Kia Bondurant – Episode 001 – A Photographer Podcast Interview

In Episode 001 we interview Kia Bondurant.  Kia Bondurant has been a full time professional portrait photographer for over 20 years. With her experience of owning a large successful business and recently starting a new portrait studio from scratch, she wants to share HOPE for the photography industry!

One of the first things we talk about is what seniors are looking for today.  You may be surprised at what she is seeing.

A really neat thing Kia does each year is she has three words for the studio.  This helps guide her in decisions for what she is going to do each year. Listen in to hear what three words she picked for 2018.  This is such a simple task that you can do to grow your business.

Next, we talk about why you should and should not copy other photographers.  Tune in to see what Kia thinks is the difference.

If you are new to the industry, Kia talks about how new photographers should value their work and time.  Some really great tips here.

If you have had a business for a while, listen as Kia talks about what it takes to hire people and why it is important.

 

Books Kia Recommends:

EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey (http://a.co/d/iwLnXkV)

E-Myth by Michael Gerber (https://amzn.to/2Qhdmqh)

Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Cloud and Townsend (https://amzn.to/2R2o6tT)

 

Link Kia’s Giveaway

Coming Soon


Read Full Transcript

TRANSCRIPTION:

Transcription was done by Temi.com which means it’s an AI generated transcript. The transcript may contain spelling, grammar and other errors, and is not a substitute for watching the video.

Intro: 00:00 Welcome to from nothing to profit, a photographer’s podcast with Matt and Kia where each week they talk to photographers about what is working in their business now so you can swipe those ideas and grow your business faster. Everybody. Welcome to episode one,

Matt: 00:17 Kia Bondurant. Today Kia Bondurant has been a full time photographer for 20 years. She has experience in owning a very large studio and recently starting a new brand new portrait studio from scratch and I know from speaking with her in the past that she’s always trying to bring hope to the photography industry and I know she will today. One of the first things we talked about is what are seniors looking for today and I think you’ll be surprised what she’s seen and she has some really great tips if you’re new to the photography business and you want to figure out how to value your work and your time, and she also has some great tips for people that have been around for awhile in terms of hiring new people and why it’s important to have a staff. So let’s jump right in it.

Kia: 00:56 Yeah, I thank you Matt for asking me to do this. I have wanted to share more often and in a more structured way, like a podcast for quite a long time and I just was too nervous to make it happen myself. So when you asked and gave me the opportunity, I was super excited. There’s so much that we can give back to the industry and to help make the industry better in the future and so I can’t wait. Can’t wait.

Matt: 01:22 Sure, I agree. I mean you’ve been in the industry for 20 years and I’ve been in the industry for 11 years and I just think there’s so many photographers out there that, you know, feel alone and really could use some expertise from people that have kind of been through what they’re going through now and just kind of maybe give them the shortcut or just given us some really solid advice on what they should be doing in their business. So let’s jump right in real quick. So if I were to introduce you to somebody, how would you, what would you say you would be? You’re known for in the industry or you know, what are people, when they think of your brand, what do they think of

Kia: 01:54 in the photography industry? I would say that I’m kind of known in two ways. The first definitely is senior portraits and fashion inspired senior portraits and then also family and children. Portraits that are more like fun and playful. More stylized.

Matt: 02:12 That definitely resonates with me because I don’t, I think I’ve told you the story, but I should definitely tell guests the story is that, you know, when we first got into the business, my wife and I, Allison, she, uh, she was a huge fan of your work and she was one of your, one of the first people she followed on instagram and all these different things and she loved your working. Anytime we were kind of searching for ideas or we’re rethinking our business or whatever, we always pulled up your website and always lots of inspiration there for sure. So

Kia: 02:42 that’s exciting.

Matt: 02:43 Well, because you can definitely see the fashion inspired senior portraits in your business and that was just all it was resonant resonated with us for sure. So real quick for the audience, tell, tell us what’s working right now in your business. You know, you’ve had 20 years of experience and you know, as you know, every, every year and every week is a new adventure. What would you say is working right now if you had to give our audience like kind of a little nugget?

