Inspire Speakers: Studio Nouveau

In this series of blog posts we are introducing the faculty at Inspire 2015. Today we’d like to introduce you to Studio Nouveau who will be leading a session called Boudoir Bombshells: The Boudoir Experience

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Confessions of a "Type A" control Freak. How I let go. {Correction, How I am letting go... I'm in progress}

Three weeks before Inspire Photo Retreats 2014, I went for my annual physical. The nurse wrapped the Velcro blood pressure monitor around my arm and placed her cold stethoscope on my other arm. I felt the pressure increase as I tried to control my breathing. "Be cool", I thought to myself. The test ended, and the nurse took some notes. She then performed the test again and under her breath "huh'd", and told me to wait for the doctor. Not ominous at all right? I had my blood pressure tested 5 times in that visit. It was high. I was 29.

"Do you have any stressers in your life? Is your job stressful?" The doctor asked, and I did one of those over-animated laughs oozing with sarcasm. "You could say that", I answered. She urged I needed to cut my salt intake, and find a way to be less stressed at work..."try yoga", she said.

Sitting in Inspire Photo retreats three weeks after, this news of my high blood pressure, and feeling I needed to make some changes whirling around my brain, I heard things I HAD NEVER HEARD BEFORE. Let me qualify that: I had heard a lot of this advice before, but for the first time, I was listening. Seven years into my business, dozens of WPPI's and workshops later, I was finally ready to make some serious changes in my business. I was handling EVERY single aspect of the business, from the client experience, to shooting, to post, to invoicing, album design, product, advertising, vendor relationships, the list goes on, and I was doing all of that in the form of 12-14 hour days, 6-7 days a week. I was eating at my desk, barely excising... OK NOT exercising, definitely not sleeping, stomach in knots, and I'm sure my husband can attest: rather unpleasant to be around.

I sat in several talks that week and really absorbed what people were saying. It was a culmination of several different speakers: Jared Platts' words "sometimes good enough, is good enough", J Sandifer's talk on the client experience and costumer service, Jason Aten's talk on profitability, and I was seduced by Shootdotedit's crazy deal with the unlimited editing... It was time to make some changes.

Let me tell you: As I arrive at Inspire Photo Retreats 2015, you wouldn't even recognize my business. It's a scary thing as a Type A control freak to rely and lean on people around you, but I'm getting better at it. Shootdotedit, although we got off to a rough start, saves me HOURS each week. My Studio manager, Elizabeth, who came on part time this year is a customer service GODDESS, answering our incoming emails within a few short hours of getting them, and FOLLOWS UP with everyone. We get couples and vendors their images two-three weeks after the wedding, with our branding on it. We're pre-designing albums thanks to Inspire vendor, Smart Albums, We have three associate shooters whom I adore, and make the business a fun team experience. And we have beautiful flow charts and to-do lists! I feel supported by my team and our Boston photo network, I am able to leave the Studio before midnight, sometimes making it home in time for dinner, and with Sundays OFF. Oh, and I'm going to yoga and my blood pressure is lower. I'm a work in progress, make no bones about it- but as a type A control freak, I'm feeling pretty good.

And I'm happy to chat with any other Type A control Freaks out there. There's NO reason not to love ALL aspects of our job and also take an occasional day off here and there.

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