by Skip Cohen
Every now and then somebody comes into our lives with such a big personality that after only a year or two you can't remember when they weren't in your life. Well, meet our buddy, Chantale Perron. She's a Canadian photographer who Sheila and I first met at Skip's Summer School in 2011. Since then she's been a non-stop supporter of great feedback and so many interesting ideas on education for photographers just starting out. She's definitely somebody who should be on your radar and check out her blog as well.
She's an active participant in SCU and a member of the newly formed advisory board, the Student Council. Even more impressive than the infectious Perron spirit, is her passion for imaging. At last year's summer program Chantale and Tiffani Dhooge headed off on their own shooting session. It's one of the biggest and most fun benefits of a boutique conference like this, networking and building friendships with other photographers.
Meet Chantale Perron!
One of my favorite, inspirational sayings comes from Danielle Laporte’s Credo for Making it Happen (author of The Fire Starter Sessions). Danielle says, “Just Figure it Out”. It may sound silly to you, but is it really? Think about it. How many times do we as entrepreneurs / small business owners get stuck in a rut, or overwhelmed with reasons “why” we can’t do something. It’s easy to come up with the typical negative “yeah but….” response and find a reason why an idea can’t work, as opposed to finding the solution to make it work.
During last summer's Skip’s Summer School conference in Chicago, good friend and fellow photographer, Tiffani Dhooge of Genesis Photography and I had a really fun “Just Figure it Out” moment. While walking around the hotel grounds during Tony Corbell’s lighting course, a cool little spot in the parking garage caught Tiffani’s eye. She pulled me aside and said, “wouldn’t it be cool to do something right here?”. I agreed immediately. Then came all the questions and excuses; What should we do? Who will we shoot? We don’t have wardrobe. We don’t have a model. What will our concept be? Do we have time to do it? Do we have enough equipment? Can we pull this off?
Sure we can. Just Figure it Out.
We brainstormed together and tackled each obstacle as it arose until we had figured out exactly how to overcome each one. Any time one of us said “yeah but….” The other would say, “figure it out”. And that’s exactly what we did. Armed with only our excitement, Tiffani headed off in one direction to find a model, and I headed off in another to the Housekeeping department for “wardrobe”. Within an hour, everything was set and we met back in the garage with all our gear.
For the next hour or so we played around trying to create something from absolutely nothing. The best thing about this spur of the moment shoot was not only tackling obstacles but also getting to collaborate with another photographer and push each other to see things differently.
So the next time you find yourself coming up with an excuse as to why you can’t do something, stop for a minute and tell yourself, “just figure it out” and see what you can come up with. You’ll be glad you did!
A big warm thank you to the beautiful Vladlena for agreeing to work overtime after her long day modelling in Tony & Clay’s classes.