Aug 3, 2010

I love my Photography Website Design by KimTown

**Make sure you read the whole post** I am thrilled to pieces over the incredible job Kim did with Go{4}Pro’s brand new website. Kimtown was the perfect choice for giving Go{4}Pro the new professional but fun look I was wanting!! There was a lot to think about and a lot that I considered when creating a brand for Go{4}Pro. It was important for me to not completely abandon what Go{4}Pro started out as. After all braces may fix the teeth but it’s still that same smile. I put so much thought into and I bounced so much back and forth with Kim and so often I felt like she was just reading my mind and creating these fantastic little elements that were perfect for us (ummm. In case you’re wondering us is Go{4}Pro and I). So thank you… really and truly thank you Kim for the amazing job you did! If you are getting ready to take the next step and want to build a blog or website that is as unique as you and your business definitely get in contact with Kim!

Go{4}Pro is very personal to me, I feel like in so many ways it is me. When I started this little tiny blog that nobody looked at and nobody saw, it was exactly how I felt about my photography and myself in with the industry …. Heck, I didn’t even realize there was an industry. I felt small and insignificant, like nobody cared to know that I was here and like all these photographers knew these wonderful secrets that made their websites, blogs and images all look fantastic and I felt completely bewildered as to how they did it. In my opening post on Go{4}Pro, I wrote; “Much of what I found I stumbled on, I didn’t even know to look for it and I kept thinking wow I could have almost missed that.”

I remember so vividly the bubbling excitement I would feel each time I came across a new site or vendor, little by little I started to learn those little “secrets” that all the other photographers seemed to know, but even more incredible than that was realizing that I had my own “secrets”: my own talents and my own vision that could bring me success.  I stayed up night after night searching, watching, reading and teaching myself how to use Photoshop, how to design, how to take better pictures, how to use a meter… how to use a camera. And every time I learned something new or realized something wonderful I shared it here. It was a rush every time I felt like I had something worthwhile to share, it was an even bigger rush when someone commented or emailed and told me that I’d helped them. Still, every time I read a comment or enjoy an email and learn that I’ve had an inspiring affect, I get giddy. I don’t think that will ever change.

In some bizarre way having this new website makes me feel like I’ve arrived. It’s like when I was 14 years old and my braces and headgear and retainers (it was bad) were taken off  and the doctor offered me a hand mirror and when I looked into it I was shocked to find a girl looking back at me. Not a gangly kid (although my teeth were still really big) but a actual real girl. We’ve had our ups and we’ve had our downs, Go{4}Pro and me. There have been moments where I’ve jumped up and down with joy because of opportunities Go{4}Pro has provided and times where I felt like turning the switch and walking away. This site is me, imperfections and all and of course anytime you put yourself out there, there are those who will hurt you. I use to say that if everyone likes you you’re probably doing something wrong but the truth is I like being liked, I want to be liked. I don’t want to be the last one picked and I hated eating lunch all alone. What I’m trying to say is that I’m real. Behind the screen you read is a girl who wrote it…. Who waits to see if anyone will comment, who worries that people don’t like her and who hopes that someone will be inspired because of something that I’ve said.  Getting to this point, to this day with this new beautiful website makes me feel a little like I’ve grown up. Like the braces are off and although I’m still not perfect… I’m a lot closer to my first kiss.

It feel wonderful to have the opportunity to be in a position where I can inspire and teach. I have so much I want to share with those who are willing to work hard to learn. Because make no mistake, I’ve worked hard – endless, sleepless nights hard – to learn what I have and to get where I am and there is still so much further that I want to go.

One of the things I’m most excited for is to teach in a more personal setting. And that of course leaves me thrilled about the Seattle Workshop on August 20th  and 21st. I have so many ideas that I can’t wait to share.  I’m so excited to break them down while creating strategies to place it all in a perfect path toward tangible success. I truly believe that success is possible for anyone who has a dream of photography and is willing to put in the work. What your version of success is will be different from mine or Linda’s or Bob’s and that’s important and wonderful too. But whatever your version may be, it can happen.  I feel that I have offered an incredible opportunity for growth at an incredible price but I also understand that there is someone out there who wants to be here, who knows that with this they can make the next leap to put themselves where they want to be and for whatever reason something is holding them back.

