Shooting Star : Making Business Changes

Photography

It started off as a small drip. Nothing to be concerned with, especially since it was a leak dripping from the spigot connected to our backyard water hose. But then. And there’s always a BUT THEN when it comes to stories in my life. But then JD insisted he’d fix it. How hard can it be, he scoffed. That’s when I knew we were in trouble.

A new wrench, turning off our water for hours at a time, and four trips to Home Depot later, the plumber was called. Oh! And he’s coming back on Sunday to finish the job. The drip, apparently, has the attitude of DMV worker.

In addition to changing the backyard spigot, I’ve decided to make a few changes in my business this year (now how’s THAT for a segue?!), and I hope you’re up for the challenge as well. In this installment of Shooting Star, I’ll be addressing:
*How to make realistic business changes.
*Setting goals to have the changes implemented.
*The changes I’ll be making to my business before the year ends.

I hope you have a great day and if you have suggestions for future installments of Shooting Star or you’re willing to share what changes you’d like to make, holla back in the comment box. Happy Thursday, friends!

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  1. Kristin Nicole

    August 25th, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Love it! Such a good reminder to constantly evaluate what I am doing right and what I am doing wrong. I want to strive to educate my brides more, meet some local photographers in my new city and pre blog some posts for when I am out having my baby!

  2. Paige Anderson

    August 25th, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Website and revamping my prices are my A#1 priority for the year. (I love that I have some of the same mag covers on my inspiration board! Ha! Maybe I do have taste…)

  3. bethany

    August 25th, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    -branding our business
    -awesome-ise our website
    -be even MORE in contact with our brides!

  4. bethany

    August 25th, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    before the year is over? AHHHHH!!!!

  5. Rachel Tatem

    August 25th, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Sorry to hear about your drip, I totally know how you feel though. My husband and I are redoing our house, eeek! Thank you for sharing yourself with me… ok not just me ;P

  6. Edward Maurer

    August 25th, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Three things I’m going to work on with my business:
    1. Keep quickbooks up to date.
    2. Gain three more Go-To poses that I can use when I’m having a brain freeze.
    3. Blog every day (ok this one will be tough)

  7. priscillajoy

    August 25th, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    LOVE your goal about the 35mm! My last B+G I used it for about 75% of their portraits and I LOVED them all! I felt like it told me more of a complete story of the environment, and then I can always build in detail and traditional portrait shots with the 50 and 85mm 🙂

  8. Jessica [Shimmer + Silk]

    August 25th, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    So inspiring! By the end of the year I want to…
    1. Learn Photoshop
    2. Scout out at least 50% of my real wedding features on my own (rely less on TBL!)
    3. Do a mini-rebranding: logo, blog header, social media bios and images.

  9. The New Diplomat's Wife

    August 25th, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    1. Take a photo workshop; 2. Write a monetization strategy for 2012 and 3. Bite the bullet and attend a conference

  10. Jodie Lemke

    August 25th, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Your awesome! Thank you so much for challenging us! Sooo important and you’re right, I totally make excuses! haha Oh and dude LOVE your shirt, i want it! hahaha must fill us in to where that came from!! 😀
    1.Be more organized with my time, when to edit, when to be with family (when its editing time.. stay away for social media!)
    2. find ways to learn how to better interact with my clients in a natural way, to get natural reactions, therefore natural shots.
    3.Thank you cards for all my clients… get more personalized.

    yay I am excited now! Thanks J*

  11. Claudia @ Fabuluxe Photos

    August 25th, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    i love your shooting star series…. i wish you can make them more often…. how about every day! 🙂

  12. Ashley Goodwin

    August 25th, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    I HAVE BEEN MAKING EXCUSES!!!!!!!!!!!! My excuse was "But there is nothing I can really be doing now before I go to Hawaii, I just want to GET there!" but REALLY I can 1: continue to network with local photographers/coordinators in Hawaii via their blogs 2: shoot.shoot.shoot as MUCH as I can. All. the. time. Practice makes perfect! 3: IMPLEMENT my new branding & business plan so I can hit the ground running when I get there.
    Thanks girlfriend. As usual, you always kick my butt into gear just when I need to hear it most!

    xo

  13. Jeanne

    August 25th, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    This was just what I needed to hear. I quite literally was just thinking I need to change/finish some things with my business and then I saw this post on FB. : ) I am finishing my new website, saving money for a new camera, and going to start marketing hardcore.

