This is the transcript for Episode 010 | I’d do anything for money, but I won’t do that. Jack and Jennifer talk about the things that they know will make them money, but still just won’t do. Visit this post for show notes.
Jack: Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of Get To Art. This time we’ll be talking about the things that we won’t do for money. Ducker, Jennifer’s list is pretty short. Jennifer we’re recording this on Father’s Day.
Jennifer: Yes we are, Happy Father’s Day.
Jack: Thank you. I would like to hear stories about two of our children on this momentous occasion.
Jack: Both of this happened today. So our son, who is five and old enough to know better was climbing on the side tables down in our den and I told him to not walk on the furniture. And so he got on the couch and started jumping up and down and I said, “What are you doing?” And he said, “Since, when is the couch furniture?” Our middle child who is seven, we went outside and left to see fireflies and played a couple rounds of twenty questions and on her last round, she picked, or her answer, a number. And so I was trying to figure out like is it somebody’s age, is it a price of something, is it the number of people in our family or something like that. No, it was 4,000,524.
Jennifer: Just some random number that she made up.
Jack: I did not get it.
Jennifer: I don’t think if you had forty questions you would had gotten that.
Jack: Speaking of forty, Jennifer you are money hungry. It’s the only thing you think about.
Jennifer: That’s not necessarily false.
Jack: The day before yesterday, you called [unclear – 1:40] a bleeding heart liberal. But there are some things that even you won’t do for money.
Jennifer: That’s true, yeah.
Jack: Let’s talk about it.
Jennifer: And surprisingly enough there are some things that even you won’t do.
Jack: I’m going to have to think of those real quick.
Jennifer: None of these involves a street corner by the way.
Jack: So these are all things that would actually make us money but for one reason or another we have decided that we won’t do.
Jack: I’m going to let you start of because your list is longer that mine.
Jennifer: So the first thing that I put on my list is things that I will not do anymore is it I do not want to shoot for another company anymore. So this does not include one of my photographer friends calling me up and asking me to come second shoot with them and we’re friends. Like I would go and shoot with one of my friends. That’s fine if I had the weekend open. What I’m talking about is second shooting for people that I don’t know, or for companies, or there are companies that they hire a bunch of different photographers. I don’t want to name any names that I have work for all these companies before and it was not a good experience. And so I do not want to work for a company that books a bride and then hires a photographer because the pay is always awful. You don’t really get a say in it, you have to do it and then you get charge these awful fees if you don’t want to do it or if you make a mistake with your calendar and you can’t do it, so I quit that. I don’t want to do it anymore and I don’t want a second shoot for other companies or for people that I don’t know. And the reason that I did this is because last year I realized that I was expending a lot of energy and using up a lot of my time and you know taking up many days in my calendar to essentially build up someone else’s brand instead of my own. I wasn’t benefiting my own company or my own name or getting my name out there anymore. I was getting someone else’s name out there more. I didn’t see the point in that anymore.
Jennifer: Well, yes okay, money and I did all that second shooting last year for the money because I saw empty dates in my calendar and like well got to fill those but I was exhausted. I was so tired and it was taking away my time and energy that I could be spent focusing on my own couples or getting more of my own couples.
Jack: Or your husband.
Jennifer: Or my husband, I was just looking at it just particularly from a business point of view, but yes.
Jack: Yeah, we need to talk about that by the way.
Jennifer: But yes, it was also taking away from family time and from you and just from my own mental and physical well being.
Jack: I’m not comfortable with the way you just separated me and the family. Is there something that we need to talk about?
Jennifer: No, not at all.
Jack: So you will no longer second shoot just for money. You’ll do it for a friend.
Jennifer: Yes, I’ll do it for a friend if it’s someone that I’m already friends with and they want me to second shoot with them and I have that weekend open, then sure, but it’s not so much about the money. It’s you know going and shooting with my friends.
Jennifer: But before, primarily it was I got to get all these second shooting jobs and make as much money as I can and now like yeah I could make couple hundred dollars to go and do that but ultimately it just wasn’t worth it.
Jack: Well, the first thing that I won’t do for money is ghostwriting.
Jennifer: Okay and now that’s where you write something and you go boo write?
