***Disclosure: this post is mostly for other photographers. But if you are a client and are wondering where my passion comes from, and how is it possible to turn such passion into a successful business for a single woman with circumstances against the odds, read on.***
Sue Bryce. I met this incredible woman last March at WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International), in Las Vegas. Of course I got the must-have selfie with her, the one from the “after session meet-and-greet” where people wait in line to tell photographers how much their admire them or their work, and then smile in front of a phone screen that make all photographers look like amateurs. Of course, Sue looked amazing and I looked like her ugly sister that has been living on the streets for the last week. Which is why I hadn’t shared it until now…
I actually met her (and a couple of her mentors) right before a short segment at the Canon stage. She was waiting to go on stage and I was right there, sitting on the floor at a distance from which I could almost touch her. She turned to me and smiled so I approached her and introduced myself, and I bit my tongue to not repeat any of the cliché phrases that kept landing on it, which I am sure she has heard hundreds of times. I don’t know what I said but she smiled the whole time with that Sue-Bryce smile, an almost-like-Julia’s smile, and I was almost in hypnosis.
I am not a groupie, I don’t pay attention to popular people anymore. I pay attention to happy people. Some of them happen to be famous, which tends to give more access to their public lives and to how they got to where they are. This means I can strive to learn something from them that helps me along the way towards stability, in a joyous way. And that is why I admire Sue and get giddy in her presence. Because she has built a business from zero to a weekly 5-figure average studio income, but most importantly, she has built herself, she has built up her self-esteem and drive to overcome a boss who called her on her flaws and her own blocks that kept undermining her ability to succeed.
WPPI interviewed her in April of 2012, as member of the month, right after she won the title of Australian Photographer of the Year in 2011. Since then she has moved to Los Angeles where she opened a new studio, her education program has exploded, and she has acquired an adorable pug named Cookie, who has her own Instagram feed. You can read the interview here.
As for me, I dream with one day have half her confidence when it comes to the direction of my business. As she teaches, it can’t be done without first mastering confidence in oneself. I guess my battle is almost half way won.