Three years ago I attended my first WPPI conference.  It was exciting, a little overwhelming and a lot of fun.  At the time I really didn’t know what direction I would go in with my photography business.  I was photographing everything, weddings, kids, families, etc and I thought that is just what you were supposed to do.  But in the back of my mind, I knew I didn’t love photographing everything.  And sitting in the different classes at my first WPPI, I starting thinking about what I WANTED to do rather than what I thought I was supposed to do.

I attended my first (of many) class by Justin & Mary Marantz while at WPPI this first time.  They are wedding photographers, and while in the back of my mind I knew wedding photography was not really where I wanted to go with my photography, I listened to them and what they had to say.  What they had to say was extremely inspirational and applied to the business of photography and not just simply to weddings.  As I watched Mary speak, I thought I would really love to do that one day.

Never in a million years did I think that would be possible, I had no idea what I would even speak on but helping others through this type of class environment was a dream.  I guess you could call it a pipe dream, a dream that I never actually thought would come true, but a dream none the less.

Not long after that trip to WPPI, I started thinking of a way to incorporate my love of blogging and writing with my interest and desire to become a senior portrait photographer.  And Seniorologie was born.  I have always wanted Seniorologie to be a place of sharing, learning and growing and I hope for those loyal readers (new and old) 🙂  it is just that!

Through Seniorologie, I have been able to do some things I really never imagined I would be able to do.  I have met some amazing photographers, built lifelong friendships, written a blog that actually is read by more than just my mom, and plan events that help other photographers!  I have been able to combine my love of writing with my desire to be the best senior photographer I can be and with my love of planning events that help others.

Along the way, I did a mentorship with those awesome photographers I mentioned earlier, Justin and Mary.  During the mentoring, Mary told me to right down my dreams, big or small.  At first, I’ll be honest, the practical side of me thought, why do I need to write these down, they are crazy dreams that will never come true?  But I did as she said and wrote them down.

I wrote them down and put this list in a safe place.  I took them out and looked at them every now and then to remind myself to keep going or to tell myself to get back on track.  I got excited when I accomplished a goal and kept working to continue to accomplish all the goals.

But one stuck out as just not being possible.  Speak at WPPI.  That was a big one.  A crazy dream.  But one that I really wanted to do.  I wanted to be able to do for one person what Justin and Mary did for me.  I wanted to be able to inspire and help just one with their dreams.  I thought it was a long shot and it took me a while to get the courage to put myself out there for this particular goal.

But once I got up the courage to attempt this goal on my list, I put my heart and soul into it.  And much to my surprise and shock it came true!

Speaking at WPPI a few weeks ago was exciting and scary!  I was so nervous and I didn’t want to disappoint anyone.  I had no idea what to expect, no idea how many people would show up to the class and no idea if I would pass out, fall or worse during my presentation. (for those who weren’t there, I did stumble but didn’t fall.  Thank goodness)

I wanted to share a presentation that wasn’t about me but that was about seniors and what they wanted from their senior portrait experience.  So with the help of an amazing videographer, Artifice Films, and some of my awesome senior clients, I put together a presentation that centered around what seniors want and how photographers could give that to them.

I will be honest, I wanted to throw up right before the class.  I saw the size of the room and freaked out just a little.  What if I didn’t fill it?  What if no one came?  But something simply amazing happened, people came and they were excited to learn.  And I couldn’t wait to share what I could with them.  I started off a little nervous but once I got going, I felt good.  I felt like I could really give these attendees some valuable information and I hope I did just that.

And I am super excited to put a big fat check mark by this goal on my list!!  It is a goal I will continue to have, as I will continue to keep working on every single one of the other goals.  And I hope each of you will be there with me along the way.  Read this blog post and come up with your own list of goals, big or small.  Even the ones you never think you will accomplish, write them down.  You just never know where your path will lead and you just have to be ready for the journey!

So if you do nothing else, write down a list.  A list of things you want to do with your business.  Share a goal or two with me and let me help you any way I can.  Comment below and get support on whatever you are trying to do with your business.  Seniorologie is a community of amazing senior portrait photographers and my goal is to help each one of you reach your goals!

Thank you to everyone who came to the Seniorologie Class at WPPI.  And thanks to all who supported me from their homes as I know a lot of you sent well wishes and wanted to be there.  Thanks to all that support Seniorologie by reading it every day.  We can all make this a great community of photographers and share with each other to help make us all better.  And so my goal moving forward, is to do just that.  Help, encourage, inspire and educate and make the senior photography community the best it can be!

 Image above taken by Kelly Smith of Kelly Smith Photography

Seniorologie 101 – {Following Your Dreams & Setting Goals}

  1. Wow! I’m so happy for you! What an accomplishment and so inspirational!

    I’m where you were 3 years ago or probably more like 5 years ago. Ha, ha! I’m just starting out. Shooting kids and families (friends mostly) and really wanting to start taking pictures of people that want to have there picture taken and will stand still and maybe even try to pose a bit, if you know what I mean. Lol!

    I would love to do Senior portraits. That would be a dream come true! I’m launching a little senior model search next week and I’m so excited. It will be very interesting to see if I get any hits since I don’t currently have an “in” with any high schools in my area.

    My kids are only 4 and 2 years old and so are a lot of my friends’ kids. Any tips for how to get in contact with seniors? All tips and advice are very welcome.

    Thanks for the great post. You’re truly an inspiration.

    Best regards,

    Kristine Casart

  2. That’s so awesome, Leslie! I was so bummed that I missed your presentation because I left on Wednesday. It was great meeting you in the ProDPI booth, though and again at the hangout at Rouge 🙂 Would it be possible to share the video you have from your presentation? That would be sweet! My goal is to attend the Seniorologie shootout next year in Vegas!! 🙂

  3. Hello! You are such a huge inspiration! Thank you for sharing all that you do. I wish so badly that I could have come to WPPI to see you, but I have a young baby. Hopefully next year!!
    Anyway, I was wondering: How DO you get “into high schools” to let them know that there is an alternative to yearbook photos? My oldest is 5 so obviously I don’t know anyone that even goes to high school! hhaa! I would love to photograph more seniors. I am trying to move on from babies and young children to start only photographing older kids (tweens), teens, and adult women. How do I catch those seniors’ eye and ear?!?
    Thank you so much!

  4. Great post, this is so inspirational! I totally randomly decided the other day to make a note on my Ipad with goals I have for shoot the class of 2014. After reading this post, I want to revisit this list and refine my goals a little bit but I love to see that hard work and planning can pay off. Thank you so much for sharing your story, especially for those of us just starting out!

heck, yes i do!

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