I would like to offer ONE LUCKY PHOTOGRAPHER their spot for free and one at 50% off. If you have been wanting to go to the workshop and wanting to take your business to the next step here is your opportunity to make it happen. Tell me in the comments why you want to be at the workshop. I want to know why you feel you need or deserve a seat.

Please remember you will have to get to Seattle and be available on Aug 20th and 21st. The attendee(s) will be chosen on Friday, August 6th.

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  1. Chelsey says:

    Wow Leah! I came back from my honeymoon and you have a whole new site! I love it! So happy for you and all your accomplishments!

  2. Oh please, please, please. I wanna go to this workshop so bad. We are not in the financial situation to fly me to Seattle AND pay for the workshop. Even though I know it is a steal of a deal. I definitely look up to you and I know you have so many good ideas that I can use in my business. I visit everyday and try to use everything that you suggest and see if and how it fits into my business plan. And I usually have a 9 month old or 2 1/2 year old in my arms which is why I don’t usually comment. But I have learned a lot and hope to learn even more.
    Thanks Leah

    Cherie

  3. Kalli says:

    My entire life I’ve been known as the shy one. I’ve always been very careful and cautious. And because of that I’ve never taken any risks. I had to learn how to ride a two-wheel bike twice. And I always needed my dad’s hand on the back of my seat. Because I lacked the confidence in myself, I never thought I could ride a bike, and would always let go of the handlebars to turn back to my father. Even when, in reality, I was doing it on my own. And every time I turned back, I became my own demise.

    I’ve seen this pattern throughout my life. I don’t work well under stress, and because of this have lost a lot of great opportunities. I’ve seen a lot of little successes, though. I did well in high school and was a great student throughout college. I managed to graduate, find the man of my dreams, and become a stay-at-home mom. My dream. My attainable dream. Photography wasn’t even a dream. It was that thing in the back of my mind that I always wanted to do, but knew that I would never be able to. I didn’t even talk about it. It was too far from my reach, too far out of my comfort zone.

    Well, I took a class, my husband bought me a camera, and I started photographing only inanimate objects. Somehow I felt the drive to try to photograph people. I started out small. I went from “free” to $50, and eventually up to $150 (for session and cd). Big leagues, I know.

    I’ve now been in “business” for over a year and a half. Only once have I used some of the money I made on myself. I spent $75 to pay for HALF of my husband’s birthday dinner. That’s it. Everything else has gone back into the business. What has held me back has been myself. Lack of confidence and lack of know-how.

    I honestly felt that because I was a stay-at-home mom I couldn’t ever make any “real” money. I couldn’t find success in two different arenas. I couldn’t be a mom and a hard-core business woman, too. I thought all I’d ever be able to do is make a tiny bit of money on the side to pay for braces or swim lessons. And those were my goals and ambitions.

    And as a woman, shame on me. I now know that I have the ability to be successful. That I can have my cake and eat it too. I can be a stay-at-home mom AND be successful in the business world of photography. I can be a rock-star to my kids and at the same time have respect from the business professionals of the world.

    After making this realization, I knew that I would need to invest more money into my business to make it what I wanted it to be. I went from blospot to a real domain name. I bought a web-site. I went from my $500 Nikon D40 to a $2,800 Nikon D700. On credit. I’ve never been in debt before and it scares me. I went from a no-stress (and no reward) hobby to being responsible for a bill every month. On top of that my “needs” have grown. I still need Photoshop, a blog and web-site spruce-up, packaging and presentation supplies, and product samples that need to be ordered. And I need to find the confidence and courage to market myself. To charge what I feel I’m worth. To make money that I think I deserve. And to find success that I want so badly.

    Oh, and I’m currently doing this all. on. my own. The only help I get is from your blog. Right now I have no photoshoots. I can’t find new clients when I don’t have everything in order. And when I am starting from absolutely no knowledge of the business world and how to be successful as an entrepreneur, that getting everything in order is taking a very long time. Too long. I’ve come a long way from where I was. But I still see how far I have to go. With no end in sight, and the bills piling up, there was just no way I could make it to your workshop. Until I read this post. And got really excited. I have figured out airfare and lodging (I did that as soon as I heard the announcement about the workshop), but just can’t dish out the $400 right now.

