A few weeks ago I posted the article “How to Crash and Burn Your Business.” It was a recap of the Photographers Ignite Presentation given by my friend Joe Photo. Joe is known in the industry as a very successful, celebrity-level wedding and lifestyle photographer. He’s part of the hip Orange County crowd and put the “rock star” in “rock star wedding photographer.” In his 5-minute presentation, Joe gets real and vulnerable when he shares how decisions he made in his business led to its down-turn.
But it begged the question: “So what’s Joe doing know as he rises from the ashes like the proverbial Phoenix.” He took time out to answer some questions to provide perspective.
1. It’s not common for “celebrity” photogs to share stories about such personal challenges. Airs have to be kept. Yet, you were so humble and vulnerable. What prompted you to be so open?
Being real with yourself requires being real with others. I have taken the opportunity during my slow down to get to know myself apart from who I am as a businessman. I have found that I am attracted to people who are authentic. I desire to be a role model for authenticity. Business runs in cycles. So does life. I’m thrilled to share a message that reflects the reality that business and life have victories and challenges. As I share my struggles it gives others permission to do the same. Then we can be real and communicate more deeply. It’s important that photographers who are struggling realize that they are not alone. There are many of us. The message that is being preached from many platform speakers and workshops can be very deceptive. I wanted to ” be the change I wish to see in the world”.
2. What were the feelings like for you leading up to your Photog Ignite presentation?
I was insanely nervous that I might botch the words for each slide. There’s no “do over”. It’s go… And hope for the best. I wanted to be clear and understood. I’m thrilled with how it went.
3. You mentioned a few things that contributed to a down-turn in your biz, is there any one in particular that stands out?
My own laziness and sense of entitlement contributed to my trouble more than anything else. I only blame myself.
4. What have you done (or are you doing) to turn it all around?
I believe that all things happen for a reason. I’m still discovering the new journey. I’m certain it involves travel, teaching, and being real.
5. Can you comment on what you have in store for the near future?
Shoot, I think I just did…. I plan to do many creative photo projects and share inspiration with as many people as I can.
6. What one piece of advice do you want to give to photogs (or any professional creative) reading this?
Be the change you wish to see in the world. Keep it real. Give yourself permission to play. Life is short, make the most of it everyday. Give thanks. Bless others. That should be good for now.