We were challenged at a conference this spring to think about our mission, vision, values, purpose, and goals as business owners. What drives us and makes us tick. Our reason for getting out of bed in the morning. We had so many things to talk about and so many answers to that question, but one theme that remained for us as professionals in business is this: we exist to serve.
We’re in business to serve our clients, our fellow industry professionals, and our fellow photographers with all of our hearts, and we’re always finding new ways to figure out what that looks like in our day-to-day business.
We taught elementary school together for four years. We’re experienced educators. We’re trained to identify students’ strengths and confidences, weaknesses and vulnerabilities. To come alongside them and walk with them from point A to B without making them feel small or ashamed that they didn’t know the answer the first time. We’re teachers. It’s our passion. It’s our mission field. We’re hardwired to help. Every time we see someone have a “light bulb” moment, when the world gets clear and makes sense again (or even for the first time), we get a high that’s almost indescribable. And, in those instances, we know that we’re doing exactly what God wants us to be doing, because we feel called. To us, this has never been just a “job.”
A job is something you do because you have to. A vocation is something you do because it’s who you are.
We don’t desire to teach, coach, and mentor fellow photographers because we think it’s “the next thing” to do on the big checklist of life. It’s not another notch on our belt or a higher rung on a ladder. It’s the overflow of our hearts. It’s who we are. We were teachers first, and no matter how many years away we get from a physical classroom, teaching is a passion and always will be a part of us. We are full of a deep unquenchable thirst to help others succeed beyond their wildest dreams and imaginations, whether they’re ten years old or want to grow their business or marriage over the next ten years, because we’ve seen the abundant blessing that comes when you combine hard work with knowledge. We always had the former, but we got the latter because others showed us the way.
This week, we’re starting a brand new series for photographers that will become a regular part of our blog. It’s called Dear A&J. We get emails all the time from photographers with all types of questions, and we realized we could help more people if we shared our answers with everyone and help strengthen our community as a whole.
From our experience in the classroom, we know that sometimes students hesitate to ask questions in front of the entire class because they don’t want to risk looking stupid. They don’t want everyone else to know there might be something they don’t know. When, in reality, most of the others were just waiting for someone to ask the same question they wanted an answer to, too! So, how’d we fix that? We’ll, we’d ask them to write their questions on paper for us to read to the class anonymously and then answer out loud. That way, no one felt embarrassed for not knowing, yet everyone got the question answered. That’s what we want to do here. Create a warm, safe place in our online classroom, where we hope photographers will feel comfortable asking questions they want answers to, from little things to the big ones., knowing they’ll be helping others by stepping out and asking.
So, how will it work? It’s simple.
1. Email us any question you want an answer to on photography, business, or marriage at info[at]amyandjordan[dot]com.
2. Make sure to include “Dear A&J…” in the subject line.
3. We’ll keep a running list of all the questions and answer them on our blog with just the questioner’s initials. So it’ll be totally anonymous. We won’t be able to answer every question right away, but we’ll do our very best to make sure that we’re a resource for YOU.
We’ll post the first in this series next week, so get your questions in fast! Ready, set, go!
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More from the Dear A&J Series…
Intro: Dear A&J…
1. The Best Place to Invest
2. How to Choose a Session Location
3. How to Find Great Light
4. How to Blog to an Invisible Audience
5. How to Take Sharp Family Portraits
6. What Lens Should I Buy Next?