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Kindness Karma

I had a new blog to end the year. Actually, I had two. One was about how this year demonstrated learning through mistakes and successes, and the other about keeping positive. The two subjects meet as one now.

I’d like to reflect on the impact of positivity. When roasting at a festival and have no sales but a lot of compliments of my work, well, it’s frustrating. I mean, how can you say how much you like my images and walk away without, even a five-dollar card – yet spend fifteen dollars to let your kid paint a rock? Stay positive, say oh well and drop a $10 portrait (which for a studio-like portrait is a steal) to a $5 deal and people start coming in. Dropping the price made me less money, but even at half the price at least I made something!

And for that and remaining smiling and talking with people I met a couple who wanted me to do their private Christmas shoot. They were aghast at how inexpensive it was and didn’t blink when they followed up later as I raised the price of the shoot. They actually paid more than I invoiced. The lesson was to really understand situations and stop devaluating myself and my work. So, Gentle Reader: Stop devaluating yourself and your work.

Through the Holiday fairs and festivals, I had mixed results – some shows good, others not so much. But again, rather than getting upset with no sales, I remained positive. What are you going to do? Some vendors spread their grumps with others, perhaps even with the people walking through. I engaged, talked about my photos and the stories behind it - - and still didn’t sell a thing. That’s life, though; overall I lost money but met some very nice people who took a card and if the fates allow perhaps I’ll see again.

I met one woman who didn’t sit for my pop-up portrait but wanted to arrange one with her dogs. No work while in the booth, but with a follow up I snuck them into a venue before the festival started for a family (parents, woman and dogs) Christmas portrait. They shoved three times my pop-up price into my hands and a heartwarming thank you.

Recently, a couple walked into my pop-up booth who were just the cutest things. Young, in love – no mistletoe needed!! We talked during the quick photo shoot (one of my ‘pop up pix’ in a festival) and how I was disappointed the venue didn’t allow dogs. Seeing my samples of Christmas portraits with dogs they asked if we could arrange one with their two pups. We met later, spent about a half hour taking pictures, I cropped and enhanced them and sent them off. They paid me over invoice for my time and positive attitude.

But here’s the kicker. I just ‘broke’ my website. I finished editing links to add shopping and to book appointments, and when updating my homepage – I completely screwed it up. I couldn’t get back to all the pre-screw up home pages, links or anything. Shut down for anything new. I had tried the website ‘help’ crew (who didn’t help whatsoever) and reached out to a web designer in town who never responded – and thought that I’d be stuck for awhile with only showing my images but not offering more. (The site was published and running – but could not take any updates)

Shopping and appointments were my year two goal of the business, stepping from just fairs and festivals to opening myself up more. In walks my no-mistletoe-needed-guy. He offers to help and in minutes gets me back up. He offered; I didn’t ask. He didn’t ask for cost to fix but a potential for further photo shoots.

See? Life is funny that way. I call it Kindness Karma. I may not have made profits overall this year, but I made new friendships, I have leads to expand business more, and found that kindness in the face of what is typically disappointment wins the day.

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