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How to Call Yourself a Photographer Before You’re Ready

We’re more than halfway through this unpredictable year, and if you’re anything like me then you could use a lil’ pep talk right about now. Because, as photographers and aspiring photographers (all levels are welcome here), one of our greatest hurdles is our mindset.

In order to get better at what we do, we have to get behind our cameras and prove to ourselves we know what we’re doing. And, with the way this year has been set up (LOL), that’s been a little more difficult than usual.

Maybe you started your photography business at the beginning of 2020, all bright-eyed and excited to hone your craft but weren’t able to book any shoots because ‘Rona went on a world tour.

Or maybe you decided to pick up that camera that’s been sitting on your nightstand because #pandemichobbies, but you’re tired of taking pictures of your dog, husband, or roommate (and they’re tired of it, too).

I get it, but just because this year didn’t go as expected and you didn’t book as many shoots as you planned, doesn’t mean you have to wait to call yourself a photographer. So, from my photographer’s heart to yours, here comes a little pep talk on how to call yourself a photographer before you’re ready in the form of *you guessed it* action steps.


a photographer


 

Let’s start with an unpopular opinion

Some people talk on and on about how every single day another person gets a DSLR camera and then calls themself a photographer. And yes, I understand where they’re coming from. Yes, it is hard for those of us who have eaten, slept, and breathed photography and growing our business as a livelihood for near (or over) a decade – pouring thousands and thousands of dollars into it.⠀

BUT.⠀

Here’s the thing: we all started somewhere. We all got a camera and didn’t know how to shoot in manual with it. We all struggled with charging in the beginning and didn’t know how to set our prices.

If there’s anything we’ve spent too much time doing this year, it’s scrolling Insta. We’re all subject to fall into a comparison trap now and then.

But remember, the very ones that may be criticizing you for starting your business now, or trying to discourage you from it – were once right where you are.  And because they chose to pursue it, and call themselves a photographer – they have a business now. We ALL started somewhere.


 

Now, add faith and obedience

Listen, girl, if God has been calling you to start your photography business, you’re being disobedient by staying scared and playing it small. Yes, even in a pandemic.⠀

David approached Goliath before he was ready. Over and over again in the Bible, people did things scared, before they were ready, and when the timing didn’t make a bit of sense. But it was by DOING that they encountered the blessings of the Father.

God is with you, He has every tool and resource to allow you to succeed at this. He has all the finances you’ll need. He has all the clients to send your way. But first, you have to do the work and begin building… and that all starts with stepping into the calling. You’ve gotta have faith – paired with action. ⠀

So GO and DO friends. I’m here for you, and I’ll stand behind your biz – even if no one else will.

 


 

Last but not least, educate yourself

If you’ve escaped the comparison trap and decided to cling to faith and do this thing but still struggle with your confidence, you might just need to invest in your education. Knowledge is power, friend. An investment in your education is an investment in yourself.

Before you start, ask yourself these questions:

What area of my photography biz am I struggling to feel confident about?
Is it the actual “business” part of it?
Is it getting behind the lens and taking pics?
Is it editing?
Posing?
How to market myself and book clients?

I’m by no means trying to overwhelm you, but actually getting to the root of what you’re really afraid of is incredibly helpful because from there you can google, learn, and grow!

Shameless plug: this blog that you’re reading right now is actually FULL of helpful resources that were created to help you become a photographer and run a dang good and successful business at that. Best part? It’s all FREE education.

So, pour yourself some coffee and binge away, friend. That’s what they’re here for.


 

If you’re really struggling in your business, book a free clarity call with me, (no strings attached,) for me to help you pinpoint your biggest roadblocks. 

Then, if you decide it’s a fit and you NEED us to work together stat, we can totally proceed with mentorship and get this education party started! 🥂

I wholeheartedly believe that if you’re here and reading this page, it’s not by accident, girl. I’ve been praying for this years mentoring clients, and for God to truly equip me with the knowledge and resources, tailored just for you, to project you into your next season and help you to be more confident – because THIS is your year.

It’s time. No more excuses. Let’s do this, and rise up to who God has called us to be in both our lives and businesses. 🙌🏼

 

 

a photograher

 


 

Looking for more helpful photography tips? Feel free to binge on these blog posts, or pin ’em on Pinterest for later! 👇🏼

If you’re short on time, follow me on Pinterest – and you’ll get these kinda tips delivered straight to your feed! You know… when you’re scrollin’ through Pinterest with coffee in hand, ready to take on the day… or, procrastinate.

Whatevs. Pinterest biz sesh, anybody!? 😎🥂

  imposter syndromea photographerimposter syndrome

Uncategorized

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4 Ways to Avoid Imposter Syndrome in Your Photography Business

I remember when I was pretty new to my photography business, I would get SO nervous before my shoots. That nervousness would manifest itself later as imposter syndrome – even during a shoot. Not cool.

On the way to my shoots, I would wonder things like…

“Am I going to say something dumb!? Can I really deliver images they’ll love? Am I actually going to take photos I’m proud of this time? Will they all be in focus and useable!?” All of these thoughts clouded my mind before my shoots, and all I wanted was to be more confident.

The thoughts were so paralyzing, that I could barely focus on what I was doing at the moment. I wasn’t able to be truly present; out of fear that I wouldn’t be good enough, that my images wouldn’t be good enough, and there’s probably another gal out there better suited for the job.

Chances are, you may be feeling this way too. And if you are, then stick with me, because we’re gonna rewire your mind, beat imposter syndrome, and get you confident to show up and do WERK. 😎👇🏼

 


 

imposter syndrome

 


 

 

1. Take a deep breath, and pray before you meet your clients.

 

Seriously, it sounds so simple, but this really and truly helps you show up and be present – and it invites God into that space, to be strong when you’re weak to combat imposter syndrome. I usually pray something along these lines:

“Lord, help me to use my gift for a greater good today. Please remind me that I’m the girl you appointed for this job. Help me to shine your light into my client’s lives, and leave them better than I found them. Equip me with the tools to capture the exact moments that You want to be captured today. Help me to see them and capture them for who they really are – not what Instagram tells me I should make them look like. Be strong in me when I am weak, and comfort me when I’m feeling nervous. Help me to be strong, bold, and confident – because You are alive inside of me. You say that Greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world – and I need you to allow me to fully experience that today, and for your power to be made perfect, and manifest in me. Thank you Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

 


 

 

2. Remember that you’re the expert here.

 

… and that’s exactly why they hired you so step into your expert position.

They don’t know WHY you’re placing them beside that bush. They don’t know WHY you’re asking them to do that prompt or to face that direction. And that’s okay! They don’t have to. YOU are the professional, even if you don’t feel like it yet. You’re the one in charge of making sure this sessions goes how it needs to. 

All you need to do is break the ice at the beginning of the session by saying something like, “Okay, so I may ask you to do a few crazy things, and I just need you to trust me, because those are the things that make for incredible images. K? K.” I’m dead serious. This is what I do every time, and it works every time!

Sometimes, I’ll even add a crazy prompt in and make them do it, only to say, “I literally just wanted to see if you’d do that – I don’t actually need it.” 😂 (That always gives me some super genuine and funny reactions – be sure to get those!!)

 


 

 

3. Combat those sneaky lies with truth.

 

… because going full-on imposter syndrome mode in the middle of the shoot is never a good time.

I know how it is. You forget your shot list. Your mind blanks. Your heart is beating faster than ever and you’re beginning to lose your cool. You have 45 minutes left in the session and you need some pull-a-rabbit-out-of-a-hat magic to happen so you can get these shots.

First things first, we’ve got to get your mind under control because this is the enemy’s opportunity to sneak in and plant so much doubt you’ll fake an emergency and leave the shoot. In moments like this when you’re vulnerable, I need you to memorize a piece of scripture or a mantra. Either one works to reset your brain, download truth about who you are and whose you are, and get your mind to avoid going down a negative and panic-stricken black hole.

My go-to verse is Romans 15:13 and it reads:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (NIV)

It reminds me to put my eyes and trust back on Him because when I do that, then I’m filled with joy and peace. I don’t know about you, but those two things are exactly what I need in a moment of panic 😂  It’s a simple one-liner and I urge you to steal it and memorize it if you don’t have a verse for yourself yet.