  14. Sheila Kurtz

    August 25th, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Just what I needed! Thanks for the Challenge, Jasmine! I plan to
    1. Plan out my whole year of marketing, including make any samples I’m lacking
    2. Clean out my computer
    3. Calendar in my shoots, office time, family time more efficiently and say NO to clients if it won’t work in those times…

  15. Elisabetta {Linen & Silk Weddings}

    August 25th, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Jasmine,excellent advice as usual!This morning I actually posted a new article on my blog about how one of your inspirational videos has helped me revaluate my approach and the goals I’ve set for my business…As a wedding planner my 3 goals I’m planning to achieve by the end of the year are: 1.Creating a new brand identity that truly reflects who I am; 2.Gain experience, even if it means unpaid, assisting other planners on wedding day coordination; 3.Attend networking events – as many as possible- to boost my confidence.
    xx

  16. Leeann Marie

    August 25th, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    I have the 35mm as well and struggle to put it on my camera! Need to put it on more often. For me:
    1. Say no more often
    2. Call my clients when their images are released and answer all of their questions
    3. Go shopping for more professional wedding-day outfits (I like this one for obvious reasons!)

  17. Elisabetta {Linen & Silk Weddings}

    August 25th, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Jasmine,excellent advice as usual!This morning I actually posted a new article on my blog about how one of your inspirational videos has helped me revaluate my approach and the goals I’ve set for my business…As a wedding planner my 3 goals I’m planning to achieve by the end of the year are: 1.Creating a new brand identity that truly reflects who I am; 2.Gain experience, even if it means unpaid, assisting other planners on wedding day coordination; 3.Attend networking events – as many as possible- to boost my confidence.
    Thank you girl!

  18. Michelle

    August 25th, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Does it have to be JUST 3? My list already had 4 and Everyone’s posts is making me want to add more! I guess the long list would just be reminders for what I am doing already (and need to keep doing) so the top 3… Use my 50mm MORE, buy one new camera set, and switch to Showit!

  19. Lisa McNiel

    August 25th, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Photoshop class, More blogging "How to" or "Top 5" instead of just photos, Hmmm, I need to work on a third. Love you Jasmine!

  20. Brian Davis

    August 25th, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Great post! Love the helpful tips!

  21. Janet

    August 25th, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Aye aye captain! Thanks for your constant challenges and encouragement.

  22. Joni

    August 25th, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Oh nice! Gets the brain thinking… I’m SURE there are at least 3 things I could do for my fledgling business!

  23. Danielle Honea

    August 25th, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    ah your not alone lol, I went to your workshop (YWD) and after I left I was like I’m doing this, and felt SO motivated!! And I didn’t. We moved from CA, CO etc aka excuse excuse….well I’m happy to say, the motivation seeds you spoke, slowly grew and in the next couple of months, I will have a new website, so excited. so thanks for being that successful photographer for ME, and sharing your advice. I’d love to know what that other photographer your talking about, spoke to you, and what he said that you didn’t/did do. And I hope your doing it now!! 🙂 thx for sharing and thx for the motivation, this was a nice reminder to keep on keepin on.

  24. Briony

    August 25th, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    1. Organize the business side of things, invest in something like quick books for the financial and work out a Calendar for appointments. 2. I liked what Edward said about gaining three Go-To poses that I can use when I’m having a brain freeze. I definitely want to implement this. 3. Be proactive about getting our Studio name known in our community. We are relocating and I am believing the move is going to be a good one, I just know it is going to take some effort.

  25. Sandra Fazzino Photography

    August 25th, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    I looove how your goals are simple and achievable, practical, and aim to bring balance into your business and life while improving your workflow. I’m only 2nd shooting weddings right now, but I’ve been assessing myself, my work, and my work flow over these short three months. My season ends mid-October. I’m working my tooshie off taking any and every 2nd gig I can get so I can gain as much experience as possible. That has meant forgoing a trip to London and Italy with my husband. Dedicated or crazy?! Next, I need to invest in one or two prime lenses. Almost saved up for the 50mm 1.4 (Nikon.) Then, I need to research outsourcing the process of my images. Being a control freak, this one will be tough. Lastly, I’m working on having more poise during the day of a shoot. Relaxing and even if I’m crunched for time not snapping the shutter unless what I see in the frame is EVERYTHING I know the image can be. Thank you, Jasmine!! You’re truly a virtual inspiration and as weird as it is, because of the social media world we live in, I maybe a one man show, but I’m finding so much support on the web. Gracias. Grazie! And Thank you!

