For Photographers

Shutterfest18 + Special Treatment

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I just got back from Shutterfest! The craziest conference for Photographers. It is non-stop, up all night, shoot all day, a million classes, amazingness.

This was my third year as a Speaker at Shutterfest, which means that I not only am responsible for creating and delivering three standout courses, but I also am expected to be out and about throughout the rest of my time, going up to people sitting alone, helping people doing photo shoots on their own, and be available for questions and chats throughout. It’s a lot of work, but it makes me feel alive to know I have the opportunity to change someone’s life. I take it very seriously and I try very hard.

The reason I’m writing is because for the first time, in my third year here, I’m starting to notice people see me from afar and stop and whisper and pretend not to be looking, I have people bringing me glasses of water when they haven’t even gotten one for themselves, I have people asking if they can help me with anything, people telling me they came to SF just for me, people responding to my “I know you don’t know who I am (so I can give them some qualifiers so they know they can trust me)” with “I DO know who you are!”

It’s a strange feeling, but a humbling one. I don’t think I deserve special treatment from people just because I am here in this position. I understand though, that they feel like I’ve given them something, and that is my hope when I come here...

But here is my wish for all of you and for everyone...

I hope that we all treat everyone with special treatment.

Everyone deserves it, whether we think so or not.

And as I said in one of my classes with 50 people all trying to photograph the same model,

“If you look out for everyone else and make sure they get their shot, then you will have 49 other people looking out for you making sure you get yours.”

And as always, thank you to Sal and Alissa, the super humans behind Shutterfest, for believing in me for a third year in a row to educate and inspire and lead. 

Thank you so my amazing sponsors Fundy Designer, Millers Professional Imaging, and Fotofafa. There is so much more to come. Hold on tight. LESSGO.

SHUTTERFEST
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Fundy Software Company Headshots

FUNDY SOFTWARE

COMPANY HEADSHOTS

Company headshots are a valuable asset to any company, whether you are a Portland Small Business or a Retail company based in Los Angeles. Not only do professional business headshots make your team look good, but they are exciting for your team. It shows them that each one of them is a valuable asset to the work you do. Welcoming the team behind Fundy Software into my Portrait Studio in Beaverton was SO FUN... mostly because they are all a blast to hang with. With them, work is like play. 

Fundy Software Inc is a local company here in Portland that has created the most useful software for photographers that I have ever used. If you have been a client of mine, you have seen me use it in our Design Consultation together. Not only is the product amazing, but the people that make up Fundy Software are truly family to me and my little family. 

It was so AWESOME being the one they trusted to do their new company headshots. Thank you, Fundy Software! 

Help Emmi, Chief Compliance Officer at WEconnect, choose her headshot: https://www.theyodsukars.com/blog/portland-headshot-photographer-emmi

It's a CELEBRATION!

9 YEARS ACHIEVED, UNLIMITED TO GO

That's right! 2018 marks NINE years that The Yodsukars has been an operating business. It's pretty insane to think that it all started with a Groupon-type deal on The Knot.com in 2009 for a $99 Engagement Session. We photographed somewhere around 80+ sessions the following year because of that deal... we had no life and missed out on everything, BUT it laid the groundwork for what The Yodsukars is today. And what are we today? I'll leave that for the end of this post. First, I think its only fitting as we Celebrate starting our company 9 years ago, that we hear from the Founder, my best friend and husband, Forrest's father, and the reason our business exists, Rich Yodsukar.

     Being a business owner has been one of the most challenging, yet rewarding experiences of my life. Knowing that the direction of our careers is completely up to us - if we want to work more, or work less - has been so empowering. It's also been completely terrifying at times not knowing exactly when our next check is coming. As cliche as this sounds though, what's kept us going is believing that the universe will provide us with exactly what we need, and that is what's gotten us to this point in our lives and careers.  - Rich Yodsukar

Today, The Yodsukars is a Mission backed up by a lifestyle. On paper we are a Photo + Cinema studio based in Portland, Oregon and operating in Los Angeles as well. In our hearts and minds, we are just a little family set on changing the world one life at a time. What began as a studio focused on weddings, has morphed into a multi-layered company with departments catering to Businesses, Families, and Educating Other Photographers and Business Owners how to use their business to Find Their Happy. We have grown A LOT over the past 9 years, learning countless lessons about managing money, taking care of our clients, improving our technical skills, and marketing (to name a few, of course), but the one thing we have learned that I am MOST PROUD of and most EXCITED about is this...

