Bo and Belle » A virtual happy place

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wish you were better

Oh, the joys of finding EXACTLY what you need when you need it. Today I NEEDED to hear this powerful speech by Jim Rohn. It really put it all back into perspective for me. Because I’m not going to lie … I spent the morning wishing things would be just a little bit easier right now.


But Mr. Rohn is so right. Why should I waste another second wishing everything was easier when I could instead put that energy towards developing BETTER skills?

Perhaps this talk by the late, great Jim Rohn will make your day as much as it made mine.

Happy Tuesday!

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dear female photographer, have you thought about renting equipment?

Every wedding photographer has a different shooting style … me personally, I like to have two cameras on my person at all time during a wedding. I usually keep a zoom on one body and a shorter focal length (usually a 50 mm) on the other. Though I find myself shooting a whole lot with the 50, I like having that zoom ready to go just in case out of the corner of my eye I suddenly spot a precious baby climb up into Grandma’s arms or a whole table of guests break out into laughter.

For the last two weddings I shot, I needed an extra body. When ATS Rentals asked if I’d like to try out a rental through them, I gladly said yes! I’d never rented through them, so I was glad to give them a whirl. I rented the Canon 5D Mark III and my experience with ATS was just like my experience with the Mark III … as good as it gets.

If you’ve never rented equipment before from an online rental store, you may feel a little apprehensive. Will the (very expensive!) camera equipment arrive safely, on time, and in good working condition? Those are the points that matter most to me as I needed that camera to be there in time for the wedding and in great working condition. Once the order went in, I had a tracking number so I knew that my camera was going to arrive right when it should.

Of course … the camera rocks. Thanks Canon! I LOVE the 5D Mark III.

Once I was done with the camera, I popped it back in the packing box and adhered the UPS delivery sticker provided with the order and then taped up the box with the packing tape that was also enclosed with the order. (Side note: ATS must be mind-readers because I often drag my feet about packing up things because I hate having to track down my packing tape! Since they enclosed just the right amount in the box for me to use, I didn’t have to deal with that headache.) I then took it down to one of the UPS drop off spots that was listed on my enclosed invoice. Done. Easy. Hooray!


One of the mistakes lots of newer photographers make is over-investing in equipment. And then more equipment. And then more. Canon, Nikon, and every other camera supplier out there is NOT going to stop producing bigger and better equipment. And it is SO tempting to want to invest in every new thing that comes out. Good equipment is necessary to produce good work. But in the early stages of building a business, most photographers really can’t afford to spend tons of money on the latest and greatest. It’s not the thing that will take your business to the next level. Wise photographers know that investing in their knowledge, marketing, and other business growth expenses is more important than the latest and greatest equipment. Renting equipment from an online rental store like ATS is a really great way for photographers to have access to that newer, better, cooler equipment for times when you need it — but aren’t able to truly justify making the purchase for your business.

Actually, renting a lens once saved me $3,000! I was coveting a certain Canon lens that EVERY wedding photographer raved and raved about at the time. I felt like it was a must! I already had the $800 version of the lens … but I just knew my wedding photography wouldn’t get better without this all-important lens. I (thankfully) decided to rent it. I took it out for a test run the night before a wedding. I HATED it. I shot with it for about three minutes and then never pulled it out again. I never even used it at the wedding because it was just too heavy for me.

Everyone’s shooting styles are different and I am SO glad that I tried out that lens before plunking down all that money to purchase something I would NEVER use.

So whether it’s to try out something prior to purchase… or to allow for extra equipment when times call for it … renting is a great option and I’m really thankful that it’s so easy!

ATS asked if I’d blog my experience. And I said “of course!” After all, they sent me lollipops with my awesome camera!!!! Only really nice companies send lollipops!


Check out ATS and the equipment they have available for rent here.

And here are the lovely weddings I shot with my rental: Beautiful wedding one. Beautiful wedding two.


Happy Tuesday!

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keep going

Where did it come from? The idea that good things are just supposed to happen at the snap of a finger. It’s true that sometimes in relationships, businesses, and life growth happens quickly. But more often than not, it takes time. And patience. And the ability to keep going even when it seems like progress is slow.

I just needed to remind myself of that little point today.

Perhaps it will help you, too.

Keep going.