    So here’s my plea and my chance. I believe people can change. I’ve changed from a shy, timid woman, to someone who has something to say and something to offer. I know with everything that I can be successful. And I want so badly to prove that to myself, my family, and my daughter, who I see growing up just like me, with those same fears and insecurities. More than anything I want her to know that you can overcome your own weaknesses to become something great. I just feel that I’m missing the key knowledge to get me there. So please consider me for your workshop. It would make all the difference in my business and my world.

  4. I earned an Associates of Photographic Science degree 10 years ago and during the three years of study, we never had a class that dealt with the business side of photography. I worked for various studios and did some freelance work on the side but never was able to go full time because I was lacking in the knowledge of making my business run. Discouraged and (underpaid), I left the photography business behind me and started my family. During the years that I had “quit” photography, I still had the yearning and desire to continue in photography. I have spent the last couple of years, learning everything I can to make this go at photography successful and rewarding. Most of the workshops and seminars I have been able to attend have dealt with the art of photography and I have learned a ton of new information attending these workshops but no one has even touched on the science of building a business. This workshop sounds like the perfect way to fill in the gaps of my education and have the tools I need to run a successful business. Thanks for the opportunity to share!

  5. Kim Larsen says:

    First, let me just say that I LOVE the new look! I am working on redesigning my website right now, and I hope it looks half as good as yours! Reading this post, I felt like it could have been written by me. I was always the one picked last in gym, sitting by myself at lunch, and feeling like no one even knew I existed. Even though I’ve been getting paid for my photography since 2007, my business really has not grown beyond the people that I know. Only my best friend comments on my blog, and I still feel like no one knows I exist. I can’t wait for that to change! I want everyone in my town to know who I am and know that I am *the* photographer to go to. I just need help learning how to make that happen.

    Since the day you announced your workshop, I have been so excited about it. I have talked to my husband about it at least once a day (sometimes 5 or 6 times a day!) every single day since you announced it. He knows how much I would love to go, but we simply don’t have the money right now to afford it, even at the amazing price that it is. My husband and I both work at the local high school, which means that summer is already incredibly tight when it comes to money. My position was just cut to half time for next school year, which is great for providing me with more time to build my photography business, but by the time I pay for child care for our 6 month old daughter, I will be bringing home less than $300 a month. So far this year in my photography business, I have only had about 10 portrait sessions, and no weddings. The economy has really hit our already economically depressed town, and I’ve run out of ideas on how to expand my business in the current climate.

    I spend hours and hours every day reading blogs, websites and forums looking for new ideas and techniques. I find so many products and ideas that I think would help my business, but I simply don’t have the cash to be able to purchase them, or to put the ideas into effect. I know that your workshop would be an amazing source of inspiration for me, and would provide me with so many ideas that I can implement into my business. I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am about the opportunity to spend a day learning from you! I would be eternally grateful for the chance to attend your workshop for free or for half price.

    Every time I mention the workshop to my husband, he reminds me that we don’t have the extra $400 to spend right now, and he is afraid that I won’t get much out of a marketing workshop. I know he is wrong, and I would love to prove it! 🙂 When I told him about your amazing offer, he said “Well, if you can go for half price, I’ll complain half as much. And if you can go for free, well, I guess I can’t complain at all.” So, if you don’t pick me for any of the other reasons I listed, pick me so you can prove my husband wrong! 🙂

  6. Marla says:

    I just want to say that I love your site. Thank you so much for all the time, effort and energy that goes in to making this blog spectacular. I’ve learned alot from you, and I check this blog daily for new information or inspiration.
    Thank you Leah! Please continue to do what you do . . . because you do it fabulously! And your new site . . . nice . . . very nice!

  7. Sara says:

    Hi Leah (I have a new 7-week-old niece named Leah, by the way)! I know exactly what you mean when you talk about how you felt when you first started out. That’s the way I feel now.

    And don’t worry – people definitely like you! I live in Denver and I just know if we lived closer we’d be friends in “real life!”

