The Viewfinder

Workshop Review by Karen Butts

15 Feb 2023 5:53 PM | Kathleen Kinser, CPP (Administrator)


The Full-Time Portrait Studio

By Julizza Gomez and Michael Martinez

. . . 1,001 . . .  1,002 . . . 1,003 . . .  Counting sheep, can’t sleep!!!  My brain refused to shut down after attending Julizza and Michael’s impactful, PPGH workshop. I was brainstorming about how I could apply what I learned at the workshop. These thoughts were spinning in my head:  “Tame Your Tongue” “Get Rid of Shiny Pennies”  “Power of Positive Thinking” “Who Do You Need to Become?” “What Are Your Core Values?” “I am Worth It!” “Glass Ceilings” . . . and on and on.  After only 3 hours of sleep, I jumped out of bed and said to myself, “Time for a plan of action!”  This workshop was life-changing for me!

Julizza and Michael opened their program by giving us a synopsis of their journey upward in their photographic business.  When Julizza was only in elementary school, she knew that she wanted to focus on a profession that would allow her to create a better life for herself than she had as a child.  One day, one of her older brothers overheard her ask herself this question, “What could I be when I grow up so that I will be able to make the most money?”  Her brother casually replied, “Become an engineer.”  At the time, she thought that he meant to learn to drive a train!  But as she matured, she realized there were other types of engineers!  She managed to attend college continuing to focus on reaching her dream of creating a better life for herself. She chose electrical engineering as her major, which is the highest-paid type of engineer.  At some point during her junior year, she realized that becoming an engineer was not her cup of tea.  She looked left and then right and her plan took a turn in a different direction.  She ended up becoming a Math teacher since she had taken so much math, even though math was not really her thing.  After several years of teaching, she realized that she was hitting a “glass ceiling” and that in order to reach her goal of becoming a very successful person, she needed to go into business for herself where there were no barriers; no “glass ceilings.”  After she became a mother, she wanted beautiful portraits of her children, but couldn’t afford to hire someone who could fulfill her vision, so she said to herself, if I can do math, I can figure out how to use a camera.  The rest is history.

In high school, Michael was involved with the school newspaper. His teacher told him they needed pictures to go with the articles, so he promptly assigned that task to himself. This is when he got his first taste of photography.  He wanted to attend college to become a photographer, but his dad said there was no money in that, so he took classes to become a journalist.  After graduation, his first job was working for a very established, high-end photographer.  As Michael developed his skills, he became more confident and felt like he was carrying half the load for the studio, so he approached his boss and told him he wanted to be a partner in the business.  The answer was, “No!”  Michael, too, hit a “glass ceiling.”  So instead of accepting his status as just an employee, he broke away from the security of a job and opened his own business. Immediately, he set his prices twice as high as his previous employer was charging.  Michael developed his own high-end, very successful portrait business. This allowed him to set his own schedule making time to be the father he wanted to be to his two daughters. 

Julizza and Michael both shared more interesting stories of their journey to success.  They encouraged us to believe in ourselves and to charge what we are worth.  They suggested activities to help us change our mindset and talked about how to streamline our life, like outsourcing what we don’t want to do to give us more free time. Julizza talked about how our conscious and subconscious minds work differently and how they affect our actions.  She stressed how important it is to continually talk to ourselves, out loud with positive thoughts in order to change our subconscious mind. 

 Below are some of the bullet points from their program:

  • ·       Define Your Why
  • ·       Brainstorm a List of Core Values
  • ·       Figure Out WHOM You Need to Become
  • ·       Explore Resources To Change The Way You Think
  • ·       Set Smart Goals
  • ·       Create an Action Plan
  • ·       Market with 10% of Your Gross Sales

The class was filled with a wealth of knowledge and inspiration in a very relaxed, casual atmosphere.  We took a break and went to Tejas Chocolate + BBQ Restaurant, which was just a short 3 minutes away, where we continued our discussion about Chasing Our Dream.  Julizza’s teaching skills were obvious and made learning easy and meaningful!  My favorite quote from her was “Knowing and not doing, is not knowing.”  (Author unknown)  Michael’s honesty and wit kept us entertained.  If you missed it, too bad, so sad! Just kidding!  Hopefully, they will teach this class again as I feel that they have so much to offer to all levels of photographers.  If they do, it better be on your bucket list!

Review by Karen Butts

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