  26. Jesselynn Quinn

    August 25th, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    What a great post! Helpful and inspirational as usual. I heart you j*!!

  27. Life with Kaishon

    August 25th, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Good luck with your goals!

  28. priscillajoy

    August 25th, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    reposted and shared my goals on my blog, but they include a new office space, imac, and finding a voice 🙂

  29. Todd Barnett

    August 25th, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    My 3 things:

    1. I’m moving to Anchorage, Alaska so start networking via the web ASAP.

    2. Incorporate my current website/domain with an Alaskan twist. Might prove to be challenging considering my website name…lol

    3. Purchase my last lens to complete my focal range… (Nikons 14-24 or 17-35). Just trying to decide which one…sometimes reviews make it SOOOOO hard to pull the trigger! Haha

    3 1/2. Don’t get eaten by a bear….and have fun!

  30. Carrie K

    August 25th, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    I’m glad your business changes weren’t totally, radically different! That makes me feel like my goals can still be "movers and shakers" but it doesn’t have to be cataclysmic to my world! Thank you for the encouragement. 1. use my 90macro more often to challenge my focusing. 2. take a step back and let God provide instead of me manipulating. 3. giving my clients with kids ideas to help style a shoot with a few props for some "pop". I have a list of my remaining 2011 Goals here: http://pitchperfectpicture.blogspot.com/2011/02/2011-goals.html

  31. Paul Krol

    August 25th, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Its great that you do this. Always a good idea to simplify things. Going full speed without stopping/thinking/adjusting isn’t always the best idea. And it really depends on where each Photographer is in their respective businesses. Both the seasoned Pro and the beginner should do this, albeit with somewhat different strategies. My main goal remains to make the best possible image I can with in-camera settings, properly thought out composition, timing and editing. I’ve only shot 1 wedding and most of my shoots now are Family/Engagement/Baptism, etc.
    otherwise my changes/goals would be:
    1. consider making website in addition to my blog
    2. consider getting ‘open’ post ‘close’ post option on blog so prospective clients don’t have to scroll scroll scroll to what they want..even though i have Categories, i’m sure not all people check that way.
    3. i know my cameras well..very well..but not as well as i would want..learn them so that i can make instant changes without much time/thought.
    4. get more into the business aspect of photography and not just ‘hoping’ people will like my images and thus hire me.
    5. continue to follow Jasmine Star and thank my lucky stars for her being so helpful and blog-friendly.
    Thanks for always inspiring!

  32. Carolyn Clement

    August 25th, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    As I just recently began shooting my own clients (after assisting on fashion shoots for 3 years), I have major goals to accomplish: Create a Website I’m proud of, Blog at least 2 times/week, Create a Pricelist…wait, I’m going to CHARGE for my services?!? Scary stuff but I hope a lot of people can relate 🙂

  33. Rachel Catlett

    August 25th, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Ohhhh goodness. You inspired me daily. I love your non-excuse approach to this. Just because I’m not AT the level I’d like to be yet, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t treat my business like it is.
    And also I wanna go do push-ups now cause your arms are HOT.

  34. courtney jade

    August 25th, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Awesome post! It’s so great to know that even amazing business owners and photographers like yourself are constantly striving to improve themselves, and their business. You are an inspiration! Now I must think of my "things" to work on.. one step at a time 🙂

  35. Ashley

    August 25th, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Thank you Jasmine for the swift kick in the butt that I needed today! I too am making changes but up to now they have been vague. Realize I need to write them down and commit to them. 1) redo website and blog 2) be more proactive about finding niche groups of travelers. 3) design informational material that better represents the high quality product I offer.

  36. clarissa

    August 25th, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Thanks Jasmine, for reminding me! I grabbed my pen and actually ended up writing down seven changes for my business until the end of 2011!
    Always love your inspiration!!

  37. Stephanie Rose

    August 25th, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Thank you for the inspiration and help! It is truly amazing what all you do!

  38. Dana Laymon

    August 25th, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    I totally need to hear this! I’m affraid of changes to the business sometimes but obviously some things are not working. I want to rebrand my business and change my website, put together a pricing booklet to send to potential clients, get more features on blogs (that means submitting to blogs!), and let God control my career!
    Thanks for the great post today! Can’t wait to hear about everyone’s progress!

