Open Yourself to Possibilities

Thank goodness February is over. It’s been a long, cold, snowy winter here in New Jersey and February felt particularly brutal.  I can cope with cold weather pretty well but “cabin fever” can be deadly for me. And last month it almost killed me.  I had been in isolation editing video for 14 hours a day – every day. It was almost inhuman.

This weekend I headed down to Philadelphia to present a seminar at

©Douglas Bovitt

ASMP’s SB3.  It was just what I needed.  I needed to connect with people.  Conferences like SB3 are meant for stimulation and learning and everyone walks away with their heads exploding with new ideas – attendee and presenter alike.  But I walk away with so much more. What I get from interacting with people, learning from them, sharing with them is immeasurable.

Some things that stuck with me:

“Be awesome” Colleen Wainwright

“Hang out with people better than you” Blake Discher

And from Tom Kennedy

Freedom – to see – to be open to opportunities
Authenticity – be yourself
Intentionality – live intentionally – be proactive
Trust – in yourself
Hospitality – be open to the world

And I learned about a blog that truly resonates with me The Art of Non-Conformity
As all the conversations still run through my mind, I remember one in particular.  I was speaking with someone who had taken his own path – traveling a lot before going to college and pursuing other passions in life before settling down on a career.  He wanted to know if I would mentor him but he had so many questions, he was concerned he would infringe too much on my time. I smiled and told him that I was quite accessible and to feel free to call anytime. And that I’d let him know if he was wearing out his welcome He smiled back and said, “you have a hard time saying no don’t you?” My answer to him was “yes” and that I liked that word much more.  It opens up so many more possibilities.

If you haven’t attended on of the three SB3 events – there’s still one more in Chicago April 1- 3.  Check out what people are saying on Facebook. And then come and join us in Chicago and prepared for lots of “ah ha” moments. It could be life changing.  You just never know.

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Just Say Yes

This past weekend at ASMP’s SB3 conference in LA, a young woman came up to me and said that I had given her an “ah ha” moment.  I asked her why and she reminded me of what I had said at a panel discussion the evening before.  A photographer had just told a story of how he saw himself in very specific terms as to what type of photography he did – he saw himself as wearing one hat.  But a client came to him with a job that didn’t fit into his norm and so he turned it down.  Then the client came back a few days later in desperation and asked him to please reconsider and he did.  The job ultimately turned into a lucrative and regular gig and he learned a powerful lesson and that was to open his head up more to possibilities.

I was in the audience and the moderator asked if anyone had a response to this story.  I said that I was really into saying yes more at this point in my life and career and that when I did, the universe was opening up and really great things were happening.  I could go on to list a number of examples of some good things that have happened but the point here is that negative energy breeds negativity and positive energy breeds hope and change and positive results.

It’s pretty tough these days to stay positive, with the photographic industry in a state of flux and the lackluster economy but it’s not impossible.  Some things I have found that help me stay positive are simple to implement in your life and others take a bit more practice.

  • For starters, stay away from the groaners and moaners who spend their time complaining.  That negativity is contagious – so get as far away from those people as you can.
  • Find something you do like and cultivate that passion.  It will show.  You’ll start to talk about it and people will be attracted to you because of it.  That attitude is contagious as well but is an attitude that you want to “catch”.
  • Embrace learning.  Growth always has hope and hope will renew your spirit.
  • Learn to let go of the things that don’t work out.  God knows I have had to abandon many expectations but I try to move on and replace them with new ones.
  • You can’t control what others do to you but you can control how you react. Empower yourself with that thought.
  • Think good thoughts in those moments right before you drift off to sleep.  When you are sleeping your subconscious takes over and if you have positive thoughts running through your head just before you go into that subconscious state – that is what will be reinforced.
  • When you are feeling low and nothing seems to be working – find something that is working and be grateful for that.  And know there are certainly others in the world that are far less fortunate than you.
  • Always remember that life is the greatest gift of all.  Embrace it, cherish it and make every day count.

When you say yes, you at least have a chance at a positive outcome.  When you say no – you’ve closed the door.  My reward that weekend was knowing that I gave someone an “ah ha” moment. Who knows what may come out of that?  What a powerful thought.  What a powerful word.

There were all kinds of “ah ha” moments this past weekend in Los Angeles at the SB3 conference.  There’s another SB3 conference in Philadelphia coming up – February 25-27.  Come and join others who embrace the positive notion of growth, hope and change.

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SB3 – Get Inspired

If you haven’t registered for the ASMP Strictly Business 3 conference yet, I would highly suggest that you do so.  They will be held in three locations starting next week: January 21-23 in Los Angeles; February 25-27 in Philadelphia; and April 1-3 in Chicago.

There’s an incredible line up of speakers presenting workshops on pricing, estimating, copyright, workflow, strategic career planning, successful portfolios and branding and video production. I’ll be presenting two workshops: “Thinking in Motion” and “Shooting Video with the DSLR”.

Branding expert Colleen Wainwright will deliver her keynote “Making People Love You Madly: Selling Yourself in a Postmodern Marketplace”.  Tom Kennedy, whom I’ve know since his days at the National Geographic Magazine will give a keynote “Learning New Skills for the Changing Media Landscape”.

This conference series is meant for everyone, not just photographers who are beginning their careers.  In fact, I think that photographers who have been in business for many years will benefit equally, if not more than a shooter who is new to the business.

I have been in business for over 30 years and I have found that one of the most dangerous things that can happen to a creative person,  is for them to become complacent, especially in a business like photography.  It’s even more deadly to become complacent these days in our fast changing world of technology.  We not only need to stay current with our skills, we need to keep our vision fresh.

When I got into video and motion more than a decade ago, I was looking for something to excite me.  I felt that even though my business was successful and that I had accomplished many of my creative goals, the spark was getting dim inside me and at times I felt like I was reinventing the wheel.  So, I set out on a learning curve and have been soaking up information ever since.

I love to learn and I have found that the more I wonder and grow, the better off I am creatively and the more successful I am in business.  I’ve also found that networking and collaborating with my peers has opened my eyes to all sorts of possibilities that I never knew existed.  I think that’s what makes the SB3 conference so powerful – the sharing of information with our peers.  You don’t get that from online learning.

We live in a time where anything is possible.  Come to SB3 in LA, Philadelphia and Chicago and be prepared to be inspired.

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