Last week I spoke at WPPI -- Wedding and Portrait Photographers International -- an annual convention in Las Vegas that draws 15,000 photographers from around the globe. My topic was Efficient & Profitable Album Design & Sales. It wasn't the most glamorous or feel-good topic at the convention by any means, but my hope was that it would help photographers maximize their business's profit and efficiency in one of the trickiest parts of our workflow -- album sales.
I'm SO thankful to the photographers who came out to learn, who live tweeted, and who stayed afterwards to say hi. Thank you all for your support and kind words! And a huge thank you goes to my sponsors -- Queensberry and Align Album Design -- who are great partners if you're looking to maximize album profit!
I had such an amazing time at WPPI this year! It's always a whirlwind few days, and I packed mine full of meet-ups with other photographers & industry leaders who I care about and also want to get to know better. I was so busy, that I didn't take many photos unfortunately. But Sara did grab this one of the crew who showed up for our MJ2Day alumni dinner (from L to R: Jessica Ulrich, Kate Giovinco, Tracy Woodger-Broz, me and Jeremy Chou):
It was so fun to catch up with these photographers who have attended past workshops and see what they are up to now! They are all doing great things!
What an amazing experience! Thank you to WPPI for having me speak! Can't wait for next year!
What an amazing year 2012 has been! This year has been filled to overflowing with blessings. I shot 14 amazing weddings and have developed some incredible memories and relationships along the way. It's been so great to take some time these last few days to reflect on the past year. As a result, today I am going to share 5 of my favorite "happenings" from 2012.
I still can't believe I got the chance to shoot a wedding in Africa this year!! Crazy! The whole experience was completely surreal. I've been shooting weddings for nearly 10 years now and this was my first opportunity to photograph a wedding outside the country. I never would have guessed that my first international wedding would be on the great continent of Africa. I feel so blessed.
In March I launched a new business called Align Album Design. We are an outsourcing solution for professional photographers who want album designs that are clean, affordable, and done quickly. Align has been a thrilling endeavor and is definitely one of the highlights of my year. In many ways it has reminded me of my early years building my photography business, but in other ways it is a completely different beast. Regardless, I have loved getting thrust back into the challenges of running and systematizing a fledgling business. Watching Align grow over the past 9 months has been exciting and I can't wait to see what the years ahead have in store!
In the Bible, Mary and Martha are sisters who were also friends with Christ. They both loved him greatly, but Martha ran around frantically waiting on him hand and foot, while Mary sat at his feet and hung on every word he said. In the end, Jesus said that Mary had chosen the better thing. I'm sure he loved that Martha wanted to show her love by serving him, but he valued Mary's desire to be with him more.
I am notorious for being a Martha. I'm a doer. And not even in a noble, serving others kind of way. But more in a I-feel-best-about-myself-when-I'm-being-productive kind of way.
Last year, in my 2011 year in review, I celebrated gaining some ground in prioritizing the important and bringing a bit of balance to my life. This year, God took me a step further. In the summer I was doing my usual throwing-myself-into-the-next-big-thing bit when God asked me to stop and wait on him. I was running ahead of him, like I often do, and likely missing the better thing he longed to bless me with.
As a result, one of my highlights of the year has been a deeper leaning into Christ. By no means am I fully transformed into a Mary yet, but I'm practicing waiting, dependence and gratitude. The peace, contentment and closeness with him that God has blessed me with, are some of my greatest treasures of 2012.
#5 -- Business Growth
This year was a year of tremendous business growth for Melissa Jill Photography. We brought on a new 4th associate photographer, doubled the number of associate weddings we shot from 2011, relaunched a new album design template website with new templates and an affiliate program, developed new resources for photographers and more! I'm SO thrilled, looking back at 2012, at how far we've come! Click below to read more about each area of growth!