Inspire Speakers: The Scobeys

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In this series of blog posts we are introducing the faculty at Inspire 2015. Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley and Graham Scobey who will be leading a session called Fail Faster: How to accelerate your learning and get to where you want to be Ashley & Graham Scobey

Teamwork: It’s Not Just For The Playground:

One of the questions that we get most often is: “do you enjoy working together”. And we laugh, because it’s a funny question (if we didn’t enjoy working together, we probably wouldn’t be working together) but also because we know the truth that drives the question - the truth that everyone knows. Being a team is hard work. Taking two separate and distinct visions, personalities, and opinions and merging them together to create a thriving business is not an easy task. In fact, our first season working together there were a lot of differences that turned into battles, and we had to learn how to turn those differences into constructive conversations. We talk to our kids a lot about teamwork, but what might not be so obvious is that teamwork is just as important (and challenging) as adults as it was when we were five and on the monkey bars. But here’s the beautiful thing - as hard as it is - teamwork makes us better. Whether you’re a partner in your business, a team in shooting, or just someone who collaborates with other vendors on a regular basis, we all function in conjunction with other people, and it’s important to learn how to do this in the most effective way possible.

So…what makes someone a good team-member?

1. The Team is #1: Vendor relationships, client relationships, and the needs of the team always come first. Frame your decisions by asking yourself “will this help everyone involved, or just me?”. Learn to let your wants (and DEFINITELY your ego) take a backseat to collaboration and cooperation.

2. Go Above and Beyond: When you’re the type of person who consistently exceeds expectations, a few amazing things happen: you create vendor relationships with people who can’t wait to work with you again, and you create client relationships with people who want all of their friends to work with you. You become someone who not only does what they say they are going to do (being trustworthy is also super important) but who people can count on to do whatever needs to be done. You become known for not only being great at taking pictures, but being dependable, professional, and really easy to work with.

3. Work with Flexibility: This is so important in any area of photography, but it feels especially crucial with Wedding Photography. A Wedding Day is unpredictable, and they can become downright stressful when things don’t go according to plan. It can be like a train going off the rails. Being the team-member who is able to infuse a sense of calm and flexibility into an otherwise hectic day will make you an asset to any team.

4. Share and Communicate: Ok… so this is kind of two-in-one, but they really go hand in hand. Don’t be stingy with your secrets, tricks, or communication. If someone asks you how to do something, tell them. If someone asks you why you do something, tell them. Be open and that will beget openness from the people you work with. This will help those relationships to be long-lasting and authentic, and help you build real relationships that are based on a history of working well together.

5. Be Kind: This one should go without saying. But sometimes it doesn’t. There is a lot of pride in our industry, and it’s completely understandable. What we do is intrinsically tied to our hearts and souls. We create art. It’s important to us, and it should be. But no-one wants to work with an ego maniac. It’s totally possible to let your craft be important to you while also being an incredibly humble and thoughtful person.

You may be really good at a few of these, and you might need help on a couple of the others. As with everything in life (and small business), perfecting the art of being a team-player just requires practice. Next time you are shooting and things go awry (or you're arguing with your spouse about how they balance quickbooks), reframe the situation as an opportunity to work on your team-building skills. It will serve you well, we promise!!