In this episode of Oh Shoot! podcast, Cassidy Lynne shares the top 25 lessons she’s learned this year in photography and life.
I turned 25 in July, so I’m sharing 25 things that I’ve learned in photography or in my personal life. Let’s get into the 25 things!
Top 25 Lessons I’ve Learned in Photography & Life
1. Nothing is ever THAT serious.
Do not take things too seriously. Nothing is ever so serious to the point where it needs to affect your mental health. There are serious things in life but when it comes to business or just every day-to-day things, it’s never that serious.
2. Not everyone is meant to be the big man & that’s ok.
The second thing that I have learned is not everyone is meant to be the big man or the world’s greatest leader and that’s okay. This has been a multiple-year lesson that I’ve been learning as an educator specifically. I have this expectation of myself that I need to be this big business, entrepreneur, speaker, motivational leader, and top of the industry. I don’t need to do that. If you’re a photographer, you don’t have to be the top wedding photographer in your area. You can be the second option or someone that books okay. You make it work and that’s what works for you.
3. It’s ok to have two chai lattes in one day.
It is okay to have two chai lattes in one day. You can have multiple sweet treats in a day. I look forward to my daily chai or my daily matcha. For me it’s almost like a reward when I am working hard. For example, if I edit a wedding gallery and I just spent three hours editing, whenever I go get myself a chai latte I feel like I deserved it.
4. Lighting + location + outfits = beautiful photos.
I just gave you guys my secret right there. You have to have great lighting. Get the good lighting and schedule your shoot for that time. We cannot do anything without a good location. If you’re planning a photo shoot, hand pick your spots and make sure it’s a good usable spot. Outfits impact your photo so much! Talk with your clients about what they’re going to wear. Make sure you guys are on the same page and that the outfits are going to match the vibe. Sometimes you can’t control what your clients wear. It is what it is.
5. You can change your photography style, and your clients will be ok with it.
When you change your style, you’re changing it to be a better reflection of what you like. This is something that Nathan Chanski talked about on Instagram. He was basically saying that when you change your style, your client should be okay with it because as you change your style, you’re getting closer and closer to the art form that you’re passionate about. You’re getting close to art that you love and photos that you love to create. This means your photos are only getting better. You’re getting closer to how you actually like to take photos and what you love.
I have switched my style quite a few times. In the beginning of my career 2018 to maybe 2021, I had a very warm style. I was using my Honey Boba presets that I created with very warm skin tones. I love the Honey Boba edit, but I just felt myself being drawn to more true-to-color greens and skin tones. So then I created my Matcha Glow presets. There was a point where I transitioned from Honey Boba to Matcha Glow, but you can’t really find that point. It all kind of flowed pretty well. If you need to change your style and you feel like you’re not super passionate about how your work looks right now, give it a go.
6. You can plan all you want…things will still go unexpected.
This is for like anything in life. Some things are just out of your control. If you’re photographing a wedding, you can plan out the entire timeline, but if the makeup artist goes long then that’s out of your control. The best thing to do is just go with it and adapt. Make it work.
7. There’s a lot of content, be careful what you consume.
You can listen to educators all day, but still trust your gut. Trust what you think is right to do. In photography, there are so many small little things people tell you to do. Like have this on your website and the next person will tell you don’t have that on your website. Just take everything with a grain of salt and be careful what you consume. Remember we’re all trying to figure this out.
8. Mirrorless cameras are elite.
Mirrorless cameras are incredible. My mind is always blown at the fact that they exist and they can track people’s eyes and track movement. You can see how your photo is going to turn out in your viewfinder. You guys already know how I feel about mirrorless cameras. DSLRs can do the job, but I just love my mirrorless!
9. Try with the expectation to fail. You never know if something works until you try.
Try new things, but try with the expectation that you’re going to fail and be okay with the fact that you might fail. There’s something about trying new things that is exhilarating. It’s great character building too. You never know if something’s going to succeed until you give it a whirl. I have a million examples of this. Basically, everything I’ve done in my career has been like I’m just gonna try that and see if it works. I have tried and failed time and time again.
10. Diversify your income streams.
Creating passive income channels is one of the best things that I did for my business. It gives me so much freedom to not just rely on photo shoots and weddings. I’m able to have more flexibility with it. Having all of your income just be one thing is a little scary. Start thinking of different ways that you can diversify your income.
11. Have hobbies. It’s what makes life inspiring, interesting, and fun.
You gotta have hobbies outside of photography. Most likely you took a hobby and turned it into a business which is great. It’s nice to keep hobbies in the hobby area and not put too much pressure on them. It’s just something that you do for fun. For me I like fashion, doing nails, riding my bike, going on walks, trying new restaurants, and playing pickleball. Having hobbies is so healthy!
