How a Threat started my photography business

Ever hear people say things like “why me?”, or “why is everything bad happening to me?”


Well today, I have a story for you about how a terrible, aggressive and threatening situation led me to start a super successful photography business.


Sometimes, when you’re so submerged in a stressful situation, it’s difficult to see it from a different point of view. You just have too much emotion involved.


But it could be nudging you to do something different.


About 11 years ago my husband bought me a semi professional DSL camera, so I could take gorgeous photos of my baby daughter! I was pretty pumped!


The only problem was, I didn’t really know how to use my new camera.


I knew a lot about photo editing from my years of working in advertising. But how to get my camera to take awesome photos was something I wanted to learn more about.


So, I enrolled in an evening course at my local community college that taught the fundamentals of how to operate a camera.


It was very technical, but our final project was to use our new skills and photograph 5 creative “wow” images that would be critiqued.


Here’s where the story gets messy….


That weekend, my husband, daughter and I, attended a wedding where my husband stood as a groomsman. From the church pew, daughter in tow, I took photos.


Later that weekend, I posted the photos on my personal Facebook page.


Fast forward 6 months, I get a frantic call from the bride and groom. In horror, they exclaim, that their wedding photographer was threatening to sue them if I didn’t remove the photos taken at their wedding from my Facebook page.


At first I couldn’t understand what was going on. Afterall, several of the guests at the wedding took photos and posted them on social media.


Then, I personally received an email from their wedding photographer.


He exclaimed (in a not so nice manner) that the contract the bride and groom signed for wedding photography coverage strictly indicated that only ONE professional photographer could be hired for their event. 


And because they signed this with him, I must immediately remove my photos online.


(He also had some other choice words for me... and suggested I never pick up a camera again. You get the idea of the tone.)


I wrote him back clarifying that I was not a professional photographer. I was a guest.


(Being a professional photographer actually never even crossed my mind at this point.)


Long story short, he insisted he would sue my friends if I didn’t remove the photos. 


I ended up taking down the photos to spare my friends any further headaches or threats.


But, I add write their photographer back to THANK HIM. I thanked him for letting me know that I have a real talent for photography. And for letting me know that professional photography might be a great fit for my skill set.


Well, needless to say, I never received an email response from him.


The next week, I set up my website and purchased my domain name!


And here we are today - I’m photographing what I love and helping others build multiple 6-figure photography businesses too!


How did you start your photography journey? Was there a life event that made you say ah-ha’ this is what I want to do?

WHO DOES SHE THINK SHE IS?

 
im_heike-delmore-personalbrand-putting-yourself-out-there-1.jpg

What really happens when you put yourself out there…

I was chatting with a team member last week about 'putting yourself out there' - and specifically what happens when you do...

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed I posted an image of myself last week, plus a few sentences asking people to join my newsletter.

Here's the thing though... I felt totally out of my comfort zone! There I was posting a photo of myself AND asking people to sign up for my list? Gasp!

I think a lot of us feel this way.

You think, who am I to post photos of myself and offer insights on _________ topic.

(If this isn't you, feel free to skip to the bottom of this email where I reveal the outcome + measurable results from the IG posting.)

im_instagram_screenshot.png

TWO things you should know

If you're feeling apprehensive posting about yourself remember:

  1. People want see you, so they feel like they know you, when deciding if you're the right person to get them from problem to solution.

  2. Contrary to what you may be thinking, when people see photos of you, they aren't thinking, "Who does she think she is..." Instead they're feeling like they're getting to know you better!

In this digital world, a headshot hidden on your website's about page isn't going to make anyone feel like they know, like and trust you.

But a well thought out visual personal brand will attract the right people and repel the wrong ones. (Good Riddance!!)

So what happened with the social media post of myself + text?

Well, my daily average newsletter sign-up rate increased by approx. 200% every day for 4 days after the post. Pretty good!

If you're nervous about putting yourself out there - listen I'm right there with you.

You can start with less intense professional style photos. For example, you could be looking away from the camera. Or you could be interacting with the product you design or create.

Be courageous - every little bit counts!

You've got this, I have faith in you!

Let me know me know in the comments what you’re going to do to put yourself out there. Scroll down!

P.S. Shhhh.... I'm excited to announce my new website will be launching soon! (It matches my studio and office.)

What’s new

This redesigned website will be stocked with both new + current products and resources including:

  • The much requested "Personal Branding Photo Shoot Planner" now in Photoshop TEMPLATE format, so you can customize it and send it out to your clients!

  • Motivating business audio trainings

  • Downloadable stock photos for your social media

  • Courses

  • Updated Blogs (including the last 3 months of newsletter topics)

As an HD insider, you'll be the first to know about any updates and promos.

Wishing you a fulfilling and productive week!

Warmly,

 
heike-sig.png
 
 

The Fear Project

heike-stoecker-delmore-fear-project.jpg

Have you done anything recently that’s way out of your comfort zone?

I have!  I’ll tell you more about that soon… stay tuned…

First…

According to Angela Ceberano, after you do something out of your comfort zone, two things happen in your life:

  1. You experience increased happiness

  2. You experience decreased anxiety

In her Tedx Talk “Be a Warrior not a Worrier”, she suggests we all create a personal “Fear Project”.

So that’s just what I did.

My fear - is being in front of the camera + public speaking.

Most photographers (at least the ones I’ve spoken to) generally prefer to be behind the camera. (Go figure!)

So what did I do?

Aside from taking photos, I love helping others elevate their businesses. Whether it’s helping my personal branding clients or helping other photographers.

About a year ago, I created an online video program to help other photographers easily create a successful wedding photography business.

Because as any photography entrepreneur knows - taking amazing photos and running a business are two separate things. And knowing both is a must for longevity.

The biggest feedback I received from my students was they loved the course and they were able to see big results in their businesses. BUT... they wish they would have seen more of me.

Why didn’t you see me in more of the videos?

For the same reasons I hear my clients tell me… They don’t like having their photo taken or they hate seeing themselves in video. This is something I coach my photography clients through. Coaching that gives them the courage and confidence to get in front of my camera.

So I took my own advice.

I told that little, critical voice in my head, that regardless of what she says, I'm going to do it anyway. And I’m going to do my best - whatever that will look like.

Together, with my awesome assistant Kelly, I got super prepared with everything I could think of - from my message, to the lighting, to camera angles and sound.

What I created is an online free 3-part webinar series for wedding photographers wanting to start a photography business or wanting to level-up their current wedding photography businesses.

Next Week

The free webinar will be released next week.

We're still working out ideas for the title, but as of right now it looks something like this:

Confessions of a Wedding Photographer:  Free Wedding Photography Business Webinar.

This FREE Webinar will reveal:

  1. My Story - How I Started my Dream Business

  2. Best Tip Ever: How to Use Your About Page to Book More Clients

  3. The Business Behind My Photography: Your Top 10 Questions Answered

What do you think of the title? Write your feedback or suggestions in the comments below.

 
Preview screenshot from the free 3-part video training series.

Preview screenshot from the free 3-part video training series.

 

Now to you

Is there something you've been putting off or avoiding because of fear? If you started your own Fear Project, what would it be? Tell me in the comments below.

Thanks for sharing your time with me today!

With love and gratitude,

 
heike-sig.jpeg
 

PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS YOU'LL LOVE

Join the community for a free serving of marketing, motivation & sales tips right to your inbox.