What's making each of these podcasts unique is that we're focused on just one topic and then we're drilling down as far as we can go, trying hard to stay within thirty minutes. In this newest episode, released this past Saturday, Cindy Harter Sims was my guest and talked about her five year quest to becoming a full time professional photographer after a life time of being a music teacher.
Cindy does a great job taking us through the process, but there are four points that deserve to be highlighted...
- Cindy doesn't compromise on anything, especially quality. She's a human sponge when it comes to education and she knew, in order to be her very best, she'd need to understand every aspect of capturing images. In fact, I first met Cindy at one of the early Skip's Summer School programs, long before she went full time. Without a terrific skill set, Cindy's dream never would have become a reality. She's recognized that photography is an art form where you never stop learning.
- Cindy has stayed focused on the balance between her family and her new business. I've met her husband, Robert, and also talked with her daughter, whose video I posted last week. This is a family, passionate about everything they do, including respect for each other. So often photographers, making the leap to full time, get crushed when trying to establish their priorities. Cindy has never lost site of the importance of her family, friends and obviously her clients.
- You need to have a plan. Cindy didn't just jump into professional photography. She had a plan and it took five years. Even with her studio and some of the furniture she wanted. This was a well-planned process. As each component fell into place, she was ready with her next strategic step.
- When you decide to make the jump, it's so much easier if there's a revenue stream already in place. At a workshop years ago somebody asked, "When is it right to go full time in photography?" Somebody else answered, "When you can't afford not to!" In other words, build your business step by step and get it to the point where you have solid revenue coming in. Ideally you want your revenue stream strong enough, so that to not go full time is going to mean a drop in your income.
From engagements to weddings to babies and families, Cindy is passionate about being an artist. There simply isn't a better word!