True value…

I think I’ve been too scared and too limited to use this blog as MY blog. I’ve kept it semi-sterile (well, aside from posting a whole slough of pictures of me making ridiculous faces…)

But this blog is not just about making some pretty pictures that try to keep up with the competition. I am reading a book called Fast Track Photographer by Dane Sanders. And though I’m on page 12, I’m pretty sure I must have told at least 4 people about it already, because I know the concepts contained within are going to knock my socks off.

VintageCabin-2

This summer I am focused in large part on getting J*Grace Photography actually off the ground… defined a little bit… and rolling! I’m exploring website and blog options and am just learning all that I can. Although I’m not in school at the moment, I have realized that I AM pioneering two small businesses, between this and Spendyourself. While there are sooo many people entering the photography industry these days with the introduction of affordable dslr’s and the relatively easy learning curve, Fast Track Photographer is helping me to understand what it is that will make me stand out.

Oftentimes we think that the value of a business is found solely in the product or in the profit made from that product. But, Dane Sanders asks us to think for a minute… if all the Starbucks in the country burned to the ground and all their beans were destroyed… would Starbucks just die as a company? No…they would be up and rolling again soon because their real value lies in their ideas, their branding, their people, their purpose, their passion, their reputation, their way of doing business. So too, my images are not what makes me valuable. Despite the fact that my identity and purpose will never fully be found in photography, but in Jesus Christ, within my business, I as the photographer am what makes J*Grace Photography valuable and unique.

Sanders writes “To believe that either your inventory (i.e. your images) or the price you charge for it is where the real value of your company rests is superficial thinking. The real value is the engine that creates those images. The real value is not in the photography, it is entirely in the photographer who takes the pictures. The photography itself is the result of the photographer doing her job. Nothing more… The goal of any business, if it intends to thrive in teh long term, is to increase its real value. And the best way to increase that value is to invest in its core value engine. In the case of wedding photography, that core engine is YOU.”

If I make “the fundamental decision to make [my] business not about what [I] create but about the photographer they’re seeking to become, guess what will happen? The competition will never materialize. It can’t. Why? Because “you” is a scarce resource that cannot be easily copied.” And if you increase scarcity, you increase value.

And so, I embark, with my steady guide, Dane Sanders, to discern how I am wired up and how J*Grace Photography is going to roll. Thanks for joining me on the journey.

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9 Responses to “True value…”

  1. Lauren Says:

    So…we haven’t actually talked since I ran into you a couple years after high school. BUT, I absolutely ADORE all your photos and was compelled to add you to my blog reader. Promise, no other stalking of you is happening. But every time I see your pictures I try to think of a reason or event that I could get you to come shoot things for me. Don’t worry, you can definitely make something happen!

  2. Jenny Says:

    I love the tree picture. It’s one of my favorites of yours! I’m excited about your photography. I can become your completely useless assistant if you ever need someone. Just let me know ;)

  3. Dane Sanders Says:

    Lead us Jessica!

  4. floochie Says:

    Way cool, Jess. i can tell cause your blogging has increased. Oh.. and i have that book.. but have not opened it… i guess i should huh!!

  5. Jessica Says:

    Lauren– Thanks for commenting!!! You are too kind… and if you ever want a session with you and your husband or anything like that…. you know who to call! :)

    Jenny- I just MAY need an assistant some day… i’ll keep you in mind ;-) And I like that tree pic too.. thanks!

    Dane- Wow! Thanks for stopping by!! I’m thrilled you did!

    Jules- it’s good stuff!

  6. Mallory Says:

    Absolutely. I think half of the clients Brian and I get are sold more on our personalities and less on our pictures. So many photographers (not to be sexist, but men especially) are so dry and silent and make everything rather awkward. (Imagine getting your engagement pictures done in complete silence except for the voices of you and your fiance waiting while the photographer screws with stuff on his camera and never says a word, including “You all are doing great!”)

    You are absolutely dynamic and funny and FUN which will draw people in, regardless of your pricing. You need to follow Jasmine Star http://www.jasminestarblog.com Not only is she an incredible photographer (who has been doing this less than 5 years) but she is a dork and that’s why people love her. She’s now one of the top in the industry and loves the Lord passionately.

    Seriously, Jess, people are looking for a fresh eye and a spunk. I hear stories a lot about local established photographers having major lulls in the wedding business right now while Brian and I are doing almost 20 weddings this year and have turned down almost as many because of date conflicts. I keep hearing “You all are so fun and you have an artsy eye!” Call me silly but that sounds like the same thing people say about you all the time.

    Just pray. A lot. Photography is a huge ministry. And it’s a gift. And I think the Lord has given it to you! Yay!

  7. k8tinpink Says:

    I might have to pick this book up…but I have a long way to go before I think about my own business! It is so true that it’s not just about the pictures. If you don’t have a connection and passion for the people, you aren’t going to get a good product! The lady I’m interning with always says that she has to connect with the bride and her family before she books anything! Your photography is amazing!!!

  8. LauraMac Says:

    JNic, you’re awesome. and so are your pictures. i would buy them. i would decorate my house with your pictures. really. i mean it. could you hurry up and start your photography business already??

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