Back in September, I attended the first ever Michelle & Meghan Retreat in Island Park, Idaho. Michelle was actually the photographer that took our wedding photos and has been a mentor to me ever since. So, when I heard that her and her friend Meghan were putting together a retreat I was so excited!
We all met in Island Park at a cabin for 3 days of intense business, learning, and shooting. There were only 5 photographers besides Michelle and Meghan that came so it was just like a fun sleepover the whole time! I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to get to know and collaborative with these other women.
The first day we started with branding and marketing. We talked all about our brands and starting with our ‘WHY’. I remember something that really stood out to me when we were talking about this is that our images are no longer enough. There are SO MANY amazing photographers out there, that sometimes our images can start to look similar. But, it’s what’s inside our hearts that makes us stand out. It’s about the real connection with what we do and WHY we do it that helps clients to be drawn to us.
The next day, we had some one on one mentoring time. I started with Meghan and it was so perfect! Meghan and I are both introverts so it was so nice to have someone know exactly how I feel in running my business! She helped me come up with a plan and really gave me the confidence I needed to take off running with my dream.
Later that morning, we talked about websites and pricing….the technical side of marketing. I learned some great tips for my website and things that really help you stand out online. We also had a styled shoot that afternoon. We were worried about the rain, so we set things up even before the couple arrived and spent a lot of time taking detail shots and getting tips from Michelle & Meghan. At the time I was 7 months pregnant so while the other photographers went to another location for couple shots, I stayed at the cabin to rest! But, I was lucky enough to still get a few shots of the couple before they headed off.
And after dinner, we were settled right back in to finish talking about marketing and client experience. Something that Michelle & Meghan really stressed through the whole retreat was that ‘We are enough’ for our business, and in our lives. They also stressed the importance of telling our own story and really connecting our business with who we are and what we stand for. And that night, Michelle & Meghan shared their mission statements with us. They talked about why they are in this business and why they do what they do. And by the end, we were all in tears. Especially me. (Pregnancy hormones!) I was so touched by their stories and their willingness to share everything with us. And it helped me realize some of the reasons that I am in this business. It helped me to have confidence in my story and in my unique perspective. And it helped me realize, that even though I get distracted and sometimes feel like I’m off track, all I have to do is go back to my ‘WHY’. My mission statement and my reasons for doing what I do.
So, thank you Michelle & Meghan for not only sharing so many of your tips and secrets with me, but for helping me see that I AM ENOUGH.