Jack: Yes. Ghostwriting of course is when you write something and somebody else puts their name on it. So a lot of celebrities’ books are ghostwritten. A lot of business leaders. That’s actually where I most often see it is somebody who is running a business and they want to build credibility, so they’ll have somebody to write a book for them and then put their name on it and say look I’m an author, a renowned expert in this field. Now, I have nothing against ghostwriting in terms of ethics or morals, it is just not something that I’m interested in it. And I been approached about it and I’ve said, “No, thank you.” It’s not the work for me. I’m trying to work on my own stuff. And it’s actually kind of summarize what you we’re just saying. Ghostwriting is a paycheck but it doesn’t build your brand.
Jack: I’m not necessarily trying to build a brand in the same way that you are but I’m not going to spend months or a year on a project then at the end of it not have my name on it.
Jennifer: You don’t even get credit for that.
Jack: And it’s mostly because if I have limited time to write and so if I’m working on that I’m not working on my stuff. I want to get my stuff out more than I want to get probably a pretty disappointing check. I got money. I don’t have publishing credit.
Jennifer: Yeah, there you go.
Jack: Which brings me on to number two for you.
Jennifer: Okay so my next one on my list is it I will no longer photograph new born babies, or small children, or family sessions, really anything outside of the wedding/couples. I also do boudoir. I kind of feel like that does sort of fall under the same umbrella a little bit or someone near. But honestly I just have never liked photographing babies. I never like photographing small children even my own, especially my own because they just will not listen.
Jack: Little bad bad.
Jennifer: Oh my gosh. Like most of the pictures that I had of them were just crying. They are crying. Like that picture of David that we have upon the fire place and just him crying… And family sessions and also sometimes I’ll get ask to do events that are not weddings like kids’ birthday parties and that kind of stuff, and I just don’t do it anymore and I just say, “No, thank you.” And these things could be paying sessions. And I’ll must point out too, if it is a former client or a former bride then yes I’ll do it for them but they’re really the only ones that I will do it for. I don’t take new born clients or family sessions, but, I mean if a former couple ask me to do theirs then I will do it because I do like to stay with a couple throughout their milestones. But as far as new clients that’s not something that I’m advertising for or accepting when I get the inquiries for it. And the reason is I feel like it’s important to have your niche and really work down and specify your area as much as possible so that you can come across as more of an expert in something or be specializing in something and weddings and couples is really where my heart is and that’s what I enjoyed doing, and I don’t enjoy doing the rest of it. So I would much rather devote my time and attention to weddings and couples and what where I really enjoy doing and so that way I can come across and specialize in it or I’m an expert in that field.
Jack: Tell us why you hate children.
Jennifer: I don’t enjoy photographing children because it’s hard. It really is, and it’s a totally different kind of endurance and patience and everything than it takes to be a wedding photographer. It’s an entirely different kind of energy and it’s just not one that I have. I just had to realize that and accept it and say this is not for me. I don’t enjoy dealing with a new born for four hours trying to get a few good pictures.
Jack: Who is easier to direct on a photo shoot, a small child or a drunk uncle of a reception?
Jennifer: Oh definitely the drunk uncle.
Jennifer: Yeah. Kids are so hard to photograph.
Jack: Who is more likely to tell an off collar joke.
Jennifer: Maybe the kids from what I’ve been around.
Jack: Now, when we were putting this list together we both hit on the same topic.
Jennifer: Which is?
Jack: Marketing driven social media. Now, everybody says that you should be active on social media and I say nothing because I’m so busy that I don’t even have time to hear that argument much less response to it.
Jennifer: You hate social media.
Jack: I don’t like it personally, true. I don’t look at it anymore personally. I do follow a couple of models on Instagram but that is for personal reasons. Isn’t so the thought of going on social media and being you know artificial just to drive up you know eighteen in a day book sales. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Jack: Especially not me. And actually, there is some social media driven stuff that needs to be done. I outsource that to our virtual assistant that we use and I ask her to do that on a different account. I don’t want to put it on mine.
Jack: It’s not even just time. I don’t want people to get confused by when I’m saying something versus when somebody else’s saying something. For me that is dishonest. If I’m going to put something on social media, it’s going to be from the heart which ties into one that you got in your list that I’m not going to let you have it as a separate entry.
Jennifer: Okay. So it’s going to go along with yours.
Jack: Yep, you’re going to be fitting in to what I’m saying.
Jennifer: Okay well.
Jack: Play with me in this space Jennifer.
Jennifer: Well Jack, fitting into what you’re just saying about social media is that I have started saying no to Instagram pods.
Jack: Now, those are things that you throw into the laundry instead of having the pour into the cup.
Jennifer: Yes, they’re delicious.