Trust Him to give you the creativity back. Trust Him to lead the process of your shoot.

 


 

 

4. Invest in your education.

 

It’s both our dedication and our education, that truly make us bold in our craft.

Guys, I cannot stress how important this is. And no, I’m not just saying this because I mentor other photographers! If you could see how much I’ve spent to date on business mentoring, you’d stroke out. 😂 I kid you not. And I still do it!

It’s so important to be, and stay, teachable. If there is someone that’s where you want to be in your business, REACH OUT. Chances are they offer mentoring, and they would probably be honored to teach you. A lot of times we look at money as a resource we want to hoard and don’t want to spend, and feel like we need to hold onto. But you know what’s more valuable than money?

TIME AND YOUR MENTAL HEALTH.

And you can save literally YEARS of it, just by trading a little money for education. (Which saves you not only time, but money in the long run, because education helps you to be more confident – therefore you get to start charging more for your work, and at a much faster rate.) Anytime I start to doubt myself or feel imposter syndrome kicking in, I pause and say to myself  “GIRL YOU HAVE BEEN THOROUGHLY TRAINED FOR THIS. YOUR KNOWLEDGE IS ENDLESS.” 

Literally, you can’t not win here. I struggled to even mention this, because personally, I don’t like to sell – but dude… if I would’ve known this earlier, (that I could pay money to project myself years ahead into my calling,) you betcha I’d have done it the moment I decided I wanted to be a photographer. Just sayin’. 🤷🏻‍♀️

If you feel imposter syndrome coming on, don’t let it manifest – educate yourself instead.

 

… How can you expect clients to invest in you, if you’re not willing to invest in yourself? 🤔

 


 

If you’re really struggling in your business, book a free clarity call with me, (no strings attached,) for me to help you pinpoint your biggest roadblocks. 

Then, if you decide it’s a fit and you NEED us to work together stat, we can totally proceed with a mentorship and get this education party started! 🥂

I wholeheartedly believe that if you’re here and reading this page, it’s not by accident, girl. I’ve been praying for this years mentoring clients, and for God to truly equip me with the knowledge and resources, tailored just for you, to project you into your next season and help you to be more confident – because THIS is your year.

It’s time. No more excuses. Let’s do this, and rise up to who God has called us to be in both our lives and businesses. 🙌🏼

 

 

imposter syndrome

 


 

Looking for more helpful photography tips? Feel free to binge on these blog posts, or pin ’em on Pinterest for later! 👇🏼

If you’re short on time, follow me on Pinterest – and you’ll get these kinda tips delivered straight to your feed! You know… when you’re scrollin’ through Pinterest with coffee in hand, ready to take on the day… or, procrastinate.

Whatevs. Pinterest biz sesh, anybody!? 😎🥂

  imposter syndromeimposter syndromeimposter syndrome

Mindset

faith in your business

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K

4 Ways To Share Your Faith In Your Business

Do you ever struggle with sharing who you are in Christ in your brand?

 

You care so much about your work, and you know you wouldn’t be where you were if it weren’t for Jesus – so you want the world to know He’s who gets the credit. But the only issue you’re having is, how

 

I remember the pull. I remember feeling like God had placed it on my heart to do photography, and it was so much more to me than just taking pretty pictures of people. 

 

It was more than a job, it was a calling – and I was determined to do it well

 


 

faith in your business

 


 

Fast forward almost five years, and I’ve managed to build a brand on purpose-driven photography and educational resources for women of faith.

 

Now mind you, I didn’t figure out how to share my faith through my business overnight. It took time. It took tears. And it took a lot of “God, do this through me” kinda prayers. But over the years I’ve managed to find a balance that works really well for me and blesses each and every client I work with, (as well as the people who follow me!) 

 

But before we officially dive into the top four tips on how to share your faith in your biz, I wanna cue a record scratch.

 

Before you can bloom and start sharing your faith well on the outside (through your business,) you have to make sure your roots are healthy on the inside. 

 

“Okay, so what does that look like Jess?” 

 

Well, it’s spending time in the Word. Spending time in prayer. Talking to Jesus regularly and asking Him the best way for you to be sharing His good news, and serving those around you with your business. He’s gonna have the best recommendations around! 😉 

 

The truth is, your life preaches a better sermon than your lips ever will – and the way you treat the people you work with, and for – will say a lot about who, and Whose, you are. When you’re focused on the health and well being of your faith on the inside, it can’t help but radiate on the outside. Remember that city on a hill thing…? 

 


 

4 WAYS TO SHARE YOUR FAITH IN YOUR BUSINESS:

 

1. Pray before your sessions. 

 

This isn’t technically something you’re doing on the “outside” – BUT God will show up and show out through you in your work when you get your heart right, and eyes fixed on Him. There is so much power in prayer, and it shouldn’t ever be a last resort.

 

I pray before every single one of my sessions, (because truth is, sometimes I still get nervous to shoot!) You can pray before your sessions, client meetings, consultations – you name it.

 

Because I do this… Jesus always calms me down and allows me to end up with an amazing couple or brand – and I’m able to provide them with incredible images because I know God is at work both in and through me. “All to Him I owe.”

 

2. Weave wise words into your website copy & social media accounts.

 

An obvious way to dip your toes into sharing your faith is to weave words that other Believers would recognize throughout your website copy and social media accounts. You know the ones I’m talking about, the ones we hold really dear to our hearts. Here are a few to get your wheels turnin’:

 

{ Called, calling, answer the call, kingdom-focused, purpose-driven, purpose, mission, on mission, grace-filled, grace, steward, redeem – ya feel!? }

 

This helps you speak to what’s called your “ideal client.” And if you’re speaking to your ideal client, then it won’t be as awkward to share your faith – because they’ll likely be believers too! 

 

Ever heard the sayin’ “your vibe attracts your tribe?” Your kinda people will pick up what you’re puttin’ down, and those who don’t – won’t. (It’s a good thing, promise!) This is more or less a form of attracting and repelling, and boy do I wish I’d have done it from the start.

 

3. Change the way you share your client’s work.

 

If you’re a photographer and are typically sharing sessions on social media by saying something like, “Kristen and Travis’ epic anniversary shoot is on the blog, check it out,” then try instead to elaborate on who they are as a couple and how beautiful marriage is to you, or what it means to you. Here’s a screengrab of a caption I shared of a couples anniversary shoot, that weaved in some faith-bits throughout.

 

faith in your business

 

faith in your business faith in your business

 

4. Fuse your faith into the works of your biz

 

We all know that faith without works is dead, right? So, how can you do the work and actually be Jesus’ hands and feet in your biz? 

 

Well, there are a few ways. But one of the most important? By extending grace, even when you don’t feel like it. When you do get that difficult client (‘cause there’s one in every crowd,) give them grace. I don’t mean let them walk all over you, I just mean react in a way that Jesus would, and do what Jesus would do. You know what integrity is – operate by it. 

 

Another way to put faith to work is by sharing what you know – for free. (I’m not saying you have to share everything for free, all the time, but it’s a surefire way to make sure you’re keeping God first and are not only tithing financially, (which is super important too,) but tithing of your time as well. Be the person for that new biz owner that you wish you had when you started; and if you did have her, take that torch and pass it on. 

 

So let’s do this. Let’s run on mission. Let’s make this industry as beautiful as we know it can be. After all, we’re all just creatives meant to serve the ultimate Creator. 

 


 

Once I finally decided to embrace who I am as a whole, (the love I have for photography/education, and the stance I have on faith,) and put them all together under one brand – I’ve seriously never been happier. I just felt stifled and inauthentic when I tried to keep my faith underneath the surface and not show it. But now, it truly feels like chains have broken off and I’m able to share what’s most important to me, while also connecting with other believers in business.   

 

Are you struggling with sharing your faith in your business? Feel free to drop your questions or concerns below. I’d love to chat with you and encourage you!

 


 

Wanna work with me 1:1 to get my eyes on your photography business, and help you fuse your faith into your biz?

 

You got it, friend! Click the link below to schedule a discovery call to see if we’d be a good fit to work together! I’ll start prepping your strategy in a Google doc now! 😉🥂

 

faith in your business

 



Looking for more helpful photography tips? Feel free to binge on these blog posts, or pin ’em on Pinterest for later! 👇🏼

If you’re short on time, follow me on Pinterest – and you’ll get these kinda tips delivered straight to your feed! You know… when you’re scrollin’ through Pinterest with coffee in hand, ready to take on the day… or, procrastinate.