Kia: 03:08 Well, I think that what’s working right now, our actual microtrends I feel like if we’re going to get like kind of go deep right away and for a little while, senior portraits walking on the street outdoor only was the thing and the only thing that people wanted. Whereas now the seniors are wanting studio, they’re wanting lighting, they’re wanting things that sets. And so uh, if they’re moving away from all of the lifestyle look and wanting things that are a little bit more commercial and portrait and I think that might just be what we’re creating ourselves and that that’s just the, the look that are actual seniors are wanting rather than being a trend overall. But that’s something that’s working specifically right now for us is creating more of a, a styled look within the studio rather than doing something more lifestyle.

Matt: 04:04 So how, how do you think about that? Because I think so many times we get stuck in ruts as photographers where we’re like, okay, we’re just going to go stand on a street or an alley again and take, take the stereotypical senior picture. The only thing that changes is whatever the senior kind of brings to the session, whether it’s their own look or their own props and stuff like that. So you know, how are, how are you thinking about it in your studio so that you’re kind of consciously making sure you don’t go back to the the old way if you will, and just given them what you’ve given everybody else for years.

Kia: 04:32 Well I think that’s probably one of the keys that make me different than other people. And it just kind of goes back to how I approach each year and the business. So one of the things that growing up I was, I would get in trouble if I ever said I was bored. And, and with my own children, I do the same thing. If they come to me and they’re like, mom, I’m so bored. I’m like, okay, you can do this, this, this, this or this. And I give them options that are work and options that are not work. But being board was kind of the, it was the ultimate. No, no. And so I don’t really allow myself, um, in the, uh, in the work that I do. And so each year I come up with ideas of things that I want to do and I have lists in my head.

Kia: 05:14 I find them by, um, obviously instagram is so great because you can kind of curate your experience by who you follow. But I look through physical magazines a lot. Sometimes I’ll get through, go through a patch where I watch a bunch of like music videos, uh, even just watching movies and how they found those. And I get, I just have a list of ideas of things I want to try and new things that I think are going to be interesting. And so I feel like lifestyle was such a huge thing and it still definitely is. I think people have seen that so much that they’re ready for something new. And so that’s really what we’ve done this year is my staff and I have sat down and thought, what can we do that people aren’t seeing? What, what do we do differently, what, what is our brand? And so our three words for our photography brand and you know, kind of are me personally, are vibrant, authentic and inspirational and so keen off the vibrant word. We’ve done a lot of really bright, fun colored backgrounds and playful experiences. And so that’s, I feel is drawing our clients right now.

Matt: 06:20 You know, I hear those words and I think you know, obviously those words mean a ton to you and it’s helping you steer. But some of those words of what I was, what I’ve always seen in your work. And so in a sense, you’re staying true to your brand. You know that you’ve always had, so you’re not like taking a 180 degree turn, but at the same time you know you’re interjecting new and fresh ideas so. So you’re not getting bored because I would say you’re a brand has always been authentic and vibrant. You know, that’s what I’ve always noticed. One thing that’s different about ours is you’ve always had a lot of color in your and your brand and your pictures and we don’t do a lot of that. We do a lot more like monochrome or really muted tones and it just kinda depends on what you like. It doesn’t matter whether it’s right or wrong, there’s no right or wrong, it’s just whatever your how to stay true to your style is what I’m trying to say.

Kia: 07:09 Well, and I definitely think there is right and wrong and this and I think what’s wrong is when you straight up copy someone else and try to put that into your business, and I don’t mean that in an accusatory way at all, but in more of a, it’s not going to work for you if it’s not who you are. It’s not going to look authentic, it’s not going to feel real and your clients aren’t going to be drawn to that if that’s not really who you are. And I’ve, I’ve seen a lot of that over the years where, you know, photographers will take what someone else does and just do it exactly that way and then the next you know, trend will come up and they’ll do it exactly that way and then the next trend and so when you look through their work, it’s just a trend after trend after trend or for certain person’s style and it doesn’t reflect who they are. And I think for you to have a really truly enjoyable and rewarding photography career, then you need to develop who you are and find those clients that want what you create.

Matt: 08:11 Yeah, I agree. Because otherwise it just feels like you’re reinventing yourself every single year and that can just be exhausting. And then also you don’t necessarily know why you’re down 20 percent or whatever and it could because that trend is kind of the ship is sailing and you gotta reinvent yourself and you know, I think there’s some time at the beginning of your career where you can explore those different looks and try to figure out who you are but eventually kinda stick to exactly. You know, like you said, who you are authentically and that way you just naturally do it and it build, it comes across like this is naturally what my art looks like. I mean allison could never pull off the look that you do everyday in your studio because it’s beautiful and I love it, but it’s just not who we are, what we naturally do every day.