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Motivation Monday: Dear Female Photographer, Let’s Change our Pespective


Dear Female Photographer,

When it comes to your photography business, which one do you prefer … winning or failing?

A win might be you signing a contract with the commercial client you’ve always dreamt of working with. And the shoot is in Hawaii. In February. Or, maybe it’s hitting your revenue targets early for the month.

A fail might be you closing your studio due to a lack of sufficient income. Or moving to a new area and not (yet) figuring out how to break into the market. Your bills are piling up … you’re trying everything you can think of … but it’s just not working.

We all know which one feels better … the win, of course!

It’s the win that gets our hearts pumping and that amazing I-can-do-this! feeling coursing through our veins.

Since the win feels so good, it seems logical to conclude then, that the opposite of a win — a failure — would NOT feel good. In fact, for some, failures can be more than painful. They can be crippling. One failure and it’s over. They go back to living their lives “safely” rather than trying to stretch themselves. They hug the tree rather than walking out onto it’s long spindling limbs.

How about you? Does fear of failure hold you back?

If so, then you’re in good company. I don’t like pain. I prefer happiness and success! But the thing about pain and failures is that that’s where the growth comes from. If you can pick yourself up, shake off the dust, and push through the hurt — you’ll be able to see the neat little lesson that you tripped over. If you learn from it, you’re one step closer to success.


“Those things that hurt, instruct.” – Ben Franklin


“Mistakes are painful when they happen, but years later a collection of mistakes is what is called experience.” —Denis Waitley


If you allow your “failures” to stop you — then yes, your efforts to succeed as a professional photographer may be in vain. But if you allow yourself the luxury of NOT looking at failures as something negative … but rather as a stepping stone to your next big success, you will go far. Where? I don’t know. You might not even know right now either!!! But you will some day find yourself doing amazing things — things bigger and better than you had originally dreamed of. All because you tried. And tried. And learned. And tried some more.

Think of all the learning and growing that come from your mistakes as photography boot camp.

Have you ever watched a serious body builder in the gym? I mean, the guys that look like Thor. (Because yes, I had to find a way to include that beautiful man in an article eventually!) These folks know a little secret that a lot of people don’t realize. A few reps will be good, sure. But growth — muscles-of-the-Gods growth — happens when you push yourself to the brink, where you feel like you just can’t go any more, and then add in a few more reps. It’s during those last few reps that the body builder may feel like he can’t keep going. But those last few reps will make all the difference.

It takes discipline, dedication, and a willingness to experience some pain.

You’ve signed up to be a professional photographer, an entrepreneur. Therefore, you’ve accepted that pain may come your way. And it may stay there for a bit. It’s what you do with it that counts. It’s how you learn from your failures that makes all the difference. If you push through the pain and do a few more reps, your business will grow.

So this week, let’s adopt this fabulous perspective:

Sometimes you win. Sometimes you learn.

Happy Monday!


Why do I write these posts? They’re for me, really. This is me talking to myself (Hi, Kate!) … encouraging myself … building myself up. If it helps you, too — then that makes me really happy. I also wrote myself a workbook on how to become a successful, confident photographer. You might enjoy that, too! 


p.s. The difference between a reactive and a proactive photographer, and why it matters!

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which one are you?


The more I visit forums and other corners of the Web where photographers regularly converse, the more I’m convinced that there are two types of professional portrait photographers out there: ones who are proactive and ones who are reactive. You know the reactive ones by their doom and gloom attitude. They spew negativity everywhere they go. They are often frustrated about the current state of their business and they take it out on others — the ones who have an optimistic take on the state of the industry.

In his brilliant book The Dip, Seth Godin clearly shows how sometimes you SHOULD bail on an effort if it’s clear that you’re spinning your wheels. But other times, your willingness to stick it out and make adjustments until you find the right recipe for success is what will make all the difference.

Right this moment in this “HORRIBLE TIME FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS!!!” (that’s what the negative photographers focus on), there are photographers who are succeeding. HUGELY. Which means … it’s still possible. But only for those who want it badly enough and work hard enough to go out and get it.

I made this chart for myself as a reminder. Sometimes the negative feelings creep in. Sometimes the frustration overtakes the optimism. But that’s ok. When that happens, all I need to do is readjust, refocus, and get back on a track of positivity.


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