Whatevs. Pinterest biz sesh, anybody!? 😎🥂

 

Education

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K

Why You Should Stay In Your Own Lane To Grow Your Business

Here’s the tea, sis. ☕️ The best thing you can do when building a photography business is to stay in your own lane, with your eyes down – and DO the work. But what does that actually look like? How do we avoid comparison and create a business that’s all our own? 

 

What about when you want to stay in your lane, but you’re scared… because you can’t see where it’s actually going!?

 

It’s easier to stay in your own lane when you can see the end of the road, right? But when you’re in the thick of it, driving through the fog… sometimes it’s overwhelming. You may become tempted to take someone’s else’s goals and ideas and make them your own, (even if it’s unintentional.) Because they’ve defined that as success, and they’ve said it works… so it must be what will work for you too… right

 

Wrong. So unbelievably wrong, friend. But we’ll get there.  

 


 

 


 

If you’ve been around the JVP blog for any amount of time, you’ve likely seen that I’m not your typical photography educator. I operate my business from a very specific standpoint, one as a child of God. If that doesn’t vibe with you, you may not wanna take biz advice from me… because there’s gonna be a lot of faith-based advice up in hurr. 

 

So, here’s your chance to go find some other type of blog post about staying in your lane, I guarantee there’s a billion.   

 

Still here…? 

 

Okay, sweet. 😎 

 

Here are my top tips for staying in your lane:

 



1. Get quiet with God. Ask Him what HE wants for your life and business. Then be still, and listen. (Yes, even when it’s quiet and awkward. Keep being still.)  

 

It sounds simple… but how often do we actually do this? How often do we ask God what HE wants from us, instead of telling God what WE want from Him. (I’m guilty too, friend. 🙈) I’m so quick to word-vomit my business plans and goals to God, without taking into any consideration His plans for me. So this step comes first, always. Whether it’s for your photography business, or an upcoming decision in your life. Do. This. First. (Please!)

 

At a loss for what to even say? I gotchu. Let’s do this together. (Yes, I’m really doing this right now.) Repeat after me:

 

“Lord. Thank you so much for all you’ve done for me in my life and business thus far. Even though I’m not where I want to be, I know and trust that I’m exactly where YOU want me to be, and where I actually need to be. 

 

I forget that the “next-level” that I sometimes pray for, I may not even be able to handle yet. So thank you for your protection and divine direction. Thank you for existing in the future, and for all of those unanswered, tear-filled prayers. 

 

Sometimes it’s just hard, because I get so caught up in all of the noise and messages that are spoken to me through my emails and on social media, that I need to do this, and be this, and implement this before I’ll get where I want to be. 

 

But today I want to take a stand — with You. Today, I choose not to move until you say – “move.” I choose not to listen to another voice, or a “you should be doing this” until I know it’s sent from you. Because I now see that they’re not on the same path as me. They don’t have the same life as me. They don’t have the same calling as You’ve so graciously given me. 

 

So Lord — speak. I give you all authority over my life and business, and ask you to tell me what next step YOU want me to take. Help me to drown out the noise, and help me to see clearly the direction you want me to move in. And when I hear the direction, *you may need to repeat this a few times because let’s be honest I struggle here* – but when you do give the instructions… help me to have the courage to actually follow through and do it. Whether it takes faith, monetary resources, or a combination of both — help me be bold in spirit and do so with intention. Help me follow through. Help me craft a business that’s built on the solid rock — one that’s built on You, Jesus. Forgive me for my lack of faith, my lack of courage, and my lack of action. This is the year, the exact moment in time, I’m surrendering my business to you, Lord. Let it be. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.”

 

Because the well of that direction, all of that content preached to you from your left and right, all of it — sister it’s gonna run DRY. 

 

Heaven’s well; well… it won’t.

 

You don’t need to do anything right now. You don’t need to be anyone else. Shut the noise OFF. The only voice that matters is God’s, and the people He chooses to speak to you through. You’re right where you’re supposed to be. Inhale, exhale. 😉

 


 

Now that we’ve gotten our hearts in check, let’s chat about why Jesus wants you to stay in your own lane.

 

2. By staying in your own lane, God is able to give you the set of directions that were meant for you.

You aren’t concerned with following a path that wasn’t ever intended for you… therefore your “detours” and “exits” are actually specific to you and the journey He has you on.

 

You’re not taking wrong turns. When you route from “your current location,” to “the location you’re headed,” those instructions are specific to YOU. If someone else were to route to that same location, they would get an entirely set of different directions, because they’re both starting and coming from a different place. So why do we think our journey in business is any different…?

 

If the end goal is heaven’s gates, (once you’ve accomplished all God has laid out for you,) — then I guarantee the way in which you get there will, (and is absolutely supposed to be,) different than everybody else’s. Rest in that, friend. 💕

 


 

3. When it comes to both life and business goals, everybody has, (or should have) completely different ones. 

 

Let me demonstrate the issues of building a business with someone else’s blueprints. 

 

As a photographer, I know you see some of these “insta-famous” photographers, and wish your business was as successful as theirs. They’re traveling the world, booking out a year (or more) in advance, and creating work that makes you stop in your scroll every. single. time. You save them as inspiration and try to replicate them, and sometimes crumble in tears because you feel like your work will just never get there. 

 

But maybe you have children and a husband that you so deeply enjoy spending time with. The weekends you’re not working are spent with them, and you cherish every single moment. When asked what your top priority is, it’s them. Being a wife and a mom and raising little warriors of the Cross.

 

So would you actually be happy with all that traveling the world, booked up and busy would entail? Because you’re only seeing the glamorous side on the ‘gram. You’re not seeing the kids that wish they could see their mom, but “she has to work” again. And some moms that do that have children that are grown, their children are at an age that they’re doing their own things; so it fits better into their lives at this point. 

 

See how that’s a calling that may not be a good fit for the season you’re in right now? And you’ve already stated that your top priority is your family… so that blueprint doesn’t actually fit in with what you want out of life. 

 

… But because this instagram era has defined “that” as what’s successful… you think you need that too.

 

But you don’t. You only need to be, and do, what God has called you to do. That’s it. Because that is the ONLY journey that is truly going to satisfy. He is all that will satisfy.

 

I pray that this encouraged you, strengthened you, and helped you simply take a deep breath. 

 

I pour out my heart to you through this, because I spent a long time chasing dreams and goals that weren’t even a good fit for me. I adopted other people’s strategies as my own, and wondered why every single time I felt discouraged and frustrated that I wasn’t getting the same results as they were. Then I figured out it’s because I wasn’t supposed to. 🤯 

 

It sounds simple, but I truly think this narrow road… this is what it’s all about. This is where we’ll find true joy, and the success we’re seeking — and it’s where we should be focusing our efforts and energy. 

 

So here’s to staying in our own lane, staying in communication with Jesus — and letting him take the reins of our life and business. Here’s to breaking the mold, and re-routing. 

 

( loading the proverbial GPS “rerouting screen” )

 

It’s time to take the scenic route. This is gonna be good. 😉

 


Did you read this post and just about die over how accurate it was for where you’re at, and what you’re feeling? 

 

Well I tried hard to do that, friend. 😉 And I could, only because I’ve been exactly where you’re at. So, if after you’ve prayed that prayer, and you felt led to reach out to me to figure out where you could learn more… start with downloading this little puppy. It’s my “4 steps to becoming a successful and confident photographer,” freebie, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt — it’ll change your business. 

 

Here’s to new beginnings, friend! ✨

 

grow your photography business

 


 

Looking for more helpful photography tips? Feel free to binge on these blog posts, or pin ’em on Pinterest for later! 👇🏼

If you’re short on time, follow me on Pinterest – and you’ll get these kinda tips delivered straight to your feed! You know… when you’re scrollin’ through Pinterest with coffee in hand, ready to take on the day… or, procrastinate.

