2016 Inspire Speaker – Leah Haydock on Photography, Food and Hobbies

Today we’d like to introduce you to Leah Haydock who will be teaching Comprehensive Business Reviews with Ned Jackson.  

A hobby is defined as a regular activity that is done for enjoyment, typically during one’s leisure time. Photography used to be my hobby. I spent every free moment trying out new techniques, researching equipment and photographing everything. Once photography became my business I struggled to call it a hobby anymore. 

When people ask me about my hobbies now, I reply with “food”. Sometimes they look a little confused, by food I mean cooking, trying new restaurants, obsessively reading cookbooks, taking pictures of food and just eating and drinking in general. For the longest time I’d thought about starting a food blog and for the longest time I’d procrastinated. I could barely find time to blog about weddings so why add another blog into the mix? Would having a food blog take some of the fun out of my hobby? Should I just be one of those people that instagram everything they eat?  

At previous Inspire retreats I’ve presented on figuring out your target client, showing what you want to sell and of course profitability. I’ve mentored photographers and shared the painful news that their P&L shows that they’re making less than $1.18/hour. I’m all about objectives and results. 

Which is why it’s quite refreshing to mess around on a food blog with absolutely no objectives or expectations at all. I’m not looking to monetize it, there are no lofty dreams of a cookbook deal, heck, I don’t even write out clear recipes. There’s no specific reader in mind, I’m not tracking the viewing stats (they’d likely show one lone reader in the UK – my Mom) and I vacillate between posting about what I’m cooking and random restaurants I’ve eaten at.  Sometimes I post five times in a week, and then it’s another month until I post again. 

I’m breaking all the rules and it’s a lot of fun. I’m trying to become better at writing, I’m cooking new things and best of all, I’m eating ALL THE FOOD. 

Do I occasionally feel guilty when I write a blog post all about my favorite champagnes when I should be uploading a wedding gallery? Maybe, but it’s all about the work-life balance right? 

The unexpected bonus is that food photography is so very different from wedding photography, I’m trying out new things and learning again. Instead of only taking out my camera for engagements or weddings it’s charged and ready to go at all times. I might head out to photograph lunch on the dock and then and find myself out on the lake in the kayak for an hour photographing the loons.  

And just like that, photography feels like a hobby again.

My ramblings about food can be found at: Mainely Eating and I’m beyond excited to get back to business at Inspire. Ned and I will be providing constructive and detailed business reviews – on pricing, marketing materials, websites and more. We hope to see you in our session at 9am on Tuesday! 

Thanks to Kate McElwee for the top picture and Lindsay Flanagan for the noodle-slurping picture!