075: Another way to think about photography workshops, Raelene Schulmeister
You're running a business
When Raelene started out as a self-taught photographer, she began researching and attending photography workshops all over. The more she attended, the more she realized there was a huge piece missing from most of them.
Raelene decided that she wanted to host her own photography workshop that also included information on the business side of photography. It was this idea coupled with an Instagram DM that launched her workshop last fall.
Raelene went to cosmetology school after high school but realized once she had kids, that the lifestyle wouldn’t work for her. Her husband ran their farm and loved what he did, and she wanted to feel the same way about her career. After spending a whole day carrying another photographer’s bag, she fell in love with photography and the rest is history.
As a self-taught photographer, Raelene knew the value that could come from learning from others. The more workshops she took the more she realized there was a hole that needed filling in the industry. Raelene wanted to share with others how she actually got to where she was as a business owner and not just as a photographer.
Getting started with workshops
Raelene’s follower count was small when she decided to start hosting her own workshops, so she had to get creative in order to promote it. She first reached out to Rocky Mountain Bride via Instagram DMs to see if they would be willing to do a collaboration with her. And they said yes! Having the magazine as a co-host for her workshop definitely opened doors for her to reach new audiences.
The first workshop
Her first workshop was this past fall. She led the event all morning and talked about the business side of marketing and growing your business. That afternoon, the rep from Rocky Mountain Bride gave the attendees information on how to get published and work with editors. Later that day, they did a styled shoot seminar and she walked them through the whole process.
From this first workshop, she now has a list for the next one, and Rocky Mountain Bride will be using the attendees’ photos to help promote the event and their work too. Many of the attendees are finding a lot of success this year and Raelene is even going with one to Vegas soon to put on a styled shoot.
Just go for it
It all started with that one little Instagram DM, but has grown exponentially. Raelene encourages other industry professionals to just go for it whenever they have an idea. The worst that can happen is a no, which isn’t technically a full rejection.
What’s next for Raelene
Another workshop is definitely something Raelene wants to do again. After her busy ‘off’ season, she is taking the time to make sure this next workshop is even better than the one before.
Advice for you
1. Just do it.
If you have the desire to teach someone what you know, you should do it. Raelene believes that you're doing yourself a disservice if you're not sharing what you know. Here is your permission to do so, even if you're just teaching one person. What you do as a photographer - giving people memories for a lifetime - matters. You've already done one hard thing by starting your business but you've impacted lives; educating other photographers can do the same thing. Raelene encourages you to just do it. Just because there are other photographers out there teaching, doesn't mean you don't have something to share. You do, so do it.
2. Break it down.
Raelene's next piece of advice comes from her mastermind leader, Nevica Vazquez. She says that you need to create action steps for each and every goal you have. Once you create a goal, you need to know what is the next step you need to take to get you there. Having those action steps allowed Raelene to put on her workshop.
3. Find community.
She also started attending her local Tuesday's Together meetup which gave her the community of like-minded people that she needed. Her husband is very supportive, but having people who really get what you do is important as well.
I’m Raelene Schulmeister, but you can call me Rae.
I wasn’t one of those young girls who loved taking pictures and dreamed of being a photographer. Honest to goodness, I’d never even picked up a “legit” camera until I was #adulting…
My husband and I moved back to the small town he grew up in to take care of the family farm. I saw the passion my husband had for farming and said to myself, “I want that!”
I wanted to love my “career” as much as he did.
I ended up helping a girl out who shot weddings. All I did was carry her bag for 13 HOURS! BUT, I was on fire the whoooole day. It lit me up from the inside out. I went home and told my husband that I needed to become a photographer. And I did.
That was in 2013.
Since then I've discover another passion, educating others and helping their businesses thrive.