12. Set boundaries, even if you’re behind on work.
Have boundaries and know when to shut things off. Knowing the days that you want to shoot and the days that you want to take off is so healthy and important. I know a few people that do it so well. They do multiple shoots a week or a couple times a week and once those slots fill, then that’s it. They do not let other things take over those boundaries. Boundaries are there for a reason.
13. Take your vitamins, eat your veggies, and work out your body.
It’s really easy as entrepreneurs to neglect ourselves because we work from home. There’s really no accountability with stuff like that. It’s easy to eat badly, not move, and get a little bit lazy with it. It’s easy to be like, “Well I stand all day at a wedding on Saturday, so I don’t need to do as much working out.” It’s really healthy for you to actually go out and do things. It’s so good for your mental health as well.
14. No wedding or photoshoot is ever about you.
Do not make a wedding or photo shoot about you. A wedding is not about you. A photo shoot is not about you. These people have booked you to capture their memories. You are in a service-based job. Do not complain about serving. I totally understand there are times at weddings where things don’t go as planned and you have things to complain about. I want to challenge you to not even complain after. That’s my challenge to myself as well. Just don’t complain.
15. A lot of people do the same things in their business, the thing making it unique is you.
There are a million photo podcasts and educators, but none of them are me. There are a lot of photographers out there, but none of them are you. None of them have your brain and have your perspective. Being you is enough. Being you is unique. It’s a really empowering thing to think about and it takes a weight off your shoulders.
16. Never stop being human and never underestimate the power of relatability.
This is a really good business strategy, and it’s also good for life in general. Being human is okay and no one wants to see perfection. Perfection is not interesting. Something I’ve been implementing is that my videos and my photos don’t have to be perfect. I am embracing imperfection this year.
17. It’s ok to do nothing & just think. That’s where my best ideas come from.
It’s okay to do nothing and just think and let things brew and stir. That’s where my best ideas come from. When you’re in this state of “I feel like I can’t do anything right now. I feel stuck.” that’s a good place to be in because it means that something is coming. As creatives, you need time to use your brain and that’s why a lot of people will outsource things. Your brain is the most important part of your business. Don’t be afraid of nothingness. Don’t be afraid of having nothing planned this week. Sometimes that’s when the best things happen when you don’t have plans.
18. The best entrepreneurs ask for help when they need it.
If something intimidates you, ask for help. If something is confusing, ask for clarification. You have to be willing to ask for help. You can’t do this on your own.
19. STAND UP FOR YOURSELF.
If someone is taking advantage of you, stand your ground. In photography, it’s so easy to be a people pleaser and let people walk all over you. Stop doing that. It’s something that I’ve learned is healthy to do.
20. Over-communication is better than no communication.
Talk with your clients. Double-check details. Create guides to make sure they know what’s happening. Over-communicate so that people have expectations. An easy way to do this is by creating automation in your workflows. Sending automatic emails and creating guides so that your over-communication is automatic. Plain and simple.
21. Be adaptable. Be willing to change.
You have to be willing to change in this industry. Things change all the time. Gear changes. Marketing changes. Trends change. You have to be willing to adapt, but also keep your business true to itself. Know what pillars you stand on.
22. Your business is not your life. Your business is there to help you live your life.
There is nothing worse than feeling like your business is your life. At the end of the day, your business is there to help you live your life. if you’re not living life and doing things outside of your business, then what’s the point of having the business in the first place? I’m gonna leave a period on that one.
23. Be cringy. Who cares.
The fear of being cringy holds you back. I think anyone can see anything as cringy. Don’t be afraid to be cringy because literally who cares. Life is too short.
24. The hardest thing to do is hit “post”. Not creating the content.
It’s not creating the content, but hitting “post”. Keep yourself accountable and hit the post button. I might just be speaking to me right now, but I find it so easy to make the content but when it has to leave the comfort of my phone and go on to the interwebs is when I get terrified. Just hit the post button.
25. Stop thinking no one cares about your personal life on social media.
You can post personal things to your business page and it’s what makes a lot of people’s pages successful. A lot of the time we undervalue ourselves and think no one cares about what we have to say. There’s so much content out there. Who cares. However, people care about your life. They care about what you have going on and about the things that you love and your hobbies. Don’t be a robot on social media and in your business. The best businesses are the ones that feel so personal and real.
I hope you guys feel like you’re ready to conquer the world because I just gave you all my life secrets! 25 of them and one of them being have multiple chai lattes a day! I hope you loved this episode!
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