Ok, first of all, if you are still on the fence about spending the money to attend a workshop, go back and read yesterdays post. If you have read it already, you know why I go. I love sharing with everyone my experiences about these workshops! Last week I spent 3 days down in Boling, Texas. Boiling is on the outskirts of Houston, but you are going zoom in on your google maps to get to the point where you will see it. This town is about as big as it sounds. (Population 1,300 according to the 2000 US census). It is a town built around ranches and seeing how I know absolutely about ranches, I would have easily passed by a place like this. Except for two people that live there. Luke and Cat.
I have heard and followed Luke and Cat for a while now. There was a few first indicators I had that these two were people I wanted to get to know. The wedding industry, and in particular the wedding photography industry often seems polluted with people searching for the “fame game” or the constant impression of being a used car sales man. Two things that turn me off completely to ever give someone my attention, time or money. Thank goodness Luke and Cat are completely different than that! They are 100% real with such a fun story. Cat grew up on her family’s cattle ranch. After her and Luke were married, they became photographers. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know too many cattle ranchers turn photographers. They live in a darling old farmhouse (built in the early 1900s) that sits on the corner of the Ranch. Cat’s family is near by and there are cattle scattered through a series of different pastures.
I know this sounds silly, but one of the perks of Luke and Cat’s workshop was coming out to “The Ranch”! Not only is it beautiful, but the ranch has been built into a part of the wedding experience for Luke and Cat’s Brides and Grooms!Each Bride and Groom get to come out to the cute farmhouse for a Meet and Greet. This is where they shoot all of their engagement sessions! I am pretty sure the Farmhouse needs it’s own Instagram location tag. With it’s cute southern charm, wrap around porch and rocking chairs, it made you just want to sit outside and watch the sun slip behind the big oak trees.
But not only was the fun of the Ranch infectious, but the workshop itself was one of the best I have gone to. Let me tell you why!
1) They let you know that there is no “One Size Fits All”
Luke and Cat are not the type of people that are going to tell you that you have to run a business a certain way. They are GREAT listeners and took time to get to know me. They are invested to help no matter where you are at in your business and realize that every business will look a little different. Their business is different than other photographers and they embrace it with full force! They have confidence behind their business decisions and encouraged us to do the same. Don’t try and structure your business based on what you think other photographers are doing. Take the time to discover how you want to work, what you want to offer and the unique experience you want to deliver to your brides. We cannot sell what we don’t believe in!
2) There is no “Fluff”
Luke and Cat are sassy and competitive with each other (rumor has it that more than one Monopoly board has been flipped over in their house), and they occasionally roll their eyes at each other. They don’t pretend to to anything that they are not and spoil their guest with souther charm (its a REAL thing folks!). There was no question that I felt like I couldn’t ask. They were as eager for us to learn as we were. They encouraged us to hustle in our business and focus in on our ideal clients. This made for some power packed learning!
3) They took time to make sure we each got some time.
No only did they have time built into the schedule for each attendee to have a “Hot Seat” where we could ask any question, big or small that might pertain to us specifically, but they continue to invest their time in us individually after the workshop. The ultra exclusive Facebook group that we are apart of is one the most active groups I have been in. Luke and Cat are quick to respond and we have one-on-one follow up phone calls all scheduled. We have become a sort of family in this group and a tight knit community.
4) They are full of Southern Charm and spoil you rotten.
I know I mentioned it already. But I am not kidding when I say that there is Southern Charm here in Texas. The only thing we had to worry about as attendees was getting ourselves to the Houston Airport (or “Headquarter Hotel” if you were driving). They took care of the rest. Transportation, lodging, meals, welcome bags of snacks, and full styled shoots. There was food galore, laughter and true time to get to know each other. There were giveaways all over the place! Every single attendee won something, and all of the giveaways were awesome! Some valuing in up to $250 in free goods! We got all access to their emails, contract, bridal guide templates, discounts to their favorite photography vendors and so much more. I don’t think I could put a price tag on all of the resources they gave us. I am telling you, we were spoiled!
5) Excuses are not an option.
How many times have we been in a position to where we say “If only I lived somewhere else, I could charge more…….. I would book more clients…… I would have a better business…….”. Well I walked away from the workshop with a greater emphasis on how damaging those excuses are. Luke and Cat are great examples of leaving those excuses behind and building their dream business. Do they let living in a town with 1500 people hold them back from running one of the most profitable photography businesses in the country? Nope. Do they conform their business to offer digital files just because “everyone else is doing it”? Nope. Do they change who they are because they think you have to look/act/behave a certain way to be a successful photographer and educator? Nope. Can we sigh with relief here?! If we just stop letting fear and excuses from getting in the way, we can be empowered to run a unique business tailored specifically to our goals!
I knew I was going to need a good workshop to help push me through the Utah to Texas move. I wanted to learn from a photographer that understood the Texas wedding world, knew how to increased profitability per wedding client by offering tangible products and to learn from someone that wouldn’t hold back. Luke and Cat were exactly that! They introduced me to some wonderful Houston Wedding Vendors and taught me a little more what my business could do here in Texas with a lot of hard work and true service to each of my couples. Now it is up to me to hustle and focus everything back and giving a better experience to my Brides and Grooms. Because after all, I truly believe they deserve nothing less than my very best.
Here is a little peek at our 4 course welcome dinner! Imagine sitting under the big Texas sky as the sun sets, the twinkle of bistro lights in lawn of Luke and Cat’s 100 year old Farm House! This was just the beginning of a full workshop experience that I will never forget…. starting with the prosciutto wrapped with wild melon served with fresh mint on fresh cut juniper. This whole dinner made my mouth melt.
And a little video of our welcome dinner!!
Hosts: Luke and Cat Neumayr
Design: Lindsay with Lean On Me Events
Caterer: Red Sage Catering
Rentals/Lighting: The Foundry Rental Co.
Calligraphy: Calligraphy Cult
Metal Menu Production: Paper Birch Designs
Napkins: Aztec USA
Structural Support: Any Occasion Party Rental
AUSTIN & HOUSTON TEXAS WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER