Read Time:54 Minute, 38 Second

Did you know that if you are doing a photo shoot for your business you should have a brand consultation first? Well I didn’t either. Check out this interview to find out why.

Want To Be Interviewed About Your Business? Join The Gwinnett Women’s Chamber Of Commerce

Here Is The Unedited Transcript

0:12 Audrey Bell-Kearney the show that helps everyday people turn their big Ideas into

0:18successful businesses so that they can live the boss light sit back and take

0:24notes Hey listen listen listen welcome welcome

0:31welcome to another episode of talk business with Audrey it’s been a minute y’all it’s been a minute

0:37and I’ve been busy but I’m happy to be here today my guest today is Miss Sun dramatic so listen is it mad here A

0:43matter because I’ve been saying that here it’s Madeira there yeah yeah that’s

0:50French we’ve been all saying it wrong it’s okay

0:55and it’s so funny because my daughter says um so my daughter is um she told me she said she has a meeting with you guys

1:01and I was like Sandra she’s like I’m pretty sure she said her name was Sandy I said well she says she says Sandra I

1:08said Sandra and you she told you Sandy I’m sure all of them right yes exactly they call them all my

1:15name Sandy’s my nickname so you know it’s whatever you want to call me that’s nice and I want to thank you yes

1:23yes I have a one of my good friends her name is Sandra her sister called her Sandra I call her Sandra all my friends

1:29call her Sandra but her family calls her Sandra and so I’m just used to seeing Sandra so

1:36um but thank you for accepting me Colleen Sandra so listen I’m so excited

1:41y’all to have um Sandra here with me she is an amazing photographer um she’s also a member of the Gwinnett Women’s Chamber of Commerce and it’s

1:48been a minute since I’ve done a talk business with Audrey episode that’s about to change because we have some amazing women in the chamber and we’re

1:54going to be bringing them to you back to back baby back-to-back they’re coming back to back but today I got a great one here

2:00um let me tell y’all something so we were at a we were at a meeting and and Sanji pulled out this brochure

2:06that’s her marketing brochure that that took over the entire meeting we stopped

2:11doing everything we were doing because the brochure was so nice and I had never seen anything like it and but when I

2:17tell you presentation matters it does because when people people like Beauty I don’t care who they are they like Beauty

2:24and that’s what she does she makes people beautiful she makes their brand stand out she make their events stand out so I’m happy to have you so um we’re

2:31gonna do some little some little background stuff first so tell us a little bit about who you are I know you’re from New York is that correct yes

2:37yeah I’m from New York New York Queens Jackson Heights specifically I grew up there

2:43um and I’ve moved around a little bit and after I started dating my husband we moved around with Connecticut New Jersey

2:48then South Florida and now we’re here in Atlanta what part

2:53of the group I’m an original George p but I grew up in Jersey what part of Jersey did you live in Bayonne

3:01they have family in Vegas yes oh yeah yeah it’s a it’s a great little

3:06community over there it is it is nice Hudson over in Hudson County is really nice over here um the

3:12Hudson river is there you know um we Hawking and all I used to go to weehawking just to hang out in Hoboken just to kind of hang out by the water in

3:19Jersey City yes us to Jersey City yes so so now listen um we do some amazing

3:27work and um how did you get into photography well well

3:34um I was always that kid with the camera in school it was a disposable camera back then because that’s what what I had

3:41um and it was just always a hobby and then in 2008 when the recession hit I

3:46got laid off from corporate I was working at a major Investment Bank in Wall Street and

3:52um my friends were like this is your opportunity for you to try the photography and I was like oh well maybe

3:57and then a week later one of them introduced me to a friend of theirs and he happened to be a photographer and he

4:04invited me to assist him or go with him to shoot Fashion Week New York City Fashion Week nice and that was like one

4:11it was almost like a sign you know and when I saw that I was like well maybe maybe okay yeah of course I’ll do it

4:18that was a dream come true because I loved fashion that’s why I love photography and I ended up going to Fashion Week for

4:24five seasons um wow just so like you know like maybe a few years of that and what I really

4:31loved was doing fashion shoots but the fashion in photography industry is very

4:36very competitive and um what I wanted to do is actually give that fashion shoot experience to

4:43Everyday women wow so now coming from corporate um I’ve been an entrepreneur for quite a long

4:49time and I know when you leave your your nine to five where the money is steady it’s a little bit hard to make that leap

4:55but you were kind of forced to make that leap how was the adjustment because I know having that state study paycheck

5:00coming in and then you have to go out on your own that could be a huge adjustment how was that adjustment for you it was

5:07difficult it was very hard it was very hard honestly it took years to really learn how to run my own business and

5:13made a lot of mistakes um I re I probably would do things differently you know but it takes the

5:20experience to realize you need to do things differently but it was it was different you know I think it helped me

5:25in many ways first of all having that corporate background experience um because the way I present myself in my business is a little bit different

5:32um not I don’t say completely different but a little bit different than what most Freelancers probably would do or um

5:38people running their own business because they have that experience so it helped but yes learning to

5:44price myself uh sales uh value myself that was you know that’s

5:50a whole other thing they don’t tell you about when you’re starting a business right

5:55when you when you did the five years uh with the fashion um for uh the fashion yeah did you make

6:02money during that time and were you just acting as an apprentice during that time yeah it wasn’t it was it was for a Blog

