A Two-Day Workshop Where Photographers Discover Their Why & How To Use It To Grow Their Businesses
Hi There. I’m Mark, a Wedding Photographer and a 10 year educator with a Master’s degree in Educational Media Production. I coach photographers and help them find meaning in their photography so they can create growth in their businesses, make an impact in their communities, and gain the clarity and focus to take action.
After traveling around the U.S. and coaching other photographers at my workshops I realized that gear, presets, posing, and pricing were at the forefront of the conversation in our industry. All of those topics are fine but they really aren’t what lights a fire under me nor was it how I naturally help people. The thing that really gets me feeling alive is when I help photographers discover the juicy stories that led them to want to be a photographer and then leverage those stories so their businesses grow with less effort.
My goal at these workshops is to create and facilitate an environment for photographers to find their Why in their businesses. I envision photographers leaving my workshop with a clear vision on what niche they want to market to, who they love serving, and a clear plan on how to move forward.
I believe my workshops provide an unique perspective on the big problem our industry faces…Fear. It’s an ugly word right?! and one that we all know too well when we think about taking that next big leap in our photography businesses.
Whether you’re going full-time, reinventing your niche, or just struggling to stay inspired, I believe my workshop will help you find the meaning behind your business so you can gain clarity and focus to take the next big steps.
So how does finding your Why help to grow your business though? Let me tell you story about how I found my Why to answer that question…
When I finished my Master’s program 6 years ago I knew that I was going to be a photographer. I had a feeling in my gut that this is what I would use to bring about change in my own life and my community. I figured that out through a lot of pain through trial and error. I rebranded 4 different times in 6 years because I just didn’t believe that the reason I wanted to be a photographer was good enough. I tried out every photography niche in the book and tried to innovate each one in a unique way but with no avail. After years of spinning my wheels, not trusting myself, and wasting a ridiculous amount of time I had to take a step back and ask myself “why I want to do this?”. Even though I felt like I knew my Why, I couldn’t express it in a way that would actually help my business grow so I dedicated myself to discovering why I wanted to be a photographer.
I had to take a few steps back though…
I spent hundreds of hours getting coached, taking workshops and courses, having genuine conversations about our industry, journaling about my vision, and just trying to get all the bullshit that the photography industry had brainwashed me with out of my head. I realized that if I was going to see my dreams and passions manifest in reality that it was my responsibility to do the work. I was willing to do the work but I had no clue exactly what to do to make my dreams become a reality as a photographer.
For me the first step was to make a decision on what I wanted to do. Sounds easy right? Not so much because most photographers make this decision on what they think others want them to do and not off of what they actually want to do in their businesses. I had to deconstruct every little part of my photography business to figure out those moments that were life-giving and energizing to me in order for me to sustain my business for the long term and feel happier in the short term.
After a year of this work and gaining a clear vision on what I wanted, I chose to dedicate myself to being a Wedding Photographer. Since then I’ve seen my business grow 4x, worked half as much, earned more money, and moved to the top of my Google SEO Ranking so I rarely have to advertise. I am finally inspired to go shoot like I was when I first started too!
In the end I had to take responsibility for my own photography business and my own life. There was no one else that was going to commit and do the work for me. It was a hard pill to swallow because I thought that if I had the best lens, best presets, best software, best posing guide and the best looking Instagram grid, then I would have a thriving photography business, and boy was I wrong. What really matted was the Why behind what I wanted to do.
When I discovered my own Why I was able to have natural conversations with my clients instead of ones that caused anxiety. I was able stop spinning my wheels with marketing and actually create content that would attract my clients instead of the old “spray and pray” method. I was able to enjoy the present and the little moments in my life a little bit more instead of always striving to achieve the unrealistic “Made It” status. I was able to start enjoying more time with my family instead of worrying about whether I was doing the right thing for business while I was with them. I was able to figure out that elusive idea of Work/Life Balance instead of being sad and tired all the time. I was able to start making my personal health and well being a priority instead of sacrificing it for the ridiculously counterproductive idea of what our industry calls “hustle and grind”. I was able to increase my self awareness so I could focus on developing the skills I needed rather than going through the processes that all the other photographers were going through that didn’t work for me.
Raves and Reviews
Arthur Luke - “Mark offers more in his workshop than just business knowledge and shooting techniques. Those are things that we expect to be taught, but the real value that I saw in the time we spent was an overall conversation about mindset. To me, anyone can tell you the steps to running a business or tricks to prompt a couple on a shoot. It takes experience, thoughtfulness, and being intentional to understand how a mindset drives those things and everything else that comes with operating a photography business. Mark understands the value of teaching on a deeper level like that and I'm grateful that I was able to experience it.