Jennifer: Have you eaten? They’re like candy.
Jack: You are the mother of my children. I’m not comfortable with this kind of humour from you.
Jennifer: So Instagram pods, if you don’t know, they’re when a group of similar entrepreneurs like say several wedding photographers or people that are in the wedding industry like maybe some photographers, and some caterers, and some cake artist.
Jack: General boss babes.
Jennifer: Yes, general boss babes… Will get together and get in this little pod and say okay guys, whenever one of us post something on Instagram we have to message each other. It’s like a group text. And so everybody gets the text like, “Hey, I posted something and then everybody has to drop what they’re doing and click on it and go to Instagram and open her post and like it, and comment, and not just any comment. Like there are rules to follow and it’s always has something to do with trying to trick the Instagram algorithm. So when I was in one before, you had to post a comment of four or more words and no emojis or you could use emojis but they didn’t count as one of your four words.
Jack: That must have been excruciating to you.
Jennifer: It was because we were in a pod of like twenty or so other people and so and no one ever has their [unclear – 13:40] and the point of it was to comment on it immediately. You couldn’t go back to it like a day or two days later and comment on it later because then it loses the point. The point of it was to engage with it immediately because you’re trying to trick Instagram in to thinking that wow this content must be super interesting because look all these people came running to it and liked it and commented on it. So this must be great content and so then Instagram starts rolling it out to other people and boosting it up higher so then it get seen more. So that’s the point of Instagram pods. The reasons that I no longer do them is because, one, it is super time consuming. Like you just do not have that amount of time to especially it’s like drop whatever you’re doing and go comment on this post. If everybody is posting every day, you’re doing this twenty times a day to boost their engagement, and again it goes back to the thing that when you are benefitting other brands and other companies. And yes it would benefit you too but a lot of the work that you’re doing is benefitting other people which is great if you and you’re friends with them everything. I’m not saying like don’t help other people, but I’m just saying if you’re spending all this time and energy on something it should be something that promotes your name and your brand and your company.
Jack: I remember you came up to have lunch with me at work one day, and we went out to a restaurant and we got seated and ordered and you said, “Excuse me for a few minutes”, pulled out your phone and started gramming it up. I was like, “Jennifer, I hardly ever see you anymore. What are you doing?” You said, “Sorry. It’s this stupid Instagram pod like I got to take care of this or they won’t let me be in it anymore.”
Jennifer: Yeah. I mean that’s the way that it was. You had to comment on it you know immediately or within I forget what the time frame was but you know within like thirty minutes or something. So that you know it was tricking Instagram which is other thing. It is dumb to try to trick instagram because you’re still not getting often take engagement so you’re engaging with these other people that aren’t similar fields as you, so okay that’s great. But you’re just making you’re engagement part of their content so you’re going to get more of their content in your feed rather than what you really wanting which is potential clients to see more of your work. When really it’s just going to be like you know other photographers or cake artist or whoever else is in that pod with you. It’s just going to get spread around to similar brands like that instead of who you really targeting, the bride who just got engage and it is looking for a wedding photographer.
Jack: When does someone a bride?
Jennifer: When she’s engage.
Jack: Isn’t she a bride to be at that point?
Jennifer: We don’t use that. She’s a bride. And the same thing with grooms, like once he has asked her to marry him and she said yes and they’re engage, he’s now the groom.
Jack: As I said, that was taking under my point, so you have to come up with your own point.
Jennifer: So the next thing that I’ve decided not to do is…
Jack: Ruin our marriage for business.
Jennifer: I mean in so many words but also to double book weddings on weekends.
Jack: To-may-to, to-mah-to.
Jennifer: Yeah, basically the same thing. When I use to do double header weekends all the time, it was miserable and it wasn’t just me that was affected, it was you too, and it put a strain on us and put a strain on our family. And I know that it was hard for you to be here every weekend, all weekend, and it got stressful and that’s hard and so I decided not to do that anymore. And a lot of it too was I would have my own wedding on one day and then be second shooting the other day. So it often wasn’t that I had two of my own weddings in a weekend. Although occasionally that did happen but more often than not it was Saturday was one of my own wedding and then Sunday I agree to second shoot for somebody. So that problem has basically taking care of itself since I decided to not to second shoot with strangers and other companies anymore aside from the one kind of mistake that I made for later this year which is a scheduling mistake where I didn’t realize it and then like oh okay. So there is one weekend that I have later this year where accidentally got booked as a double header weekend. But the rest of the time I have, once I get a wedding booked for either Saturday or a Sunday, I will kind of mentally block off the other day. One because it is unfair to you, hubby, to be gone all weekend every weekend and I want to be home and be with you and be with the kids the other day. Also, two, it’s just- when you shoot a wedding, it is physically and mentally draining. It is exhausting and so I need that other day to recuperate. I need to be able to lay on the couch and put on office or friends reruns and edit up some sneak peeks on my laptop real quick while later going, “Oh my god, my legs hurt so bad.” I do not want to be in another wedding going, “Oh my god, my legs hurt so bad.”
