This was the first photo shared in the first post I wrote when I started blogging in 2013. I chose this photo for many reasons, but mostly because my photography journey began with this row of trees, The Avenue of the Oaks, located on the campus of Spring Hill College. It was the summer semester between my junior and senior years when I first took photography and I think I knew from that first class that photography was going to be something I loved. I did not know that it would lead me to shooting professionally and owning my own photography business.
I drove down this road every single day I went to class throughout my four years of college. I did not live on campus, unlike most Spring Hill students, so this is the sight that greeted me every morning as I made my way to the designated commuter parking lot that was next to Stewartfield, the big white house visible in the background of this photo. These trees were like the arms of a welcoming hug. I have always marveled at their majesty and I never tired of driving down this road.
When we think about old oaks, we mostly think about their thick trunks and the large branches that create such lovely shade. We might think about the little acorns that fall, or the pollen that covers our cars in the spring. We don't often think about the roots unless we see a large, old oak toppled from a severe thunderstorm or hurricane. Those roots are what make the tree strong, yet they are nearly invisible to us as we pass by. We don't see them and we don't really appreciate that they are the key to beautiful sights like we see in the above photo.
Businesses are like oak trees. They take a long time to grow and often the growth is unseen for many years. Suddenly, when we get some roots, we realize that the business has indeed been growing, but just a little bit at a time. To keep our businesses thriving we must not only do those things that we are in business to do (like taking photographs), but we must also do those things that help grow strong roots and keep them healthy (business tasks that are often much less fun than taking photographs).
Photographer and educator extraordinaire Mary Marantz says "slow growth equals strong roots" and every single day that I work on the less fun business tasks I keep this quote in mind, reminding myself that anything worth achieving is worth working hard to achieve. I rarely blog about this non-photography side of my business, but it is so equally important!
Why am I sharing all this today? Earlier this summer I was fortunate enough to participate in a workshop taught by Justin and Mary Marantz. This course was different than the others I'd taken from these amazing photography educators because it was business focused. Since every J&M workshop I have taken in the past had been 100 percent worth the investment, I didn't think twice before signing up. Not only was this course challenging and insightful, but I was BLOWN away by how in-depth and comprehensive the material is! I am already seeing it's positive effects on my business and I've not even watched all of the videos yet!!! Even more shocking is the fact that the business side of things can actually be both interesting and fun!
The exciting news is that enrollment for this course is about to open again on Aug. 31st (YAY!), but because you are reading this post you can access an exclusive PRESALE by clicking here. The course does not officially launch until Aug. 31st, but you can get in on the special pricing available only through the special discount links provided to current course participants. By signing up via the links in this post you will lock in this special price, which is an AMAZING deal for the amount of content in the course and you will be ready to get started on Aug. 31st when the first week's modules go live.
Full disclosure, the links included herein are affiliate links, but I am only sharing about this course here because I feel so strongly that it is one of the best investments I've made in my business! Best of all, the principles that are taught are not just applicable for photographers. Any business owner in a creative field could benefit from this workshop. For more information, hop on over to the J&M education site. If you decide to sign up, congratulations on making the investment in yourself and in your business. If you have questions about my experience in the course please leave them in the comments and I'm happy to answer!
P.S. This special PRESALE pricing is only available through MIDNIGHT on Aug. 23rd so don't delay if you want to sign up!!!