Alena Jensen - “I can't say enough about Mark. He truly is someone you want to connect with, one of those people you'll never forget because he left such an impact on your life. This is the experience I received from his workshop. He's so insightful and so willing to help people not only learn but also get through their struggles in this industry. Now if only I can figure out how to rate him more than 5 stars…”
Kristen Tucker - “Mark’s the real deal. He’s not looking just to make a quick dollar, he genuinely is trying to help other people and connect with others. He’s not pretentious or condescending, he’s down to earth and just makes people comfortable. I was really anxious before meeting him and the other photographers at the workshop but he made it relaxed, safe and fun. I can’t say enough good things about my experience, so I’ll just say that Mark’s a great choice and I’d definitely take his workshop again.”
Angela Brearton - “Five stars doesn't do this justice. Period. Mark is a wonderful educator. He turned "just a workshop" into an unforgettable experience. I went into this not realizing how much I would actually be taking away from it, and he inspired me more than I ever could have imagined. Highly, highly recommend attending one of his workshops!”
Colleen Kelly - “I’m not kidding, my dudes, Mark Maya is the shiiizzzzz. His talent, commitment, and desire to help others succeed shine through in every aspect of his work. He is knowledgeable without being condescending, creative as all heck without being unreachable, and just an all around solid dude. His workshop was invigorating, energizing and a pleasure to be a part of. Maybe the best money I’ve spent on my photographic advancement ever.”
Michael Kent - “Mark is a master of thoughtful, introspective education. Each and every one of his carefully curated topics feels researched, inspected, and tooled to deliver a payload of knowledge. It is obvious that he has not only the life experience needed to be an accomplished photographer, but that he has also spent as much time building his craft as an educator. I can not speak more highly of Mark as an educator, photographer, or human being. One of the truly solid humans.”
Heather Koepp - “Photography workshops are hit and miss these days, but Mark Mayas workshop is certainly a hit! With his hands on approach to learning, Mark walks you through his creative process from start to finish. Starting the day off with a short focusing/meditation warm-up, attendees jump right into a live shoot. There, you work side by side with Mark and guest photographers, and are given the freedom to create. Mark offers an endless amount of guidance throughout the day and spends quality one on one time with each attendee. Marks workshop is certainly one you do not want to miss out on.”
Jessica Nicholson - “Mark allowed me to model for one of his workshop and it was probably one of the best experiences I have ever had!! He is so knowledgeable in photography and the fact that he travels around to share this and teach others, is simply incredible!! He is amazing to work with and makes you feel like a damn QUEEN!! His work clearly speaks for itself! You cannot go wrong here!!”
Ryan Longnecker - “I joined in to help teach a small portion of the workshop and Mark's passion for community and art was evident. He was welcoming and had a warm heart.”
Thais Fry - “Mark is one of the best mentors I've had in a photography workshop. As someone that is always looking for opportunities to improve my craft, I was super excited for his class on Double Exposure and the Business of Making Art. I had high expectations in term of learning a new technique and actually understanding how to stand out as an artist being inside a service based industry like wedding photography. My expectation were not only met but exceeded. Mostly because the class challenged me to not only think out of the box but to create my own box to make me stand out and be a reference in my market area. I could go on and on in more specifics of how his class helped me grow as an artist and as a business owner but I'll just say this: If you have the chance to take any of his classes, do it! It's not about learning how to do things the way he does. No! It's about learning how to do things own your own unique way and finding your voice within your craft. Thank you Mark!”
Anna Wiley - “Working with and learning from Mark has been one of the best things I have done for my photography career. Hands down. I knew the first time I watched Mark photograph, that he possessed a distinct and powerful perspective that helped him connect with his subjects and convey emotions through photography. After working with Mark through in-person workshops and one-on-one mentoring, the caliber of my photographic work has increased ten-fold and I am creating work that I absolutely love. His teaching style is relaxed, personal, and creative which has helped me regain confidence in my work, push my creative limits, and find clarity within my business. I cannot recommend working with Mark enough. If you are looking to grow creatively and learn to create authentic work, look no further.”
Ana Galizes - “I chose to book Mark for a mentoring session earlier this year because his photographic style was quite different from mine, and I wanted a different perspective. He really gives back to the photo community by taking groups of photographers on photo field trips through Durham free of charge, and he lets us pick his brain in the process. He has created a community online and in person where folks can feel comfortable asking questions and experimenting with style and technique. Mark thinks and works outside the box, and I'm proud to call him my mentor.”