Jack: So what you are saying is after one of your double header weekends you can’t walk for awhile?
Jack: So the last thing that I won’t do for money is rapid release. We’ve touched on this before but basically it’s the idea of getting as many books out on to Amazon as you can as soon as you can. And we talked last time I think about the woman bragging about 54 books in 18 months.
Jennifer: Yeah, which was crazy.
Jack: Which again probably a very good and solid method for making money but for me not a solid method for producing good content, writing a good book. And so I will not sell my soul for that particular activity.
Jennifer: You’ll sell your soul for other activities.
Jack: If there is anything left.
Jennifer: Yeah. I don’t think there is.
Jack: These old video games won’t come cheaply. Well, yeah, I spent you know a half hour a day writing and even that’s kind of draining off of me. But that’s why I can fit to my schedule and I’m not going to either at that time spent and spent less time spending time with my family, or tide out revision and rewriting time. You know I remember in college, Jennifer, you would go out with any guy who gave you the least bit of adventures.
Jennifer: Yep, and that’s how I got married.
Jack: Is that still true?
Jennifer: Well, I mean, I’m married so my official story is no. So that does tie into my last point which is not accepting work form anyone who is wanting to book you and now this may seem…
Jack: Not just anyone. You’ll accept work from people trying to book you but not just anyone.
Jennifer: Is that I phrase it wrong, okay. So you wouldn’t want to book just every single person who wants to throw money at you because I know this may sound crazy and counterproductive what I mean you have a business and you want to get clients and you want to make money obviously.
Jack: Well that’s this whole episode. These are all counterproductive stands that we’ve taken.
Jack: We have said thank you sir or madam but you hold on to your money.
Jennifer: Yeah, it may seem crazy because you have a business and other people may not understand why you would say no to money but there are some things that are more important than money. And in the long run they’ll benefit your business and help you build a better business and a better name for yourself. And one of the things that I have learned is to know who your ideal client is and that’s the term that gets toss around a lot was small businesses like who are your ideal client is. And even I don’t know how I would define my ideal client because there are so many activities that you could do and so many things… If you go on the internet and like how to define your ideal client, there are millions of websites that will try to help you define what your ideal client is. To me, I really just know more of who my ideal client is not. I just want to be clear that it’s not based on their looks.
Jack: Your website says no eagles right across the talk.
Jennifer: No. You can get a feel for someone’s personality and it is really important to be a good fit and if you start getting those red flags like if someone… Here’s one thing that really tease me off is if they start asking a lot of questions about my contract right off the bat.
Jack: Well, you skipped the first one is when they start off with your pricing.
Jennifer: Oh yeah. I hate that. If you are contacting an entrepreneur for a service, don’t skip the greeting and don’t say anything, like don’t just go straight for what are your prices? Because that just lets me know right away that you have been copying and pasting this message to a bunch of different photographers and that there’s nothing about me in particular that you’d like or about me in particular that you really want to work with. You found a bunch of websites and you just hit copy and paste on a bunch of message boxes. And it doesn’t really matter to you who your photographer is.
Jack: I don’t know if you know this. I don’t know much about cars. So I’m going to pick the ones I know were really expensive.
Jack: But Lamborghinis.
Jennifer: Yeah, I think they’re pretty expensive.
Jack: You don’t get a financing plan for Lamborghini.
Jennifer: You don’t?
Jack: Nope. You pay in cash. And you’ve heard the expression, “If you have to ask you can’t afford it.”
Jack: So I know your rates, obviously. They are standard photography rates.
Jennifer: Yeah, pretty average.
Jack: You’re not even premium price.
Jack: You’re standard price. You’re not budget price.
Jennifer: No, I’m not budget price. I’m not, well, I had the term they get starting around on this Facebook group a lot is affordable or reasonable.
Jack: Reasonable. I like that one.
