The dirty little secret about my competition.

There are just 4 days until registration closes for the Photographer Rising class of 2015.  I am so excited to see the registrations coming in and getting to know you all.

If you haven’t registered yet, I want to address a question I’ve been hearing concerning the workshop.  You’ve asked:

“Heidi, I have taken so many workshops.  I’ve bought just about every template, marketing plan and price list out there.  Nothing is working for me.  I need paying customers.  I want people who value my work.  I’ve followed everyone else’s advice, raised my prices and now I hear crickets.  How do I know that Photographer Rising will be any different?”

Great question.

I’m in this to see you succeed.  To prove it is possible.  To quiet the naysayers and doubters.  Not by fighting them, but by simply letting the truth shine.  I want you to let that creative spark within you take over and pour out of you into all of your work.  I want you to give others permission to do the same.  I’m also a realist.

The photography industry has changed.  The face of business has changed.  No one needs to tell you how tough things have gotten for photographers who are playing by the rules.  We all know it.  But despite what you may be hearing, it IS possible to be successful in the current state of the industry.  It is possible to build a healthy, profitable business.  I know because I’ve done it.

Over-saturation, price undercutting, theft, copyright infringement, competition, unregistered businesses, unfair business practices… these problems exist in our industry.  They are real and they are hurting real businesses.  We can’t make that reality go away.


We have to make our business model work within that reality. 


That is why I created the Photographer Rising Workshop.

We must change the way we look at this industry.

If we continue to focus on the bad stuff, the bad stuff is all we will see.  What we give our attention to becomes our reality.  I know it can be challenging to look away, but it is necessary if we want to move forward.

We all know the problem.  Let’s stop talking about the problem.


Let’s start talking about the solution.  


There is a way.  I’ve walked it.  And I’m sharing it with you.


I know what you’re saying, “This sounds great Heidi, but how would you know my struggles?  You have a million dollar studio, a staff, and celebrity clients.  It’s pretty easy to be positive in that situation!  How would you know what I’m going through?”


Well, just incase I haven’t dished every dark secret of my past, here is another one to illustrate my point:

2 years into my business (not so long ago) we had created quite a name for ourselves.  All of a sudden, a little spotlight was cast on my work.  On my “creative ideas”.  I used these “ideas” to define myself.  It worked and our business took off.

You can guess what happened from there.  People saw a successful business and they want to replicate it.  Sound familiar?

My bio was copied word for word on hundreds of sites.  My photos were stolen and the watermarks were photoshopped out.  Fake accounts were created with my daughters pictures (super creepy).  Studios in my area were copying every background, prop, and sentence seen on my website and offering it for a fraction of the price.  There were actually photographers sending direct messages to my clients online and proposing to do their photos for less.  They were having friends pay my session fee just to get my marketing materials.

I took it all very personally.  How could I not?  They were messing with my livelihood and my kids.  They weren’t playing fair.

The more outraged I became, the worse it all got.   One problem would dry up and another would surface.  In unbelievable proportions.  My lawyer was a busy dude.  What they were doing was illegal after all.

Competition was everywhere I turned.  Competition was all I could see.

Then it dawned on me.  When competition was all I thought about, competition became all I saw.  The more I tried to fight the problem, the bigger the problem became.




It all started with me.


I believed the situation existed and so it did.


So I began to think…. “what if I place all of this attention on my dreams rather then what I believe to be holding me back from my dreams?”


What if I stop looking, stop thinking, stop believing that these challenges can affect me?


“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”  ~ Henry David Thoreau


What if I go confidently in the direction of my dreams and DARE to live the life I imagine? What if I really do create my own reality?  What if there is no one holding me back but my own self and my own perception of my world?

So I did.

Can you guess what happened next?

When I stopped looking, it all disappeared.  For real.

Like magic.

It disappeared.

All of that energy that I once wasted worrying over the reasons that I wasn’t succeeding became the energy that propelled me forward into a level of success that I never even had the courage to dream for myself.

So I do understand.

I have been there.

And I built a damn good business while everyone else was saying, “it can’t be done”.


I believe the future of this industry will be built on collaboration, not competition.  The old way of doing things isn’t working.  It can be seen in the fall of Wall Street, in failing governments and in every industry.  Our world is changing.

Evolve or die.


Is Photographer Rising different from what is out there?  I don’t know enough about what is out there to answer that truthfully.  Everyone has different business needs.  I do know this: it is working for me.  Right now.  In my own business.  And I want you to see the same success.

No one understands your challenges as a photographer and business owner like those who are walking the same path.

We need to begin to walk together.  We will get farther then we ever dreamed.


There is 1 week left to register.  I want to see you in 2015.

Your friend,



Ready to register?  Click here!


PS:  Thank you to Megan for this awesome workshop feedback you sent me this week.  It makes me even more excited to continue teaching in 2015… if that’s even possible!  You have earned all of the success that is coming to you and more.

“Heidi’s workshop was hands-down the BEST workshop I’ve ever attended. Heidi and Shaun have an answer for every business question/situation/problem you’ve ever had and are so business savvy, have a great handle on marketing, client relations, not to mention the actual photography. She just “gets” how to work with people, clients and photographers alike, and has that rare knack of being able to zero in on the trouble areas and come up with a solution.  I’m thankful that Heidi kicked my butt into shape because I actually TOPPED my best month from last year and have raised my monthly average by nearly a $1000/month. And it was the perfect timing, too, because unfortunately my husband was laid off last month, but my income is meeting all our needs, and then some. It’s crazy to think that I went from being excited about someone paying a whole hundred dollars for a CD of images to something of this magnitude, providing for our family and paying an entire mortgage. That’s just self-inspiring, if I can even put it like that.  If I could recommend only one workshop, online or in-person to attend, it would be Heidi’s.” ~ Megan

You may also like

FAQ Friday Replay, December 19th, 2014 – Our last FAQ of the year, lens talk, editing, and asking your clients the right questions!
FAQ Friday Replay November 21st, 2014 – newborn posing, editing with photoshop and customer service woes!
FAQ Friday Replay November 14th, 2014 – Lenses, Backlit Images, Editing Process and More!
FAQ Friday Replay November 7th, 2014 – Announcing our Winners and Answering Questions Live