Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Two years ago I never thought it possible that I would be focusing (no pun intended) my life in the direction of photography. It's a passion, a true love but I never new I could be making a living off of it too. "You mean, you actually can DO WHAT YOU LOVE?" I've heard about people doing that before, but it's always been ingrained that I need to do something that will allow me to be financially stable. I suppose that makes sense, esp. b/c I love to travel, and if I'm going to travel (and photograph those travels), I would need money...meaning, get a financially stable job. Ok, so I did just that. Got my Master's in Physical Therapy and then started a corporate career with medical device companies working as a clinical specialist. Granted, I've been doing something that I like, but not truly LOVE.
One day I ran across MeRa Koh blog, and I was instantly drawn to her. She offered courses in beginners photography...for woman...and I had to go. I attended one of her fabulous workshops and since then, my life has has been forever changed. I felt energized, a visceral gut feeling of wow...I want to pursue a career in photography...this is MY CALLING. MeRa is a superhero to me, and I don't think she knows enough how she inspired me to start my own business. Literally, the week after the course I launched my blog and my business.

MeRa and Brian of MeRa Koh Photography (pictures borrowed from their blog ...it's one of their all time favorites!).
Realizing my calling is to be the best children, family and wedding photographer, I needed to take the appropriate steps, I needed direction. I started working with a business coach, MeRa's business coach...and a brilliant one at that. Karen Buckley and I have been working together for over a year and a half. Karen provided me the stepping stones it took to start a business. I loved taking pictures, but the business side of things was a whole new ball game...and I was honored to have Karen guide me.

picture borrowed from the Wisdom Connection

Karen has even recently started helping women realize their potential with her seminars (Wisdom Connection). Working with Karen has given me so many of the tools I need to get my business in great working order. I wouldn't be where I am today without her!
One of the biggest barriers with turning my photography business into a full time endeavour... which was the amount of hours I had to give to my corporate day job (remember that financial thing...). We're talking 50-70 hours a week...and then I was doing the photography thing on weekends. That has changed (some), and as of recent, I was laid off. Yep, I too was one of those people affected by the economy. However, I was lucky b/c I was offered a per diem job with this same company. Could there be a bigger blessing in disguise? I can work when I want to, still make some money, and now REALLY FOCUS on my photography business until I'm truly ready for it to become full time. WHICH WILL BE SOON....WATCH ME!

Now it's time to buckle down, get serious and plan for my future. And these experiences couldn't have happened at a better time. So, to take it serious, not only am I working with Karen, but as of this month, I am involved with one-on-one coaching with Dane Sanders. Dane is an amazing photographer out of Orange County and he is the founder of the Fast Track Photographers, which I happen to be a member of . Dane is offers the most incredible knowledge to help newbie photographers get on the FAST TRACK to starting their photography business. Dane will be a huge compliment the coaching I have received from Karen...and MeRa...and all those other fabulous photographers out there who have given me advice, wisdom, tips, tricks and tools.

(photo borrowed from Dane's facebook profile)
Dane is hard core...and I mean that in the greatest sense ever! He's thorough, no BS, and is extremely thought provoking. With the coaching, I have one-on-one conference calls, I receive 'homework', I get to work with a group of 4 others who are getting mentored and best of all, I get to share this knowledge with another photographer...to become a mentor myself.

Now here's where the special comes in...

All the fabulous knowledge I receive from Dane, I GET to to turn around and share with someone for FREE! Now I get to be a MENTOR!

I am on the search for that individual who is interested in that mentor ship. Someone who is really ready to jump start their photography business and to be the best. The best is subjective word...but we all should strive for the BEST. I am, and that's why I'm honored to be able to receive this coaching from Dane, and to offer it to someone else. Could that person be you?
If that person is you, please leave me a comment here with why you deserve to receive the mentoring. I have a deadline of April 15th for all entries. Please share this information with other newbie, or even photographers who have been around awhile, but need a fresh pair of eyes to re-evaluate their business.
You can also submit your entries to : Jen@jennifermacniven.com
I can't wait to get on the FAST TRACK...and to help you out as well.
And lastly a huge and personal THANK YOU to all those individuals who have been inspiration and those who have helped me along the way.


kam said...

Hi Jennifer!

It's definitely me who you should mentor. My story sounds a lot like yours...fell in love with photography, full time job-finances, and a killer determination. I just finished Fast Track photographer and am so geeked to pay off my debt in 2009 and make it happen! Check out my site at www.ministerimages.com

Thanks! Katie

Carrie Hasson said...

Wow, thanks Jen! You inspire ME! Your lust for life and your positive attitude are infectious! What a wonderful thing you're doing!

K said...

This is awesome! I am so jealous that you are doing one-on-one coaching with Dane Sanders. I made the decision to go all-in just a few months ago with my photography business and as timing and grace would have it, the first resource I discovered was Fast Track Photographer! I would be so excited to be the person you mentor. I am doing the best I can, but you clearly realize the value of a real person that you can go to for guidance. So that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Just launched my site.

Thanks and best of luck!

Nicholle said...

WOW!! How cool! You are learning from some amazing people!

Nominating myself is really hard. I think everyone deserves any help we can get from great photographers.

I have loved photography for a long time. I took 2 years in high school with my grandpa's Sears film camera. Loved it!! The dark room was soo fun!!!

I was asked in 2006 to take pictures at a mother daughter retreat and jumped in. I bought my 30D the month before and practiced practiced!

I would love to have you help me along. There are so many decisions to make and I just never know if I have made the right decision. I need to gain confidence and work on my self worth!

Thank you for doing this. Whoever you choose will be sooo blessed!!

Holli True said...

Jennifer, this is a fabulous post!! :) Good luck finding your Photographer to Mentor! Can't wait for a 5:30 conference call tonight- I'm ready for it! I truly believe that signing up for the Mentorship with Dane is the best business decision I have made, thus far. His passion and drive for this industry is just amazing and I feel so fortunate to have his guidance and to learn from you and the others, as well! I look forward to getting to know you better- maybe we can plan a little West Coast gathering this summer, since we're only 5 hours apart! It would be fun!! :)

Michelle said...

Jennifer, I would be so honored to have you mentor me. I am so inspired by the steps you have taken to go down the road that you dream about. I can't seem to really do that. Attending Me Ra's workshop last year made me see that I actually "could" be a photographer, but there is something stopping me from actually taking all the steps to make it happen. The fact that I have 3 kids 7 and under is usually my excuse for not being where I want to be, but in reality, there is a wall that is blocking me from fulfilling my dreams. The voices in my head telling me I am not good enough, or that this dream of mine is silly. I need someone to hold me accountable to all that I dream of doing so that they can start to happen instead of just drifting away.
Having you mentor me would be the perfect gift when I turn 35 next week. A good time for a new beginning!