6:07it wasn’t paid it was more about look at this amazing opportunity you know it’s kind of those exposure type of opportunities

6:14um I learned a lot I just I mean I was it was just an amazing room to be in as

6:21a place to be in so to me it was if I wasn’t getting paid but I was like okay with it because just to be there was

6:27wonderful that is cool now from that experience where when when did you actually say

6:33okay I’m ready now I’m ready to like venture out on my own I’ve been shadowing this person for five years I

6:39made some great connections I’ve seen a lot when did you finally say okay I’m ready I’m ready to just go all in to

6:46be honest it was more when people started asking me to do shoes for them um and they didn’t start with fashion

6:52right away it uh it was more like the the family pictures the headshot friends

6:58I knew I was doing it they were very supportive my friends have always been very supportive my family has always been very supportive so they wanted to

7:05help me and you know give book me they wanted they needed the work so they knew me and and they hired me to do it

7:12um and many times I was like oh my gosh are you sure you want me to do it but I just did it and that’s how I learned

7:20um then I started taking it more classes in the space that I really wanted to do which was fashion shoot experiences for

7:26everyday women um and then I started photographing models I asked people to model for me

7:32friends and practice practice practice and then I felt confident to start selling my

7:37services when it comes to pricing a lot of entrepreneurs make huge mistakes when it comes

7:43from pricing because they set their prices too low um how did you know how to set the prices because I know for me it took a

7:50long time for me to even get up the confidence to say this is how much I’m going to charge and I still struggle that to this day because I feel like oh

7:55I want to help everybody to be able to support afford my products and services or whatever so I still even to this

8:02morning I was like Ah that’s that’s a package that should be three thousand dollars and I’m sitting here saying 9.97

8:08so how did you get to the point where you felt confident enough to say you know what this is my price point and I’m

8:13not bending on that it took years it took years but it took mostly

8:18um learning my business mindset working on my mindset and we’ve talked about this

8:24briefly before it really all comes down to that valuing my work

8:29um knowing how much time I’ve put into learning what I do uh how much uh money

8:35I put into my equipment you know things like that that um in the beginning I did not value it I

8:41didn’t I didn’t think oh you know oh I I can’t charge a thousand dollars for a photo shoot you know everybody else is

8:47charging 250 that’s you know I should probably charge 225 then you know and so I stopped when I stopped trying to

8:55um undercut the other you know you know just stop comparing myself really to other photographers still see what’s

9:02happening in the space that in the area that I’m in see you know what they’re doing

9:08um and then start how I can stand out so people can value the work

9:13yeah um I feel like it’s still predominantly male dominated

9:19yep yeah I’m sorry how do you navigate that by

9:24being predominantly male dominated um standing out finding ways to stand out um my presentation again how I present

9:31myself um you just have to jump in honestly just

9:37jump in and and it’s built sometimes it may be male dominated I don’t know maybe some women feel intimidated but there’s

9:42a lot of women in what doing what I do um maybe not as known internationally or

9:49anything like that but most two of my my biggest uh Inspirations are women I

9:55should say three um but my biggest Inspirations are women I mostly following women coaches women photographers

10:01um yeah I just gotta kind of just jump in and do it have you found that um when you went to

10:07get a job or present your business to somebody they kind of gave you a side out because you were a woman or did you

10:13think that that was a help for you to get more clients because you were a woman

10:18um well I tend to work with women and so I think it really really helps yeah

10:24absolutely it makes him feel very comfortable um the type of work that I do sometimes

10:30could be on a more intimate in the sense that I kind of go dig deep into their business and who they are personally as

10:36well so maybe they film a comfortable opening up to me but I’ve had a good uh

10:42response being a woman in this industry I haven’t felt it um I haven’t felt anybody like

10:49you know think differently because I was a woman at least not that I felt it

10:54so we have one so one of our members she’s she’s about to do a shoot with Sandra and it was funny because I was on

11:00my way to vacation and um she called me she said I need some help and I said

11:06what’s going on she says I have to fill out this brand package for my pictures and I was like what do you mean a brand

11:13package for the picture she said there’s a bit there’s a brand package I have no idea I I have never even looked at this

11:19type of stuff before so what gave you the idea to put together a brand package to present to potential clients to to so

11:26they can get pictures taken because you know when you think okay so you’re a professional I’m a novice I’m not even a

11:31novice I’m just a person on the other side right I need some pictures I’m just thinking well I’m gonna show up at a

11:36photo shoots because this is what I’ve always done take some clothes take some makeup do some changes and that’s it no

11:42one has ever said but like this brand package what made you come up with the concept of creating a brand package

11:48because I thought that was pretty dark and it was crazy because she’s like listen put me on the calendar because I have no idea what I’m what I’m doing it

11:53was hilarious yeah well I started realizing the more I

12:01work with businesses or branding clients that many didn’t know who their client

12:06was you know how to represent themselves to their client so I started realizing

12:12they need I need to do more for them because I don’t want them to walk away from our photo shoot with all these images and at the like six months later

12:20a year later say oh this don’t really this doesn’t really represent me it’s not really Who I Am anymore so what I do

12:27we do homework we do work and um I send them a guide where they have to answer a

12:32bunch of questions and probably four out of five people are

12:37like I never thought about these questions before Oh my God and they get it’s it’s

12:43difficult for them but they love it at the same time because like I do need to do this work oh my gosh I didn’t realize

