Shooting Star : Making Business Changes

I
t 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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Kelsey - 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;-)  09.12.12 - 11:35pm
Christina standifer - 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.  02.23.12 - 7:08am
Melissa Ann - 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!  10.02.11 - 5:40pm
Jessica Sweeney - 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!  09.02.11 - 9:51pm
Jodi - 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  08.31.11 - 10:11pm
Photo Magentaplus - 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  08.30.11 - 10:27am
Rebecca Nash - 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!  08.29.11 - 1:37pm
Oakstream Photography - 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!   08.29.11 - 12:14pm
Emma Godfrey - 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!  08.29.11 - 9:13am
{nataliebrayphoto} - 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!!!   08.28.11 - 9:59pm
Karisa Joy - 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.  08.28.11 - 3:49pm
Chanelle - • 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   08.28.11 - 5:55am
Mario - 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!  08.27.11 - 9:14pm
Mel - 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.   08.27.11 - 10:14am
Falcon - 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!!   08.27.11 - 3:52am
Dorelies - 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.  08.26.11 - 11:42pm
Kimberly Kay - 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!   08.26.11 - 12:52pm
Jason+Gina - Finally, finally... we upgraded our pricing brochure. Looks like a million bucks now!!!  08.26.11 - 9:05am
Marvin - 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  08.26.11 - 7:33am
DaniDavila - I love this kind of posts, we all need goals!  08.26.11 - 6:27am
Logan - I'll definitely be making some business changes this year as well!  08.25.11 - 9:17pm
Shanna - 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!  08.25.11 - 6:07pm
Jeannine - Question: When you do destination weddings, do you have to get a work visa in that country? ....how does it work?  08.25.11 - 5:41pm
jessica vidmar photography - thanks so much for keeping me on my toes : )  08.25.11 - 4:12pm
Kelly - Rolling in the deep... thoughts that is right now. 3   08.25.11 - 4:10pm
anda - 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.  08.25.11 - 4:04pm
Paul - 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. :)   08.25.11 - 2:39pm
MegganB - 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!  08.25.11 - 2:32pm
Lacey Rabalais - 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!  08.25.11 - 2:12pm
Mike Moore - 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!!  08.25.11 - 1:56pm
evakke - 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!  08.25.11 - 1:00pm
evakke - 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!  08.25.11 - 12:57pm
LEOLAK - 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!!!   08.25.11 - 12:42pm
Jaclyn Davis - 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 : )  08.25.11 - 12:25pm
Dana Laymon - 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!  08.25.11 - 12:24pm
Stephanie Rose - Thank you for the inspiration and help! It is truly amazing what all you do!   08.25.11 - 12:16pm
clarissa - 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!!  08.25.11 - 11:52am
Ashley - 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.  08.25.11 - 11:41am
courtney jade - 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 :)  08.25.11 - 11:37am
Rachel Catlett - 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.  08.25.11 - 11:19am
Carolyn Clement - 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 :)  08.25.11 - 10:43am
Paul Krol - 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!  08.25.11 - 10:31am
Carrie K - 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   08.25.11 - 10:25am
Todd Barnett - 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!   08.25.11 - 10:25am
priscillajoy - reposted and shared my goals on my blog, but they include a new office space, imac, and finding a voice :)  08.25.11 - 10:14am
Life with Kaishon - Good luck with your goals!  08.25.11 - 10:09am
Jesselynn Quinn - What a great post! Helpful and inspirational as usual. I heart you j*!!  08.25.11 - 9:55am
Sandra Fazzino Photography - 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!  08.25.11 - 9:48am
Briony - 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.  08.25.11 - 9:45am
Danielle Honea - 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.  08.25.11 - 9:44am
Joni - Oh nice! Gets the brain thinking... I'm SURE there are at least 3 things I could do for my fledgling business!  08.25.11 - 9:42am
Janet - Aye aye captain! Thanks for your constant challenges and encouragement.   08.25.11 - 9:32am
Brian Davis - Great post! Love the helpful tips!  08.25.11 - 9:30am
Lisa McNiel - Photoshop class, More blogging "How to" or "Top 5" instead of just photos, Hmmm, I need to work on a third. Love you Jasmine!  08.25.11 - 9:26am
Michelle - 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!   08.25.11 - 9:24am
Elisabetta {Linen & Silk Weddings} - 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!  08.25.11 - 9:23am
Leeann Marie - 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!)   08.25.11 - 9:22am
Elisabetta {Linen & Silk Weddings} - 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  08.25.11 - 9:21am
Sheila Kurtz - 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...   08.25.11 - 9:19am
Jeanne - 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.   08.25.11 - 9:17am
Ashley Goodwin - 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  08.25.11 - 9:12am
Claudia @ Fabuluxe Photos - i love your shooting star series.... i wish you can make them more often.... how about every day! :)  08.25.11 - 9:11am
Jodie Lemke - 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!! :D 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*  08.25.11 - 9:10am
The New Diplomat's Wife - 1. Take a photo workshop; 2. Write a monetization strategy for 2012 and 3. Bite the bullet and attend a conference  08.25.11 - 9:09am
Jessica [Shimmer + Silk] - 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.   08.25.11 - 9:03am
priscillajoy - 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 :)  08.25.11 - 9:00am
Edward Maurer - 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)  08.25.11 - 8:38am
Rachel Tatem - 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  08.25.11 - 8:32am
bethany - before the year is over? AHHHHH!!!!  08.25.11 - 8:28am
bethany - -branding our business -awesome-ise our website -be even MORE in contact with our brides!  08.25.11 - 8:26am
Paige Anderson - 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...)  08.25.11 - 8:16am
Kristin Nicole - 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!  08.25.11 - 8:16am
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