We have learned to define SUCCESS on our terms. We have learned to create our own definition of HAPPINESS. And whats even cooler, we have learned the importance of allowing ourselves to redefine and recreate that as often as needed. That's one reason we moved from everyone we knew and the hometown of our business to a brand new place where we knew no one. I'm happy to say that 20 months later, we have established our business, found our friends and family, and created our home here in Portland. Instead of replacing one home with another, we have a new passion of adding homes, friends, and family... and businesses. 

The next opportunity is right around the corner. Keep us in your thoughts as we are looking to add another exciting adventure to our lives (not a baby you guys!!!!), so we can continue to change the world one person at a time.

XOXO

Christine

A little backstory on my WHY for being a business owner: https://www.theyodsukars.com/blog/2017/9/7/sharing-my-why-on-being-a-business-owner

 

Asking For Things I Have No Business Asking For

Christine Yodsukar Speaker

I was talking to an online group about all of the crazy things I have asked others for- asking for Work, asking for connections, asking for help… Some turn into some of the biggest accomplishments in my life and career thus far. Others were huge HUGE bombs.

My friend saw what I wrote, “I ask for things I have no business asking for” and she responded something to the effect of “I love that you have no fear.”

Here’s the deal. I am DEFINITELY afraid when I ask for things. I get extremely anxious and I try to talk myself out of it every single time. I think, “It’s stupid to ask. They have too much going on, I shouldn’t bother them. I’m not going to get it anyway so I shouldn’t waste my time. I’ll ask on Monday instead.” I have A LOT of fear. But the fear doesn’t matter. It’s what I do despite the fear that makes the difference between where I am now and where I was yesterday. And today I am closer to where I want to be and the person I want to be than I was yesterday.

What do you want to ask for? What have you been wanting to ask for for months now? What do you want?! Asking is so freaking hard, but if I have learned one hard lesson in our 8 years of owning our Photo + Cinema business, it’s that NO ONE and NOTHING is going to be given to me. People don’t wake up in the morning and think, “Gee, how can I help Christine Yodsukar today?” NO! They wake up and think about all the shit they have to take care of that day, the things they don’t want to do, the errands they forgot to do the day before, their kid is crying because they want breakfast, they are late on a deadline, and they have a client who is making them want to quit their own business. Everyone is human and just trying to do their best just like you are. They don’t have the time and energy to make things happen for me. Or for you. I have to make things happen for me and you have to make things happen for you. This is where the ask comes into play.

If no one is going to bring you a triple latte with extra foam and four pumps of hazelnut on a silver platter then you need to ask them to do so. You need to ask very specifically for exactly what you want, because if you don’t then they might bring you a coffee but it might be a peppermint decaf with coconut milk and you’re like WTF is this?! Ask and be specific in your ask so if the opportunity is there, people can give you what you want.

So how do I go from the fear of asking holding me back to actually asking? I play dumb. I literally shut off my brain (as literally as I can), and I type the words and hit send. Or I pull up the person’s phone number (and after ten minutes of giving myself excuses) I press the green phone button and the phone starts ringing. Then when they answer I say the words I need to say- very straightforward, no hoopla, no flowery words, I just say what I need to say. I disconnect myself from my anxiety and my fear for that moment I hit send or that moment I verbally say the words. Afterwards, you would think that’s when I freak out, but by that time the opportunity to freak out has passed and I’m on to the next big thing that scares me.

The key is to play dumb with yourself. You’re not afraid and you’re not nervous. Heck, you’re not anything. You’re just a robot saying the words you need to say to ask for the thing that you want. Done end of story.

Now this is going to be helpful for those of you that know what you want and who you need to ask to get it or get there, but for those of you that don’t even see the possibility of asking as a real thing, we need to go a tad bit further. If there is something you want, something that you think about constantly or even just often, YOU ARE ALLOWED TO HAVE IT. Yes you have to work for it and you have to make it happen, but you are absolutely allowed to have it. You are worth it. You are good enough. Stop comparing yourself to other people, other business owners, other photographers, other parents, other young single dudes, and focus on growing yourself. Compete with yourself. If you are in your business simply to be better than your neighbor selling a 3 hour session and all the digitals for $99, you will never win. But if you are in business for a purpose and everything that you do is working toward that greater good, then every single step will be a win.

CHRISTINE-YODSUKAR-CONSULTING

So now you can write down all of those things that you want and you dream about that you never thought you were good enough to have or deserved to do, and now you can start making action plans to make them happen. You can start figuring out who can help you get closer to those goals and you can ask them for what you need.

The bottom line is this: we get one life. Don’t waste it worrying that you’re playing by the rules and being better than $99 Tommy Thomas. Forget Tommy and make your own game with your own rules. Make your life YOUR life. Do good. Spread love and joy. And be Happy.