Whatevs. Pinterest biz sesh, anybody!? 😎🥂

 

a website for your photography business

Education

tips-for-traveling-as-a-photographer-jessicavickers.com

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K

Tips For Traveling As A Photographer

I’ve got a serious case of fernweh.⁣⁣ It’s defined as, “the longing to be in a place you’ve never been.” So basically you’re homesick for a place you haven’t even visited yet. (Yes, it’s totally a real thing. I guess it only makes sense I established myself as a traveling photographer, LOL!)

I’m forever dying to be in places I’ve never been to. My first one was New Zealand, (the south island to be exact.) And once I was finally there – all felt right. (It’s also on my top 3 places I’d live if I could!) ⁣

With all this “fernweh” I got goin’ on, it means I like to stay travelin’. I’m NOT happy staying in one place for too long… I’ve gotta get out and see new places and meet new people on a regular basis. Which is funny, comin’ from a small town southern girl who literally stayed in the town she grew up in until she was 22. 🤷🏻‍♀️I was pretty sheltered. I remember when driving 9 hours from Texas to Florida to see Clayton was a HUGE deal to my parents. 😂 (Now, I can’t even count the countries I’ve been to off the top of my head!) 

Seeing the world is SUPER high on my priority list – in fact, it’s built into Clay and I’s life goals and marriage vision, and we budget for it! BUt, aside from just traveling for personal reasons, I prioritize travel in my business. Traveling to new places, meeting new people, and creating insane imagery while we adventure around is hands DOWN my fav cocktail of activities.

But – all this traveling requires some serious preparational/organizational skills – and some gear that can handle the elements. So, let’s hop right into my top recommendations for traveling as a photographer!

 


 

 


MY TOP TIPS FOR TRAVELING AS A PHOTOGRAPHER:

 

There are SO many different categories when it comes to tips for a traveling photographer, but here are the categories I’m gonna cover today:

–  Health & Personal

–  Photography & Equipment

 


 

HEALTH/PERSONAL:

  • One Above Travel Tablets These little puppies keep me goin’. Up until moving to Japan, I didn’t know “jet lag” was actually a thing. Seriously. It’s totally a thing, and can keep me down for up to 5-6 days if I’m not preventing it prior to travel.

 

  • Collapsable refillable water bottle – When you’re flying, it’s SO important to stay hydrated. They say you should drink 8oz of water for every hour you’re in the air. I end up flying collectively about 18-19 hours when going from Japan back to Texas, so I stay drinkin’ H20. This bottle is great because it collapses easily once you’ve finished drinking, so it takes up only a tiny amount of space in your carry-on!

 

  • Vitamin C – it’s SO important to take for your immune system, especially the week leading up to flying. These are my fav, (I used to take the packets with me and put them in my water, but this is so much easier!)

 

  • Bring healthy snacks. It’s SO dang important to eat healthy while traveling. Your immune system is already compromised and at risk, so do your body a favor and nourish it well! These are my favorite protein bars to bring along everywhere I go!

 

  • Create a travel kit that has all the necessary items you may need on the plane. Mine includes this deodorant, roll-on oil, lip butter, peppermint oil (for headaches while in flight,) digize oil (for upset tummy/digestive issues while abroad,) some advil/ibuprofen as a last resort, (though I try hard not to take it,) CBD oil from Hempworks, and these makeup wipes (because your face/skin gets to feelin’ kind of icky after being in that dry cabin air for so long!)

 

  • As much as I’m always planning to get TONS of work done on the plane… I usually don’t. So I’m sure to bring some things to keep me occupied. I was always a bookworm growing up, so reading is one of my favorite pastimes. Though there’s only so much room in my carryon for books (and I’m always so tempted to bring like 3 – even though realistically I may only finish one.) So, I invested in a Kindle and I’ve been loving it so much! I’m def a member of the “real books are better” club – BUT – the Kindle saves me so much space while traveling! (I hate reading on ipads because of the blue light that makes my eyes hurt, and because they’re reflective and so pointless to use out in the sun or on the beach. Kindle’s aren’t, so in my opinion, they’re way better!

 

  • Don’t use airline blankets/pillows. It’s CRAZY how many germs they carry. (And yes, the airlines re-use them.) Grab your own travel pillow and blanket, your immune system will thank you.

 

  • Google flights this is where I’ve found the cheapest flights for travel, always! Yes, even compared to skyscanner, hopper, cheapoair, expedia – you name it. I search on google flights, and then book directly through the airline – that always gives you the best rate! Pro tip: always search in incognito/private browsing mode so they can’t collect data on you and then jack up the prices!

 

  • Don’t constantly remind yourself what time it is where you live vs where you are. This only prolongs the jet-lag feeling and makes you want to sleep your trip away!

 

  • Use tripadvisor. If you’re anything like me, you’re a foodie at heart and always looking for the best restaurants. Clay and I LOVE Tripadvisor, it’s never led us astray! We use it, and then save places to a list for that area. You can even make reservations straight from the app, so def utilize it while you’re out and about! (It’s not just for food – but that’s what we primarily use it for!)

 


 

PHOTOGRAPHY/EQUIPMENT:

 

  • Pelican case – I’m SO glad I bought this to travel with. This case is crazy durable, and I never have to worry about my gear getting damaged in it. Plus, it fits in all the overhead bins on the plane! I always bring this as a carry-on, I never check it — because airlines are crazy rough with stuff – (though, I know everything would be safe in here!)

 

  • Pelican SD card holder I love this little guy! It’s weather/water-proof and keeps my SD cards safe. One time I was shooting in the ocean here in Japan, and it came out of my pocket and went floating away… but I ran over and grabbed it and let it dry, then opened it – and all was well inside! 😉 This one is also good, I have both!

 

  • When you’re a traveling photographer, you want to pack as light as possible. I’m always tempted to bring a ton of lenses, but in reality – I only need a few! My top picks for when I’m traveling are the Canon 50mm/1.2, the Sigma 35mm/1.4, and the Canon 85mm/1.2! I can just about capture anything I’d need on these babies!

 

  • When scouting for locations, do some research ahead of time! Don’t just wait until you get there to look at location tags on Instagram.

 

      • Open up google maps and create a new list, drop pins and save them on there. Then, write down how long it takes to get to and from each location and craft out a timeline for shooting. This ensures you’re maximizing your time!

 

      • Also, use Tumblr to scout. There’s usually more original content/locations on there as it’s nowhere near as saturated of a platform as insta!

 

  • If you’re an adventurous photographer like me, download Alltrails! It gives you a list of a ton of trails in the area, and you can pull up images and see if there are any good shooting spots along the way! 😉

 


 

Traveling is seriously my favorite thing to do, ever. But it can be super draining if not done well. These are my top tips for traveling as a photographer, but got any yourself? I’d love to add them to the list! Just drop a comment below, I’m all about broadening my travel knowledge! 😍

 

Wanna stick around and stay learning? I knew I liked ya. 😉

Feel free to binge on these blog posts, or pin ’em on Pinterest for later! 👇🏼

If you’re short on time, follow me on Pinterest – and you’ll get these kinda tips delivered straight to your feed! You know… when you’re scrollin’ through Pinterest with coffee in hand, ready to take on the day… or, procrastinate.

Whatevs. Pinterest biz sesh, anybody!? 😎🥂

 

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How I Changed My Money Mindset (and grew my bank account overnight.)

This isn’t easy for me to talk about if I’m being honest. I never knew I had a messed up money mindset.

I guess I kinda thought everyone did? I’m not sure. But I’m gonna admit – I did, and God wrecked it.

(Yes, this is definitely faith-based coaching, so if that’s not your vibe you’ll wanna move on!)

Now – this is NOT prosperity preaching. Please don’t get that confused.

I don’t believe in telling you that if you follow God you’ll become rich.

That’s not what I’m saying, and if that’s all you get from this – well, you def missed the point.

What I can do, is give you the truth: a real, raw story of my very own on how God wrecked my view on money, (and not just my view on money, but on who He is and what He actually wants for me and my business.)

And honestly? It’s a heck of a lot easier to act like I have my life together and not even bother speaking on this topic, but I don’t believe that’s what God wants from me. So here I am, being vulnerable and showing up with my real problems and messed up mindset – in hopes that you’ll be cured of it if you suffer, too. 

 


 

 


 

I heard a few things about money mindset here and there, and with each resource I read, the more I realized: my money mindset sucked, and I needed to do something about it, (or forever be a victim to the limiting beliefs I had.)

