NO I DON'T: Getting Things Done By Not Doing What Doesn't

By tangentpath in photography business work wisdom

Hey Peeps,

I hate wasting time.  You do too.  

I won't even ask - it's pretty much a given.

If you're going to say,"Hey Mike, I love wasting time."  Well you're an idiot and we should devour your lifeforce to distribute amongst the rest of us.

Moving away from the darkside now.

I know you find that when working on something important, work, play, crosswords, nuclear reactor in your basement, etc, other things tend to come up.

Distractions and interruptions.

Your spouse, kids, favorite TV show, best friend, mother, in-laws, siblings, boss, employees - I could do this all day.

But what about the least obvious and yet most insidious things of all?

The thing you are trying to work on.

I'm as serious as a heart attack here, but let me state that this is mostly found during work.

We all try to get as much going on as we can being business owners - and if you are an independently, starving photographer, well you are a business owner believe it or not.

This overwhelms and most times burns us out.

Which sucks.

If we are done in, we can't work.  Which is what this is all about right?

So what should you not do?

Let's answer that with a story:

I had a call from my mother yesterday to donate something in a silent auction for a community group she is a part of.

She wanted a few photos, but what does that get me?  Nothing.  No new clients, no income, nada.

Someone would bid and win the images and put them somewhere on a wall or in a basement or give them as gifts to someone else who would put them on a wall or in a basement, etc, etc, etc

So I decided to give away a portrait sitting instead.

This gives the winning bidder incentive to come into my studio, meet me, discus photo options, print sales, CD/DVD purchases, creating a walking, talking billboard telling their friends about my business while still making me money.

Good idea right?

When I started to explain some of the in's-and-out's of connecting and product ordering with her, she found some things restrictive to more elderly and/or less web educated clients,"You have to cater to everybody right?"

My flat out response,"No, I don't."

That's the thing, I don't want to cater to everyone.

I don't want to treat every person like they are my ideal client.

I want to treat my ideal client as my ideal client.

I don't - and you don't - need to make everyone on the planet a paying client.  That would be insane.  But if you focus on your ideal client, and what they are about, you can make all of your clients your ideal client.

So no, I will not have a million ways of contacting me(email, phone, carrier pigeon, locomotive, etc), instead I have the ones that serve me and my ideal clients.  

Just like I will not have a million different products to sell my clients - how could you keep them all in your head and still come across with the confidence of knowing what you are talking about?

I find my ideal client, I learn what they are about - everything.  I cater to that.  Everything else that I do is for  my own creative expression.  

And everything after that is garbage.

I won't do it.

It is a waste of time, energy and happiness that could better be used on things that matter.

What do you do "for" your business that is actually taking away from your forward motion?

Tell me and I will let my favorite story-teller guest post on this blog!


Michael Carty

Michael Carty Email

My First Ever Prom Sessions: SMBA

By tangentpath in photography prom fun times sessions

I've never done prom sessions before.

Believe it.

Weddings, commercial products, families, kids, babies, portraits, fashion, events, I have done.

But never proms.

Well this year I actually got to shoot prom sessions for a few graduates of Saint Mary's Bay Academy just outside of Weymouth, NS.

I had a blast.

At first it was a little rush-rush, but after the first run-through we were on fire.  Luckily, I had Kitrin Jeffrey, a new photog on the scene to assist me and she was fan-dan-tastic!  Thanks again Kit!!  Find her FB page here and her webpage/work here.

So without further ado, here are some of my fav shots, straight out of camera - no retouching:

Hope you enjoyed!!

Michael Carty

Michael Carty Website
Michael Carty Email

Model Shoot: Spencer Robertson

By tangentpath in model photography spencer robertson fun times

Maybe it's just me, but I find it awfully hard to find male models in this industry. 

I'm sure that I'm wrong, I'm sure there are lots of male models out there saying,"Michael! Here I am! Why don't you take my photos?"  And why would they say that? 

Because it is hard to find male models in this industry, so it should be easy to find the few who exist.

