Michael Hansen is our most recent McG & Me alum! Months before he ever came to our office for our hardcore day of talking and training and Q&A, Mike bought us lunch, and asked us to tell him about our journey. If you know anything about McG, you know we’re always down for free lunch.
One of the things we talked to Michael about was investing in your business. Investing is not just about gear, and insurance, and other business-legitimizing things. For us, the biggest investment we made in our business was a style shoot we did in the summer of 2009. We had no idea if it would pay off at all, but we knew that we needed to show our potential clients what we were REALLY capable of. Rather than waiting for someone to come along and just trust us, we set up the shoot ourselves. It was so creatively empowering, and that shoot single-handedly introduced us to a new level of client… clients that we can thank for putting us on the footing we’re on today.
After that meeting, Michael decided he wanted to invest in his business with a styled shoot, and because he must be blind in the eyes, asked us to model for him. EEKS. We turned the situation into both a shoot, and a training session in off-camera lighting and client interaction, and I’m really pleased with the knowledge we were able to pass along. I think it will be invaluable as his business continues to grow!
I’ll share a few pictures from the style shoot Michael directed and shot… the ones that make me feel foxiest, because hey, I’m writing this blog!The shoot was styled in the vein of Johnny & June Cash, which I loved. Michael worked with our absolute favorite designer, Meagan, to help him bring it all to life, and he talks more about the design process on his blog about the session… found HERE.
Let me just say… I am not fun to photograph. I am incredibly hard on myself, especially in the area of my weight loss. I know I’ve made strides, but I’m still so far from where I want to be. This was a really tough experience for me, and Michael handled it like a champ. He was very encouraging and complimentary. But, seeing as how I have family pictures coming up next month and my own boudoir portraits in December, I’m going to need to either figure out how to be less anxiety-ridden about being in FRONT of the camera, or email those photogs and apologize in advance.
Kudos to Meg for my hair and makeup… she made me feel purty.
Can’t forget a group shot to end the evening!I can’t say that it’s tremendously flattering of anyone involved, what with the heat and the sweat and the exhaustion… but it’s important to me that we always try and get these shots!
Michael is just starting out in this industry, and while he only has a couple weddings under his belt, I have no doubt that 2012 is going to be a HUGE year for him. I so admire that he wants to START his journey in photography on the right foot… making sure he knows exactly what he’s doing, and has all his ducks in a row. For now, he’s sharing his work on his personal blog… but a little birdy told me that a new JMHPhoto website and blog will be debuted soon. Today, though, I hope you’ll all click over and check out the MANY more pictures from “Johnny & June” that he has to share… I’m so proud of the work he did! CLICK HERE.
A few days later, back in the office, we talked about post-processing, business strategy, and other nitty-gritty. Michael was kind enough to write a little review of his experience with McG… I love people who do this. I’m a review-writer, card-sender myself, so it’s so nice to know we’re working with people on the same wavelength!
Planning a style shoot = one ginormous task.
Planning a style shoot for models who happen to be majorly popular wedding photographers = slightly intimidating.
Planning a style shoot that totally rocks my socks off and boosts my blog readership = priceless!
If it hadn’t been for my already established friendship with McG and the super amazing talent of MegB, I would not be writing a review. Instead, I’d be writing a eulogy for my camera. The entire experience was invaluable. I can’t even express how grateful I am for McG. No pressure environment. Crazy fun ambiance. Awesome tips & tricks.
Driving down to visit McG on their home turf was well worth my time. From the moment I arrived, Mack & Chelsea made me feel like I was part of the family. We settled into the office and got busy. Rating. Editing. Reviewing. Blogging. Client Interaction. Legal Issues. Taxes & Accounting. Business Strategy. Goals.
Then came lunch & a good conversation on branding. (If you ever hit up the Mill, you have to try the Morgan Mill Burger with Tots! ) Let me just say, solid branding is essential for any business. I have been majorly stuck on how to brand myself. After talking with several industry leaders, (add McG to that list), I am very close to landing on my target image! I’m SO excited!!!
I can’t wait to see what’s in store for JMHPhoto!!!
THANK YOU, Mack & Chelsea!!!
Thanks, Michael, for putting up with how awkward we are in front of the camera. Your spirit and drive are such wonderful tools, and I know your talent behind the camera will just keep growing. I look forward to seeing where your business goes, and maybe working with you again in the future!!