However, I can’t jump into sharing my limiting beliefs with you without sharing WHY I had them in the first place. So, here’s a little background.

I grew up with AMAZING parents. Literally incredible. And I was so blessed to have been born into a family that worked very hard their entire lives in order to provide me with the life I lived. I never went without, and I was (and still am,) blessed far beyond what I deserve – and for that, I am eternally grateful.

However, growing up in the South, (or at least where I grew up,) I always heard the words “money doesn’t grow on trees,” or “that costs money,” or “it’s important to learn the value of a dollar.” And while I believe ALL of these are beyond true statements, and I completely agree with them; it’s the tone in which they’re usually presented, (more times than not,) that carries a negative connotation with it.

I’d always viewed money as something we all needed more of and something that we’re all desperately trying to get, and that we’re constantly working hard to receive – in order to make ends meet. This is life for most of us, right?

 


My photography business beginnings:

After graduating from high school in 2012, I went straight to college and worked hard for four years to receive a bachelor’s of science in Mass Communication and Marketing. While I was in college, I decided I wanted to try to start my own photography business and dabbled in learning all that I could, (while I wasn’t studying for college.)

After shooting several family sessions and senior sessions, as well as my first wedding, I’d decided. This was what I wanted to do. Whatever I needed to do to make it happen, I was going to do. So I launched my photography business Facebook page, set my prices, and started charging. I’d never been more excited for my future, I’d finally found something that lit me up when I did it.

A year or so into owning my business, I remember hearing through the grapevine that some people had said I was too expensive, and that that’s why they didn’t book. (Please know this is actually totally okay, because not everyone is meant to be your client.)

But, I remember someone saying to me, “Do you really have to charge that much? Some people do it for less so that everyone can afford it. There are good people who want those kinds of pictures, but can’t afford them. Don’t you want to be that for them?”

And it got me thinking, “Is God upset with me for what I’m charging? Am I wrong for charging for my work? I know that God has given me this talent, so am I actually supposed to be doing it for less, where everyone can afford it?”

(HINT: We know as Christians that the devil LOVES to lie to us. It’s his favorite thing to do. He loves to tell us that we’re unworthy and unqualified; that we’re not good enough or smart enough, and especially not talented enough to be paid what we deserve for what we do. Please know that whatever the limiting beliefs are that you have towards yourself; they’re sent straight from the father of all lies himself.)

So I prayed and prayed, and I didn’t feel conviction for my pricing. I continued to grow in skill and in talent, and raised my prices to match, (as well as covering my costs of actually running a BUSINESS, not an expensive hobby.)

I graduated from college in May of 2016, and had about 6 months where I was working on my business and preparing to move to Florida in December after Clayton and I got married. As planned, after we got married, I moved to Florida with him and we prepared ourselves for the big move to Japan in May of 2017.

During the time I’d graduated college and was preparing to move to Japan from Florida, I wasn’t able to work on my photography business the way I’d wished, (as in actually being creative and shooting.)

Instead, this preparing season led me to focus on the back-end of my photography business, (the stuff that nobody could see.)

Therefore, I was spending more money investing in my education than I was making from shoots, (and that’s okay, but I believe this was the season of my life that the scarcity money mindset started to take root.)

I hadn’t known what it was like to not be profiting in a long time. From the moment I started my business, it took off – because it was different than what anyone around me was doing at the time, (this was in 2014-2015.)

But then, after all of the popularity my business had attracted, God had me take a backseat and build up a foundation that would be able to withstand what He would bring to it in the future, (although I didn’t know it at the time.)

Back then? It was hard. And I didn’t understand. I was angry that I had built my business to a place where I had clients pouring in, and was pumping out killer images with raving reviews to match, yet I was going to have to uproot everything and start over again. Then, it felt like moving to Florida, (and only staying there for six months, then having to move to Japan,) was wrecking it all, and I was SO hurt.

 


But God had a plan.

He knew what He was doing. And He also knew the hard seasons that were yet to come. (Those are another story for another time.)

Fast forward a few years, and God has brought me from glory to glory, time and time again. He has always been faithful.

I’ve also never stopped working on my business, (in some form or fashion,) regardless of what season it’s been in. Every single day, for the last five years I’ve poured my heart and soul into building this very brand that you’re now interacting with from somewhere else in the world.

This past winter was a slow season for my business. It was weird. (We all get them, although I can’t say I’m a huge fan of them.) 😉

But in January, I was confused as to why things were so slow. I know now it’s because God has called me into a season of serving and stewardship, (one in which I’ve been in for about a year and a half now.) But in January, I was burnt out. I was tired of working SO hard every day, and serving every day, and not seeing in return for it what I’d dreamed of. (I got BIG God dreams ya’ll.) Granted there was totally stuff coming in in return, I just wasn’t seeing it the way I needed to.

Here’s actual proof of this season, and how I was feeling back in January:

Do you struggle with your money mindset? Come see how I fixed my mine, and started operating out of a place of abundance instead of scarcity. Do you struggle with your money mindset? Come see how I fixed my mine, and started operating out of a place of abundance instead of scarcity.

 

Yup. I’m always transparent about what I’m going through with you guys, and this was tough in January.

The next day, after I’d gone out to the field (literally) to go talk to Jesus, I came back into the house, got something to drink and went upstairs, sitting down at my desk with a loud exhale.

Clayton was playing his Xbox, and looked over because he could tell I was troubled.

He told me he wanted to tell me a story.

When Clayton was a kid, he used to help his Dad out on a farm. His dad would farm crops, which meant that in each season; he was doing something very specific in order to eventually reap a harvest.

One season called for tilling the soil. They had to prep the soil, and that was their one and only goal during that time. They were prepping the soil for the next season, where they would plant the crops. (Meaning, there wasn’t anything financial coming in during this time.)

One season called for planting the seed. They had to plant the seed, and then wait for the next season.

One season called for simply waiting. They were still waiting on what they’d planted to grow.

One season was the harvest. All of the hard work was now visible, and they would reap the benefits, (physically and financially,) of all of their hard work throughout the year. They would harvest it at the right time, and the cycle would repeat itself year after year.

One season called for rest. There wasn’t much work they could do during this time, so they rested and they waited for the next season in which they could do the next thing, (which was prepping the soil for the next harvest to come.) 

We go through seasons in not only our lives, but in our businesses too.


 

By the time January was coming to an end, I was back in Japan and was digging back into my business workflow. I was finding areas I could cultivate and grow in order to (hopefully) make the season change come quicker.

Something I hadn’t done was set super strategic goals for my business each month. And I don’t just mean “make more money, or “book more shoots”, or “grow my email list.”

I hadn’t been setting revenue goals.

But worse, I hadn’t even asked God to help me make “x” amount of money.

Why hadn’t I asked him…?

Well, for some reason I thought maybe he didn’t care how much money I made. I don’t know. For some reason, it felt like I couldn’t go to Him and ask him to increase my revenue. I didn’t want to bother Him with that. It felt selfish and kinda un-Christianlike.

(When I say it aloud, I’m like DUH JESS, you know better than this.) But for whatever reason, I was subconsciously brushing off going to Jesus about it.

I was in group coaching in a program called Revelation Wellness, and boy, did God have me in it for such a time as this. My sweet, sweet friend (and pastor,) Heidi said that she had a word for one of us, and that she didn’t know who it was for, but the word was simply this:

 

God is not holding out on you. What He has already done is enough.

I immediately started crying. I knew that Word was for me, I felt it deep in my bones.

I’d been living and believing that God had been holding out on me; that He was holding all of these blessings from me until I was “ready.” I believed I had to do more, strive more, and please Him more; to be as obedient as humanly possible before He’d decide to give the blessings to me.

Friends, this goes against everything I believe and stand for as a Christian.

… But the devil knew if he presented it to me that plainly- that I’d catch on. He knew he could hide it with something as simple as money.

  • “For we are no longer under the law, but under grace.” – Romans 6:14

 

  • “For by grace you have been saved, through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9

 

I didn’t have to strive for it. I simply had to ask for it, and do the work on my part while waiting for the harvest, believing in FULL FAITH that He would do what I asked.