Kia: 08:52 Yeah. Because Allison is more of a natural outdoor, the type of person I feel like, and I, I, I think she could do it, but would it be rewarding to her and would it connect to your clients? That’s the key. That’s really the issue I think.

Matt: 09:06 Yeah. I think it’d be fun for a couple of weeks or maybe she might be able to pull it off for a year, but then eventually I think it would just become exhausting trying to be somebody that she’s not, you know, it will require work and maybe maybe for a short term that would be fun because it would just be all this creativity flowing into the business, but it wouldn’t. I don’t think it’s sustainable and I think that’s what happens with a lot of photographers and that that’s one way we can tell whether a competition every year it’s going to stay or leave is like how trendy is their stuff and if it’s super trendy where like well they may not make it through the next trend change where other people that kind of. When you, when you look at their work and it feels really authentic, you’re like, oh, they might. They might have some staying power for sure. Yeah, definitely true. Okay, so let me, let me go move on to the next question I want to ask you. When you think about our industry today, like what? What has you excited about it or you know, when you tell people about our industry, what do you, what do you tell people about or what are you watching? Just tell me what, what your mindset is about the industry.

Kia: 10:03 Well, I think a couple things. One is if you’ve been in the industry a while, then you’ve seen so many changes and the way you know, because I started out shooting film and then we started shooting digitally and then we started doing things on social media, started selling, you know, digital versus a actual prints. All those things have changed and then, you know, the actual economy has changed so much. And so I feel like people can get into the, the, uh, mindset that what we do isn’t a viable business anymore. That people aren’t actually willing to pay for it. And I feel that’s not true at all. People want beautiful pictures and they are willing to pay for them.

Matt: 10:49 What do you think’s going on when people think that somebody doesn’t necessarily want to, that nobody. That nobody wants to purchase a photographs that anymore. Like what? What do, what do you think’s going on there like it? Is it a confidence thing or is it just like, I don’t know. I mean I just don’t know the. I don’t know the mental game. What’s what’s happening for people that are struggling?

Kia: 11:08 Well I think then on the other hand, there are the new photographers to the industry and they don’t understand the value of it because they haven’t tried to do it as a business and so when you’re coming in and doing it as a hobby or something as a sideline, then you don’t need to make a certain number of dollars per hour and it more becomes the etsy game where you’re selling something for $10 that takes you 10 hours to create. And so I think that both sides are rubbing against one another. The people who’ve worked in the business for so long and have this idea of how the process should work and then the people who are new in the business and don’t understand what the value should be for what they’re doing and it kind of, you know, they rub and forth and kind of create a negative ideas on both sides. And so I think coming at it from an artist standpoint that what you’re creating is beautiful and has value and if you’re coming at it saying this has value, I think it has value. Here’s how much you need. You would need to pay for it. People are willing to pay you for something that they think is beautiful.

Matt: 12:14 No, I agree. And I love how you’re saying value because a lot of times when you go to conferences or you speak to other photographers, all they want to do is talk about your prices and how to in that you have to raise your prices, but it’s not necessarily totally about price. Obviously you need to make a decent wage and you know, but I don’t think there’s a wrong or right answer in terms of business models in terms of price either. And so I like, I like the idea how you said you have to think about it from an artist standpoint where you’re bringing, you know, where you’re bringing your artists value to it and creating something that’s, that’s worth money now what it’s worth, you know, that may change over your career and may change depending on your client, but I think it definitely has some value and has, has a lot of worth, that’s for sure.

Kia: 12:55 Well, and when you think back to the old masters and the painters back in the day they were commissioned to create a piece of art and I do think that that’s something that’s changed is we’re no longer creating a commodity where we’re creating a piece of art. I think that how we work, how our business models that photographers really are going to have to change somewhat because we are more like the old masters essentially because not everyone needs a senior portrait. Not everyone is going to get one.

Matt: 13:29 No, I totally agree with that because the other thing is is that there’s clients for every price range in every level of value. You know, there are customers out there that want to treat photography like a commodity and they would purchase it like they purchase apples at Walmart, but there’s other people that will purchase it like it’s art and so you just have to figure out who your customer is and what will you do in our businesses. We just break it down. We don’t spend a lot, you know, we say how many, how many sessions do we need to do this year? And we just kinda break it down. When you start thinking about how many you have to do in a year and then how many is that a month and how many is that a week? It’s really not that many. You don’t have to find that many people unless you’re doing a lot of volume and then the model is different, but that’s definitely not the business that you and I have chose.