12:48I needed to do this work so we do I guess it’s a little bit of um um a coaching in there you know and how

12:55to help them come to the realization who they are who their client is how they’re going to represent themselves for that

13:01client so when she was going through the process and I’m sure you’ve gone through

13:08this with all your clients what has what has been some of the things that your clients discovered about themselves that they

13:14did not know until they actually went through your branding process your branding questionnaire

13:19um well many of them like I said they didn’t know how to uh

13:26pinpoint who their client was where where to find their client

13:31um how to speak to them I talked to them about telling a story through the images because that’s really what branding is

13:38um they didn’t they didn’t most people actually don’t even know what branding is yeah some people have come to me for headshots

13:44oh I need headshots and I’m like okay well let’s dig a little deeper and say what are you gonna use find out what you’re going to use them for what oh I’m

13:50starting a business I’m gonna be a coach and you know I need some headshots because I’m building a website I was

13:57like well it sounds like you need a branding shoe well what’s that and we go through that so then them realizing it’s

14:03more than just a headshot you know it’s [Music] um um figuring out

14:09how to find their client and how to tell a story it sounds like when when people first

14:14start out doing their business they’re really excited about getting a logo and your business is way more than just

14:20people get lost in in Translation when it comes to that they want the colors they want the logo they want and and

14:26that’s great you need those things but there’s so much more to all of that than just your

14:31logo the colors um I want to ask you a little bit about the yeah your setup because I know photography can be expensive

14:39um my my daughter her boyfriend is a photographer and it was so funny because he he was going to take some pictures

14:44for I think it was my birthday and I I said something so I’m gonna go get this length But the lens was two thousand

14:50dollars I was like look do not go power two thousand dollars win for me please talk about some of the equipment that

14:56you guys used because when he said that I was like he’s gonna do what she’s like he’s gonna get this lenses cost two thousand dollars I was like no don’t do

15:04that for me so it was funny because I’m like no I don’t do that so talk about the equipment and somebody’s just

15:09starting out right yeah what do they need to start do they need to go out and spend the two thousand

15:15dollars on the lane so can you just start with something yeah first of all it sounds like he wanted an excuse to buy that lens and he used it

15:22because I honestly have there’s been times I’ve you know kind of done something similar

15:27um but you don’t need to I started my career in doing photo shoots getting paid photo shoots with a very old Canon

15:35entry-level DSLR and a 50 millimeter lens that’s all I had for a very long

15:41time for the year like two years and I did a lot of shoots with that and I got

15:47paid with doing using that camera so you don’t need and it was all it was all natural light all I had was a reflector

15:53a white reflector to reflect light you know there’s a window reflect some light back onto the subject

15:59um that’s all I had that’s what we showed up with for a few years um so you don’t need really much of

16:06anything I think I think you’re right because I was like please don’t buy a 2 000 camera lens on my behalf

16:13um I know that a lot of people that probably reach out to you about being a photographer and because you know it

16:18gives you the opportunity to be creative and just to make things beautiful and I think that’s amazing like if you ever

16:24listen to good morning with net I’m always on there trying to figure out how to be creative and I I it listen my

16:29husband has bought me a pottery wheel oh yeah I have resin I have moles I have

16:36all jewelry making kits all of these things I got a t-shirt press a hat press them up because I want to be creative

16:42but I’m not creative so the person that’s looking at this interview right now and they think I really want to do

16:47photography do you have to be a creative do you have to have a quick now I am creative when it comes to business I’m

16:53that creative person like I can sit and talk to somebody and come up with a whole business and marketing plan in a matter of minutes in my head and then

17:00spit it out to them but if I have to draw a straight line that’s a no for me for the person that’s thinking I Really

17:05Wanna it’s my passion but I don’t I’m like origin I can’t draw a straight line I can’t shoot a picture my hand won’t

17:11stay steady what do you say to that person um practice you know I think we’re all

17:17creative we were all born creative if you look at these little you have your granddaughter have my daughter you look at their ideas and their creativity or

17:24like wow was I this way when I was there it you know and we were all that way we all born that way

17:30um some people kind of get pushed away from it by either the education system their parents want them to be more

17:36academic um and some people it’s honed in them it’s supported you know so it really

17:42depends but I think we could all tap in back into that um by for a photographer I would suggest

17:49um studying the different types of Photography there is out there because sometimes you have to figure out what

17:55which one you want to do there’s so many different types do you want to do landscape do you want to do architecture do you want to do people do you want to

18:01do pets you know there’s so many and just practice you know practice practice and it took me years you know

18:08to say they say it takes 10 years to be an expert at your craft right was it ten thousand hours or something like that or

18:14yeah and um so you have to work towards that yeah I think it’s possible

18:20when you were younger you say you’ve been doing a camera for a long time how how do you go back how far back did you

18:26start with the with the photography were you like seven three four no I was um more in uh Middle School I was in Middle

18:34School I think when I mean I always liked uh photography but I think that’s when I

18:39yeah middle school if I remember correctly um I started bringing the cameras to school and but I always bought all the

18:47fashion magazines not because I was a fashionista but because I was obsessed with the pictures with the photography

18:53in the in them and I had Stacks and stacks and stacks of old-fashioned magazines and my mother would always

18:59threaten to throw them out and I would say no I need them and I would just go through them all the time and just look at the pictures

