Sept. 4, 2022

Finding Your Flow: Photography & Building the Life of Your Dreams with Shannon Hastings

Finding Your Flow: Photography & Building the Life of Your Dreams with Shannon Hastings

In this episode wedding photographer Shannon shares never before told stories about her photography journey, navigating real challenges and the way she has strategically leveraged several businesses to find flow in her life, love and financial abundance.

Over the past several years, her two businesses photography and Monat, have flowed in such a complimentary way: it’s lead way to Shannon living the most authentic version of herself and creating the life of her dreams.

I hope you enjoy this conversation with photographer, Shannon Hastings.


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Monique (Voiceover) 00:00:03
This is the Creative Alchemy podcast, and I'm your host, Monique Pantel. Here we explore creativity and life through story synchronicity and tales of possibilities. This is a place for artists and dreamers to share wisdom, inspiration and empower you to explore your own creative life. Together, we hold space to speak dreams into reality and share transformative ways of creating and living life. Let's dream alchemize and create. Thank you for being here.

Monique (Host) 00:00:37
Welcome to Creative Alchemy. Shannon Hastings describes herself as multipassionate, a creative entrepreneur, wearing many titles photographer, business mentor, brand influencer, just to name a few. She's been in business for herself for over ten years and shares lessons, stories and challenges through business, life and love. Over the past several years, her two businesses, photography and Monet, have flowed in such a complimentary way. It's led way to Shannon living the most authentic version of herself and creating the life of her dreams. I'm so excited to welcome Shannon to the podcast because to me, her positive outlook on life is absolutely contagious. I've watched her personally transform her life and it's just been my pleasure to have you on the podcast. So welcome, Shannon.

Shannon (Guest) 00:01:35
Thank you so much for having me.

Monique (Host) 00:01:37
Thank you for taking the time during the craziest season as a photographer. Yeah, we're in August right now. And as a photographer for so many years, I know, like August, you were in the guts of it. You're already sort of behind with all of your editing and you still can't see the end of the tunnel of the shoots because winter is not close.

Shannon (Guest) 00:02:00

Monique (Host) 00:02:01
So you are in really the thick of it. So I really appreciate you taking the time to chat. How is photography going? Because we met when you were not a photographer. We met through the yoga world and we had met through a training in Vancouver and we got to spend a weekend together. And it's been so cool to watch your journey because I got to see you as someone who didn't even consider themselves as a photographer. You are a yoga teacher. And now I sent you a message a few days ago and I said, the way that I see you living and sort of breathing and expressing yourself through your business and really, like, living life is exactly how I was a few years ago. So traveling a lot, just feeling so in the flow, but even more so, it's just really filling my heart up because you are so in love. You and your partner Blair, are just so happy and all of these wonderful things are happening in your life. And I'd love to hear just how things are going for you and maybe a little bit about your photography journey.

Shannon (Guest) 00:03:08
Yeah. So when we met, yes, I was a yoga instructor. I taught yoga for a long time and then I opened a yoga studio across the gym and it was a clinic. It was like a multidisciplinary facility with me and I think there were five other people. It was a lot. So we ended up opening this space. It was so beautiful. It was great. Really rooted in community. I learned so much about business, but this is where I picked up photography because I was doing all of our social media and basically taught myself how to brand a business that was not a thing yet. It was an old blockbuster and we renovated it from the ground up. And you're starting a new business in a small town and we had to generate interest. So social media, obviously is the way to go. And then I just evolved through promoting our business, promoting my yoga. And I really wanted to have images of people that were members. Like, I didn't want to keep going on Pinterest, especially for yoga. I wanted people to actually look like people that we see every day that come to our classes. I actually got a camera as a Christmas gift. I think it was the Nikon, like D. It wasn't a full frame camera and I don't even remember which lens it had.

Monique (Host) 00:04:35
Probably the kit, which is what it.

Shannon (Guest) 00:04:38
Is, which like, I didn't know anything about it, but I think I showed on auto, as you do. Yes. And I just started taking pictures of people working out and then started obviously with consent, getting some pictures of yoga poses and stuff like that to promote our business. And then from there, long story short, I ended up leaving my business partnership. It was just a lot at the time. Like, I look back now with so much gratitude for the whole experience, but in the moment it was very toxic. It was just not a good business partnership. There were a lot of hands in the pot. And honestly, I poured my heart and soul into this. Everyone knew me as this business because it was the town I pretty much grew up in. So everyone came and it was great. And then when I left, I had nothing. Like, I had nothing. I had to move back in with my parents and I just didn't have a job anymore. And so the only thing that I had was photography. In my mind, I didn't really have that either, but I just had nothing else. So that was like my catapult into my photography career. And I feel like in the mess comes all of this magic, right? I probably wouldn't have started the way that I did unless I had to. Like, my back was against the wall, so how am I going to pay? I mean, obviously my overhead was low. Thank God I could live with my parents. I had that privilege, but I had nothing.