 

  • “You have not, because you ask not.” – James 4:2

 

  • Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. – Matthew 7:7

 

  • “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” – Mark 11:24

 

  • “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” – John 15:7

 

The devil wanted me to not even bother asking God to bless me. He wanted me to believe it was selfish and “un-Christian-like” to ask God to bless my business financially. What even is that!?

I remember sitting down and contemplating the entire concept of asking God for an increase in finances… and this verse came to mind:

“So it is with your prayers. Ask and you’ll receive. Seek and you’ll discover. Knock on heaven’s door, and it will one day open for you. Every persistent person will get what he asks for. Every persistent seeker will discover what he needs. And everyone who knocks persistently will one day find an open door.

Let me ask you this: Do you know of any father who would give his son a snake on a plate when he asked for a serving of fish? Of course not! Do you know of any father who would give his daughter a spider when she had asked for an egg? Of course not! If imperfect parents know how to lovingly take care of their children and give them what they need, how much more will the perfect heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit’s fullness when his children ask him.” – Luke 11:9-13

Guys…

If I have an earthly Father who would do everything in his power to make sure that I succeed at what I do, and who would give me anything that he had that I needed – how much MORE will my Heavenly Abba Father be capable of helping me!?

I SERVE A GOOD, GOOD FATHER. His plans for me are GOOD. He only has plans to prosper me and give me hope, and an abundant future containing much, much more than I can ever think, ask, or imagine.

One day while I was working at my computer, I heard:

“Do you want to continue building your business – or are you going to let me do it?”

Whew. Wrecked.

Guys, could I do this by myself? Maybe. But would it go where God wanted it to? Maybe not.

And I didn’t want to have to find out the hard way.

So I decided to stop having such a messed up money mindset. I decided to stop feeling like God was holding out on me and my finances, and that He didn’t want my business to prosper in the ways I dreamed of. I decided to believe that He wanted more for me than what I could even imagine, and that it WAS coming.

 


 

After the money mindset switch, a few things were on my heart to implement. There were some things I wasn’t paying close attention to, so I started there. 

Some things I’d been neglecting in my business:

 –    Truly being a good steward of my finances (canceling unnecessary business subscriptions, stopping buying useless things or things I “want,” but don’t truly “need” to run my business, setting a business budget, etc.)

–    Setting intentional/strategic revenue goals

–    Asking for God’s help with every single thing in my business

These were things I could do on my end for the time being, and I knew they’d be beneficial to my long-term success.

So I went for it.

 


 

At the beginning of February, I decided to set strategic/intentional revenue goals for my business. 

But I didn’t just decide to set revenue goals, I set strategic revenue goals. (Yes, there’s a BIG difference.) 

For the first time, I walked through a process for how I would make “x amount of money by x date.”

So, I set an overall revenue goal, like “I will make (insert amount of $ here,) by April 1st.” (I set my revenue goals by the month, so ideally I’ll shoot to achieve them around 30 days from when I set them.)

But the goal didn’t end there. I took it a step further.

I then said HOW I was going to make that amount of money.

So my “how” usually looks something like this:

“I will make X amount of money by selling x Mina Marlena preset masterclasses, booking X photography sessions, getting X HB signups, and booking X mentoring clients – through utilizing my Instagram, facebook, email list, blog, and Pinterest strategies.

Guys. I don’t know if you realize how much this changed the game for me.

How could I expect to increase my revenue if I wasn’t even setting goals to work from!? GEEZ.

But even still, the goals didn’t end there.

I dove in and built a strategy for how I would meet each “mini-goal” inside of that over-arching revenue goal. So, there was a strategy for how I’d sell those shop products and book those sessions, etc. 

Then, there was a tacticwhich was one of the things I’d do in my “day-to-day” to-do list that would help me reach that strategy, which would then help me reach that goal. 

So in total, there was:

  • The overarching revenue goal 
    • The strategy for how I’d meet that revenue goal (the individual services/products that would help me meet the overall number) 
      • The tactics I’d implement to reach their prospective goals (for each individual service/product) 

 

However, it’s important to note that the final, and MOST IMPORTANT part of this process – I prayed over the numbers. 

I prayed that I would make the amount of money that I set out to make and that Jesus would help me to do it. That God would bring me the sales and the inquiries – and most importantly, that each one would change each person’s life, in big or small ways. I prayed that I would be able to meet my goal, and then be able to tithe from it – and give it back to whom it belonged to in the first place – Jesus.

I made Jesus the center of the goal… changing people’s lives the focus of the goal… and money the means to do it with.

Therefore, money was now just a means to an end, instead of the end result.

Money no longer holds the weight, or the power – it’s just a transaction.

Hallelujah.

 


 

The results:

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wake up to several new random sales and inquiries THE VERY NEXT MORNING after I sat down and ironed this stuff out.

Ya’ll… I hadn’t even had the time to implement the goals, strategies, or tactics I’d set!?!?!?!?

The only thing I did have time to do…?

Decide what I needed, pray about it – and go to bed.

Can I get an amen!?!?!

God showed up and showed out THE VERY MOMENT I decided to hand the reins over, humble myself, and tell Him I needed His help. 

Why do I think He did it before I had the chance to implement anything…?

So He could show up and say, “I’ve got this. Trust me. You can put in the work, and please do – I encourage you to. I want you to work, but know that the harvest is only coming because I’ve sent it. And I WILL SEND IT. Stop worrying, child.”

Sometimes the issue isn’t with your actual finances, but in your money mindset towards them.

 


By mid-February, money was pouring in and it was on my heart to truly be a good steward of my finances.

I went through and paid very close attention to the following:

  • Every single transaction going in and out of my business account, (and that had gone in/out over the past year)

 

  • The subscriptions I paid for, (and determined whether or not they were truly necessary, being sure to cancel those that weren’t)

 

  • Tracking every single income/expense in a Google sheet spreadsheet, (to be more mindful and involved in my numbers)

 

By keeping a close eye on these, I was able to truly see the ROI (return on investment,) for the new marketing strategies I was implementing, (the ones I had created from my revenue goal breakdown.)

I had a conversation with Jesus, and told Him that WHEN He brought the harvest this month, I wanted to send the first actual tithe from my business. (Instead of the time to time donations I’d been doing up until this point.)

I could go on and on about financial stewardship, but we’d be here all day.

In short, I got a hold on my money and started honoring God with it.

 


By March 1st, not only did God send the harvest and help me to actually ACHIEVE that over-arching revenue goal… He allowed me to surpass it, and see a 300% INCREASE in my revenue from end of January to end of February.

I’m still processing how He did it, and I’ll probably never know in full.

But, I can tell you I’m going to continue praying over my finances and setting strategic revenue goals for a long, long time.

… And I’m never going to feel like I can’t ask my Abba Father for help again.

 


If you need help building, growing, and/or systemizing your photography business, totally reach out and book a free strategy call with me. Helping you flourish is what I do best. 😉 

Do you struggle with writing instagram captions? Do you stare at the blinking cursor with intimidation? Click here for tips on writing better captions!

 


 

If ya liked this little gem, you’ll LOVE this guide on how to create a photography business with zero competition. (Cause that’s what we all want, right!?)

Do you struggle with writing instagram captions? Do you stare at the blinking cursor with intimidation? Click here for tips on writing better captions!

 


Wanna stick around and stay learnin’? I knew I liked ya. 😉

Feel free to binge on these blog posts, or pin ’em on Pinterest for later! 👇🏼

If you’re short on time, follow me on Pinterest – and you’ll get these kinda tips delivered straight to your feed! You know… when you’re scrollin’ through Pinterest with coffee in hand, ready to take on the day… or, procrastinate.

Whatevs. Pinterest biz sesh, anybody!? 😎🥂

how-to-stop-comparing-yourself-to-other-photographers-jessicavickers.com    3 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Photography Business

Mindset

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How to Be More Confident As A Photographer

I remember when I was pretty new to my photography business, I would get SO nervous before my shoots. Was I going to say something dumb!? Would I really deliver images they’d love? Would I actually take photos I was proud of this time? Would they all be in focus and useable!?” All of these thoughts clouded my mind before my shoots, and all I wanted was to be more confident.

The thoughts were so paralyzing, that I could barely focus on what I was doing at the moment. I wasn’t able to be truly present; out of fear that I wouldn’t be good enough, and that my images wouldn’t be good enough.

