INSPIRE SPEAKER: BETH FITZGERALD

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In this series of blog posts we are introducing people who are speaking at and attending Inspire 2013. We are delighted to introduce Beth Fitzgerald, owner of Blush Imagery and creator and editor of The Maine Wedding Company, both in Portland, Maine.. Beth will be teaching a class geared towards beginning - to advanced-level photographers called Competing In A Competitive Market.  

By Beth Fitzgerald

I am a competitive person. I always have been in every aspect of my life — not just photography.

In college, a gal in my work-study program once called me the "most competitive person she had ever met." I had just won a job over her as a resident assistant. And in that particular moment, we were both calling alumni for donations on behalf the university and I was bringing in the most money. She couldn't stand me. Now, I wasn't happy about her frustration. I actually wanted her to succeed too. But I admit, I was happy to be ahead. I didn't always have to be number one. I just needed to be in the top of the pack.

When my hubby and I moved from Washington state to Maine six years ago, I lost that edge.

Maine is a competitive wedding market, if you didn't already know. I didn’t. It attracts couples from around the country, particularly from the New York and New England areas for wedding events. It's simply beautiful. There's a very limited wedding season due to weather and there’s a ridiculous amount of wedding photographers vying for the same clients. You can throw a rock and hit a photographer in this town. My studio downtown is near 15 other photographers. It is just crazy. The tricks that once made my photography business successful within a regular market were getting me absolutely nowhere in Maine's competitive market.

I mean, seriously, nothing was working.

So I got mad. I got angry. And, I went into my cave to plot my revenge. How was I going to succeed in a market where I was not the best photographer (not by a long shot), not the smartest, and nowhere close to being established— with no clientele to speak of and no reputation? I made a lot of costly mistakes during the next six years but I figured it out.

I am now winning in my competitive market and you can too.

The class that I am teaching at Inspire this February will help you unlock the mysteries of winning in any competitive market when you are up against too many photographers and not enough clients with dollars. I want you to learn the reason why certain photographers make it and why others do not. Here’s a hint: it's not by starting holy wars among your fellow photographers. It's not about being being cruel or unusual. And, it’s not by reinventing any wheels or moving any mountains. It’s actually about making very easy, minor adjustments that allow a client to choose you first. You can win you the business you deserve every year.

This is a great class for all levels of photographers and I hope to sees you at Inspire 2013.

Beth can be reached at beth@blushimagery.com.