Monique (Host) 00:06:11
Wow. It's so interesting because you take us back to this place where you're living in your parents basement and not sure which way to turn. You were a business owner in your gym and then you're like, Shit, how do I turn this around? Especially when your identity is wrapped up into what you do and what people know you as. And then to be able to pivot, it takes a lot of courage to do that. I think people get really stuck in situations they don't want to be in just by the fact of the fear of pivoting, of trying something new, of reinventing themselves, because that is so scary, because if everyone else knows you as a certain thing, then the idea of transitioning, to try something different is so scary. But it's so interesting, because that, to me, was so we're talking 2018, 2019, and it's now 2022. So maybe between three and four years later, you have transformed your life into the most beautiful, authentic I mean, I watch you, and you are a magical floating butterfly who sprinkles positivity on everything and everyone you touch, and it's the most wonderful thing to watch. And you've really found your flow both in life and in business. And I'm sure you'll say something to the effect of, I followed my heart, but I'm just really curious. How did you find your flow, like, when you were in this dark place? Well, I don't know if it was a dark place, but it must have been incredibly difficult. I know what that's like, to have to move back to your parents house and really start from ground zero. How did you find your flow and when did you realize you were in it? Because there's, like, a moment where you're like, okay, this is going, okay, this is cool. I would love to know how you found your flow and when you knew you were in it.

Shannon (Guest) 00:08:07
Yeah, the years from 2018 to 2020 or even 2021 are so chaotic. And I look back now like, holy shit, how did I make it through all of that? So, just a synopsis. I was in business with my ex husband. He was one of our business partners, and then him and I made the decision to leave our business, and we moved in with my parents. And it was a dark place. It was a very dark place for me because and I talked about this on other podcasts where as someone who has always been the nice girl, the good girl, kind to everybody, well liked by everybody, I had never had an experience where I was being shit talked on the Internet bullied, like going through legal things with lawyers. It was a big eye opening experience for me that I had to go through, and I'm very grateful for it now. But we were in business with our friends, our members were our friends. All these transactional relationships you think are your friends, and it's like a breakup. It was totally a breakup. It was a divorce. And so that was again, if I didn't go through that, I probably because I had no other safety net. And that's the thing when it comes to reinventing yourself or starting something new or starting the side hustle, I had to. It wasn't an option for me. So when I started photography, I mean, I'm a SAGITTARIUS and I'm like a SAGITTARIUS through me too.

Monique (Host) 00:09:39
Fire baby, fire baby, fire.

Shannon (Guest) 00:09:42
But I'm assad through and through. If you tell me not to do something, I'm going to do it and prove you wrong. I mean, it makes sense but yeah. So I think I was trying to prove a point of I'm good and I was, but I'm good. My ex and I well actually we were engaged at this time. I need to talk about this because this is how I got into weddings. So we were engaged and then in this six to eight month period post leaving our business, we ended up getting married, which I look back and I'm like, oh my gosh. We were just clinging to each other, I think in chaos. And again, one of those moments where you're like in your heart like, this is not what I want, but you're in so far deep and maybe we can talk about weddings.

Monique (Host) 00:10:28
So that happens when you're so far deep and you're on the railway track and it's going one way and you're.

Shannon (Guest) 00:10:33
Just like, well, I guess this is what it's supposed to be. Yeah. So we ended up getting married and then after that we moved out, we had our own place and then a week before our one year anniversary, he walked in and was just like, I don't love you anymore. I don't want to be with you. I don't want to work on anything we haven't been like obviously it wasn't great on both ends. But I look at that time of my life again with gratitude. Because as shitty as it was and as hurtful and as much as I felt blindsided, it does take courage to end something. So I knew I wasn't happy either. And if he didn't do it, then it would have taken me a lot longer because I'm so loyal.

Monique (Host) 00:11:21
To get there.