19:06you know now that’s interesting did your mom ever or your parents ever say at any point well you know what

19:13maybe you should go into photography like early on before you went off to college because I think for me when I

19:18went to college I was very good in math and science which makes a lot of sense now but no one told me to go to school

19:24to be an engineer which I think I would have been a dank on good engineer because I’m a Problem Solver they told me to go to be an accountant and I went

19:31to be an account I was like yeah this is not gonna work then I did nothing because I didn’t have that guidance do

19:36you think your parents were thinking about you know what maybe she’d be go she should go to be a photographer or they say don’t do that that’s not going

19:41to make you any money because you know the creative that’s what you normally get you can’t make any money doing it did you get that from your parents I got

19:47a lot of support my mom um I come from uh my mom and my grandmother were both business people

19:54you know my grandmother uh was uneducated and she owned a store in her country she counted on her

20:01fingers how to figure out the math and how much to charge people she did that she put all her children through private school doing that

20:07um and then my mom also had a little side business selling stuff and I just continued that and

20:14um she wanted me to do whatever made me happy if it was photography or anything else

20:19um and she was very supportive yeah never said not to do it she was excited she was always excited when I would tell her that I’m you know oh I got a new

20:26client she was always so excited and happy yeah that’s what my mom was too like I I could come up and I used to

20:32come with a lot of ideas like that was my problem she and whatever I came to my mom with she always supported it’s like

20:37what do you need me to do I think I think that was her way of kind of living through me because I actually one time was there something that you really

20:43wanted to do and the one thing she said to me was start like a non-profit for children but she didn’t get a chance to

20:48do that she passed away in 2021 from covet and uh I wasn’t a big kids person so

20:54oh that’s the one business restaurants and I don’t know about that so that was

21:00you know but but I think when I would come to her with these ideas it gave her the opportunity to do something in entrepreneurial space without having to

21:07actually do it herself right so I understand that whole support thing um if you could sit down and have dinner

21:13with your favorite photographer who would that be Annie leave it with they said it right away because she’s my

21:19main influence that’s the one I followed since I was a child

21:25um I admire her work I’ve always loved her style of work uh it’s Moody you know

21:31it tells a story there’s emotion in all of her images I I’m not gonna say I love every picture she’s done but I love her

21:38Simplicity a lot of times um and the fact that she’s bit she’s a woman in this industry for so many years

21:46she’s like you say I believe it was like people in this space there like oh my gosh yes we know who she is

21:52um so I I really admire her yeah I’ve heard I’ve heard of her um thinking about your your clientele

22:00you started in and just taking pictures of family and friends how did you manage to say you know what I don’t want to

22:05take babies I don’t want to do weddings you know that type of thing what what made you say I want to work with women

22:10in business versus you know the babies and because it’s like you said I feel like there’s

22:16so many like I was I was thinking about something the other day well not the other day today so my granddaughter is going to start competition um Church

22:23competition and in my mind I’m thinking I know it’s got to be a photographer taking picture so we’re gonna get all the pictures because I I’m a football

22:29Aunt so I followed both my nephews as they play football and the photographer the photographer will come out and they

22:35would take the most amazing pictures and of course everybody bought the pictures so how did you make the jump from like

22:41I’m gonna do it all them people I just want to do with this group of women what made you decide to go that route well I felt like I needed to try out

22:48different things and I was always trying out oh you know what I think I’m gonna give it a go with newborns at one point

22:53I said that um but I realized I was kind of not focused

23:00you know it wasn’t really focusing in so I was kind of getting it from here from this and oh I need a headshot oh I need

23:06a family picture so I need um a maternity which I still enjoy doing maturity pictures but I wanted to just

23:12become a little more focused on and once I put that energy out and my images

23:20start reflecting the type of work I’m doing I was just gonna I knew it was gonna keep getting more of that work um and I do enjoy like I said working

23:27with women I I relate obviously um I know a lot of women that I’ve worked with when it comes to like doing

23:33Beauty shoes for example they’re doing it for a personal reason some sort of you know the divorce or uh they’ve never

23:41took a picture their whole life and now they’re almost 60 years old and you know they never had a portrait beautiful

23:46portrait taken so it’s a lot of emotional reasons why women come and come to me to do a portrait session

23:53and I can relate to that you know and I felt a connection there with women I mean I I just I really enjoy it I really

24:01enjoy working with um women now and then business owners business owners like myself who are trying to represent

24:07themselves also are single mothers um or they’re just really good at what

24:12they do but they’re just not they don’t know how to Market themselves so I just like helping helping them with that

24:19so that’s a good segue into our next part marketing have you done any paid marketing or has it all been

24:25in Word of Mouth and referrals I’ve tried paid Marketing in the past

24:31um I’ve tried Facebook ads Instagram as um I even did a rate yeah I remember

24:37this now back in Connecticut when we first moved there and we were doing weddings we wanted to do weddings I should say wanted to do weddings

24:44um we paid a radio station to do a raffle you know someone could win a

24:49wedding package just to get that experience you know start building that portfolio um and so I’ve tried different things

24:57um and after 15 years doing this connection marketing is the best way

25:03going out into the community that’s been my best best way of finding my ideal

25:09client um going to the spaces where I know they’re going to be um and just even just connecting on you

25:15know just making friends and just building my network I’m new here in Atlanta relatively new I just relaunched

25:21my business this year so I’m right now that’s what’s working for me uh but I

