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Jim interviews relationship photographer and creative producer Parris Whittingham.

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Telling your story

I sat down with Parris Whittingham, relationship photographer and creative producer at From Parris with Love and talked about his business and his new, unique guide for brides called The Fearless Bride.

As with all my interviews, it is best to listen to the podcast above or subscribe on iTunes to get the full interview, but below is a highlight of the things we talk about.

– Parris’ background and how he got to where he is now
– The unique story of his experience as an exchange student that led him to photography

Get this… he didn’t even bring a camera on his year-long trip abroad! He was taken back that every other student had a camera, but had to stop every few minutes to snap photos, without really thinking what they were doing or really truly capturing the moment. What he realized what was happening was that he had an innate skill of capturing a moment in his head, a skill that would later translate to photography.

As he explains, as a photographer, the moment you hold a camera up to your face, you’re putting a barrier up in between yourself and your subject, so you need to overcome that.

How a selfless act of kindness from a hung over Icelandic student changed his life

While in Brazil, his group went on a weekend trip to an underground cave with a subterranean pool with a perfect shaft of light that would illuminate the entire body of water.

It was a special natural wonder, and one that he almost missed because of his lack of camera. In a story he’s never told before, you’ll find out how an excessive night of drinking by a friend led to a selfless act… one that would set him on the path to a career.

The perils and pressure of the wedding industry

– The technical part of shooting a wedding, one that most people can learn with experience
– The more important personal side when you “go off script”
– There are so many people that can technically shoot a wedding, and many people can shoot the same exact product — how do you become unique?

“I didn’t want that. I wanted to create something remarkable.”

– The attitude that will get you laughed out of the business
– The correlation between cost and results when hiring a photographer

“I look at these photos, and I don’t feel myself”

One day Parris received a fateful call from a stranger that completely transformed his business. As she spoke about her million dollar wedding, he realized that she didn’t want to hire him, but that the wedding had already occurred 2 years ago. She immediately had his attention. Her key line:

“I know that is me, but I don’t have a connection to that person in this photograph. And I don’t want to feel that way. I felt as if my wedding was hijacked.”

The Fearless Bride – A Manifesto

– We talk about the guide he wrote that helps couples find their vision
– The key to asking the right questions
– Getting beyond “good enough”
– “At a certain point passion isn’t enough”

Speed round

– His most vital piece of technology
– Describe yourself in 3 words
– How Parris maintains work/life balance
– His most interesting travel destination (the answer will surprise you)
– Where in the world he would most like to go
– His advice to new photographers and entrepreneurs

Sponsor Message: Freshbooks Fresh Take of the Week: Batching tasks for more efficiency.

I think I got this from Tim Ferriss in The 4-Hour Workweek, It just makes sense — you don’t do laundry after one shirt gets dirty, you let them all pile up for awhile, then do it all at once. A great example I hear specifically from busy parents or people on a new workout program is batching the creation of meals. If you’re a busy mom or dad, sit down every Sunday night and lay out all the kids lunches for the week… make 5 sandwiches, get 5 pieces of fruit, 5 juice boxes, 5 bags of pretzels, whatever for each child, then you can grab and go in the morning when it’s hectic.

If you’re working out or a busy entrepreneur, the same goes for meals. Cook 2-3 large healthy meals on a Sunday, eat part of one, put another in the fridge, and another in the freezer, then you can eat them throughout the week, and not be tempted to go for unhealthy choices when you come home late for work, are tired, and there’s an urge to grab a pizza.

What I also do is batch all my bills. Rather than each time I get a bill in the mail, sitting down, calling up a program and paying it right then, I simply 1 second to put it in a folder, then do all my bills the same day. Of course when it is time to do that, I sit down with Freshbooks cloud-based accounting system for small businesses.

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