Shannon (Guest) 00:11:22
Yeah, to get there. So then, yeah, we ended up breaking up kind of out of nowhere. This was the summer of 2019, it was July 30, I still remember. And I was at that time teaching yoga kind of all over. I got back out into the game, like just teaching all over, doing photo shoots here and there for people. And then I just started leading a yoga retreat as well. So I was doing all of these things to try and make ends meet. And then when this bomb, the second divorce, dropped on my life, I was very much well, I obviously took some time, I disconnected. I was not on social media, obviously, but I felt okay after a couple of weeks. After a couple of weeks I was like, well I guess I'm going to do weddings. And that was my first thing where people were starting to ask about weddings, and I didn't have a reason to say no. Whereas when I was married, I was thinking, okay, we're going to settle down. Like, I don't want to be working weekends every weekend. And then when we separated, I was like, again, my back is against the wall. How the F am I going to pay my bills?

Monique (Host) 00:12:27
And you're like, I'm available.

Shannon (Guest) 00:12:29
I guess I'm doing wedding. So I just need to tell this one story because this is, like, so pivotal of how this happened. So we broke up July 30, 2019. I had a wedding two weeks later, which went okay, obviously. Cried all the way there, cried all the way home. Cried at the first dance. I just was crying through the wedding. Nobody knew. Like, nobody knew what was going on with me. And then two weeks after that, I had my first big wedding. I would say it was like, 100 people. It was my first full day thing. Did it again. Cried all the way there, cried all the way back. It was amazing. And then I think maybe a month or so after that, my hard drive crashed. I've never told this story that I need to, but oh, my gosh, therapy to get it out.

Monique (Host) 00:13:20
That has never happened to me. And this is something that happens to a lot of photographers because there is no sort of main school of photography. It's all sort of self taught. And if you don't have the right mentor or if you don't have the right sort of person telling you, you actually have to back up your files times three. It's a three to one method is what it's called. But a lot of people when you're first starting out don't know the three, two, one method. And I'm guessing that 2019. Shannon didn't know the three, two, one method.

Shannon (Guest) 00:13:51
I had one hard drive, and I only had, like because again, I was like, I had a couple of shoes here and there. I had a couple memory cards and one hard drive. So did I not put all the photos on this hard drive and delete them off the memory card? So then when this hard drive crashed, I had to send it into this, like, data recovery place five grand later that I didn't have. They didn't even get a lot of them back. No. So I was going through this behind the scenes. I didn't tell the couple. I did deliver their gallery. It had, like, I think, six or 700 photos, like, a lot of options, but it was missing some key moments of her walking down the aisle with her dad. I think some of the dances were also missing. And when you look at the corrupted files, they were like rainbow. They were gone. So when I sent her the album, she texted me saying she loves them. We love them. Just wondering if there's any more photos of my dad and I walking down the aisle.

Monique (Host) 00:14:51

Shannon (Guest) 00:14:52
Oh, my God. Okay, call me. She calls me. I ball. I tell her what's going she didn't know about my divorce. She didn't know about the hard drive. I was like, I'm literally losing all my hair at this point. I was so stressed about the shaman, but I'm like, thank God this hard drive happened. I didn't even think about my divorce. Like, what divorce? Oh, my God.

Monique (Host) 00:15:12
Because when something happens like that and it's people's photos and memories, especially weddings, oh, my goodness, my life is over. I haven't had something like that happen, but I've had something similar where, like, you tell people, please download all of these photos. It was a wedding video. That's actually how I started wedding photography as I started doing wedding films. This is like, 2014, and oh, my gosh, I remember. Okay, you need to download this file, make sure it's downloaded. Tell the couple a few times. Great. Okay. Rolls around, 20, 18, 20, 19. Hey, could I have that wedding film? What? No, you have it because you downloaded it. So then you have to scrounge back into, like, old hard drives of if, you know, and you do data storage with files and things. Like, five years ago is three lifetimes ago in a photographer's lifetime. Oh, my gosh. So what did you do? She called you, cried.

Shannon (Guest) 00:16:10
They were happy with the images, and I refunded them. Like, this is, like, my first big wedding. So I think I charged, like, $1,500 or something like that, and I ended up refunding her. And then a year or two later, they ended up having a baby. And so I was like, let's just do a family session on me, please. You could have ruined my life. Like, you could have ruined my career. That was the first big wedding that I had, and I lost your images anyway. They were disappointed, but they were understanding, and it taught me well. It taught me a lot, first of all, about back end backing up, but also, there's only so much you can do with technology, and that happening. Felt like my life at that time, it was so totally chaotic. These things always happen when you're saying that you're spread too thin, there's too much. You're not being careful. It slips through the cracks. And then you're like, you have to check yourself. Like, this happened because of you. And that's the thing with being an entrepreneur and being a business owner. You have to call yourself out all the time to be better. Yes.