  39. Jaclyn Davis

    August 25th, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Thank you so much for this insight! I am just getting my business off and running and this is going to help me SO much. I would like to establish a better workflow for myself, create my brand and have at LEAST 2 clients booked the remaining months of 2011 : )

  40. LEOLAK

    August 25th, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Love this! Thank you for constantly pushing the envelope and calling yourself and others to the carpet. (I thinik that makes sense). I’ve listend to this I don’t know how many times today lol! I’m getting on my list and I’m going to make it happen this time! By the way….your style…seriously….work it girrrllll!!!

  41. evakke

    August 25th, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Hey Jasmine, I’m always wondering… in destination weddings, do you rent a car to go from the hotel to the ceremony and then to the party? or you ask the couple to pay you taxis? Also, how did you find a photographer who wanted you to second photograph his weddings? I just can’t find any, I guess they are worried that I learn and "steal" future weddings. Thank you!

  42. evakke

    August 25th, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    one more question; I’m trying to get my licence to be legal, but there’s too many taxes every month, even if I don’t have shootings I have to pay every single month. I don’t have too many clients yet, and the other job I have now I need it to pay my house and bills. how did you do this? it’s so hard!

  43. Mike Moore

    August 25th, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Thanks Jasmine, a great reminder at this exact time of the year. 2012 is a big year for me. I have my 3 changes and will look at more. Keep educating!!

  44. Lacey Rabalais

    August 25th, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Wonderful post. A month ago, I sat down a wrote a list of things that I’d like to accomplish before 2012; [raise prices, new blog, complete my branding for client information]. Well it’s only been about a month and the new blog is in the works, my prices have been raised, and my branding is almost complete.
    I guess now I have to set some new goals. :o)
    Thanks for inspiring me to hussle more!

  45. MegganB

    August 25th, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    I just have to tell you that my husband heard me listening to your video and said, "Well hello Jasmine Star! It seems we welcome you into our home every couple of weeks!" 🙂 You’re a staple in our house and we ALL love you! Thanks for the encouragement!

  46. Paul

    August 25th, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Ok Jasmine… My wife and I bought the wedding day coverage on CreativeLIVE the other day and JUST missed the discounted price! If you would, it would make my DAY if you could link me to the URL of the Zara suit that JD was wearing during the reception. 🙂

  47. anda

    August 25th, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    I love this one, Jasmine! It ‘s great hearing your perspectives, as always. What you’re doing with your 35L I am trying to do with my tilt-shift. Starting the past 2 weddings I am manually focusing ALL of my portraits! And using the tilt-shift a lot. I love it. It causes me to truly slow down and think like a film shooter again (with the benefits of digital though!). I cannot wait to see more of your work with the 35L. Thanks, as always and always and always.

  48. Kelly

    August 25th, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Rolling in the deep… thoughts that is right now. 3

  49. jessica vidmar photography

    August 25th, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    thanks so much for keeping me on my toes : )

  50. Jeannine

    August 26th, 2011 at 12:41 am

    Question: When you do destination weddings, do you have to get a work visa in that country? ….how does it work?

  51. Shanna

    August 26th, 2011 at 1:07 am

    Love Love Love this- I crave Shooting Stars, and am always thrilled to see a new one Thank You!! I keep a worksheet segmented off with different squares repping different areas, eg. website, branding, customer service, ect. Its a great way to stay on top of long term projects/goals, plus it satisfies the type A in me…. I love crossing things off of lists:) Best feeling Everrrr!

  52. Logan

    August 26th, 2011 at 4:17 am

    I’ll definitely be making some business changes this year as well!

  53. DaniDavila

    August 26th, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    I love this kind of posts, we all need goals!

  54. Marvin

    August 26th, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Jasmine, you ROCK. I have heard so much about you, but never checked out your blog. Great stuff. I am a fan. Thanks so much

  55. Jason+Gina

    August 26th, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Finally, finally… we upgraded our pricing brochure. Looks like a million bucks now!!!

  56. Kimberly Kay

    August 26th, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    This is a great post! I’m in the process of this very thing right now, but…. it’s wonderful to have that extra push and reminder!!! Thank you for also sharing your own goals makes us think!

  57. Dorelies

    August 27th, 2011 at 6:42 am

    Thank’s for the request to change 3 things. I’ll think about my 3 things. BTW I love my 35mm 1,4 and I cooudn’t shoot a wedding without it. It’s a great lens!!! All the best and ♥ you.