Kia: 14:11 Yeah, absolutely. I think if you want to do it like a commodity, then you need to create the processes and the price points and everything like it as a commodity and that’s totally doable as well from photography. I think there’s, there’s a great business model for that, but that’s not what we’re talking about today.

Matt: 14:28 All right, so let’s switch gears real quick. Let’s go to the lightening round where I’m just going to ask you a couple of real quick questions and get some people some quick wins. So when you were first starting, like what was holding you back from becoming a photographer?

Kia: 14:39 When I first started, I actually have an education degree, elementary ED and secondary Spanish and my mom was a photographer and she created beautiful work. She’d been a painter before and I didn’t think that I was creative and artistic enough to do it. I thought you had to be just this artist, you know, quote unquote artists and I thought I’m just not good at as good enough as an artist. And so that was holding me back and I went to a week long class and looked around and saw all these other people doing photography and I came back and said, I think I can actually do this. And so I started shooting full time that summer and it’s taken me time to embrace the fact that I am an artist and I have a vision and things that I want to create.

Matt: 15:25 So do you think a lot of that was because when you first started you were comparing yourself to people around you, you know, like you’re like, well, I don’t, I’m not necessarily artists the way that they are an artist and stuff like that. And that’s kind of what we’re struggling with.

Kia: 15:37 I think that to become an expert in something, uh, it. Malcolm Gladwell wrote a great book called outliers and he said that to become an expert in something and you have to do it for 10,000 hours. And I think especially when you’re younger and for the millennial generation, this is totally true, is you just expect it to become way quicker. And so for me, I thought I should be good at this right away, I should be great at this, I should understand it. But honestly when I hired about 10,000 hours I could create something from scratch and I didn’t have to use anything else to create it. And I knew where the lighting was coming from. I knew what I needed to do. I think it just takes time to become an artist.

Matt: 16:15 Okay. So what is the best advice you ever received?

Kia: 16:18 The best advice I ever received. This came from my mom and she actually was a painter before she became a photographer. And so she taught me how to do both and she said copying is okay when you were in the process of learning. So earlier in our interview I said that it’s not okay to copy. And my point there was that it’s not okay to straight copy. The reason I don’t think you should straight copy someone in your photography business is that you’re not going to be rewarded because it’s not who you are. But on the other hand, when you’re learning, it’s great to copy the old masters trained their apprentices that way they gave them a painting and they said, copy this and you learn and the process. And so as a photographer, I would copy, I would copy poses from the Victoria secret magazine. I would copy lighting from the PPA magazines and from other magazines and copied backgrounds and uh, I learned from all of that and now I’m able to see an image, know how they did it, and take a little parts of things to create new work of my own.

Matt: 17:20 Yeah, we did the same thing in our studio. We kind of just practice like headshots on each other and that’s our staff or whatever. We’ll see a picture. We’re like, well, let’s try to recreate that. And it comes out pretty close normally because we can figure it out. But the process that we went along learning it really can open up. Like I guess it just puts another tool in your tool belt. You know, you don’t ever go back to that exact lighting setup and that exact pose and that edit. But you may take a piece of it and really added to your tool belt, which is really fun.

Kia: 17:49 Yeah. Yeah. So copying is okay when you’re in the process of learning.

Matt: 17:52 All right, next question. Share one of your personal habits that contributes to your success.

Kia: 17:57 Okay. Uh, I actually have two here so you can choose your favorite. The first one is that I jump off the cliff. So when I’m scared to do something, when something comes into my mind and I’m like, oh no, that’s really scary. I typically know it’s something that I need to do that I need to move through that fear. And so I’ve gotten into the habit of jumping off the cliff if something comes into my mind and I’m just afraid to do it.

Matt: 18:26 What’s your, what’s your other one?

Kia: 18:28 So the other, the second one is, is that I asked for help. And so, uh, I have gone to therapy. Uh, I’ve, I’ve had a personal coaching and I often call friends and call groups of friends and say, okay, I’m working on this. How are you dealing with this? What do you do? What do you think is the next thing? And so I’m always asking for people’s help asking for their opinion and it’s not a, it’s when I do it, I feel like it’s a way of me validating who they are and helping them as well, so I don’t feel like I’m just a hanger on or using people or something like that. I truly feel like asking for help is a, is one of the best things that you can do because people will invest in you and care about you if you’re asking for their help.