Jennifer: I like reasonable. I need some or someone who won’t charge and arm and a leg or who won’t break the bank. These are all phrases that all mean practically free. I’ve noticed that over the year.
Jack: It’s just pointing and clicking.
Jennifer: I know, right? I mean what could possibly be worth all that money. But I’m not the most expensive in the area.
Jack: But you are the premier in Atlanta wedding photographer.
Jennifer: I am the premier wedding photographer.
Jack: We did not introduce ourselves.
Jennifer: Oh well. We can do it in a minute and then splice it in at the beginning right?
Jack: That’s not going to happen. I’m Jack, author of Naan Of Your Business, the world’s funniest indie book.
Jennifer: And I’m Jennifer Roach and I’m an Atlanta wedding photographer.
Jack: Premier wedding photographer.
Jack: Alright guys, pretend we did that at the beginning.
Jennifer: We just jumped right in, we were excited about Father’s Day and all of this kind of stuff and…
Jack: I’m hopped up on children’s affection and home cooking.
Jennifer: And all the munchkin we played.
Jack: We are running late on time Jennifer.
Jack: So somebody red flags for you lead off about money, real concern about the contract.
Jennifer: Yeah. It could be different for everyone. I mean if you, so one thing that I do and it is not crazy and it’s not creepy I promise, but if someone sends me an inquiry, I will try to look you up on Facebook just to get an idea of who you are, who your fiancé is, who you are as a couple that kind of thing. And there are red flags that I will see right away that you know, I’m not going into like politics or any of that kind of stuff but I see that everything on your Facebook page is the complete opposite of me.
Jack: Alright, we’re going to take a stand here. If they are MAGA hat wearing, homophobic, islamaphobic, that sort of thing, you don’t want to work with them.
Jennifer: They’ll tell you to avoid talking about politics and everything in business. But yeah, if I go to your profile and also like if there’s some really super religious stuff on there like everything is really super religious and everything is you know all about you know pro-trump and pro-life and all that stuff. That’s the complete opposite of what I believe in and I don’t think that we would work well together. And it’s not that I can’t be tolerant of other people’s beliefs and all of that stuff, it’s just that that’s not what I want to be a part of.
Jack: Right and it’s not as simple matter of you pointing and clicking. Wedding photography is a creative process between you and the bride and groom.
Jennifer: Yeah. And we spend a lot of time together and have meetings and we’re together a lot during the wedding day and all that and…
Jack: If someone you just don’t want to spend time with you’re going to get a less than things than it is proper.
Jennifer: Oh yeah, definitely. Now, I won’t phrase it as you know, “Sorry I can’t work with you because you’re wearing a MAGA hat in your Facebook profile picture but I will tell that I don’t think that we would be the best fit and will suggest other people that might be a better fit for you, in a nice polite way. My point is that you don’t have to accept everybody who wants to book you. That will be like being on Tinder and having to go on a date with everyone who swipes right on you.
Jack: I do and I still don’t get any dates.
Jennifer: So it means it is not going to be fun for you and it is not going to be fun for them and I’ve had to learn this the hard way because I have had you know the majority of my clients have been great. I have had a couple of people that were not so easy to work with and not so pleasant and I have red flags about them at the beginning but I wanted the money, so I did it anyway and I regretted it because they were a huge pain later.
Jack: Some of the other red flags that I’ve heard you tell me about are people who ask for all of the photos.
Jennifer: Yeah, if they ask you, “Can I have all the unedited photos?”
Jack: The raw files?
Jennifer: Yeah the raw files. You don’t even know what that is.
Jack: Don’t tell anyone where you are at the end of the wedding.
Jennifer: I don’t think that would…
Jack: Turn off your GPS.
Jennifer: Turn off your GPS. Don’t let anybody find you.
Jack: That’s all for us this week but we would like to hear from you guys. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s email@example.com. Let us know what you wouldn’t do for money or which of these things that you think were absolutely crazy and are sitting on a gold mine. Jennifer, tell them where they can find you.
Jennifer: You can find me at jennifermariephotographer.com and I am also on Instagram @jennifermariephotographyga
Jack: And I’m at jackroachauthor.com and on Instagram @jackroachauthor. I don’t post very often but when I do, I really mean it. And you can find both of us at gettoart.org. Until next time, don’t forget to take time out of your day and get to art. Thanks for listening.
Jack: Double header weekend is the name of your sex tape.
Jennifer: You’re just waiting for a minute to get that in there.
Jack: You should probably start over with. It wasn’t just me.