Cris Duncan, 2021 TPPA President

When we first started our business, we photographed weddings…  a LOT of weddings. From March until September, we had one or two weddings every single weekend. I’m not going to lie. We thought we were pretty good. Then we went to Imaging USA and were exposed to what was possible.

I went home and took an honest look at our work. We needed a course correction and, if you are in the same spot, here is a plan:

Step 1 – Gain Knowledge. As my dad always says, “You don’t know what you don’t know until you know it.” We didn’t know on-location lighting. Sometimes we would get it right, but we couldn’t get it right all the time. I didn’t understand some of the laws of light enough to be able to manipulate them to create the same image more than once. So, I started looking at images, breaking down the light patterns, and figuring out how they were created. Basically, I started to learn lighting. Things like Texas School and in-person workshops were game changers.

Step 2 – Get over your Fear. This is a hard one. It’s comfortable to stay where you are. You know what results you can produce and it has worked in the past. However, if you are going to change the trajectory of your work and business, you have to do new, often scary things. Here is a little comfort for you… Your windshield is bigger than your rear view mirror.

Let that sink in. It’s deliberate. We can’t navigate our business by focusing on the past, where we came from, and what boundaries we set for ourselves. Instead, we look through the giant windshield that stretches from both sides of our vehicle and gives us a panoramic view of the possibilities. Excitement trumps fear every day of the week, so embrace it.

Step 3 – Apply the Knowledge. Practice. Do it during sessions. Change your course. Deanna will tell you that the first year when we tried to utilize off-camera flash for our outdoor work, it was rough. Instead of joking with the clients and putting them at ease, I was doing calculations in my head and working with the triggers. However, at the end of that year, our work was at a new level, my confidence returned, and our business was on a new trajectory.

I want that for you. I want you to be looking out of your front windshield so you don’t miss any exits – or opportunities to grow your craft. Speaking of that, I have the perfect exit for you to take… I-27.

Come and join myself and my lovely bride, Deanna, for the “Light from the Shadows” event with Mark Bryant on June 11-12 in Lubbock, Texas. We have a fun weekend planned for you, filled with opportunities to gain and apply knowledge. Plus, it’s going to be in our backyard. Literally. The evening social events will include a backyard BBQ and a taste of what we share with our friends (that’s you), family and clients – movies under the starlight. It will be a “can’t miss” weekend and we hope that you embrace the wisdom shared by Mac Davis – “Happiness is  Lubbock, Texas, growing nearer and dearer.”  Can’t wait to see you, my friend.

Until then, Happy Creating,

Cris Duncan
TPPA President