Monique (Host) 00:17:19
I am so with you. And shit only hits the fan when you don't have your shit together. Yes, maybe not always, but you can kind of draw a line to connect the two. Things are kind of swirling, and things are falling, slipping through the cracks, as you said. It's a good time to kind of look in the mirror and be like, okay, am I too busy? What's going on? I need to check in with myself.

Shannon (Guest) 00:17:41
Yeah. So that was the catapult of the wedding career. Wow.

Monique (Host) 00:17:46
And your first experience was hard.

Shannon (Guest) 00:17:48

Monique (Host) 00:17:49
And you kept going. That's pretty inspiring because I think a lot of people would hang up their cameras after that because that is hard. Those are hard conversations to have, to call up somebody and say, hey, I have really bad news, especially for a wedding or big moments like that. Thank you for sharing that story, because I'm sure you've been keeping that deep in your fanny pack.

Shannon (Guest) 00:18:13
I'm like, how do I it's like something that you want to share, but you also don't because you don't want to put the seed in people's head, thinking, I'm going to lose your image.

Monique (Host) 00:18:24
Years ago when you first started. And these are like, lessons learned. Lessons learned. And it's not only in business, it's just like, that's life. This is like the point of life is to learn these lessons and move through them through grace and have the difficult conversations and learn and grow from them.

Shannon (Guest) 00:18:41
Yeah, it did get better from there.

Monique (Host) 00:18:56
So you brought us to a dark time again. So when did you feel like you were really getting into the flow of things? Because you are totally in it. You are flying to the Bahamas. Your hair is long and luscious. You are photographing beautiful couples in beautiful locations, and you're like, every day is another day that I don't work out. But then I check in on social media and your morning workout, and I'm like, Dang, Shannon is 20 19 20 20 mo.

Shannon (Guest) 00:19:32
Yeah. I'm not a mom yet, so I'll be coming to you. When I have a baby, like, how are we doing this?

Monique (Host) 00:19:38
I don't know how some mothers do it, but I'm just on a pause phase right now. And that's okay. It's okay.

Shannon (Guest) 00:19:44
It feels good.

Monique (Host) 00:19:47
Luis and I and the baby went out on the balcony yesterday morning, and.

Shannon (Guest) 00:19:50
We did a little yoga, and it was so cute. So fun. Yeah.

Monique (Host) 00:19:55
So when did you feel like you were in the flow? When did it start?

Shannon (Guest) 00:19:58
So I started SNL. It was my business name. SNL E-S-S and E-L-L-E. People always ask me what that means, and I just didn't want to be my name when I had started, because when I originally started, I wanted to do content photography, branding, social media, marketing, because that's what I was doing. It's my former business, so I always like, if I hire employees, you know what I mean? So S is Shannon and then L is Lee my middle name. So SNL, people are like, oh, that's so cool. But when I started again, wanting to do content, that quickly turned into people. And then obviously when I left my business and then my divorce, this turned into weddings. So after that whole shit storm of losing images again. I had my back against the wall. I almost had no other option but to promote myself. Nobody knew what was going on with my divorce. Nobody knew what was going on behind the scenes. That's why Instagram is a highlight reel.

Monique (Host) 00:20:55

Shannon (Guest) 00:20:55
So when I started, I just kept shooting like I was shooting my friends businesses, obviously, you know, Lululemon, I work there and it's like you meet people that just have a business. Everyone has a side hustle. So I got in with one of my good friends, Erin. She started an apparel company. So I started shooting them and then it just honestly spiraled until weddings came along and I started to feel very in flow. I honestly felt like, in flow right away, like when I was booked and busy, not so much with the back end of things. Like I took your workshop. That was a pivotal time for me because I didn't even know what aperture was. I didn't even know. Wait, had you shot a wedding and you didn't know it?

Monique (Host) 00:21:39
Stop. You shot a wedding and you didn't.

Shannon (Guest) 00:21:42
Know what aperture was? You came to that. You shot a wedding? Yes. Oh, my gosh.

Monique (Host) 00:21:47
In that workshop. I always say if you're taking this workshop and you're feeling really confident and you're thinking, oh, maybe I could do a wedding, I would strongly encourage you to not you're going to feel really confident to do a wedding and to start doing photography. I know how great the workshop is. People like you have come out of it so many times. But I always caution people because there's.

