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Growth in business, Growth in personal

It’s been an interesting life so far, granted, I’m statistically half way through it. But, that isn’t the important part. The important part is that I understand the growth of my life and how I’ve progressed as a professional. I can’t stress how important it is to take the time to look back and reflect on the life you have lead and the ideas that had flourished from a spark to a full fledged business empire. (Your mileage may vary, maybe you just are a better person, that’s awesome too!)

It all started when I was looking through some old photos of mine. What I mean by old photos is not so much that I had photos from when I was a kid, but photos from just before I became a “Professional”. They were some of my odd macro shots, strange long exposure shots, and shots of dogs, cats, animals.

Philomena, 2016, Before her accident
Philomena, 2019, Portrait Style
Philomena 2021, The Pug Headshot (My Signature)

Basically everything that I do now. But it was around that time, when I switched to being a Professional, I started my first LLC in NJ, and worked with a local contractor that did renovations for clients of all types, home, business, and outdoor.

It’s when I saw the folder of that year (my filing system on my computer is… interesting to say the least, but it works for me). When I saw it, I saw my “fun” hobby shots, and then these “professional” shots. It was the name of the client, the address of the shots, and the raw and edited folders. Something I still take part of to this day, it’s a great system! It’s probably one of the only hold overs from my old self to now.

What I did notice, well there were a few different things I noticed.

  1. The shots were grossly cropped/edited/lit
  2. The subject of the shots were almost interesting (pat on the back there, I tried)
  3. I had NO release forms for these shots, just the word of the contractor that he did (Rookie move)
  4. I had no real love for this style of photography, I just knew I wanted to be a photographer.

I looked at what I was doing these days and saw a stark contrast to doing before and after shots of construction. I couldn’t believe the differences in the work that I love doing these days to the work I tolerated because it was “photography” therefore it was the thing I should be doing.

I think the biggest problem I had in life, I overcame and grew from. Which was something that I couldn’t even see, but here I was 7 years later. 7 years. I can’t believe it took 7 years to figure this out and get to a point where I could be the person I am today.

I want to tell you how important it was for me to see those photos. It lead me into what I’m doing today and how I approach my life today as a Photographer with a growing Empire. It’s why I have been taking my time and doing my work to put together my course on Pet Photography the way that makes sense to me and that can get people beyond the path of “How do I do this” to “doing it”.

When I started the idea of doing online courses, I did a small free course that was about the Holy Trinity of Photography. ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture. The Holy Trinity.

If you want to learn a little about it without a bunch of tech and industry jargon, check it out. It’s free and more importantly, it’s there to help out in small little chunks with video/transcripts of it. It was no frills and the test of how I would do things to come.

https://theprofessionalamateur.thinkific.com/

Now, where the dive into creating that course took me about a week to put together the information, write an outline, record the video, and publish it, the new course I have been putting together has been in the process for nearly 2 months. Not because it’s a harder subject, quite the opposite. It’s my most versatile subject. It’s what made me recognized in print, online, and at trade shows. Pet Photography is a passion that I can talk, write, and create content around for near infinite time.

So, how could I put this all together, make it flow, make it pretty, but not make it perfect (because perfection is impossible)? Simple, take my time and ask people. Create polls on social platforms, ask questions on social media stories, and talk to people at pet stores and other places. The end goal was getting data from a small slice of the world who are interested in pets and pet photography.

What did I learn from this? I learned a lot, actually, I learned that I had 15 course topics that I HAD to cover in at least some form. Ranging from basics of how to shoot and use light, to how to get all of the legal nonsense and contract information done. I learned that there are tons of people who have had questions about everything they wanted to know of Pet Photography and Photography in general.

So to get started with that, I started putting together a free E-Book! Yeah, that seems counter productive, but I am totally in the place of transparency.

I started this E-Book ages ago, it’s actually going to be a, not free, E-Book eventually (I mean, it’s going to be a dollar). And it’s going to take the 5 (really 6) free tips I put together and create a more fleshed out tip book about being a professional amateur and making your photos look great. But, for the meantime, I branded it as;

“5 Easy Steps to Becoming a Better Pet Photographer”

So that would help you get an understanding into my mindset as a photographer and how I can turn and make some of my shots look amazing without breaking the bank.

So, I put this out into the world, and have had a few people read it and enjoy it. Which is a great feeling in and of itself. But, I had the data, and now a plan to make a course.

The idea is to get people who are starting out, an edge and advantage in their journey of Pet Photography. It’s also to get people who really like pets, to take the leap into picking up their phone or camera and trying this niche of photography out. It’s not just for those people on the fence or just starting, it’s also there to help people who are into their photography journey already and want to get more insight in how to make the photos they create even better.

The bottom line is, I am creating and have created this course to be the best entry into getting where you need to go in Pet Photography.

This is how it all ties to personal and business growth.

I learned so much over the years, I grew from not having a clue, to understanding a niche of photography, to falling in love with sharing this niche with the world, to wanting to teach others how to get this done for their own personal or business growth.

I have seen the pitfalls, roadblocks, and other obstacles that can be discouraging or frustrating or career ending if not navigated properly. Without that growth, I wouldn’t be able to help others.

Without that growth, I wouldn’t be open to sharing it all with you.

So, sign up, get your free E-Book and get notified when the course is live.

The course itself is going to be a blast to teach and I can’t wait to do the live photoshoot with my girls.

Stefan Glazer
Stefan Glazer

Author, Photographer, Artist, Pug Dad, Podcast Host, Teacher, Friend

Articles: 210

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