25:26have tried those other ways Facebook groups you know dropping a comment saying oh I’m a photographer someone’s

25:31looking for a photographer I would do that um again not not the best way for me

25:36they didn’t really have a return wow you know that’s interesting too because most people the first thing they

25:41think about is I’m going to run a Facebook ad and to run a Facebook ad you guys that’s a science so don’t even

25:47waste your time and money trying to figure out how to do it yourself you need to really work with the expert on it I’ve run ads for clients before they

25:54got results but when I tell you it took me a good week just to figure out the Facebook board the like the manager the

26:00ads manager that’s the science and so if you’re thinking about doing Facebook ads find a find a professional don’t just go

26:07in there dropping money because if you don’t know what you’re doing you’re gonna waste money and Facebook does not play you could put an ad up in it

26:13it could be kicked off for a variety of reasons I think I’ve ran an ad one time it was a picture of a woman it was a

26:19hell it was a health ad it was a weight loss ad for the client and they kept kicking it back I’m like what’s wrong

26:25with that well the ad had a tape measure around her waist and you could see just like the skin up they kicked the AG back

26:31for that reason it was crazy so but that that helped me perfect like how to run ads but I’m gonna no don’t call me

26:37because I don’t want them anymore so but I did before like in the marketing my company’s marketing so I

26:43will run things look ads for clients and stuff like that it is a science and if you don’t understand the science you

26:48will lose a lot of money so I think it it also depends on what business you’re in right it’s like a restaurant running

26:54an ad might do well because they want people to know what you know who they are they they’re open they’re calling

27:01anybody like they want anybody to come to the restaurant practically um but it really depends I think service-based businesses have to be

27:08careful with that yeah you have to be careful and you got to just just consult a professional that’s all I’m gonna say

27:14about that because yes you can lose a lot yeah with ads and I heard somebody say the other day they ran five thousand

27:19dollars worth of AD and then make one sale I was like but yeah that’s because they didn’t know

27:25what they were doing um and so they lost a lot of money um thinking back to when you first

27:30started to where you are right now what’s your vision for the rest like

27:36what’s your what’s your next three year Vision because I know we have these vision boards we do these parties we talk about these things what’s what’s

27:42next like what’s the next big thing you want to accomplish with your business as funny you bring up you say that

27:47number three years because my husband and I have been talking about business ideas and plans for the next three years where we want to be in three years

27:54um and we think that’s a good amount of time to kind of know where you want to be and grow something uh right now I’m

28:00working on scaling scaling my business because I mean I’m uh I’m the only I’m the one stop shop I’m like the only

28:06photographer right now so I’m working on scaling that uh adding associate photographers you know I have clients in

28:14New York I have clients in South Florida and I have traveled to them when I’m in

28:19town I say I’m here I’m shooting but they have to wait till I’m there so people wait to a couple of years until I

28:25come back but yeah because I have built these relationships with these clients and one client I’ve been photographing

28:31her for 10 years already uh through all different stages in her life she from

28:37um Beauty shoe where she was single to maternity when she was having a baby and then now she started a business her own

28:43business so she’s we’ve worked together so I have built these really good relationships and I would like you know

28:49to have people in those areas that you know I can send to them so scaling my business um seeing what else the businesses I’m

28:56working with need and seeing how I can provide those services you know I’ve worked with a lot of

29:02creatives and I consider you a creative and a lot of times they don’t focus on the business side so when you think

29:08about scaling are you going to be the management side or are you going to continue to do the business or are you

29:13going to put someone in place to oversee the operations or is that some of your husband going to do he’s going to help me yeah he’s uh he’s gonna help me some

29:22um the operations part where we’ll probably work on it together um right now we’re in the process of

29:28figuring out a rose because I’m not gonna lie we’ve tried it before

29:34and we didn’t have the roles really you know ironed out who’s gonna do what and when we were kind of trying to thinking

29:40that I like my my area is the creative side you know and so it was like why are you giving me advice on how to do my my

29:46job you know so I could other mind the advice but I’d rather we have you know he’s agreed

29:52let’s try it this way and so far we’re already agreeing on so much and

29:58just like the communication is much better on how we’re going to run things going forward

30:03now that’s pretty cool because my husband and I have tried that too it doesn’t work so we haven’t figured it out yet as a matter of fact we celebrate

30:09our 20th anniversary 20th marriage anniversary next month and I remember when we were dating we used to take

30:15these long drives and I would have a legal pad and I’ll be writing out things with making plans and none of that has

30:21worked so uh how do you set how are you going to separate business business from family because I think

30:28that has that was a problem for us like we just we we couldn’t figure out how to make it work so to keep the marriage intact it’s like I’m gonna stay up on

30:35this side and you go ahead and go back to work and I’m gonna do my thing over here how do you plan on making sure that debt stays intact because that can be a

30:42little touchy we talked about that because uh same like you we’ve tried multiple times and it didn’t really work

30:50um and this time right off the bat we both said we have to be able to separate business and personal

30:57um I think communication is huge I mean and again like you we’ve tried didn’t work so we know what how we need to

31:04change and we have to be very conscious of it you know and um not take things personal in the

31:09business side of things that’s huge that’s huge if I say I don’t like your

31:14idea I’m not saying I don’t like you I’m saying I don’t like your idea you know I’m not saying something wrong

31:20with us I don’t like your idea you know so um so yeah just being able to communicate you know and and not take