Chances are, you may be feeling this way too. And if you are, then stick with me, because we’re gonna rewire your mind and get you confident to show up and do WERK. 😎👇🏼

 


 

Do you struggle with confidence on your shoots? Or maybe in your work all around? Click here for my top tips on how to be more confident as a photographer!

 


1. Take a deep breath, and pray before you meet your clients.

Seriously, it sounds so simple, but this really and truly helps you show up and be present – and it invites God into that space, to be strong when you’re weak. I usually pray something along these lines:

“Lord, help me to use my gift for a greater good today. Help me to shine your light into my client’s lives, and leave them better than I found them. Equip me with the tools to capture the exact moments that You want to be captured today. Help me to see them and capture them for who they really are – not what Instagram tells me I should make them look like. Be strong in me when I am weak, and comfort me when I’m feeling nervous. Help me to be strong, bold, and confident – because You are alive inside of me. You say that Greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world – and I need you to allow me to fully experience that today, and for your power to be made perfect, and manifest in me. Thank you Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

 


2. Remember that they don’t know what you do.

… and you don’t have to expect them to.

They don’t know WHY you’re placing them beside that bush. They don’t know WHY you’re asking them to do that prompt or to face that direction. And that’s okay! They don’t have to. YOU are the professional, even if you don’t feel like it yet. You’re the one in charge of making sure this sessions goes how it needs to. 

All you need to do is break the ice at the beginning of the session by saying something like, “Okay, so I may ask you to do a few crazy things, and I just need you to trust me, because those are the things that make for incredible images. K? K.” I’m dead serious. This is what I do every time, and it works every time!

Sometimes, I’ll even add a crazy prompt in and make them do it, only to say, “I literally just wanted to see if you’d do that – I don’t actually need it.” 😂 (That always gives me some super genuine and funny reactions – be sure to get those!!)

 


3. Don’t be afraid to do what YOU need to.

… Regardless of how you think they’ll react.

Don’t be afraid to stretch the session longer to get what you need… or to move them to a completely different spot if it’s not working like you thought… or to change the posing up completely.

I know it’s hard to go back on what you originally said at the moment, but I AM TELLING YOU, IT IS WORTH IT. There are so many times I didn’t go out on a limb and ask my clients to do what I really wished – and then regretted it later because I knew that would’ve been “the shot.”

Here’s an example of a few times I DID do something that I really wanted, (and yes, it was uncomfortable at the moment,) but… you can see where it paid off. 🙌🏼

About 10 minutes before this shot, I had decided to leave the location – because we’d already been shooting way over time, and I had gotten the most out of the spot, (or so I’d thought.)

On the way out… I had happened to spot an area of plants out of the corner of my eye that I felt could potentially be an awesome foreground/background opportunity for a shot of them; especially if I shot it with my 135mm and created some intense depth in the shot. Therefore, even though it was uncomfortable, I decided to ask them to literally turn around and walk back and stand in these weird bushes. 😂

The results…? 👇🏼

Do you struggle with confidence on your shoots? Or maybe in your work all around? Click here for my top tips on how to be more confident as a photographer! Do you struggle with confidence on your shoots? Or maybe in your work all around? Click here for my top tips on how to be more confident as a photographer! Do you struggle with confidence on your shoots? Or maybe in your work all around? Click here for my top tips on how to be more confident as a photographer! Do you struggle with confidence on your shoots? Or maybe in your work all around? Click here for my top tips on how to be more confident as a photographer! Do you struggle with confidence on your shoots? Or maybe in your work all around? Click here for my top tips on how to be more confident as a photographer!

 


 

Was it a weird request? Yep. But I remember leaving that session so pumped over those shots, and being more proud of them than of any of the others in that gallery.

If I wouldn’t have had the confidence to ask them to turn around and walk back to that spot, (as much of a TINY inconvenience that it was…) these shots wouldn’t even exist. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Another example? Yep, it happened again!

Here I am, yet again, wrapping up a photoshoot of my cousin and his wife, when I saw another cool plant. (What is it with me and these funky plants!?!?) 😂

This one was a little ways away to walk to as well, and we’d already shot for like ever. (Obviously, there’s a theme with me…) 🤔 But, I spotted this plant and asked them to go stand not just by it… but IN it. 😂

Did they think I was crazy? Probably. But turns out this is one of her FAV images from the shoot. 😍🌾👇🏼


 

Do you struggle with confidence on your shoots? Or maybe in your work all around? Click here for my top tips on how to be more confident as a photographer!

 

So my point is, don’t be afraid to ask something extra, or slightly inconvenient, of your clients.

Your job is to deliver incredible images, and if you think there’s even a SLIGHT chance that you could take an awesome shot if they’d do a certain thing, do it. You’ll never regret asking… but you’ll regret not asking.

 


4. Invest in your education.

It’s both our dedication and our education, that truly make us bold in our craft.

Guys, I cannot stress how important this is. And no, I’m not just saying this because I mentor other photographers! If you could see how much I’ve spent to date on business mentoring, you’d stroke out. 😂 I kid you not. And I still do it!

It’s so important to be, and stay, teachable. If there is someone that’s where you want to be in your business, REACH OUT. Chances are they offer mentoring, and they would probably be honored to teach you. A lot of times we look at money as a resource we want to hoard and don’t want to spend, and feel like we need to hold onto. But you know what’s more valuable than money?

TIME.

And you can save literally YEARS of it, just by trading a little money for education. (Which saves you not only time, but money in the long run, because education helps you to be more confident – therefore you get to start charging more for your work, and at a much faster rate.) Literally, you can’t not win here. I struggled to even mention this, because personally, I don’t like to sell – but dude… if I would’ve known this earlier, (that I could pay money to project myself years ahead into my calling,) you betcha I’d have done it the moment I decided I wanted to be a photographer. Just sayin’. 🤷🏻‍♀️

 

… How can you expect clients to invest in you, if you’re not willing to invest in yourself? 🤔

 


 

If you’re really struggling in your business, book a free clarity call with me, (no strings attached,) for me to help you pinpoint your biggest roadblocks. 

Then, if you decide it’s a fit and you NEED us to work together stat, we can totally proceed with a mentorship and get this education party started! 🥂

I wholeheartedly believe that if you’re here and reading this page, it’s not by accident, girl. I’ve been praying for this years mentoring clients, and for God to truly equip me with the knowledge and resources, tailored just for you, to project you into your next season and help you to be more confident – because THIS is your year.

It’s time. No more excuses. Let’s do this, and rise up to who God has called us to be in both our lives and businesses. 🙌🏼

 

Do you struggle with confidence on your shoots? Or maybe in your work all around? Click here for my top tips on how to be more confident as a photographer!

 


 

Wanna stick around and stay learnin’? I knew I liked ya. 😉

Feel free to binge on these blog posts, or pin ’em on Pinterest for later! 👇🏼

If you’re short on time, follow me on Pinterest – and you’ll get these kinda tips delivered straight to your feed! You know… when you’re scrollin’ through Pinterest with coffee in hand, ready to take on the day… or, procrastinate.

Whatevs. Pinterest biz sesh, anybody!? 😎🥂

how-to-stop-comparing-yourself-to-other-photographers-jessicavickers.com    3 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Photography Business

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How To Stop Comparing Yourself To Other Photographers

It’s so easy for us to get caught up in the comparison trap. In fact, it seems almost inevitable. When I ask other photographers what they struggle with most –  comparison never fails to be mentioned; usually in the form of, “How do I stop comparing myself to other photographers around me?” And it breaks my heart.

It breaks my heart because I’ve been there, and I know exactly what it feels like to try and operate, both physically and creatively, from that place. And the truth is, it’s a black hole.

You want so badly not to fixate your eyes on it and just stop comparing altogether, but it’s so hard to look away. It’s everywhere you look; on social media, in the women you pass by in the grocery store. There’s this constant nagging thought, “she’s more successful than me, she’s prettier than me, more people like her and want to hire her over me, God has blessed her more than me,” blah blah blah.

If you don’t shift your mind away from someone else’s life and calling onto your own – you’ll forever be stuck in the comparison trap – and that’s exactly where the enemy wants you.