Shannon (Guest) 00:22:09
Things like the three to one rule.

Monique (Host) 00:22:11
Of backing up files and other things that it looks like kind of an easy job from Instagram because it's a highlight reel. But there's just so much more behind the scenes as you know now. Like, it's such an intense job. Being a wedding photographer is such an intense job. You are an emotional support person. You are a technician. You are basically a wedding planner.

Shannon (Guest) 00:22:34

Monique (Host) 00:22:35
Especially even if there is a planner on the floor coordinating the day, you are right next to them. You are the third wheel with the photographer. You are like, oh, my gosh, you are so many things on top of having to capture all of these magical memories and then doesn't start the day of the wedding starts way before then and then it doesn't end the day of the wedding. It's editing. And there's so many more aspects to it. So anyone who's a wedding photographer, you know how to work hard. You are a hard worker.

Shannon (Guest) 00:23:05
You hustle.

Monique (Host) 00:23:06
Yeah. And so, wait, you came to photo 101 and had a wedding and didn't.

Shannon (Guest) 00:23:12
Know what aperture was? I love this.

Monique (Host) 00:23:14
This is like the confession of Shannon.

Shannon (Guest) 00:23:18
My first wedding was at a restaurant. It was like super intimate. This was pre your workshop. I didn't know what aperture was. I didn't have a full frame camera. They were just kind of like it was a whole thing around, don't worry, they just want photos, they just want some. So I was like, okay, no problem. Here I am shooting inside in the winter, not knowing what aperture was like pot heading, you know what I mean? So yeah, from there, obviously taking your workshop. I totally understood my camera. Then I started to understand, I still am learning to this day about different settings or why didn't this turn out the way I wanted? And I would just come home after a shoot and YouTube it and I would look it up and I would Google it and I would figure out why was this not focused, why is this blurry or whatever. So I think just every single shoot and I am grateful that I had a community of people that were just supporting me no matter what. Like my photos back then, I look and I'm like, oh, she just really went for it. I just went for it because I had no other option. And then obviously you evolve as time goes on, you learn more. And now it's funny because December of 2019, when I did start money, that was like, again, fresh out of my divorce, not knowing how I was going to pay my bills, doing things to make ends meet. This starting brain influencing made sense to me on social media. And then I made the decision a couple of months later to leave yoga. I was done with yoga. Like I didn't want to do it anymore. This was, I think, February of 2020. And then Coba hit. I was like, I'm going to do weddings only I'm leaving yoga. And then coveted. So Covet was like a pretty dark time for my photography business. Obviously weddings weren't happening, shoots weren't happening. It was illegal in Canada. It was wild restrictions and everything was illegal. Everything was eventually you were allowed to do commercial shoots, but you can do personal. I had the cops come one time to one of my photoshoots to make sure there weren't too many people or you weren't doing a personal. It was wild. Wow. Yeah. So like, I was basically unemployed at the beginning of COVID. And so this is two and a half years and I look at where I am now versus even when Blair and I first started dating. It's like a completely different life. Like I really took Covet and ran with that time to build.

Monique (Host) 00:25:52
Because you couldn't shoot. Well, no one could shoot. And so you mentioned monate, can you tell people what that is? Because I think someone listening might not know what it is. I didn't know what it is, so I would love to hear what it is because you are probably the last person that I would ever imagine to jump on board to do the monet. Sort of, what do you call it, like brand ambassador sort of position. So tell us what it is and I want to talk about how that has come into your life.

Shannon (Guest) 00:26:25
Yeah, so basically it's a haircare and skincare company. It's a direct sales model. So it's an MLM. And like as soon as you say MLM, a lot of people have whatever they're going to think a certain way about the model or the product or whatever. I really had to kind of see that for what it was because being in the wellness industry, I had so many cold messages from people like selling Ice Agency or Arbon or Beach Body, a lot of those other direct sales companies where you would get cold messages from people that you don't know. And that was the taste that I had in my mouth around direct sales. And then again, fast forward, I'm going through my divorce. I'm kind of like, what am I going to do to make ends meet? My friend, she was doing Monet for a while and she was winning all these awards. Her hair looked amazing. Her energy around it was attractive. I was attracted to the way she was doing it because it's attraction marketing the way she was running it's, not cold messaging. So anyway, long story short, I started using the products again. Haircare, skincare, loved them. I joked that I had like twelve hairs before.