31:27things personal that’s a huge one and compromise just like in marriage a Business Partnership you have to

31:32compromise you have to learn you’re not going to get everything your way you know and maybe you know you have to try to find a

31:39compromise yeah I think I think for me and my husband I’m I’m business all

31:44all day and twice on Sunday so that’s that’s one so I don’t I’m not a I’m not I’m not saying he’s a slacker but it’s

31:50like okay did you do this like this is me and you know what was crazy I think a lot of people within I didn’t recognize this about myself but people like Audrey

31:57you’re very analytical and I was like who me because I never saw myself I saw myself being creative not analytical

32:03because I like all right brain things but when it comes to focusing and doing things I guess I’m very left brain and

32:09so and so is he which is a which is which is surprising because I would say you know we need to get this done

32:15nothing and so it and then I would do all these things and I’m like okay so you didn’t I’m waiting for you to do

32:21your part and so I just decided you know we’re gonna leave there right where it is not right there we’re gonna stay

32:26right there and we’ve been fun ever since so I’m cool with that um what’s your favorite equipment because I know

32:32um my baby I call my baby she’s my granddaughter I wanted to she likes

32:37pictures so we bought her a little the camera is so cute so it was a Kodak but and it’s really tiny but it’s just it’s

32:42something she’s for y’all so she doesn’t need like expensive equipment but at some point because she really gets into

32:48taking pictures in the other morning before she went to school she calls me every morning at nine o’clock before she goes to school so she had the headphones

32:54on I said to her what are you doing she says I’m editing a video I’m working

33:00and I said I said oh okay and she was into it she didn’t even eat breakfast she had the headphones on she said the

33:06laptop she told me she was editing a video she was working and I said okay I said Mommy and Daddy

33:12in your way she like yes and I was like okay so you know people that are looking oh my gosh she’s she’s a piece of work

33:20um people that are watching they probably want to know what do you do what kind of equipment you use right now because when you started equipment

33:26what’s different what are you using right now um well my I did start differently on a different um body of camera I was always

33:33with Canon for a long time um then I was ready to go into the

33:39mirrorless space but Canon had not released the mirrorless and I was really my camera was old at that point I really

33:46needed and it was very heavy and I was starting to get like neck issues and back issues and wrists you know holding

33:52the camera for such a long time so I went to Sony so I shoot with a Sony a7r III

34:00um now it’s about a five-year-old or six-year-old camera um and then I edit on a MacBook

34:06yeah you know now you said something that was interesting because I said to myself I’ve seen so I had a friend she’s

34:12a photographer sometimes when I tell you she was taking pictures in bushes off the top of the roof she just had people

34:17in the middle of the street and the work is amazing she’s extremely creative but as I say to myself you know how do you

34:25you’re down on your knees you’re crawling around you’re in the bushes she does all these crazy things so you said it was it was bothering he was calling

34:31you some health issues talk about that a little bit uh for a little bit because I don’t think people think about the physical side of it they think I’m just

34:37gonna take my camera I’m gonna hold him and take some pictures what’s the physical side of that well that’s another reason why I’ve kind of just or

34:45um niched myself into like what I know not what I want to do because my the physical issues that I have I have

34:51terrible terrible back issues um I you know sometimes my my my wrist

34:57hurts from all the editing that I’ve done in the past not having the right setup for my editing just editing on my laptops anywhere it’s not the best way

35:05um also using the mouse to edit versus a tablet with a pen which I switched to

35:10many years ago that was that was really helpful um and neck pains you know so I don’t do the

35:19events anymore I’ve done it and I’ve done the weddings um being on my feet for a very long time

35:24it’s just not something that you know it’s it’s good for me anymore so now the the portrait studio oh that’s the other

35:31thing I I would go on location this is the recently it’s my first time since I’m able to have my own Studio space a

35:37small Studio space um and I love that because all my stuff is I don’t have to carry it

35:42anymore I’ve always carried my gear on location which I still do for bigger

35:47jobs but um just making it easier on myself and my body

35:53yeah so I’ve had to adjust yeah when it comes to editing because

35:59now you have so much competition with this kind of filtering that kind of filtering you know I was watching

36:05um I was watching the videos last night on Tick Tock they got a wedding filter so it was a girl and she had a filter

36:11and then she was in full-blown wedding year has that caused a not a problem but

36:16like has that also been like a competition point when you think about the work that you do because can you

36:22give people all footage and and like let them edit it themselves or do you continue to edit

36:27how has that been um so for Branding clients it depends on

36:34the on the branding client um some people have their look down they know what how they want their images to look and I will give them slightly edited but

36:42not fully edited images just like you know skin retouching exposure just the basics and then I send them I if they

36:49want that I’m going I can do that send them their images where they will apply the filter that they like for their look

36:55um so that’s not a problem um in The Branding space that’s that’s not a problem because it’s understood

37:01you have your brand and you if you have your your what they’ve your clients have

37:07already been seeing you put out so you have to be consistent um now in the beauty space when I do

37:13photo shoots for maturity or anything like that I fully edit everything um but there is a big No-No that all

37:20photographers say is you don’t apply a filter over the fully edited image because you just

37:28erase everything you know and then some of these filters really aren’t flattering to the image

37:34you know so it doesn’t really showcase and then you’re putting out the photographer’s work and it seems like that photographer edited it that way

