I am Inspired: Carrie Draghi

In this series of blog posts we are introducing people who will be speaking at and attending Inspire 2012. We are pleased to introduce here Carrie Draghi of Carrie Draghi Photography. Carrie will be teaching two classes geared towards photographers new and experienced alike:  Book It! How to Rock Wedding Consults, and a hands-on shooting workshop called Consistent Reception Lighting Using Off-Camera Flash What are you most looking forward to in your business this year? It will sound boring, but implementing and streamlining some of our internal processes is actually high on my list.  Why would I look forward to that?!?!  I am actually motivated for personal reasons, like being able to feel like we aren't always playing catch up at the studio; I'd like to be able to drive home without a "to do" list following me there!  And, streamlining our workflow is going to impact me on the creative side, as well.  I hope it will give me more time to pick up a camera for some "fun" projects. I am looking forward to some editorial shoots that I am working on with some amazing vendors. We are not currently using ShootQ at its full capacity.  My Studio Manager has done an AMAZING job getting the inquiry tracking "front end" up and running.  But, we need some work on the "back end" of our processes.  Yes, I know that didn't come out like I meant it to sound!

Describe an inspiring experience you had recently? I had the absolute honor and joy of photographing a Navy Seal Graduation in Coronado, CA last November.  For me, there is nothing more inspiring than to be in the presence of a person who pushes themselves to be the very best version of themselves that they can be.  And, I was surrounded by them!  I came home and hit the road – in running shoes!  It seriously motivated and inspired me to remember that I need to also push myself physically.  If these men can complete BUD/S, I can at least make it to the gym!

What is the most difficult photograph you ever made? Why? I didn't have to spend a moment thinking about this one!  Our 2011 holiday rush was fully underway when I got a call from a beloved repeat family portrait client.  "Why, of course, I can squeeze your four girls in for a quick shoot in the studio.  And, why of course, bring the dogs!  It will be fun," said I.  Next evening: one kindergartner, one 2nd grader, two 6th graders, one GREAT Dane, one GRAND Pyrenees, two LARGE labradors and nine feet feet of backdrop roll!  I photographed all the girls together and individually before introducing the pack of dogs!  And, am proud to say that there is ONE (just one) perfect photo (nearly the last in the session), with every single girl looking and smiling and every single animal facing towards me.  Yes, I had to make a lot of cat noises!!!  Our client loved it; it made for a memorable holiday card for them and an unforgettable shoot for me!

What is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?  My little girls – Keira (5) and Natalia (3).  I remember the first time I saw each of them smile.  I realize it might have just been gas, but there is nothing more beautiful, regardless!

What thought or message would you put into a fortune cookie?  A friend once said, "If nothing changes, nothing changes."  That is a great thought for a fortune cookie!  Really, process the simplicity and the wisdom in those five words…  if you don't change your business, you will be struggling with the same challenges for years.  If you don't develop and change creatively, you lose your edge and risk creative burn out.  Change, even when it is a little scary, is usually good!