Posted on January 1, 2015

Happy New Year! I wanted to close out 2014 in hopes to inspire someone by what I learned this year that helped me grow, evolve, and  just be happier in life.  This year was such an amazing one.  Fantastic clients, fantastic new friends, and so much growth for me personally and professionally. I’m sharing the top three things I’ve learned about my business/self in 2014.

1.  Stop comparing yourself to others:  Comparison is the thief of all joy!  This is something I’ve struggled with in the past but in 2014 I told myself “no more”.  I hear stories about photographers getting down about themselves because they don’t feel they’re as good or as busy as one of their peers.  Spending countless hours looking at other photog blogs and feeling bad about their own work.  That used to be me. But not anymore.  We are all different.  The way you see things and capture them will never be the same as so-and-so photog.  Stop looking at blogs if you have to, take a break from social media except for what you need to do to keep your business going, or better yet think about what makes you unique and why someone would want to work with you.  Maybe its a product or service you sell.  Maybe its a quirky personality trait that draws people in, or maybe its because you’re just an all around bad ass and people want to be around you.  Find your own voice in this over saturated industry and OWN it. Rock the heck out of it and be yourself.  The less time you focus on others and the more time you focus on you, the better you’ll become and the more time you’ll have to figure out what makes you special.  Then embrace those you admire, reach out to them, compliment them, and just maybe make a new friend.  Because maybe they’re feeling the same way you had been feeling all along.

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2.  Hustle:  This last year I hustled my ass off.  Literally.  It was my busiest year and it was the first year since starting my business that I didn’t get burnt out.  I started off 2014 hungry and I stayed hungry.  I had goals to hit in 2014 and I wanted to be busy.  Ya know what?  I hit every single goal plus more!  No matter how good of a photographer you are, business is not going to always fall into your lap.  You have to work for it.  And trying things one or two times is not enough (Thank you Dad for a good work ethic).  How did I do it?  I put myself out there.  I met people, I talked confidently and passionately about what I do.  I upped the ante on social media and figured out ways to get my work seen more.  It may have involved some internet stalking.  I branched out and made new industry relationships.  I did a lot of shoots for myself.  I took a risk (big scary risk) and got a studio space.  I asked for jobs.  No really, “Oh you’re engaged.. I’d love to shoot your wedding,” is an okay thing to say!  Some days I felt like I could hardly keep my head above water but those days fueled me to try harder, to keep going, and to continue growing.

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3.  Just be yourself:  This lesson was the biggest of all and one that has made me happier than I have ever been.  People dig authentic and real.  For the last 5 years I feel like I’ve kind of hidden away the real Amy in fear of being judged, offending people, not seeming professional, and just not being what society wants me to be. This year that changed.  I’m not some fragile little lady with superb manners who likes to wear frills and lace.  I don’t dig Pinterest weddings and perfectly posed photo shoots in “normal” picturesque locations. I would never pretend to be a fine art photographer and I’d much rather capture a real honest moment.  I am a vibrant, wild spirited woman who loves wearing lots of black, gaudy jewelry and having wild hair.  I have a foul mouth, and am probably a little bit too loud when I talk & laugh.  I am inspired by people who are unique, non conforming, & that march to the beat of their own drum. I like to tell my clients they look like babes & bad asses and I hug the hell out of them at the end of their big day and tell them I love them.  Because I honestly do.  The strange thing is that since I’ve started to be more of myself I’ve noticed more positive feed back in what Im doing. It’s been the best feeling and a huge weight has been lifted getting to be who I really am.  If I could give one piece of advice, this would be it.  Just be real ya’ll!

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With that being said, I’d like to give a big shout out to all of my 2014 clients!  Thank  you for trusting in me to capture your love!  I’m pretty damn lucky to have worked with each of you!  To my family and friends, thanks for scheduling family trips and events around me and thanks for not thinking I’m ignoring you when I go three months without seeing you.  You are the backbone of what I do and I am forever grateful for your encouragement and love.  Here’s to 2015 being a killer year! Cheers!!

 





Posted on August 4, 2014

My heart is missing this place so bad.  I think about Ireland every.single.day…. please can I go back?

To say we did some driving while on our trip would be putting it lightly.  We drove a lot but it was so worth it.  We got to stop whenever we wanted, go see whatever we wanted.. we were off the beaten path a lot and I took tons of photos from the car.  The country of Ireland is small.  I’m pretty sure it’s smaller than the state of Utah.  If you cut Ireland in half from Dublin to Galway, we explored the entire Southern side in a short 10 days.

I am so ready to go back.. one day again.. soon…..

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Ireland Part 1 found here

Ireland Part 2 found here





Posted on June 16, 2014

Happy Monday! Today is the day I kick back and have a relaxed day.  Today is my Sunday. Today is the day I schedule out posts for the week on my Facebook page and get caught up on emails.  I dedicate this day to cleaning house and making a yummy dinner.  While sitting this morning with my cup of coffee I reflected on the past year and where it has brought me.  I have always loved my job and have felt very fortunate getting to do what I love.  But this year it’s different.  This year everything I’m doing feels so right.. like I’ve finally found my way.  I worked my ass off last year to get to where I’m going.  And although I still am not there all the way and have lots of work left to do, I feel like after 6 years I finally have it figured out.  “IT”?  You might ask.  I can’t really explain it.  It’s actually a whole entire culmination of things.  One of the big parts of it is shooting what I want.  Don’t get me wrong, I really love all aspects of photography, but my heart truly lies with couples and love stories.  75% of my business is now shooting just that.  YES!

Another big part of it was being comfortable in my own skin and having confidence.  I was not a confident person growing up.  After high school I would have little glimpses of the confidant woman I wanted to be, but not until recently did I truly feel like I’m 100% there.  In the last year I have put myself out there.  I have made it a point to have a voice in the thousands of photographers in my area.  Am I well known? Probably not. But do I feel respected by a small little chunk? Yes.  I love helping others and being someone people can come to with questions or look up to.  I have organized shoots and dinners and as much as it scared me to walk up and introduce myself to someone, I faked it until I made it.  And let me just say.. I MADE IT.  I’m not scared anymore and I don’t really worry about what others think.  I just be me, even when that means tripping and falling on the way over to shake your hand.  I like me and I feel like a major badass.  Is that me being cocky? No I’m being confidant.  I encourage everyone to try and find their inner B.A.

So while I was thinking this morning, a little phrase came to my mind that I’ve had quite a few people say to me in the last month and a half.  I feel like I can now adopt this as my little mantra.  As my own motivational pep talk to repeat over and over to myself on the way to shoots or when I’m feeling down about something.  Two simple little words.. “Killin’ It”.  The most recent person to say anything was my sweet friend Nat who’s also a photographer.  As we were parting ways a couple of weeks ago, she gave me a big hug to say goodbye and said, “Amy, you’re killin’ it!”  Best compliment ever! So yes, I’ve decided to make this part of me, and you’ll be seeing these two little words a lot in the coming weeks.

So much babbling right? I just felt like I had to put this positive energy out there and some how inspire others.  I have methods and things that I did that allowed me to get to where I want.  Its a whole mess of things but it’s worked for me.  Feel free to email me if you need a pep talk!  Now go out there and find your inner bad ass!

Happiness,
Amy

 

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Copyright 2017 Amy Cloud McFarland, Amy Cloud Photography