Shop Diagnostics is a series where we share tips coming from creative entrepreneurs who can run shops in light of adjustments brought on by military life YET APPLICABLE to all those interested in improving their shop's presence online and worldwide.
For the Record: If graffiti is illegal and subject to fine or imprisonment, even if it's not permanent, that is not me in the photo.
I recently got together with a couple of girlfriends and did a photo shoot. The purpose for me was to get better at using a camera and get some new, and fun, shots for Florida Scarf. The general purpose was for my friends and I to hang out, enjoy the weather, take advantage of our location, and do something new and creative. As a bunch of grown women we explored make-believe for the first time in a while.
With Florida Scarf I have found that it isn't enough to just be good at making stuff. You must also be good at photographing it, describing it, putting it on the Internet, and letting people know that it's on the Internet. All of these different duties can make a creative business practically impossible to maintain. Going through this cycle can be draining. It is wonderful to stop and take a breather. I am thankful that my business is seasonal. It is crankin' from September to January. February to April is a time I take, not to sew, but hone all of these other skills needed to be successful. In this time I focus on enjoyment and refreshing my creativity.
Every January I do an assessment. It is awesome to reflect on your business and lifestyle to find out what is working and what isn't. In doing this you must be honest with yourself for maximum improvement. For me, one skill that constantly needs updating is my photography ability. I am not alone in this deficiency. Luckily, I have a few friends who have needed to get better at wielding a camera as well. We decided to take a day and spend it working with our cameras and our creativity. It was great. I recommend doing a photo shoot with girlfriends no matter who you are and what kind of camera you have. It is simple to do. You get a couple of friends and any crazy accessories you all may have. You find a kooky location, preferably outside, and you go at it. If you are like us you might be shy or nervous at first, but give yourself time you will open up. Once we all got comfortable we got some really awesome shots. The day was a success on many levels. We all bonded, obviously. I got some new, and fun, promo shots for Florida Scarf. Chrissy got some rad photos of her guitar. Laura got to do the Hobo shot she always wanted. Sarah found out she is pretty good with creating an interesting composition herself. The list is endless. We took a ton of pictures. I recommend this activity as not only something that can refresh creativity, but refresh life in general. As I said, it was interesting as an adult to go back to a form of entertainment revolving around our imagination. It was so much more fulfilling than shopping, going out to lunch, or going to a movie. And we've got something to show for it.
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