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Thanks for reading this, and for wanting to get to know more of my story as a photographer! First, I will go through a quick overview of my background by the years:
1985: Born in Vancouver, BC, Canada. No camera yet.
1992: Started playing around with my dad’s 35mm film camera’s as we traveled around the world.
1994: Started to realize that photography is awesome with a trip to London.
1999: My first photography class with Mr. Sawyer.
2003: The first solo trip to Europe for 3 weeks. Photography became my sincere passion because of this adventure.
2004: My first paid photography job! Photojournalism for my university paper & sports programs.
2005: First commercial photography job! Photographing products for small businesses in the area – ice cream shop, floral wholesaler/distributor, and coffee shops.
2007: Graduated with my Bachelors of Business Management.
2008 (Summer): Quit my day-job to pursue photography full-time (with no business plan). Moved back in with my parents, and dove head first into what I knew I wanted to do for a living.
2008 (Winter): Started teaching photography workshops for studio lighting.
2009 (Spring): Started teaching photography workshops for studio lighting & model coaching.
2009 (Summer): Photographed my first billboard & professional singer for Warner Brother’s Records.
2010: Started working full-time in Vancouver, BC as a fashion photographer.
2010: Had my first photography studio based in SODO in Seattle, WA. (Had the studio until 2012, and got rid of it because I became primarily known for on-location work).
2011: Began working full-time in Los Angeles, California as a fashion photographer who specialized in swimwear & lingerie. (commuted from Seattle and really racked up my air miles.)
2012: Represented in Seattle & Portland as a sports & lifestyle photographer. Photographed for companies such as Amazon, Adidas, Pfizer, and more.
2013: Continued working full-time in Los Angeles with dozens of commercial and editorial clients. Got interviewed by Maxim Magazine and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit in NYC.
2014 (Winter): Chose to become a full-time wedding photographer. First year, I had 12 bookings. (If you are wondering why I made the switch, a full blog post is coming soon.)
2015: Second year as a wedding photographer (first year of 12 months full-time with it), I had 18 bookings (at double my rate of 2014). Blog post from a shoot from Sports Illustrated Swimsuit with SI Model Genevieve Morton <<– HERE.
2016: I had 36 bookings, at another big price increase. And it was my first six-figure year as a wedding photographer.
2017: I had 48 bookings, at yet another price increase. And even higher yearly income. (All while working fewer hours, too).
2017 (Summer & Fall): I hired 6 different coaches in different respective niches.
2017 (Fall): First online course goes live, teaching my exact A-Z blueprint on how I created a six-figure wedding business.
Want more of the story? AMAZING. I’ll try and keep this short. It will most likely turn into multiple blog posts over the coming months. 🙂
– – – – – –
In 2007, I graduated with my Bachelors of Business Management, and decided to go on the traditional route of a 9-5 job working for an online advertising agency just north of Seattle, WA.
My job was managing various Google Adwords accounts, and I was stuck working from a desk in the middle of the hallway in an office. They didn’t even have a cubicle for me, let alone an actual office space. I had also hoped that the job would be more creative, but it was really just working out of Excel spreadsheets, ensuring a healthy ROI is being met, and analyzing why leads might not be turning into actual sales from our clients. Part of this involved secret shopping to really see the authentic inside of the client experience.
Needless to say, working a corporate job was killing me, but what I learned during this time was priceless.
Only three short months later, I decided to quit. I wanted out. And I didn’t want to quit just to start into another 9-5 corporate job. I wanted to love what I do.
So, I chose to dive into my very small savings account, move back in with my parents, and pursue becoming a photographer.
I bailed on my apartment lease early, paid the termination fee, and bought the very few basic items that I thought I needed for my brand new photography business in order to hit the ground running.
Keep in mind that this was also a time when Facebook was JUST rolling out to the public, and YouTube videos were just gaining in popularity, so there weren’t really many places to learn either the creative aspects or the business aspects of photography – outside of attending a photography school like the Art Institute, Brooks, or similar sorts of programs.
So, I forged ahead by the good ‘ol method of “Trial & Error.”
