. What important relationships do you want to improve next year? What do you want to be? I’m most thankful for in a year from now. So that’s just very forward thinking. What do you want to become an expert in next year? So again, that’s forward thinking and what are you excited? What are you most excited about for next year? So those are some of the questions that Kinda just helped me bubble up ideas of where I was last year and where I need to go.

Kia: [10:23] Okay. So, so you, you make your big list. Yup. And then you put those in the categories and then you ask yourself these questions next.

Matt: [10:36] Yeah. Okay. And these questions I just went over, they take awhile. It’s not like this. I just do this afternoon. Yeah.

Kia: [10:43] Like do you do it over a certain number of days or.

Matt: [10:46] Yeah, typically I normally put one good day and again get most of the way through it and then I let it sit for a couple of days and I’ll be like laying in bed or watching tv or something like that and something will bubble up and I’m like, Oh, I’m really grateful for that. Or that was really funny and I can add to the list a little bit but I don’t want to, you know, it’s all about reflection. So sometimes you just can’t reflect on everything in a year, like in a matter of 10 minutes, you know.

Kia: [11:12] Now, do you do this all by yourself or do you like view dialogue? Will Azure doing it?

Matt: [11:18] Um, I typically do it by myself.

Kia: [11:20] Yeah. See I’m such a verbal processor that I think I would have to do like a lot of it talking.

Matt: [11:26] Yeah. And I’m a verbal processor to boat with this stuff. I mean, occasionally I’ll ask my wife, you know, like, you know, maybe like how did I manage my stress last year? And sometimes she can give me some real talk that um, helps, but I don’t know for the most part it’s, it’s pretty. I’m pretty

Kia: [11:45] by myself. You want to, do you want to see what you really think? Like you want to

Matt: [11:50] measure yourself? Yeah. Okay, cool. So then I have to actually turn them into goals, you know, I have to start turning them into smart goals. And so what I do as I go through a whole process where I have all this stuff written down and stuff starts to get clarified. So some of those words that I wrote down on the five minute timer deal, get clarified in some of these questions or whatever. And so then I start really prioritizing and cutting down this list of stuff that you know, I want to accomplish until I end up with some very clear goals of like, this is what I, this is what I want to do. You know, I want to, you know, grow my business. Maybe where I start. And then I actually realized like, what I actually want to do is go from this many seniors to this many seniors, you know, so I can start to get more clear about how I want to grow my business. So one year that we did this was really good. We said we wanted to grow our business. That’s where we started. By the time I was done with this exercise, I realized that what I really wanted to do was add head shots to our business. So I didn’t necessarily want more seniors, more weddings or anything like that. I wanted a whole new product line. And so we’re able to do that. And when I was super clear about it than I could that I knew that’s what I wanted to do.

Kia: [13:08] So do you take this and compare it to allison or are you the one who kind of comes up with the ideas and then you guys and then she’s like, oh, I like that. Let’s do that together.

Matt: [13:18] Yeah. And so like when it comes to the business, yeah, I mean I’ll talk to everybody and say, here’s what I think. What do you guys think? And I’m a little bit more reflective than they are about it, but then yeah, I have to get buy in and stuff like that and. Right. And that’s kind of my next step after I do this in terms of turning it into an action plan, but the point I want to make with this is that you got to get really clear about your goals and then narrow it...

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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
A Photographers Podcast with Matt Hoaglin and Kia Bondurant