Matt: 19:14 Any internet resources or like where do you get inspiration from or you know, basically if some. If you were to send somebody to the worldwide web today, where would you send them?

Kia: 19:24 The first place that I would send a photographer who’s wanting to learn just about photography and to be encouraged is actually facebook photography groups. I feel like there are some really fantastic ones out there. Gary box outs outside the box I think is the name of his, uh, you have to be professional photographers to join a lot of these. But I think there are a lot of those that you can go on and just um, people care and a lot of people have been in the business a long time and so they want to help new people.

Matt: 19:54 I think Gary’s group is really good because they do like these, like I don’t know if their daily challenges. I don’t know exactly how somebody throws out an idea and saw the other one. The other one the other day was like farm land or barn or something like that was really cool. It just gives you some inspiration. But what I haven’t seen in his group that I see in some groups here, there’s like there’s like zero trolls and his group and I just don’t know if he did a good job of handling that or what. But it’s such a positive community.

Kia: 20:19 Yeah. So that would be the probably the number one place. And then I think spending time on pinterest and youtube videos and things like that. For me, it’s not a long time. You know, I made to spend 15 minutes or 20 minutes or something like that. And it could be once a month or every couple months, but just to like visually see some new things.

Matt: 20:41 Do you have any books or resources like in terms of that world that you would share with people that maybe helped you early or that you’ve read read recently that really would be powerful for people?

Kia: 20:52 Yeah. So the book that I would, my top book that I would recommend this entree leadership by Dave Ramsey I think is an amazing book, especially in an amazing business book. And then boundaries is a, it’s actually a personal book by cloud and Townson that those are some of my goto books and I go back to them as well.

Matt: 21:13 That’s really interesting. Yeah, I mean everybody recommends the e myth and I just have never been able to get through it and I read a lot of books, but I feel like maybe that needs to be the goal by the end of the year as I need to say I’m going to read that book because so many people recommend it and I just have never been able to get through it. I don’t know why. It just,

Kia: 21:30 I’ll tell you what I, what I took from ams and I feel like there are other things that are more helpful to you right now, but email to me, I feel like what it does is it, um, we made a picture of the jobs in the business and what everyone does for those jobs and I feel like that you’re really good outsourcing things and not making yourself the actual worker in the business because the whole point of that emf is that you’re not the one who does everything day to day, that you have other people that do all those things and you work on creating your business. So I feel like you’re really good at that already.

Matt: 22:08 Yeah. And let’s, let’s stay there because I mean, you know, we’re, we’re barely 30 minutes into the podcast so we have, you know, a little bit of time to dig into that because I think, let me wrap around that idea. We can talk about outsourcing and not be in the worker, but also I think one of the things that people when they listened to this podcast are going to be concerned about is that you and I both have staff members and so they’re going to be like, well, you know, we can’t do what they do because we don’t have a staff and stuff like that. So do you want to talk quickly about like hiring staff or when you decided to hire a staff and I can kind of say our opinion on that and then we can also dive into a little bit about, you know, like what do you outsource and things like that as well because I know we, I, you and I outsource totally different things in our business because we have totally different businesses. So start with the staff one, like how did you go from just doing everything yourself to deciding that you needed people around you?

Kia: 23:00 Well, my history and the businesses a little bit different because I started out, you know, and I was like the third or fourth hire of my mom’s photography business and she, when she first started 20 years over 20 years ago, there was so much more that you physically had to do, you know, it was shooting film and so you had to unload the film, you had to send it to the lab, you had to get the proofs back, you know, and so there was a lot or just a lot more employees needed for that. And so I was maybe the third or fourth hire there to just make it all work. And then we had up to like 15 employees at one time in that business. But to take it back to now, currently if I was talking to someone currently, uh, when I started my business six years ago when I, after I moved, I could have done it all myself and I actually was planning to.

Kia: 23:55 And then I had a friend who was like, I want to work with you. This is important. I want to be a part of this. I think the important part about hiring someone is that you can pay them. And so when I do hire, I hire slowly and carefully and I typically have their salary saved so that if I hire someone new for the year, I already have their salary in my savings so that I can pay them for the full year. Uh, I also tie people to, um, like if they’re coming in and they’re a new employee and they want to make more money or they were just, even for them coming in, I say I have to make more in order to pay you. And so these are the, these are the things that we’re going to need to do to get you to that pay skill.