Truth is, I can preach all the feel good, confidence building, women empowerment words out there. But comparison isn’t a surface level issue girl, and it takes some deep rewiring and rooting to get rid of.

So this isn’t going to feel good at first. It’s going to wreck you, but we’re going to get rid of this green monster for good, friend. Because you don’t have another day to waste focused on someone else’s calling or journey instead of your own.

Disclaimer: this is a faith-based post, (Christianity is at work here, friends!) So if you’re not a Believer in Jesus, this may not be the info you want, and that’s totally okay! 💕


 

Are you constantly comparing yourself to photographers around you? Click here to find out how I stop comparing myself to others using my faith.


 

I want you to visualize the followers of Christ you look up to most. Whether it be Lisa Bevere, Christine Caine, Tasha Cobbs, Havilah Cunnington, Sadie Robertson, Jenn Johnson – whatever woman (or man) of Christ you look up to most. Think about them and the fruit they bare.

Now, imagine if they spent their life stuck in the trap of comparison. 

You’d never know who they were. They are who they are because they’ve chosen to walk in THEIR purpose, stay in their lane, and live for God alone. Not that being “known,” is important whatsoever – but that’s a pretty solid example of the importance of staying in your lane; it determines the course of your life.

God can and will do HUGE things through you, but you’ve got to stay in your lane. You have to keep your eyes fixed on Him and who He has called YOU to be.

So, let’s dive into some actionable, practical ways to help us stop comparing ourselves to photographers around us.


 

1. Fix your eyes on Jesus.

He tells us to fix our eyes on Him, because just by doing so – we won’t fix our eyes on things unworthy of our focus.

We won’t fix our eyes on:

  • more Instagram followers
  • more money
  • to get more clients
  • more happiness
  • more gear
  • more material things
  • to get more done
  • to be better than others
  • to be perfect
  • (insert your greatest desire apart from Him here)

 

When our gaze is fixed completely upon Him, He lines all the rest up. He’ll help us stop comparing ourselves and focus on what truly matters.

Jesus, give us a one track mind for You. Give us tunnel vision for You. We don’t want what the world wants, we just want You.

So let “her” win the imaginary race or competition you’ve mentally come up with, (that doesn’t even exist.)

You are without rival because He has created you for a unique, divine purpose- for such a time as this.

 


2. Ask Him to help you.

I think sometimes we forget it’s really this simple.

It’s as simple as saying,

“Jesus… I’m really struggling.

I’m struggling with comparing myself to women around me and women in the same field as me.

I’m struggling with thinking they’re further along, better off, and more qualified.

I’m struggling with feeling like I, along with my art, aren’t good enough.

Help me to only care about You, and what You think of me.

Help me to grow in my craft and make an impact on people, for the better, with it.

Help me to stop comparing myself. 

Help me to be so on fire for You and wrapped up in Your heart and purpose for me, that I can’t even see what’s going on around me.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

If you want a more in-depth prayer to be able to pin, print out, and read daily at your desk, this one’s been highly requested and is loved by many! God gave it to me in a season where I was fighting this very thing, and I still read it aloud from time to time to check my heart. 👇🏼🖤

 


 

Are you constantly comparing yourself to photographers around you? Click here to find out how I stop comparing myself to others using my faith.

 


3. Seek first the Kingdom.

Remember that God tells us to “Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you.” – Matthew 6:33

Friends, “all these things” covers a lot of stuff.

It covers your wants, needs, and desires, – (quite honestly it covers much, much more than just those,) but it’s a good starting point for your mind.

  • John 15:7-11 – “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”

 

  • Psalm 37:4 – “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

 

Rest easy in knowing that all you need to do is seek Him and His face, and He’s gonna work all the details out. He’s going to propel you into your destiny like you’ve never expected – just trust in Him.  

 


4. Cut it off at the root.

Satan is the father of all lies, he’s the voice in your head telling you:

  • You’re not good enough
  • She’s better than you
  • She’ll go further in her business than you’ll ever dream to
  • People want to book her over you
  • She has more clients than you and is more successful than you
  • She’s the go-to photographer in your town
  • You won’t ever be as good as her

 

What do we do with leaves that are dead that are still attached to our plants? What do we do with weeds that are taking up space? We uproot them, and we cut them off. 🙅🏻‍♀️

And that’s exactly what we have to do with Satan’s lies that are taking up space in our mind and heart. Ask God to help you cut these dead parts off, and replace them with His truth. Scripture can, and will, take root in place of the lies, and you’ll start to both see and feel a beautiful, Holy transformation take place in you. It is through this, and only through this, that you will truly be able to stop comparing yourself to those around you.

 


 

5. Separate your identity from your purpose.

 

Remember that you are who you are, NOT what you do.

You are a child of God. Period. Nothing more, nothing less.

We have a calling and a purpose and all that fun stuff, but at the end of the day – those things aren’t your identity and they shouldn’t be treated as such.

If you put your calling and purpose before your identity, you’ll forever wonder why you’re not measuring up.

You aren’t meant to be the best this, or the greatest that – you’re just meant to love and be loved by God – everything else is just a bonus.

Separating yourself from your work in this sense is so freeing. Your work isn’t your baby, it’s just an extension of you; how you see the world and how you love people. That’s it. Remind yourself why you do this in the first place, and just start having fun again.

Remember, everyone starts somewhere, and if you feel your work truly isn’t as beautiful as the photographer next to you YET, it’s because she’s further along in her journey. You don’t just start an expert. If I were to compare my work from when I first started to my work now, it wouldn’t be fair to my previous self. I had to grow and learn to get here, and that process was actually the most meaningful part. It means more than just the quality of work I create now. Embrace the journey.

Above all, it’s not a competition. It’s a process and a journey, and it can be a lot more beautiful than we’re making it. 🖤

Use these practical, biblical truths to help you stop comparing yourself. Eyes down. Focus set on Him. He’ll line all the rest up, friend.

Have any q’s about this, or just need to reach out about making these things concrete in your life? Drop me a comment below or shoot me an email to jessica@jessicavickers.com (whatever you’re more comfortable with,) and I’ll be here, coffee in hand, ready to help!

 


 

If you need help building, growing, and/or systemizing your photography business, totally reach out and book a free strategy call with me. Helping you flourish is what I do best. 😉 

Do you struggle with writing instagram captions? Do you stare at the blinking cursor with intimidation? Click here for tips on writing better captions!

 


 

If ya liked this little gem, you’ll LOVE this guide on how to create a photography business with zero competition. (Cause that’s what we all want, right!?)

Do you struggle with writing instagram captions? Do you stare at the blinking cursor with intimidation? Click here for tips on writing better captions!

 


Wanna stick around and stay learnin’? I knew I liked ya. 😉

Feel free to binge on these blog posts, or pin ’em on Pinterest for later! 👇🏼

If you’re short on time, follow me on Pinterest – and you’ll get these kinda tips delivered straight to your feed! You know… when you’re scrollin’ through Pinterest with coffee in hand, ready to take on the day… or, procrastinate.

Whatevs. Pinterest biz sesh, anybody!? 😎🥂

how-to-stop-comparing-yourself-to-other-photographers-jessicavickers.com    3 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Photography Business

 

 

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Kristina & Eric
Adventurous Okinawa Couples Session

You know how when you stare at something for so long – when you close your eyes, you can still vaguely see it?

Kristina & Eric exchanged vows at their favorite spot on the island here in Okinawa, this hidden cave off the side of Sesoko beach.

And I vividly remember a special moment during their wedding, when I had closed my eyes to pray with them: the very image of them in this cave, in front of the Chaplain, was burned into my brain.

At that moment, I saw a mere glimpse of what it may be like when Christ reunites with his bride, the church.

It was the most beautiful vision… and I’ll never forget it.

Kristina told me later that day, that anytime Eric makes her mad, or they have a little tiff, that she says “just dip me,” and he dips her and kisses her… and then all is well again. How cute!?

(Spoiler alert: they’re actually both Marines, and yes… this is the legit “you may kiss the bride” kiss! He dipped her… aaand I’m not crying.)

Before the wedding, we spent the day adventuring around to find photoshoot locations: going to different hotels, and running through jungles (okay parking lots… but still.)

This is Kristina & Eric’s story…

Couples

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