  58. Falcon

    August 27th, 2011 at 10:52 am

    Love this Shooting Star video, thanks Jasmine! I’m in the very beginning stages of building my business & brand (thanks to you, no really..), so my goals till the end of the year mainly revolve around figuring out what I really want to shoot and how I want to market my brand, as well as logistics like creating a legit website, pricing brochure, etc… A dream goal of mine would be to save up for the 50mm 1.2 because it would mean I really worked hard to earn it!!

  59. Mel

    August 27th, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Cool three changes.

    My changes are:
    1) Find the right pricing structure for my business and STICK with it for longer than 30 seconds. Seriously, I have been faffing about this forever and it’s time to say: Hey, this is what I charge.
    2) Network. I find networking with other photographers really scary. I am determined to find at least 1 female photographer locally to go for lunch with.
    3) Get away from over-editing photos. No more vintagey-feel, no more over-doing it. I can get the shots right in camera so I should just do minimal adjustments in photoshop/lightroom and have great timeless photos.

  60. Mario

    August 28th, 2011 at 4:14 am

    Wow Jasmine. I’m in the same boat lol. I can totally Identify. The only way you can keep your edge is if you keep pushing. Great reminder!

  61. Chanelle

    August 28th, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    • Outsource my RAW editing for the first time. Sent a test to Photographers Edit and very pleased. Sending the first full wedding tomorrow! • Outsource book keeping and have a running total of 12 month turnover – in the UK you need to keep an eye on the VAT Threshold. • Structure some workshops! exciting and scary but looking forward to doing that in the future

  62. Karisa Joy

    August 28th, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    I love this. It’s will be kind of like a challenge to get.things.done.

    1. I want to get my logo finally finished.

    2. To get my website up and running.

    3. To register as an LLC.

  63. {nataliebrayphoto}

    August 29th, 2011 at 4:59 am

    Such a great shooting star! I really need to reflect and not dilly dally on making smart business decisions…thanks for the reminder and good luck with your goals!!!

  64. Emma Godfrey

    August 29th, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Just what I need to kick me into action. My three business changes are: 1. reevaluate my brand consistency and sort it out!; 2. market myself more and outside of my immediate area; 3. get uncomfortable with my shooting. Good luck to everyone!

  65. Oakstream Photography

    August 29th, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    This is great sweetie! I need to think about mine, but I definitely do know ONE change & that is I NEEEEEED to get my bride’s their wedding day images WAY SOONER than I do!

  66. Rebecca Nash

    August 29th, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Wow, I just came accross your blog thanks to David at DigitalProTalk. I loved this video and challenge! My 3 goals are to revise my entire website, to become more active in my blog to connect with more people online, and to redesign my forms that are including in my wedding package to streamline the process for my couples and myself. I’m not waiting for Dec to start this, it starts now!

  67. Photo Magentaplus

    August 30th, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    this is exactly what we need to stay focused (sorry about the pun), its about setting three acheivable goals that will help to improve us as professionals _ and the comments are inspiring too. thanks Jasmine

  68. Jodi

    September 1st, 2011 at 5:11 am

    Great idea 1. Explore the world of mini sessions. 2. Figure out my packaging for prints and products. 3. Be more active in blogs and forums (first post! yay) 4. Perhaps being an overachiever but to shoot more with my 50mm 1.8

  69. Jessica Sweeney

    September 3rd, 2011 at 4:51 am

    Love it! My 3 are to improve and update my website to a place where I’m really proud of it and want to send everyone to it. Also I want to revisit, simplify, and hone my pricing structure. Last but not least, I want to develop and implement some marketing strategies!

  70. Melissa Ann

    October 3rd, 2011 at 12:40 am

    I l.o.v.e this. I am just at the beginning of even thinking of becoming a wedding photographer. I found a whiteboard and listed 30+ tasks to tackle – everything from acquiring a specific piece of equipment to understanding a fundamental concept. I have checked all but 10 items off of the list as completed! In less than 3 months. Your video inspired me to find a second wind to get moving on the last 10. Thank you!

  71. Christina standifer

    February 23rd, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Great post! The three things I will change for a successful year is ME, MYSELF, and I. In order to reach my next level I have to be confident and secure in all areas of self first.

  72. Kelsey

    September 13th, 2012 at 6:35 am

    You are so helpful & inspiring! I know I can always peruse your blog to find encouragement & new ideas! I fear the day when I actually catch up to all of your posting;-)

  73. Cyprus Photographer

    November 6th, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    Oh, yes, yet another great article from Jasmine!