How would you describe your business before you came to the workshop?  What were you doing?  What were you worried about?  What were you selling/communicating?  How were you performing?

I had a pretty good idea of who my target market was, but I wasn’t putting anything out on my website that I had any particular credentials to serve them. I serve a pretty funky, individualistic and irreverent crowd. I had spent a number of years working at fairs and festivals (as a carny) and had kept that under wraps as it felt white-trashy and pathetic. I knew deep in in my heart that it was a great adventure, but I thought it would make me seem less professional and insecure. I had been spending a lot of energy trying to cultivate an image that would fit in with other wedding photographers. Ha – no such luck anyway.

Fortunately, I had not wasted any time trying to make my photos look like everyone else’s. I have my own photography style and sense of humor; I am always trying to make different unusual images. I had attracted my audience by showing the images, but had done nothing to talk about who I was as a human being on my website.

What did you learn in the workshop?  How did your perception of your business change?  How did your feelings/satisfaction/happiness change after the workshop?

I learned to just be brave about being myself with people I didn’t know. My close friends recognize me as the lovable freak that I am, but I never ran with it as a business identity.

I am much more satisfied with my business now. I am more open with my lifestyle choices (living somewhat itinerantly in order to swim in the ocean as much as I want in the summer and ski all winter.)  I am more comfortable with cashing in on my lifestyle credentials. I gave myself authority to serve the funkier market that I target.

How would you describe the workshop?  Why should someone go to the SB workshop?

You should take the course, to uncover what differentiates your business from everyone else’s. It gave me a roadmap and guiding principles from which to make decisions in the future. I am much clearer on who I am as a business and can run decisions past these principles to help me decide if a business decision is a good one.

As a case in point, I had decided (before Sexy Business) that I would be vocal on Gay Marriage. I believe in the cause strongly, and it is the only “political” stand that I take in public. Being vocal about this has won me the respect of my current clients. Maine just legalized gay marriage and, it was a no-brainer to go City Hall at midnight when a the first marriage licenses were going to be issued and the first wedding was to be held. I used my newspaper connections to to get into City Hall and I shot the event as a photojournalist, not as a “wedding photographer”. I then posted it all over my blog and facebook. It is a cause that my target market feels strongly about (I have heard it mentioned during more than one wedding ceremony) and to be unequivocal in my support had won me many “likes” on Facebook.


Regardless of the gain it brings my business, I am happier being open about it, and even happier still about any business it might have lost me. Any potential clients that would be turned off by this (or anything else on my website) can enjoy a “Good Riddance” from me.


– AK


Our Mystic, Boston, and Las Vegas workshops have already sold out this year.  There are still spots open in Chicago (April 21-24) and we’ll be announcing new workshops in Atlanta and (probably) Boston again later in this year.  Check out he SEXY BUSINESS page for more information and to get on the waiting list for Atlanta or Boston send me an email at

 Interested in finding more satisfaction for both yourself and your clients?  REGISTER FOR AN UPCOMING SEXY BUSINESS Workshop HERE.


[Review] The Luxury Strategy

We’ve been talking about photography as a luxury a lot lately on the blog, and The Luxury Strategy has been the biggest influence on my feelings regarding the issue.  I’ve got to say upfront that this book is dense.  I can digest a typical business book in one sitting – usually an hour or two.  The Luxury Strategy took me several hours over several nights.  Having said that it is well worth the trip.  The Luxury Strategy aims to demystify the role of luxury throughout history and how people interact with, enjoy, and consume luxury products.  Its about the science and sociology about why people love luxury.

When it comes to emotional issues I always look for a logical way to codify and understand how our emotions are stimulated.  The first part of the book aims to break down the fundamental elements of a luxury brand.  Of particular interest to photographers is Chapter 3 (the Anti-Laws of Marketing) as it discards many of the established tenets of marketing that work on standard and premium products but thoroughly undermine the promotion of luxury brands.  Chapter 4 explores the facets of luxury brands and it provides the concrete, applicable building blocks for how to think about your photography business in luxury terms.

The second major section of the book deals with the customer relationship to the luxury brand and how to manage it.  For those of you who may have struggled with buzzwords like “value-proposition” or “brand-equity” Chapter 6 details exactly what luxury brand equity is and how a luxury company establishes and maintains it throughout its life.  I can’t stress enough how insightful and valuable this logical and reasoned approach to appealing to clients is.

This Luxury Strategy is the single best source for photographers trying to understand what the underlying value of their work is and how to make clients believe it.  If you are wondering what your value proposition is, and more importantly how to make it compelling to a client, then this book is for you.

Check it out and let me know what you think.  If you order the book through the links below your cost doesn’t change but a few cents go to help supporting this site.  thanks!

– trr

By |February 17th, 2011|Review|2 Comments

[Review] Different by Youngme Moon

Different is an awesome book.  Like the best I’ve ever read.  In fact, it made such an impact on me that I sat and read the whole thing in Borders one day, and then walked right up to the reigster and paid for the book I just read so I could take it home and read it again (the highest complement I can pay a book).  Rather than a definitive document it is more of a musing on the topic of difference in the marketplace and how real, noticeable innovation can happen and be marketed in reality.  Its not a textbook, or a step-by-step manual for putting together a brand.  Instead it is a study of what may have worked well in the past and what that teaches us about endeavoring to find difference going forward. Particularly interesting to photographers are concepts like mature markets (covered early in the first part of the book – photography is DEFINITELY and mature market) and the concepts of reversal or hostile brands.

Different also addresses the phenomenon of photographers (or any business owners) being genetically pre-wired to pay too much attention to what each other are doing and subconsciously adjust their businesses to resemble each other rather than aiming for uniqueness.  If you find yourself manically stalking other photographer’s blogs and hero-worshipping other shooters and judging yourself accordingly this book is definitely for you.

I can’t stress enough how important these concepts are.  As we endeavor to build companies that clients want to hire, we have to understand how our business differs in a tangible way to someone who is not a photography expert.  This book dives into those topics.

Please check it out and let me know what you think in the comments section below.  Also, if you use the link below to add the book to your cart and check out during that browser session the book costs the exact same amount from Amazon but a few cents goes into my pocket – win-win all around. Thanks for reading and be sure to follow us on Twitter for the latest updates (

Kindle version:

Dead tree version:

– trr