And you know what, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. It’s learning like this that definitely delayed my career path (and my income), but I got my hands “dirty” so-to-speak with a lot of different niches in the photography world and with a lot of different techniques, so I became familiar & knowledgeable about many of them. I also failed at a lot of them, which only pushed me to focus more on them until I became proficient with them.
I started out photographing landscapes simply because it was the easiest thing for me to get access to. All I needed was a car, gas in the tank, and free time. And I had all of those things. So, off to the woods I went. And boy, did I ever put a lot of miles on my old car.
Day-after-day, week-after-week, month-after-month, I was out exploring the PNW by myself with only my camera & tripod with me. And it’s a time I’ll always look back fondly on.
It was about 3 months of near-daily exploration that I started to need more of a challenge, though. Photographing landscapes was (and is) amazing, but I needed something to challenge my creativity – and to challenge my talent as a photographer.
The most challenging thing that I thought of: photographing people.
With people, it’s not only light, composition, contrast, balance, and style… it’s directing a human being, dealing with unique personalities, and all the nuances that come with it.
So, how did I get my first person to even step in front of the camera? Model Mayhem.
At the time (back in 2008), Model Mayhem was one of the best places to network, start building a portfolio, and so I did. And I photographed a LOT of models early in my career. Both professional, amateur, and everything in-between.
And by a lot, I mean over 700. In two years.
Some weeks, I photographed dozens. One right after the other. Scheduling these sorts of powerhouse days became like second-nature to me.
I networked my ass off with the right people, got familiar (and became friends) with the industry’s leading artist teams, and built a marketing & branding package that really made a difference in my career path. I spent over $3,000 just on my initial portfolios that were all custom-made, just prior to the increase of technology with iPad’s being released and album companies launching shortly thereafter.
I grew my brand in the Seattle fashion industry quickly, expanded to include both Vancouver, BC and Portland, Oregon, got represented, and scaled my brand so that I could work fewer hours yet make more money.
Keeping all of those clients in place, I expanded to Los Angeles, California, where I continued to scale and built a well-known brand in the swimwear industry… becoming a full-time swimwear photographer for the industry’s leading swimwear brands and men’s magazine editorials. I had the pleasure of photographing for publications like Maxim, FHM, Stuff, Playboy.com, SportsIllustrated.com, and countless others. And I met so many amazing people, and had an incredible time.
I’ve photographed celebrities & fashion supermodels for lingerie & swimwear campaigns and magazines all over the world.
And then I met the love of my life – Haley.
She assisted me on set, styled their wardrobe and accessories, and was there with me through everything. She held reflectors, went on my work trips, and we shared it all together.
It was as our relationship progressed that did I start to consider what was most important to me.
Did I want to raise kids in LA?
The simple answer was no. So, I had to make a decision. A tough one.
Ultimately, I decided that I absolutely love the PNW, and I want my [future] kids to grow up here. I want them to have the same sort of lifestyle and atmosphere as I had when I grew up. I loved my childhood.
So, it was a transition. And now that I knew how to run a proper photography business, knew where I wanted to live, and knew that I wanted to build quickly — I knew I wanted to enter the wedding industry.
The wedding industry offers near unlimited potential. The ceiling is as high as you want to make it. There are always people getting married. It’s just a matter of getting in front of them (in the right way) and enjoying the work (by attracting the ideal couple).
Now, I run a stable six-figure wedding business with my ideal couples. And I have an amazing work-life balance. I’m married, we own a house in the PNW, we are going to start soon to try and have kids (it’s now October of 2017 as I write this), and we travel the world often.
We are living the life we want to live.
And I want to help you live the life you want to live.
All by helping you learn the things you need to do to grow your wedding business and attract your ideal couple.
I am now back being a coach because I want to shorten the gap for you… because I wish I had a coach and mentor when I was getting into it. I could have saved a LOT of time, and a LOT of money.
I want to save you that time and money. I want to help you get there faster.
So, what are you waiting for?
No fluff. This is the anti-workshop. It’s my 100% A-Z Blueprint.
I look forward to helping you. Get in touch with me right now, and let’s chat to see if we are a great fit.
– Kyle Goldie
A Podcast Creative Business Owners
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