  8. I am sitting here now, reading your post and feeling sort of elated. Funny how I stumbled upon your page today. Today being a day when I am having my own doubts about where to go next, or if I will even go anywhere next with this whole idea of a photography business. It has only been recently, let’s say within the last month, that I have even been able to claim that I am a photographer. I can definitely relate to stumbling upon things. Honestly I think I can say that I haven’t exactly chose photography but it has sort of chosen me and it is great! It is amazing and so much fun. However, is it possible to also feel scared and anxious about what is next? Within the last six months I have: taken my second photography certificate class at the local community college. Have doubled my photography book collection. Booked and shot a full wedding. Have started accepting actual money from CLIENTS who want to pay ME to take pictures of themselves and their families. Created my own website. Started displaying my pictures at a local chiropractic office and…… haha. Geesh. …. and I have still attempted to keep my home in decent condition and kept my husband and two toddlers happy. (Well, that is if feeding them regular meals and making sure they have clean clothes keeps them happy.) I know, I am still learning…. and I am looking and yearning for where to go next. How can I continue to be better, provide more and become a … professional?
    Altogether, I cannot believe I am writing all of this in response to a blog that I had never read. A blog that I stumbled upon in my search for more. As soon as I click submit I am bookmarking your site and can’t wait to see what you have in store next. Thank you for giving me a light and congratulations on all that you have accomplished. You deserve it, and all those stumbles were for a reason.

  9. hi leah,
    my business fell into my lap about three years ago and has been at full speed ever since !! i know, i am very lucky and very blessed with all the work, but i am just now pricing a bit more towards what i should be ( a lot of freebies and low fees in the beginning) and i never knew a thing about the business side ……..heck , i never thought i would ever be running a business …. i was a stay at home mom that loved to take pictures that has a dance and fitness background !
    anyway- i have been soaking up every piece of information i can find on the internet and doing everything by myself. it would be sooo awesome to be able to come to your workshop to help me get more organized and learn more about pulling my branding and business together and making me feel whole instead of scattered .
    however, living in florida makes it quite difficult monetarily (plane ride, rental car, hotel,food) to attend your workshop. any help in that area would be greatly appreciated 😉
    love the new look of your site !!
    and i am hoping to send money (i have been saving up for this) your way very soon to have you create an awesome custom marketing kit for me !!!
    thank-you for all you do .
    Terri Z
    p.s. i am ready for the next step !!!
    p.p.s. i am so grateful to amy wenzel for mentioning you on her site so i was able to find you 😉

  10. Elisabeth says:

    I read your post on 4theloveoffocus today and it was like a lightbulb went off. I took the last year off with my now 7 month old daughter (was supposed to only be 6 months but do to health problems from allergies (her) it turned into much longer). I am finally re-branding my whole business (we just moved to a whole new area/client base) and am really stuck where to go next! We know 2 families here and only one has kids. I need to find a new client base here and dont know how! Im completely stuck on where to go next to take the business where I want it to go. Your post today really hit me because it made me realize I havent been consistent with marketing to the clients I want (young, SAHM, who value their family and prefer name brand over generic). I dont want to be just another photographer, I want to offer the whole shebang (and like you said for a premium)! I had to miss Imaging USA, WPPI and the local PPW annual conference because I had just had my daughter and reading through your workshop information… wow. It sounds as if you can finally put me on the right track for how to market and run a high-end boutique business and help me take the next step in building an awesome business!

  11. This site is so great that i will honor it with my comment 🙂

  12. Christine says:

    Thank you so much for the opportunity Leah, you rock! So generous. Maybe I am still making excuses but my photography skills are not even where they should be yet to start a business so I do not want to take a slot from someone who truly can use this workshop NOW. I just looked at all of these ladies sites and there are some talented photographers. I am truly just a momtographer : ) and a wannabe pro. I am will keep reading your site and other for inspiration and some day I will get there thanks so much for all the info and help Leah!!

  13. Lloryn says:

    Hi! I am literally begging to be selected as one of the photographers you pick to attend the your workshop. So a little background i’m a newbie to the business side of photography. I’ve loved photography forever learned on a Nikon FM-10, darkroom processing and all. But now i’m fully embracing it. I started my business a few months ago because I felt the time was right for me to stop talking about it, and just be about it.
    I’ve been doing OK with family and friends support but I can’t seem to break that bubble, people keep telling me it’s all word of mouth but clearly as a follower of your blog, I know it takes much more than that. I really believe attending your workshop will help me learn so much about how to jump start my business and make it the dream that I vision it being.
    OH! and I live in Seattle! i was born and raised here! I LOVE my city so no need to worry about how i’m going to get to the workshop. I could even be your tour guide 🙂

    Another reason I feel I’m a great candidate I’m getting laid off of my 9-5 at the end of the month. However, I’m looking at this lay off as an opportunity, maybe even a sign that I need to give all I’ve got into my photography and your workshop has come at the perfect time for me and I know that your workshop will really help me develop the skills I need make my photography flourish.

