Escalate 2010 | Julia Woods’ Talk | Washington, IL

The last speaker at Escalate Live was Julia Woods (who actually just won wedding image of the year from PPA Photo Asia). Julia and Jeffrey Woods own Portrait Life Studio in Washington IL and have won multiple awards for their work.

Julia talked about the business side of photography, which is the side of my business I’ve needed to learn the most about. This first thing Julia had us do was figure out what we want out of our business. She said the first thing on that list should be making money….after all – you are a business. Honestly, before she said that, I had lost sight of the fact that I was running a business. It doesn’t make me a bad person because I want (no need) to make money – it makes me a good business person. This thought alone has really pushed me to make the changes that will be taking effect come January 1st (to stay up to date on my changes sign up for the newsletter). Obviously the second and third items on this list are a Happy Client and a Creative Outlet.

In the picture below you can see one of the unique products Julia and Jeffrey provide. This is a iPad wedding album. The cover of the box has an iPad that plays a photo video of their wedding images and inside the box is their printed wedding album. This is what successful photographers are doing in their own businesses. They are providing their clients with products or services that are unique and different from other photographers in the area.

The other thing Jeffrey and Julia do is they sell the product first – before the session ever starts. This way you can take pictures that are going to fulfill their needs perfectly. For example, let’s say your clients wants a photo collection for their wall over their couch. If you know what exactly it is they are looking for – you can go into the session knowing what you need to capture for their specific wants and needs. This is definitely something I’m going to be moving towards.

After Julia’s lecture – she did her little mini-session with this beautiful girl. And I love this lens! Look how huge it is!

It was really neat to see how Julia works. It’s completely different from how I do my sessions so it was definitely a learning experience for me.

I hope you enjoyed seeing what I learned from Julia. You should really check out her work! You can see samples of it on her blog at

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