“Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make.
It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.”
– Robin Sharma
From the beginning of starting my business I have been intentional with investing in education. This has looked mostly like attending conferences. However, the past couple of years I have chosen smaller retreats, mentorships or online education.
This year, I was planning to attend a retreat over the summer and a photography conference in November in Arizona. Thanks to Covid-19 those plans were canceled. Instead, I enrolled in an online lighting course to work on my technical skills (now I need to make the time to do the course). Thankfully, I was able to do an in person mentorship with Kendra Ashton Photography at the beginning of September. My time with her was a gift. (That is Kendra below in the in the pink t-shirt).
** All images seen here were taken & edited by me during my mentorship story with Kendra Ashton Photography
I chose to mentor with her specifically because we shoot similar and yet very different all at the same time. These next images will show you one of differences between Kendra & I. She shoots in wide open fields with the sky in mind. This is where her art shines. Her images are truly breathtaking and a big part of that is her sky work.
I tend to shoot closer & tighter. I have more of a filtered light approach as opposed to a wide open sky. When I edited some images I shared them and said, “see, no sky.” No two photographers will shoot the same way because we don’t see the world in the same way (isn’t this the beauty of art?). Kendra is an #enneagram3 and I’m an #enneagram8. (I think its fun to look at our work with this lens)
Choosing to learn alongside someone who shoots differently than I do is purposeful on my part. It is not to learn how to shoot like Kendra and start doing that. You probably won’t see a lot of open field and sky images from me (unless you live on a farm and it tells your story).
It was purposeful because I want to be stretched. I want to grow.
It is my belief that the more I grow the more I can serve.
In addition to shooting this family story alongside of Kendra, I spent hours with her discussing the business side. Running a photography business is much more than only documenting stories. Not only do I invest yearly on technical skills but I also invest in business education.
It was helpful to share my thoughts on my strengths and identify areas I need help so that I can serve more. Kendra was encouraging, affirming and truly life giving. Everybody needs a mentor in their life who believes in them and calls them to their potential. Kendra is one of those people for me (which means mentoring with her is ongoing).
While I invest in business education I also invest in personal development. For the past two years I have worked with an Enneagram mentor (or you could say spiritual director). This work has truly been transformative in my personal life (feel free to ask me about it sometime, I’d love to share with you). It flows over into how I run my business, how I serve others and ultimately how I document your family story.
“Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment.” – Stephen Covey
“Life is growth. If we stop growing, technically and spiritually, we are as good as dead.” – Morihei Ueshiba