And You Are???? .....

Type A Images is a portrait and wedding photography company based in Wisconsin but available for any place your little heart desires! If you are interested in booking your event or session, hit me up on email!

Type A Images has been featured on The Rock and Roll Bride blog, The Offbeat Bride Blog, WeddingWire's Brides Choice for 2010 and 2011, and The Knot Best Of Weddings for 2011. Type A also offers a hospice photography program called Kindred Spirits through the Beloit Regional Hospice, which was featured as WPPI's Photolanthropy of the Month for September 2010.


A Little Hitch in My Giddy-Up | Madison Photography Workshop Review

As a true "Type A" personality, the whole concept of failure is not only scary to's always been unacceptable. I fend off failure like the black plague. How this applies to day to day life is that I often avoid situations that may produce an "EPIC FAIL" experience.

This week I attended a 2 day workshop that centered around the idea of leveraging failure to create success. It was created and run by Brandon Perron, a photographer from Oregon (a strange little place where they pronounce the "b" in subtle and don't have sales tax....very odd). Brandon takes a decidedly different approach to the workshop experience. For one, his "method to success" is not based on having an awesome personality and being "cool". If that were the case, it would be the road to EPIC FAIL for me for sure. Not that I don't HAVE an awesome personality (naturally...I mean, cmon...have you MET me?), but I wouldn't exactly say I was "cool" least not in a "hip photographer" sense. I've embraced my geek-hood. It's okay.

Brandon actually covered the ideas of building a strong business, identifying target market, and successful branding. Real business ideals, you say?!? Surely not! I mean, honestly....isn't all I really need is a camera , a cool logo, and good connections?

It was incredibly refreshing to hear a workshop platform that revolved around running a serious business.....not a bunch of fluff, rainbows, and butterfly kisses. It's great to follow you "dreams", hitch your wagon to a star, whatever corny saying you want to hang up in your office to motivate yourself....but if you are completely jacked when it comes to running an actual business, the rest matters very little. I really don't care how fun and personable you are, if you can't properly expose an image or properly pay your taxes, the future doesn't look too bright for you!

But what was immensely helpful over the course of the two days was getting an in-depth look at how another photographer works with regarding to getting clients, servicing clients, branding, shooting, and post-processing.

We photographers work in a very solitary field. Although many of us may have partners, interns, or second shooters, it's still primarily sole business owners. Many who did not go to school to run businesses or become photographers. We are navigating this scary scary world on our own. We fail. It's simply inevitable when you're pretty much "making it up as you go along".

When I entered this business, it was on the heels of a massive failure: I had been fired from my job. A job I had held (under duress, really...the job sucked) for 5 years. I had a mortgage. A family to support. Bills. And no college degree. I had been working to put myself through school for a social work degree for some 8-odd years with no end in sight, taking classes at night as I worked full time and took care of my daughter, home,...not to mention made time for my husband. Something had to give at some point. Enter failure.

As I've talked about before, getting fired ended up being a GIGANTIC blessing in disguise. I didn't know WHAT I was going to do...but I knew if I didn't risk a bit of failure, I would simply end up in another dead-end desk job for very little pay and even less personal fulfillment.

Starting Type A was a HUGE HUGE risk. I had no start-up money. Everything was out of pocket. I had no idea what I was doing business-wise (thank goodness for my super patient CPA). I had no clue how to market, how to brand, how to gain a solid client base. NADA. And, I didn't know any other photographers. I didn't approach the area photographers for help, or ask if I could assist. I ventured out alone. Did this work? Sure....if by "work" you mean I built a business on the work I did then. Is it a path I would necessarily recommend? Probably not. First off, I would recommend second shooting! Second...I would recommend gaining a strong local network...and taking workshops like Brandon's.

The last two days have been incredibly fulfilling. Not only for what I learned on the business end, but I feel like I was able to strengthen my bond with other local photographers as well as gain a new friend in Brandon Perron. He's a very down-to-earth, pull-no-punches type of guy...and I admire that. I think he has a long career ahead of him not only as a photographer but as a mentor and teacher as well. Plus, he introduced me to InDesign, which was INSANELY eye opening (no more 2-3 day album design marathons!).

I have to thank Brandon for coming out here...and for giving me a little "hitch in my giddy-up" so-to-speak. I feel motivated to enter 2011 with new ideas, new branding, and a new way of looking at Type A. And if I fail? I'll learn from it.

I may be the Tracey Flick of Wisconsin Wedding Photography, but I can recognize a learning experience when one comes along!

Thanks Mandie from Red Gecko Studio for the group shot! ('re totally shootin' the camera some Blue Steel in this one!)

2 Peanut Gallery.:

the red gecko said...

I am SO GLAD to know that you got so much out of this workshop! YAY!!!! I think we had an awesome group, and Brandon definitely DID have a lot to share. This was a fantastic experience!

Brandon Perron said...

All I can say is WOW...I can not believe you took the time to write such an in depth article...You have no idea how much it means to me! So THANK YOU...I am so very pleased that you got so much out of it! Absolutely thrilling!!!!! Images look great by the way! My look was trying to compete with the models...Long shot I know, but I had to try.

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