Kia: 24:44 These are the things that, you know, whether it’s a commission based or whether it’s a certain number of sessions booked. And so I’m actually right now currently looking at hiring another person or two, but my studio certainly doesn’t have their, um, uh, you know, more salary in savings for further multiple new people. And so I’m looking at ways to say, you know, if I hire you, I need to have this, this, this, and this in place before I hire you, and then you’ll need to meet these recommendations in order to, uh, stay working. You’re gonna, we’re gonna need to bring it in this amount of business.

Matt: 25:17 What type of activities? That’s a really bad word, but you know, what type of jobs does your staff do in your business? Like what were their responsibilities? That’s the word I’m looking for. Responses.

Kia: 25:26 Yeah. Responsibilities. Well, I don’t outsource a lot because I like the process of the business. I liked the whole process of it. So my staff answers the phone books, the sessions, retouches does some photography, makes the backgrounds, does a social media frames, the portraits does the sales. So pretty much everything that’s has to do with the business I do shooting final retouching and oversee the advertising.

Matt: 25:59 Awesome. Yeah, that makes, that makes complete sense. So our business was similar. We actually started by outsourcing and then we’ve kind of moved those into employees. So one of the very first things that we outsourced was all of our like retouching and editing and we actually were sending it to a company that we found at imaging USA one year and we as our business grew, we could, they could scale with us because we weren’t their only client and they did a really good job for a long time for us. And then they eventually sold their business to another retouching house that we didn’t like we didn’t love or didn’t have a positive experience with when we first were trying out a number of them. And so at that point we just decided that maybe we should just bring somebody local and because we are already paying them like full time wages somebody.

Matt: 26:44 And it was just crazy how it worked out. This, this guy who had just recently moved our town, he used to retouch and Australia and the commercial world and he happened to just walk in our door and just say, hey, I just moved to town. Let me know if you guys ever need any help. He was thinking like, you know, like commercial word world. If you ever need to send me some some food or product photography, I can, I can reach that. And we were like, we, we’re more like, well here’s what our model looks like. And it was, it was, there was some struggle there for awhile in terms of like explaining to him that we had a certain amount of volume that we did and he wasn’t used to doing that much volume and he was such a perfectionist about retouching because he started so early in retouching where he was just doing stuff on the pixel level.

Matt: 27:24 And so it was a, it was a fun, it was fun to grow him in terms of some of the newer, faster technologies. But then it was also good for him to keep us grounded with, you know, like this is how it’s originally done is better than just slapping a filter on top of it. And so we did that and then we, we hired somebody to help allison was shoots and answer the phone and that. And her job has kind of grown into kind of an all around thing where she’s, you know, Colin sessions and answering phones and booking sessions and we did the same thing you did though in terms of hiring slow, you know, as you need more and more help or as your systems become more efficient than you can give them more roles and responsibilities and therefore more money or more hours.

Kia: 28:05 Yeah. And another reason that I hired is because I really wanted to make my life the way that I wanted to live it and the, I don’t like to work alone if I’m at home working on my computer for a couple of days in a row rather than being in the studio shooting, I’ll get sad and so I hire people that I like and that I like to spend time with and the people that have worked for me over the years have ended up being some of my very best friends. And for me the workplace as a place to really invest in people and care about them. And so when I hire, I hire for relationship as well.

Matt: 28:48 Yeah. I love your staff, you know, I’ve met a number of them over the years at different conventions when we spoke together and like they are some of the funnest people to definitely to hang out with for sure. You do a really, really good job of that. You know, the girl that’s currently working for us. It’s so interesting. She actually started as an intern here. I’ll tell you the long story since we have a little bit of time. She, uh, I was teaching high school when I first moved to the town that we have our studio in and I only stayed there teaching high school math for a couple of years and I was on my way out and it was like my last day and her last day and she was like, she can watch me. And she was like, you know, I’d really like to work for allison can use, can you show her my portfolio night at her as a student.

