let's be friends!
I'm a photographer and educator based in Scottsdale, Arizona! Giving joyful people laughter filled and stress free photos and helping photographers turn their dream to grow their business into a plan that actually works!
I loved the idea of being self-taught. Sharing with other people that I got to where I am all on my own sounded like something to be proud of. But is it really? Why would I want to brag about the fact that I didn’t ask for or accept any help? We were created to need community, to need each other, to ask for help, and to help others in return. We weren’t designed to go it alone. And even if that weren’t the case, can we really call ourselves “self-taught” if we learned everything from the internet? After all, didn’t someone write those blog posts and share that information or record that video that helped us learn all on our own?
If I could start all over in my photography journey, I would have invested in my education at the very beginning. Investing in education is investing in yourself and your future. If you invest in the right places and people when choosing to learn more, it can make all the difference in how quickly you grow and if you grow at all.
I spent too many years waiting for my clients to grow my business for me. All I did was hope they would tell their friends about me, and my business would continue to grow through word of mouth only. There was no strategy and no plan… only wishful thinking. My business did grow very slowly. It took me over seven years to get to a place in my business that I’m confident I could have gotten to in one year if I had intentionally invested in my education.
Not everyone has money to invest in education right at the start of their journey. I get that. So, save for it. It’s worth it. YOU are worth it. When I started my business, I put the small amount of money I was making towards a new camera and new lenses as soon as I could. I should have put that money back into myself to learn how to use the camera I already had confidently. I should have learned how to run a business instead of simply trading photos for money. And, I should have learned about how the experience you provide clients matters just as much as the photos themselves.
Eventually, that’s exactly what I did, and it has made all the difference for me. I invested more money into my education than I ever thought I would. That education gave me the tools I needed to double my income in one year. And it’s only continued to grow each year since then as I continued to apply what I learned and experiment with new business and marketing strategies while growing my craft.
Research educational opportunities. Find the teacher that works for you. There are a million free resources out there. I have a few here that might be helpful for you. Start there if you haven’t started at all. If you’re ready to invest, nothing beats one on one mentoring or coaching. It’s the best way to get to the root of YOUR business and what you, specifically, need to learn and grow in. It gives you the opportunity to ask any personalized questions and ensures the education is catered to your needs and desires.
If you think I might be the best fit for you when it comes to mentoring, reach out! I would love to hear about what you’re hoping to learn and see if I could help! I don’t encourage everyone to mentor with me, only those who are wanting to learn something I’m confident I could teach you. Every mentor session with me is tailored to your specific needs. I share anything and everything I’ve learned that you want to learn and hold nothing back. I want you to get where you want to go. And I want to help you do it faster and more efficiently than I did. And together, that’s exactly what we can do!
I want to highlight a recent student of mine! Erin, of Erin Nicole Photography, did ongoing mentoring with me over the course of 3 months. Throughout that time, we went from her learning how to shoot in manual to her making huge business decisions that resulted in an uptick in new clients. I’ll add some of her own words to describe where she started and where she is now.
“Prior to mentoring with Leah, I would shoot in automatic for every session, and I was never impressed with the outcome. The majority of my photos were out of focus, and I had no idea how to capture movement. I found it so challenging to edit photos with color casts. I purchased a number of presets prior to working with Leah because I was under the impression that it was a “one-click” job. I spent so much money on presets and never had luck. My photos were so inconsistent and I wasn’t sure of my photography style.”
Below you can see some of her “before” work. These sessions are before mentoring with me!
And here are some of her thoughts and photos after she finished over 3 months of online mentoring with me! What I REALLY love about these photos is that they aren’t the same as mine. I wouldn’t mind if they were, if my style happened to be the style that Erin loved too! But she already had a vision for her own style and she followed that with the tools and information I gave her! She continues to find more and more of her own voice and identity as a photographer and business owner and I LOVE seeing it happen!
“My mentor sessions with Leah were so valuable and packed with knowledge. She explained everything in such a simple way and went into depth on each topic. I went from shooting in automatic mode/JPEG to manual mode/RAW in such a short period of time all thanks to Leah! :) The training Leah provided within Lightroom was a total game changer – I found my photography style and my images are more consistent.
The transformation of my photos after working with Leah is incredible! She made topics so easy to understand. I was so comfortable with Leah from day one. My favorite part of mentoring with Leah was all the encouragement she would give me before I would go out on sessions and apply the new things she taught me. I learned so much in the time we worked together and I will forever be thankful to have had the opportunity to work with such a talented & kindhearted photographer!”
If you have questions or are interested in mentoring with me, I would LOVE to hear from you! Fill out the form at the bottom of this page! There is no pressure to book if you reach out. I want to help you get where you want to go! Sometimes, that might mean I’m not the best fit to help you get there. But sometimes, I just might be! ;)