Written by Maisy Carr at Jupiter Moon Photography
So you're a photographer stuck in a rut. You've changed genres and need to brush up on your lighting skills and workflow, or maybe you're finally taking the leap after maternity leave and starting a journey to become a photographer? Whatever point you're at, there is the perfect education platform out here in the photography world just waiting for you to jump in.
The newly crowned Kelly Brown, scooped the title of 'Best Professional Training' in The Societies of Photographers 2023 Awards down in London, and it was truly deserved. Only when you're in the KBO community, can you really see just how much heart, soul AND time has gone into this platform. Since it was created back in lockdown, to support photographers from around the world, it has grown to a whopping 2000+ members, who take part in weekly zooms, image critiques and a really active Facebook group.
Here are my top 3 reasons, why you should invest in your self, and your business by joining Kelly Brown Online. www.kellybrownonline.com
REASON 1: A sense of Community
Without making it sound lonely and scaring any newbies away, being self employed (especially a photographer) means there really isn't a network of work colleagues you can talk to. Unless you're actively reaching out, attending events and making connections all the time, you're pretty much on your own!
At KBO we're a little community, and Kelly and her team have provided us a safe space to talk, share and learn from each other, not just once, but up to 3 times a week online!
Kelly's Facebook group has members around the world in many different time zones. You can post in the group daily if you have any questions or need advice, and you'll likely get a quick response from whoever is awake. Lots of people share photos they're proud of, or want some feedback on. Plus there's also KBO's weekly challenges -Creating images based upon a weekly theme that are then selected and shared over on instagram @kbomembers.
Having worked as a photographer for many years, the transformation to my confidence as a Newborn photographer has been enormous since joining KBO. I feel able to reach out for help, to seek guidance without judgement, and also share my experiences with people who have just started. This is the highlight of the platform for me personally.
A few of the KBO members and Kelly also had our first in-person meet up at SWPP last week. As a group of strangers, it was surprisingly lovely to finally meet up in real life. We took courses, watched the 20 x 16 Print competition being judged, explored London and partied together at the awards ceremony. I couldn't have imagined making friends through an online platform, but you get to know each others work, share your highs and lows and you can't help cheering each other on when people hit a goal they've been striving for no matter how small! I've tried many other photography groups, and it's the most welcoming group of people if you're willing to step out of your comfort zone!
REASON 2: Worth Ethic & Personal Goals
KBO instills amazing values that have come from Kelly's years of experience in the industry. The biggest one for me is to 'Mind Your Own Business.' (In a nutshell concentrate on your own goals, how you can push yourself, and to stop worrying about what other photographers are doing).
When you first start out as a photographer, you will naturally look at everyone else doing a similar thing, maybe even buy the same props to imitate their work and see them as 'Competition.'
When these thoughts creep in it's easy to feel like it's you against 'them'. How can you get more clients, charge more, earn more, sell out mini sessions, earn 6 figures the list goes on... These sorts of questions are what come up in a lot of other photography education platforms and it can be totally overwhelming, and make you feel like it's just too far out of reach. There is only positivity and problem solving at KBO.
Kelly's ethos is always "You do you" and it's by covering a range of topics from Online Marketing, Social Media Dos and Don'ts, Website reviews and Image critiques, that you start to shift your perspective to focus on yourself and how you can create the work life balance you want. As a group we often talk about 'Cost Of Doing Business' and how to price yourself, value our work and more importantly to value our time. I have managed to overhaul my website and pricing structure, and finally after several years I'm beginning to believe in myself, and the service I provide.
What you learn at KBO is that we are all on such a different paths, coming from different backgrounds, and our skill set and experience is so varied, that comparing yourself to anyone else is just ridiculous and will totally throw you off track. It is only with hindsight and a little bit of sadness that I had these thoughts in the early days, and I was constantly chasing other people's goals, rather than focussing on my own growth and areas I needed to work on. When you work your way through the videos, and are able to look at your own work with fresh eyes, it opens up so many opportunities to knuckle down and do your own thing.
REASON 3: The Extensive collection of tutorials
I'll be the first to admit that there are certain areas of Newborn and Family photography that I'm still scared of, but bit by bit, I've worked through Kelly's catalogue focussing on one area at a time, before putting it into practice with model calls at my studio.
The way the videos are filmed by the lovely Garrett, and the amazingly down to earth language used by Kelly is so easy to follow if you're a beginner, all the way up to Pro photographers.The bloopers and chemistry within Kelly's team makes it really enjoyable and lighthearted, which is a bonus. The website is really easy to use too, allowing you to search for topics, mark videos you've seen, see upcoming events, and find zoom links. Be prepared to watch hours and hours of tutorials from lighting, to newborn wrapping, family posing and live sessions where you can see how Kelly works with real families and clients.
There is so much content you can flick through like Netflix, or set up autoplay from a watchlist you've created. When you watch the videos, they are broken down into nice short lessons and chapters, as you follow the process or topic. There's also resources to download from a handy tab, so you have a hard copy and visual for in your own real life sessions. If you can commit the time to taking on one area, you can go from completely unsure, to full of knowledge and tips in just a day or two. I've been a member for 3 years, and I've still not watched all the content, so you don't need to worry about getting your money's worth.
I genuinely believed having been a Wedding photographer and doing a degree in Photography, that I'd just be able to pick up a baby, plop them on a cushion and make amazing photographs.
However, with a lot of failed attempts, I discovered Kelly's work on her instagram account @kellybrownphotographer and started to watch some of her tutorials on her Newborn Posing website (www.newbornposing.com) where I really started to see what an art form Newborn & Family Photography can be.
With a steep learning curve, it's taken me 3 years to finally find my groove, and being a founding member of www.kellybrownonline.com was the major turning point for me. Without Kelly's platform, I would say without hesitation I wouldn't be where I am today, and could possibly have quit on more than one occassion. It has sped up my journey, given me a huge confidence boost, and taught me a lot about the service I want to provide.
The way KBO has evolved since lockdown has been beautiful to see, from burnt out to blossoming, this is the thing that got me through one of the hardest times as a business owner, and I feel a sense of belonging as I help guide other photographers on their journey too. I've fallen in love with photography all over again, and would 100% recommend joining Kelly Brown Online a heartbeat!
Thanks for reading, and hopefully see you in the group!
From one very happy customer,