37:40oh let’s talk about that one so I was in a meeting you before last with the with the

37:46someone who’s running for political office and um he had a photographer now I know that you know sometimes you don’t

37:53own the pictures I don’t care if you pay for them or not and so I said to him and this guy so I was in the the initial

37:59meeting with him in the photographer and he was very um professional but he was a

38:04little rigid and I said to him after the meeting I said who’s going to own your who’s going to own the pictures once she

38:09once he takes them for you he’s this is what you mean I’m gonna own him I’m paying for him he’s like no you might want to check with him because because

38:15you pay for them doesn’t necessarily mean you own them and he said I’ve never heard that before so he went back to the

38:22photographer and he asked the question hey do are these gonna be my pictures he’s like well you could use them but

38:28you can’t change him is he he named a whole bunch of things that he could not do he said in order for you to do these you had to pay he had to pay another

38:34additional 1200 he’s like I had never heard so but I was glad that I mentioned it to him because I would hate of him to

38:40have put those pictures somewhere that he really could not use them so how does that work with you like once once people

38:46come to you who actually owns the right to the pictures I own the rights of the pictures um

38:51um yeah they’re allowed to use them for an agreed use you know if it’s a

38:56maternity a beauty shoe glamor shoot then you know personal use most of the time you can go and put him in I don’t

39:04know put him on some a book and like sell him you know 50 000 copies all over the

39:10world whatever you want to call you can go ahead and do that now for Branding images you know we come to an agreement as to what are you going to use them for

39:17you can use it for your marketing that’s of course you know that’s the whole purpose of The Branding shoot so that’s

39:22why there may be a cost difference um when it comes to branding because they are allowed to make money off my

39:27images using their my work basically uh but for the most part yeah the photographer owns the rights whoever

39:33click the shutter that’s what as they say it that they’re the owner of that picture now if um like in your friend’s

39:40case yeah he would have had to pay and that’s not that bad twelve hundred dollars to own the rights

39:46some places will be like thousands and thousands tens of thousands of dollars to own the rights because it really depends on what they’re going to use

39:52them for yeah so now let me ask you this because this has always been a question and I know

39:58you probably can answer this if I’m taking a picture let’s say again this is a government official I shoot that

40:04person’s picture and I did the shutter I hit the shutter can I use that picture

40:10or that person likeness for what I want to use it for because I took the picture well I think that’s a gray area nowadays

40:18um I know in the past it was you’re a public person you’re you know if you’re in a public area where there was a lot

40:24of other people you know then it’s allowed that’s your image you could do whatever you want with that picture

40:30um and I now with AI coming out and people kind of manipulating things so I think that’s going to change somewhat it

40:36should I mean I wouldn’t want my image being put on doing putting being put out

40:42there doing something that I was wasn’t doing you know and they’re doing that so yeah um yeah so really really the past like I

40:49said it was allowed um but uh celebrities especially are pushing back on a lot of that so there

40:56may be some change coming all right you got you got entrepreneurs up

41:02attention entrepreneurs they’re listening to this interview right now they want to start a photography business what are three things that you

41:07can tell them help them get started in this space and and what to look out for three pros and three cons

41:15okay so uh the three things to look out for in this space is getting taken advantage

41:23of you know especially when you’re starting out which is fine because you need the exposure you need the

41:28experience but there’s a certain point you need to know okay I’ve been doing this for this many years so I’ve done

41:34this many shoots I don’t need the exposure anymore you know I need to get paid

41:39that’s that’s probably one of the big big ones um learning to the back end of your

41:45business not just the creative side you must learn sales marketing

41:52um for your business um I didn’t do that in the beginning it took me a long time I used to when my

41:58husband’s always been into marketing and business since I’ve known him and he loves that conversation but

42:05he would tell me like you need to learn to do it I hate this I hate this part of the business I would just want to take pictures and he’s like you have to learn

42:11to run your business so now I love it now I love that side of the business um and working on

42:18valuing yourself your mindset that’s a huge one mindset because that’s going to help you price yourself that’s going to help you not being take advantage of

42:25that’s going to help you um figure out who your client is as well you know so

42:32um really working on your mindset your blockers any blockers that you may have because you know we all have

42:38um the cons you know it is a very competitive business um like you said before it’s a very male

42:44dominated business for you know when if it’s a woman like me but so you can’t let that stop you

42:50um it you learning cons you know you have to learn time management you know where you need to stop working I still

42:56struggle with that yeah and because you love what you do especially when you love what you do there is no

43:03time off you’re always working but you need to your family needs you you know

43:08if you have a family you need to learn to stop and time manage your time really well

43:13um see what other con um Finance is just you know you know like

43:18not like we were saying before not spending on gear that you don’t need you don’t need you know you really don’t

43:24need to have all the lenses all the lights I’ve I’ve known many photographers who have tons of lenses

43:30and they maybe use two because those are their favorite lenses but just in case we have this with just in case you have

43:35that one you can rent them you can rent the gear thing that can become an addiction like

43:40I remember I remember when I first started out in business right and my husband he was he we weren’t married yet

43:47he was he’s supposed to be an investor but we we eventually got married but I was order courses I became a course

43:54junkie so I would order Cut courses and hide them this is when they mail your course to the house right they don’t do

43:59it everything is digital so the boxes would come and before he came home I would hide the course because it was

