When Ty first started the business, he was in college. He was scheduled to take photo classes to fulfill his art electives for his graphic design major. So, with that in mind, he asked for a nice camera the Christmas of his freshman year.

The excitement of this new piece of gear made him eager to start using it immediately. He quickly became known as “the guy with the camera” – eager and willing to shoot anything and everything that he could! Fast forward a few years, and a friend asked him to shoot his wedding. And that as they say, is where it all began! He got his business license, watched YouTube video after YouTube video, and stalked as many photographers websites as he could for all the inspiration and education he could retain. And there began the makings of our little home grown business! 

Ty shooting one of his very first weddings.

Ty had been running the business for almost two wedding seasons before we got married. He had found his way into the filmmaking world as well and had established a joint Photo/Video wedding business!

We didn’t come into marriage with a plan for this business to be our lifetime goal where we would spend all of our days working from home together as a husband and wife team. But the opportunity presented itself when he booked a wedding in the Bahamas that was scheduled a month after we got married. It just so happened that he would need someone to assist him throughout traveling and a second shooter the day of the wedding. And that’s where our little husband and wife team began!

Our very first wedding shooting together in the Bahamas!

Our business has grown and transitioned a lot over the years. We’ve rebranded, changed names, and refined our craft many times over the past five wedding seasons. Who Ty was and who I was as business owners and creatives when we first began this journey is not who we are today! And we have one thing to thank for that – education.

Education is the number one thing that has allowed us to find our true calling in this business venture. Something that we never truly set out to make a career out of has become our life’s work. And we’ve never found more joy or purpose in anything we’ve ever done before like we do in filmmaking.

If I could boil down why education has been so impactful to our success as a business it would be this – 

It Keeps You Engaged

If you’ve been in business for any amount of time you’ve probably toyed with the feelings of burn out in some way. Whether that has come through dissatisfaction in your work, overwhelm with all the work you have to do, or the crippling fear and anxiety that comes with trying to keep up in an ever evolving industry. But here’s what I’ve learned – the best way to avoid burn out is to stay engaged. Keep learning, keep growing. Admit that you don’t know it all and invest in the things that push you one step further in your entrepreneurial journey. Education keeps you inspired. It shows you a new way of doing something that may have been sucking the life out of you before. It teaches you how to do something that you may have spent way too much time trying to learn on your own. Or it can even provide the push that you need to do something different. 

The Biggest Game Changer in Our Business Early OnA Coaching Session with Katelyn James

It Brings Your Strengths and Weaknesses to Light

I tell Ty all the time that I think the worst thing about being a business owner with such a public image, is that it easily puts all of my weaknesses on display. I struggle with writers block far too often. Which is hard when so much of your business is centered around written communication. I’m easily offended, even when there’s no offense to be taken. And I’m a chronic dreamer which often leaves me too far out in the future and not grounded enough in the practical present. But in the same breath I’m highly disciplined which provides structure to our workflow. I’m empathetic which allows me to relate well to our couples. And I love to love people well which makes our client experience one of the best parts of our business.

One of the best educational experiences that Ty and I have ever invested in was a strength finders training. It helped us identify where both of our strengths and weaknesses lie. It’s easy to think you know everything there is to know about one another when you spend so much time together. But it’s also easy to assume things that you think are true about that person because you’ve projected them on to him or her. This was transformational for us in identifying our strengths and weaknesses and then being able to work out of those. Rather than trying to mold one another into who we thought each other should be. Using your strongest gifts to run your business and allowing others to fill in the gaps where you’re weak, not only frees you up to be creative, but it also frees you up to be the person that you were created to be in your business. We never would have known this had we not invested in the strength finders training. 

Identifying Your Strengths + Weaknesses Game ChangerStrength Finders

It Gives You More Than Just Knowledge

One of the best things about investing in educational opportunities is the people that you’re able to meet when you do so. I’ve attended numerous in person conferences, purchased online courses with community based forums, and invested in personalized business coaching. I’ve loved the information I’ve been able to take away from each of these to further our business. But what I’ve loved even more is the like-minded community I’ve been invited into because I said yes to investing in them. The people that I’ve met through each of these different experiences are the ones I’ve been able to turn to when running our own business was overwhelming or uncertain. When we wanted to make a big transition and didn’t know where to start. And when all I really needed was someone who understood exactly where I was and could encourage me to keep going. 

Investing in education doesn’t have to be about simply gaining knowledge. It’s about finding your people who are in the trenches of entrepreneurship right alongside you and saying yes to the journey ahead together. 

Game changing community minded educational experiences –

The Connect Retreat for Couples in Business 

Idealust 1:1 Coaching

Melyssa Griffin’s Blog to Biz Hive Course

Investing in continuing your education as a business owner not only keeps you engaged and inspired, it helps you identify your strengths, and connects you with the right community that provides you with the encouragement that every solo entrepreneur needs! 


Have you heard about our latest educational endeavor for filmmakers? We’re launching a new course called “The Business of Wedding Filmmaking”. But the best news about this is that for the first time ever we’re opening up our course recording to a live audience. And, YOU have the opportunity to be a part of that for just $97!!

When: October 29-30, 2017
10AM-6PM both days
Where: Paisley & Jade Studio
3119 W Moore St, Richmond, VA 23230
What’s Included: 1 Ticket to attend the live filming of our new course 
“The Business of Wedding Filmmaking”
(Lunch & Snacks are provided on both days)

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Meet Ashley

A true sweetheart from Southwestern VA, Ash spent many Sundays after church sitting around the table with her grandparents, listening to stories about the “good ‘ole days”. A talented visionary with a true heart for people, she’s likely to be found reading, writing, and planning away.

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