    Thanks for reading!
    Lloryn

  14. Lloryn says:

    so sorry about the typos! how embarrassing! I’m just really excited about the possibility of being able to attend 🙂

  15. It’s still August 6th! at 11pm!
    I realize now after a few years of being a “professional photographer” that education is what it’s all about! And that’s what I need and want – from your workshop!

  16. Flo Dupuy says:

    I have stumbled upon your generous giveaway and I truly believe that there is no coincidence and that things happen for a reason when you are ripe and ready. That is how I feel about your workshop, ripe and ready 🙂

    After deciding a year ago to take the plunge and become a professional photographer I have had a very long year. A year where my eyes have been red and itchy most of the time from my thirst to learn everything this instant. A year where I have carried tons of books from the library back and forth and spend numerous late nights on online tutorials, eBooks and browsing any info that might be helpful. A year where I was clueless at the amazing amount of work that would lie ahead to master my camera, find my style, learn editing and all the business aspect of it. And I am glad I was clueless… or I might not have proceded! A year where I have had to reset my priorities many times juggling family time while educating myself for my new venture to be, where dinner was ready later than usual, where the laundry piles had unexpected growth spurts… A year full of getting out of my comfort zone, full of trials and errors, tribulations, ahah moments. I am still growing everyday and learning as a sponge with a long list ahead. I am still experiencing ups and downs and each time I feel “may be this isn’t for me” something happens to give me the courage to pursue.

    Your workshop just happens for me to be the right thing I would benefit from at the right time and something I would extremely value given all the efforts I am investing and have invested all along in this new venture. It would feel like the cherry on the cake and the most wonderful treat after one long year of laboring hard to get where I am. I would love to get to a workshop to learn from a different perspective and share the experience with alike people who share the same commitment and passion for success.

    Best of luck,
    Flo

  17. Alba Elena says:

    Dear Leah, I was about to beg for a spot at your workshop as well!! LOL, I’m glad you mentioned it was last years’! But I do want to say that I love you, I love your heart, your spirit, your love of giving, your warmth and strength that so comes through everything you write. I love how you help me connect to the reasons I love this photography thing so much……. for what it brings to the people I work with, but also, helping me to value my time and self enough to get paid an appropriate amount for time and effort I am putting out. I’ve been working on that one a long time and really starting to get it. Thanks again for all you share!!

  18. Wow. How could I possibly compete with all these amazing gals and all their heartfelt pleas? You have an impressive following, Leah! And I would love to meet some of them in person.

    At this point, I feel like a human sponge. I have spent so much time, effort, energy (and, consequently, many sleepless nights) learning everything I can about the business aspect of photography. Building packages, branding, marketing, establishing myself as a boutique photographer, finding ways to get involved in local charities… you name it, I would like to know all their is to know. I’m also always pushing myself to step outside of – and then expand – my comfort zone when shooting. (That’s takes some chutzspah!) I’ve taken on my first Student Model Rep and am about two weeks away from adding a second to this crazy game of life. I am in the midst of massive change and growth, and loving every minute of it.

    You’d think I would be overwhelmed, what with my three babes and husband to also care for and feed (Whew! Are THEY a handful! *wink*). And to be honest, sometimes I am. But all the while, my desire to learn and grow only increases. I want more! And not just dainty little spoonfuls. I long for toss-the-silverware-and-get-your-hands-dirty GOBS of useful, concentrated and field-tested information. The type of information that you are kind enough to share with us week-in and week-out. And the WAY you share these ideas and this knowledge, Leah… it keeps me coming back for more. You’re brilliant and inspiring. And I would LOVE an opportunity to come and learn at your feet!

    So, please consider me when voting for your next congresswoman. Ooh, shoot. Wrong speech. Dang it… I knew I’d mess this up.

    • Leah Remillet says:

      You are wonderful! You made my day… okay my week… okay let’s be real – my month! Thank you, thank you! HUGS!!!

  19. Ahaha! Shoot. I’m a year late. Anyway you’re gonna offer this fab deal again?

you said:

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