44:05like I was a junkie for courses so I feel like photography could be one of those things like I’m I’m a gadget

44:10junkie right now like I love gadgets right I had I had so many microphones y’all it’s unbelievable so every

44:15Christmas they said what do you want for Christmas I either say a microphone or a

44:21laptop up or some kind of digital something this year they wouldn’t give me any of that like you’re not getting that I was

44:27like well that’s what I wanted so I can feel like I feel like that can become a real live

44:34a real live uh Habit just buying stuff because it’s exciting to open up something new and yet you’re

44:40justification is for the business but also courses are a big one in photography too I have been known to own

44:47a lot of courses you know all types of courses technique business marketing all

44:52that but it’s also an excuse to not like sometimes do not start or you know it’s

45:00just for some people you know so like like oh well I’m not really I’m not really professional unless I have this

45:06you know I’m not really professionalism I learned this technique or you know or or it’s again maybe it’s some sort of

45:12they feel like they need it because they need to get better uh maybe they do but I think it should you shouldn’t make

45:18sure you rewind it for the right reason right like if you actually have a well-paying

45:24job that requires you to use a the widest lens there is out there then okay

45:29you write it off you know you put it as part of the job but if you’re you just wanted to have it just in case because

45:35you want to start promoting in this this type of work start getting the work first you know

45:41and then you know rent it in the beginning if you don’t have the money rent the gear

45:47um and then once you start you know you know you like the doing that work because what if you hate it and you

45:52bought this really expensive piece of equipment right um so yeah I know I’ve been there

45:59so you told us who your favorite photographer is who would you like to

46:05shoot and you can see one person who would that be

46:10oh I mean I’m gonna be a little cheesy here but

46:16I love JLo I’m from New York she’s a Latina yeah

46:23nice he’s done she’s done so much for the Latinas you know you know she started which I know she came from she’s

46:30from the Bronx I know where she came from I remember seeing her on a Living Color as a backup dancer you know I saw

46:37her whole journey and you know um I think it’ll be fun and she’s super

46:42creative should be down to try almost anything because she’s in so into fashion so I think it would be a fun shoot

46:49is that on your vision board should be you’re right I hear you girl yeah I hadn’t thought about that you

46:55know it’s just something you kind of like oh that would be fun but yeah I should put in my vision board you’re right I should put it in because I feel like JLo will be a lot of fun JLo is a

47:02Powerhouse and you know I remember when she was dancing on the 11th color because we all loved it yeah because it

47:07was it was a show that was about you know diversity and it was on National Television so everybody watched it In

47:14Living Color everybody watched that so it was great to see her but that’s pretty dog gone cool pretty cool when

47:19you get to shoot her um I need you to tell her about the Gwinnett Women’s Chamber of Commerce and

47:26I need you to make sure that I’m in the room yes coffee yeah you know I can bring unless

47:32you eat donuts you know maybe empanadas or something I don’t know whatever we’re gonna need a big team and I’ll make sure

47:39you’re included in that yes thank you I would appreciate that I appreciate that this relationship connection marketing yes

47:46exactly so listen any last words before we Before We Say Goodbye

47:51well I want to thank you oh are you I’ve created an amazing group of women I’m

47:57very excited to be a part of the Gwinnett Women’s Chamber um at the launch I just loved everything

48:03you spoke about what you what you want the chamber to represent and um I joined as a Founder because I see

48:10the potential in the chamber and I’m just I just love what you’re doing and just highlighting and I could tell

48:16you’re really doing it out of a place of service that you really enjoy highlighting women in their business and

48:24um I’m just so thankful that I I was there and I was able to join thank you

48:29thank you so much thank you I appreciate that I do I do I’ve been doing this for a long time I’ve had so many women

48:34Ventures I’ve had women TV shows I’ve had women magazines I even had the first

48:40women’s newspaper in New Jersey called women in business today which we’re back 306 degrees with this show we’re in a

48:45business today so um this started out as a show a radio show then a TV show a newspaper now

48:52we’re back 20 years 23 years later we’re back doing the same thing so thank you for being a member

48:58thanks for your kind words thank you for your support thank you for always showing up I appreciate that wow yeah my

49:04pleasure all right listen you guys I hope you enjoyed this interview be sure to follow Sandra

49:09a website is there you tell me a website yeah my website is uh it’s like my

49:15website is Sandra m-a-d-h-e-r-e you can connect with me

49:20there you can connect with me on LinkedIn send me a message follow me connect with me and you know just have

49:26us have coffee that’s why I have coffee if you like this episode there’s another one tomorrow

49:32be sure to go to Gwinnett women’ you sit there I’ll go to LinkedIn you’ll see it there we’ll be

49:38back tomorrow with another great woman she has an amazing story she came from an abusive relationship

49:44she had twin boys and she’s doing amazing thing so be sure to tune in tomorrow and that’s at six o’clock

49:49tomorrow so just um go to LinkedIn it’s there go to the website it’s there as well we’ll be back again tomorrow I

49:54gotta go because I’m I’m over here tell me thank you bye bye

50:01you’ve been listening to talk business with Audrey bringing you another powerful resource

50:08to help you start or grow your business so that you can live the boss life if

50:13you enjoyed this episode subscribe to the show now share it with your friends and drop Audrey a note over at

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I'm the host of the Good Morning Gwinnett show which is all about business and technology. I'm also the editor of the Good Morning Gwinnett website.
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