by Douglas Gordon Published 01/01/2009
In my life, it has never been about maintaining the status quo, it will never be enough. I know that is sad. I believe it keeps me going and striving for more. We have all heard the saying if itís not broken, donít fix it. Unfortunately that concept has never worked for me. I get bored way too easily. My dad always says, 'if you donít change you die'. I honestly believe I can always do it better, more efficient, less expensive and in a more effective way. I truly believe with no risk comes no reward. In the words of Wayne Gretzky, "In life, you miss 100% of the shots you do not take." I think what separates me is the fact that I never worry about being the best; I worry about being better then I was yesterday and changing so I do not burn out. The one thing I say at every programme I give is, I am businessman first, photographer second. In other words, wedding photography is not just about taking the picture. If I can give any newbie advice, it would be, to be passionate about every part of their business. Not just the art. It has been 19 years since I photographed my first wedding at the young age of 16 and I have seen so many changes. I can only imagine what the next chapter will bring.
I am so excited about the upcoming SWPP Convention because for the first time I really get to talk about my truest passion in the UK - the business side of photography. I want to be able to share with you the tools and secrets that turned my studio into the 900-wedding , 2,000-portrait machine studio it is. In todayís economy and work environment with every Tom, Dick and Harry having a digital camera, we're all about the relationships. When you look at my images, itís obvious, celebrating relationships is paramount. Family and relationships are most important to my studio. In everything we do, thatís what we focus on. That family atmosphere extends to my employees. I feel it is important to make every effort to keep the group together, setting goals for the entire studio and allowing all to share in the successes. One of the things I pride my self on is that in the 24-year history of my studio I have never had an employee leave. I want to keep my employees and treat them right. I know that more then ever my team is a crucial part of our success. So we have an incentives throughout the year for them . Our employees all receive five weeks paid holiday, health and dental insurance, retirement plans, annual and semi-annual raises. Holiday bonus and, of course, several employee retreats which you could see and read about a few from this summer on my blog http://douggordonworkshops.bigfolioblog.com/ . It makes everyone want to come to work and feel like theyíre really part of the business. The atmosphere around the office is great.
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