Matt: 29:26 So I knew she was responsible, stuff like that. I showed allison, I said, you know, here’s, here’s the portfolio, you know, Blah Blah. And she was like, well, let’s give it a try. And that girl intern for us for over a year like just came on sessions and was really dedicated to it while she was going to college was really awesome. And then there was a point where it’s like, okay, well, you know, you’re doing a lot, we need to start paying you. And we started paying her and then she’s had raised a sense and really she runs kind of our business now because she grew with us and it was, it was a really, really cool story to think about how long she’s been around and where, where we all started together and where we are now. It’s pretty cool. Now the other thing real quick is just that, you know, it’s amazing like if you hire somebody even for like 10 hours a week, how much more stuff can get done by them being there to, you know, to do things.

Matt: 30:11 Like if you’re struggling, you know, posting regular on social media, you know, you can hire somebody for 10 hours a week to do that and they will own it and do such a good job and you never even have to think about it. So whatever you know you’re struggling with, you should definitely consider hiring a part time person because there’s a lot of people out there that only want 10 hours a week, you know, they don’t need, there’s a lot of people that need 40 hours a week, but there’s a lot of people that would say, can I come in one or two days a week and they would be so happy.

Kia: 30:35 Yeah. And especially I think if you create an environment that’s enjoyable to work in, then people are willing to do it in a way that works for you. I was just going to say, when you talked about creating that relationship with a girl who started out as an intern for you and I heard someone speak, it was there were a happiness expert and they had done a bunch of research and they said that the thing that makes people happiest in life is spending time with friends and family, living near them, doing daily life with them and the people who had done the happiness research and and learned this actually moved closer to their family and everyone who worked for them, they have, you know, a small business staff. Everyone who worked for them also moved with them to a different state so that they could all continue to work together and they live down the road from each other. They’ve made it a point to be around and spend time with the people that are their friends and family and that makes you happy.

Matt: 31:34 Yeah. Because relationships are so and so, so important in life and you know, if you can surround yourself with positive relationships, it’s, it’s awesome. The other thing is like, you know, when you hire people, when you have people around you so much like I bet you see some of your staff members almost as much as you see your husband, you know, and so in a sense they become, they become family, you know, because you’re around them all the time and so you have to get along with them and you do get along with them and you end up learning all this crazy stuff about them and their lives and stuff and you know, there’s always those boundaries there but you know, you know a lot about them and there’s nothing wrong with them. You know, when somebody’s been with you for, you know, eight or nine years for them to consider them. Almost like family because they are, you know, tons of them for sure.

Kia: 32:18 So I think, you know, when you look at being a professional photographer and a businessperson, you know, we’re talking about going from nothing to profit. And so when you started out with nothing, it may just be you. But when you go to profit really to have a profitable business, typically you have to have help.

Matt: 32:36 Yeah. And yeah, the cool thing too about that is when you’re growing your business did, you can decide how big you want it to be. You know, there’s nothing wrong with running it by yourself. There’s nothing wrong with running 25 employees, but you may find there’s a sweet spot in between where you just have a couple of people around you that you, that you know have your back and that you really care about. And that may be the perfect little business model for you for sure. All right, so let’s, let’s wrap up real quick. Tell everybody how they can find you

Kia: 33:02 and very best place to find me is at Kia Bondurant on instagram. So it’s at K i a , b o n d u r a n t on instagram. You can also find me on Bondurant studios on instagram or Bondurant studios on facebook or you can connect with me on facebook as well. And by website is Bondurantstudios.com. And then we’re also going to give away my top tips for social media success and we talked about this earlier in the podcast about what is working the best for my business. Social media is the best way for us to book clients right now. And so I’m sharing my top tips for that and that there will be a link in the show notes for that, Right Matt?

Matt: 33:46 Yeah, there’ll be a, there’ll definitely be a link. Thanks for sharing that. That’s awesome. So everybody, there’ll be a link in the show notes that you can just follow and get her tips. So that’s kind of the show is going to end today. Um, we’d love your guys’s feedback about what you guys want to hear more of and less of. And if you, you know, if there’s any subjects you want us to cover, please reach out to us and let us know how we can help you guys. And until next week, we’ll see you soon.

Kia: 34:10 Bye. Bye.

Intro: 34:12 Thank you for listening to from nothing to profit a photographer’s podcast with Matt and Kia. Be sure to subscribe for more business strategy and ideas to help you create a profitable and successful business you’ve always wanted. See you on the next episode of from nothing to profit.

About the author, Matt

Photographer Durango Colorado

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