Being a wedding photographer IS ONE OF THE BEST JOBS IN THE WORLD - BUT it's not easy
Apart from the constant pressure of capturing the big day and all the culling and editing that follows, you also have to run a business. That's where having a mentor can help, particularly if you're in your first five years of business - the make or break period. If you're just entering the wedding photography industry a mentor can help you find your feet, work out where you're positioned in the market and where you want to be, and how to price and market your services in order to get there. If you've been established for a few years, a mentor can provide guidance to help you improve, expand or refresh your business, or even pivot it in a new direction. And as many photographers work by themselves a mentor can also take on the role of confidant, devil's advocate, and sounding board.
WHAT I CAN'T OFFER YOU
Make no mistake, mentoring isn't a get rich quick scheme or the magic bullet for all your problems. I could take the easy option and create a $4.95 e-book on "10 Ways To Crush Wedding Photography", but apart from that being pretty scammy, it's not going to be specific to you. Your life experience, business experience, studio profile and aspirations make you unique and that means my relationship with you will be completely different to anyone else I mentor.
I can, and will, share every last ounce of my knowledge and experience to guide you in the best direction, but ultimately it's you that has to make the decisions. My role is to guide you to the position where you can make those decisions with commitment and confidence.
What I CAN offer you
I'm going to be honest. I don't have a degree in mentoring (do they even exist?) but I'm really good at listening and problem solving and I have a genuine passion to see people succeed and achieve a richer and fuller lifestyle as I have. I started a wedding photography studio from scratch that generated more than $1 million in revenue in just six years and I now get to enjoy some of my dream goals, such as flying business class. All of that has been achieved after a complete career switch in my late thirties, so I also know exactly what it's like to pursue a dream, transition between careers and make the all important leap to going full time. I've learnt so much during my journey and I want to share everything I know to guide you towards your objectives. I'll even help you work out what those are!
One of the best business decisions I made was joining the AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photography) and I was honoured to serve as the NSW President for two years, during which time I was responsible for the education and training of more than 800 professional photographers. I gained invaluable insights into the photographic industry, the expectations of photographers as service providers, and the struggles faced by studios of all sizes. In other words I understand the bigger picture, and as many of us operate within a localised bubble, that wider perspective can make a vast difference. I am now a competition judge at both the Australian and NSW Professional Photography Awards which places me in the "pinch me" position of providing critique to my peers, many of whom inspired me to enter the industry!
The other resource you'll have access to is my knowledge of advertising, media and marketing, accumulated over a sixteen year career. That's a lot of brainstorms, strategies, presentations and media plans for the likes of Apple, Telstra and Unilever, and trust me, there's more to a marketing mix than Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat!
Finally I do not bullshit. I don't use fluffy language and I won't tell you everything will be ok if I think you're heading for disaster. I will be totally, brutally honest with you and I'll expect the same from you. Deal?
DON'T JUST TAKE MY WORD FOR IT
"Running a business as a creative can be an overwhelming task. Knowing where to start understanding the business side of things is something we as creatives don’t prioritise. Late last year I was advised the best thing to do was to work with a mentor. The opportunity with Milton came up and I couldn’t pass it up.
Milton gives you succinct and valuable information to take the emotion out of the business side of things and instead learn to value your craft and time. His process for identifying your ideal clients was so simple yet useful. He gets you to think about your target audience so you’re not marketing to the masses, just the handful of clients that love, believe and trust in what you do. He also gave me clarity on pricing and why I needed to calculate the real cost of running a business and raise my prices. This might all seem a bit woo but a few weeks after I had written my ideal client profile and raised my prices, two of my ideal clients booked me!
In the past I’d negotiate on prices which felt really inconsistent and that I wasn’t attracting clients that valued my work. Milton has helped me move beyond that. Getting a mentor is a game changer, it will help you get to where you want to be faster and with a wiser approach. I’d recommend Milton for his pragmatic views and breadth of experience in marketing and the wedding and photography industries."
Susan Darling - Love And Stuff Photography
"I still remember it was on a Tuesday afternoon at 2pm, I was sitting in a cafe with my wife not far from your studio. We'd just had a conversation about searching for a mentor that has a lot industry experience and you came up on our list. We then realised you were located nearby so we came over to your studio and knocked your door, and that was when the turning point of my career began.
Milton, I guess “change” is not a perfect word for what you have effected in me. You actually helped me to re-define my value in this industry and bring my passion back towards photography. You also gave me a lot advice on how to make make my business profitable without over shooting at a much lower price.
I can’t thank you enough for the sessions I have done with you. There is old saying in Chinese culture, “If you are my teacher for even one day, you will be my teacher (mentor) all my life" "
Evan Wang - Sydney Wedding Gallery
So how does this work?
My mentoring courses run as a series of two hour sessions at my home studio in Chippendale (or over Skype if you're outside Sydney) and I recommend one session per month for at least six months but you always have total flexibility to create a programme that works for you. In each session I will share my experience and proven strategies to guide you towards your business goals, including:
- Establishing your position in the wedding photography industry through an understanding of the landscape
- Creating an effective price list through the concept of value
- Identifying and attracting your ideal clients through effective copywriting and imagery
- Generating more enquiries and bookings than you can handle through the power of referrals
- Streamlining your studio management and workflows through software, apps and outsourcing
- Increasing print and album sales through client education
I also encourage free-flowing conversation to uncover new thoughts and ideas. After each session I provide follow up notes and resources and set challenges for you to have a crack at before we meet again.
Sessions are $350 each and places are limited. To schedule your first session simply complete the form below and I'll be in touch straight away.