XOXO CHRISTINE

I share my WHY when it comes to being a business owner, and why I feel fierce AF in the pursuit of my business goals here: https://www.theyodsukars.com/blog/2017/9/7/sharing-my-why-on-being-a-business-owner

I'm Published! In Barnes and Noble!

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It's true! It happened!

It's only been on my Goal List since 2013 (in various forms), so to say I am EXCITED does not even do the extreme level happiness that I feel justice. 

I am honored to have been asked to write a featured article for Shutter Magazine The Lighting Edition. It came out August 2017 in Barnes and Noble. 

My article is Light Through a Wedding Day where I take you through all of my special How To's for getting the same gorgeous lighting as I do on a wedding day. It's a freaking amazing article- I can say this because I have been teaching about Wedding Day Lighting since 2014 and the amount of photographers that message me, text me, email me with photos from their first weddings after taking my course.... it's unbelievable! These photographers go from being so totally overwhelmed (just like I was!) when it comes to lighting a wedding day, to being totally in control and producing stunning cinematic photographs. Receiving those messages and photos from them MAKES MY YEAR. 

You can find Shutter Magazine in Barnes and Noble (did I say that already? :D) and you can also see the full article on behindtheshutter.com here: https://behindtheshutter.com/light-through-a-wedding-day/

Thank you so so much Sal Cincotta and Alissa Zimmerman for trusting me to teach and guide your amazing followers. Much love to you both!!

PS. If you want to see a really embarrassing video of my ugly crying while going into B&N and seeing my article for the first time, you can see that here thanks to my amazing friend Andrew Funderburg (creator of Fundy Software which I could not serve my clients without): https://www.facebook.com/andrewfunderburg/videos/10214211425185465/

Thank you for the support and the love everyone!!

And if you're interested in learning more about Wedding Albums, you can find that here: https://www.theyodsukars.com/education/

Sharing my WHY on being a Business Owner

Recently I had a conversation with Rich about life and purpose and WHY I am passionate about building and growing my business(es). We had never talked about this before in our MILLION AND ONE deep talks we have every day... but I told him my secret WHY.
He asked me why I keep it a secret, and I told him it's purely because of embarrassment, but he said "this is the type of thing you need to share with the world, with people you know and people you don't. It will give them more of a connection to you."

So here goes...

Growing up and all of my life I have been judged (haven't we all?) as being stupid and flaky and countless variations of those. These are all words that have been said to my face by peers and people I lookup to:
STUPID: In 12th grade AP CALCULUS class, a class I wholly struggled to get through and ultimately dropped out of with tears streaming down my face to a teacher that said he would never fail me as long as I kept trying as hard as I was, sitting behind another female student I pushed past my fear of embarrassment and raised my hand to answer a question. The life-changing inspiring teacher I was lucky enough to have called on ME to answer the question since I never raised my hand and I could feel his excitement for me to get this correct. Well, I got it incorrect and the girl sitting in front of me turned around and said, "How did you even get in this class? No offense, but you're too stupid for it."
FLAKY: In My fourth year of College at Emerson College getting my BFA in Acting, I went in to meet with my advisor before each new semester to pick and finalize my next semester class picks that would fulfill my requirement and help me graduate. Before my last semester, I met with her only to realize that somehow, I did not have enough credits to graduate. Devastated and confused (I think she and I both were) we made a plan to get me graduating on time in May and taking two classes over the summer after graduation to finish my credits. Even though everything worked out, I felt confused at how this happened when we talked over the amount of credits I needed and how many I was fulfilling each time we met, and perhaps I put too much trust in those meetings. We had a follow up meeting with my dad there to make sure everything was all good for graduation and when he asked how could this have happened my Advisor simply said, "She's flaky." 

These events and other very similar-feeling events embarrassed me and infuriated me. I knew that I was not stupid OR flaky, and that to prove this to anyone and most importantly to MYSELF I had to work harder than I ever had before, research more, work longer, be smarter, take more chances, never settle, and always push myself further. 

Some people get called stupid. Others get called fake. Others are seen as lucky or given more opportunities. In the end, I push myself so hard to be smarter, work harder, take more chances, and push myself further than I did the day before and for now that's the best I can do

 Thank you so much for this photo, Priscilla Howell. You are a huge piece of my heart and I love you.

Thank you so much for this photo, Priscilla Howell. You are a huge piece of my heart and I love you.

See the amazing work we are doing with the women of the Portland local organization supporting women surviving Breast Cancer, Breast Friends of Oregon: https://www.theyodsukars.com/blog/2017/12/27/bald-is-beautiful