Maybe it's my location.  Maybe there is just such a huge overflow of female models in the industry that it makes the number of males seem non-existent.  I don't know, but what I do know is that I got to shoot with an extremely determined and fun male model earlier this month, Spencer Robertson.

You may have seen my work with Spencer in a previous post here.

Spencer isn't your average teenage model.  Although he is energetic, active, tall, funny and smart, he surprises me with little things.  For one, until I took his photo with my phone during lunch, he didn't know what Instagram was.

I was floored.

Not because I think everyone should use Instagram - because I don't - but because I believed in the usual stereotype that all teens were plugged into their phones and the countless apps they can have.

And then, today, while writing this post, he surprised me again by telling me with a laugh that he didn't know how to send me his FB fanpage link.

Que?  No hablo Facebook?

I actually find this refreshing in, well, anyone I guess.  He's not always plugged in, which not only makes him a better model to interact with but also a better person.  He hasn't slipped into that socially inept category that is so easy for us to fall into when we spend all of our time with our laptops, cell phones, smart phones, devices, etc.

So back to Spencer.

We shot in several locations - including instudio, and spanning from the morning until late afternoon.

We even got permission to use someones sailboat for our marina location, which was fun and nerve-racking at once(ever pass $2000+ worth of gear over salt water while trying to balance with the waves?)

Here is a small taste of what we got:

How can you say no to this guy, eh?


Michael Carty

Michael Carty Website
Michael Carty Email

Model Shoot: Quincie

By tangentpath in model photography fun times quincie

Hey Peeps,

This shoot was a long time coming.

Quincie and I have been trying to schedule a shoot since as far back as January, I think - it's been that long.

Finally we have been able to shoot together and it went fantastic!! 

She was backlit by the sun for most of the shots and my 580EXII was the mainlight that balanced the shot.  The other images were done in the shade of the barn where we were shooting and my flash worked as main.  I also used my homemade beauty dish with all of the shots(DIY beauty dish post here and here).

So here is a taste of my Quincie shoot:

 I find Quincie has a "young Farrah Fawcett" look to her in some of these shots, I had a great time and can't wait to shoot with her again!  Thx Quincie!!


Michael Carty

Photography Website

You Peaked In High School

By tangentpath in photography business work peak vision push struggle succeed

Hey Peeps,

You've probably heard this phrase before.  On TV, in the movies or maybe in real live either being said(hopefully not to you) or saying it yourself to someone else.

The thing is a lot of people "peak" in high school, or college or in their first few years in the working world.  The problem is that they tend to sink into this depressing and utterly black void of mediocrity and complacency from which they usually never return.

They complain about their current situations; the boss on their back; the screaming kids; the complaining spouse; the home that has a million things that need getting done but there's never any time - you know, life.

I'm not going to tell you how to time manage your household chores.

Or how to better kiss your bosses ass.

Or how to muzzle your children.

Or even how to appease your spouse(you SHOULD know how to do most of these things).

I'm going to tell you that like most things in life there are peaks and troughs.  Unbeknownst to most, the power to control this wave ride is mostly up to you.  The key is to try and strive to peak at least once a day.

Let me tell you, I have had my share of troughs - years of them.  

There was a good chance I wouldn't have came back from them either.

But through a slow and steady progression I fight my way back(yes I am still fighting) to my "peak-i-ness"(trademarked), in work, at home and within myself.

No matter what shit happens in your day, you always have the ability to peak again and again.  I peak in my work after a great shoot with the fantastic images I capture.  I peak with my son when I take a break to play outside on our lawn.  I peak in my marriage when I drop the little guy off with grandma and take my wife on a shopping trip.

Sure these don't sound like the peaks that I had in high school.

But I'm not in high school anymore.  Are you?

The difference is that my peaks are higher than I ever could have imagined and they will last me a lifetime of memories.

So fuck peaking in high school - that's for losers, posers, haters and assholes.


Put that in your mantra and say it.

What do you do to peak?  Have you peaked today?  What are your future peaks?


Michael Carty

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