With over 130 MJ2Day alumni now taking over the globe, I thought it would be fun to do a series on my blog to check in on past attendees and see what they're up to now and how their businesses, lives and photography have been impacted by their experience at the workshop. I love keeping up with past attendees and seeing where their journeys have led them! So many of them are blowing me away with their amazingness!

Today, I'd like to introduce you to Lisa Mathewson -- an attendee of the Phoenix MJ2Day two years ago in January. Lisa is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and specializes in weddings.
We get photographers at all stages of their businesses at the MJ2Day and Lisa was a relative newbie having been in business for about a year when she attended the workshop. I remember sitting down with her during our one-on-one consultation and finding out she had a problem that most photographers would not mind having: she was super-busy. But in her own words, she felt "lost" and in over her head. She wasn't making enough money and felt burnt out already. I remember encouraging her to raise her prices right away and evidently she did so. She made a lot of other big changes to her business and today, is in an amazing place in her journey!

I interviewed Lisa for this post and I love what she shared in answer to my first question:

Q: What is the biggest difference in your photography since attending the MJ2Day?

A: I honestly can't say there was one thing... there were 20 things. I left the workshop feeling so motivated and positive about the future of my work. Melissa has such an amazing way of explaining things clearly and concisely, I felt she had given me all the right tools to push my photography forward. The one major thing I think I took away from the workshop was learning off-camera flash. It was something I knew nothing about prior to the workshop. I started incorporating her lighting set up the next month when I photographed my first wedding of the year.

So great! Here are some examples of Lisa's work before the workshop:
And here are some examples of her work after attending:

Q: What is the biggest difference in your business since attending the MJ2Day?

A: The biggest difference in my business is the result of learning that customer service and systematizing are keys to running a business with longevity. Organization and efficiency are SO important -- they ultimately allowed me to free up time to continue growing my business. Melissa spoke a lot about ensuring your business could run smoothly, in order to focus on growing your business rather than just working for it.

Q: Have you changed or raised your prices since the workshop?

A: Oh yes! During our one-on-one consultation at the workshop Melissa immediately told me to raise my prices and I definitely took her advice. Before I attended the workshop I was charging approximately $1,200 per wedding. I raised my prices immediately after that, and then again gradually over time. My starting package is now $2,950 and I book an average of 20-25 weddings a year. I've recently expanded and offer more high-end albums to my wedding clients, and this has also increased my profit per wedding. Now most of my clients book collections with a wedding album, whereas they didn't before.

Q: What relationships did you build as a result of the workshop?

A: One of the things I was most excited for when I decided to attend the MJ2Day, was to meet other photographers like myself from all over the country. It was really interesting to learn about other wedding photography markets other than Wisconsin. I met photographers from Arizona, New Jersey, and Texas. I still keep in touch with them and follow their business growth and success today. I was even able to help a fellow alum, Emily Snitzer from Arizona, find a second shooter for a wedding she booked here in Wisconsin!

Q: Are there any other changes or exciting developments you'd like to share?

A: Yes! After the workshop my business grew quickly and I photographed 31 weddings that year! I decided to open a small studio space to meet with my wedding clients. I loved how inviting Melissa's home studio was and I wanted a similar feel and space to meet with my potential clients. I have two small kids so having a home studio space wasn't going to work for me. So I found the next best thing -- a small space near my son's school, which was perfect. I love the space and it's really nice to invite clients in and show them lovely albums surrounded by all of my favorite images hanging on the walls.
SO great Lisa! So proud of you and blown away by your growth!! I can't wait to see where this next year takes you! Thank you for taking the time to share so openly with us.

If you're a photographer and would love to take your photography and business to the next level like Lisa has, join us at an upcoming MJ2Day! The Charlotte, North Carolina workshop coming up next month only has two spots left! Can't wait to see who gets them!
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