Monique (Host) 00:27:27
No, I knew Shannon. Twelve hairs? Yes, when I first met you. Not to say that I remember your hair being a certain way, but you do photos of like throwback and you show what your hair used to look like and that's who I met. That's who I remember knowing. And now your hair is like a lioness. It's incredible. And so I wanted you to introduce Monet and talk about the fact that they're in MLM because I don't associate you as maybe I'm the same way that I'm like, oh, my gosh, don't talk to me about Arbon or any of those kind of things. But for some reason when you do it, I'm like, should I start selling oil? She keeps going to the Bahamas in Vegas. I want to go to sell hair.

Shannon (Guest) 00:28:11
Oil and do that too.

Monique (Host) 00:28:12
But it's more than that. It's really cool when you can show the transformation that you've had not only in your hair, but that's why I was so excited to have you on the podcast, is because your energy is so contagious. You are such an open book and it's so cool to see you do so well. I love seeing people just bloom, blossom, thrive, do it. And it's just so lovely to see you do that. Tell me how, I guess Monet has opened your world in new ways because you're doing the same thing as this girl that you knew. You're winning awards, you're flying to different places, you're bringing your wonderful partner Blair on these trips and it's really neat.

Shannon (Guest) 00:28:58
Yeah, honestly, it's not for everyone. It's like entrepreneurship. In general, it kind of makes me laugh sometimes when people say about direct sales models or anything, it's like, well, you're not you're guaranteed to lose money. And I'm like, man, if somebody told me that about photography, the investment is so high. With photography, nothing was guaranteed. Nothing is ever guaranteed. But I saw money for what it was. I was already promoting products on my Instagram. I had a decent following. I genuinely use and love the products. So it just was like, well, I might as well start making a commission. And I just focused on products. And then people were attracted to the way that I was running my business. And now I have a pretty decent team that are also changing the trajectory of their life. Like, there's a girl who I've learned so much from. She has long gray hair. She brings in, like, $10,000 a month selling hair care. And people don't know the numbers because we're not allowed to say and blah, blah, blah.

Monique (Host) 00:29:56
Are you not allowed to say you're.

Shannon (Guest) 00:29:58
Not allowed to say what you make because that's misleading. And we're regulated by the FTC, and the anti Amalgamus really come for you if you're being misleading. And I totally understand. I see both sides of why people don't like the business model or they think it's predatory or whatever. But the biggest lesson for me with Monty direct sales and the way that I was running it was that two truths can exist. Like, I was having a really good experience. A lot of my customers were loving the product. It's not going to work for everybody, but it was working for a lot of people. My mom, she got her curls back. She was so happy with stuff like that. Exactly. You're just like, it doesn't need to be this crazy dramatic thing. Like, I just didn't want the drama of it all. I'm like, I'm just over here living my life, doing my thing, brown my hair, grown my hair Emani. Saved my photography business straight up. As a photographer and a yoga teacher for years, I was like, okay, what course can I create? What kind of passive income can I create? I was just on this like, okay, am I going to create a yoga app? I'm not educated enough to create a photography course. This is what I was always thinking. And then finally, because I was selling haircare on Instagram, and it's a consumable product that people will need to reorder, obviously, I kept making monthly commissions, and that is now straight up my passive income. And it takes hard work and it takes resiliency because people are going to say things to you a certain way or we were in the same boat. I just didn't know what it was. And no products or business ever spoke to me. The first thing I said to my friend when I wanted to try the products was that, okay, I'm going to try but I'm not selling. And then months later I'm like, okay, I really want to try it, but I'm really nervous about how this is going to fit into my brand because I was so nervous and concerned about what people think because obviously we all care as much as we think we don't care. So I just had to really get over the fact that people are going to think whatever they're going to think.

Monique (Host) 00:32:06
Well, and that's the thing, you really got to get over yourself. And it sounds like, you know, from the first experience that you had with the first business going under and all of the challenges that you had, people shit talking and really having to kind of like rise from the ashes, that's hard. That's so hard when you know people are talking about you and there's nothing you can do about it. But the beautiful thing about changing your life or Pivoting is maybe you'll be the latest drama or news for the week or the month, but there's always something else that happens and life goes on and people move forward. And to lean into that, to know that it's like, it's not forever. And so how cool for you to lean into something new. And I mean, it's obviously working for you.

Shannon (Guest) 00:32:50
It's going so well. And I talk about this a lot too around, okay, so even if you don't want to sell anything, you don't even want to work the business, you don't want to do any of that. You're still like we were talking around so many like minded people that have the same kind of genuine energy. Do you know how many freaking clients I've gotten because of money? I have four on eight weddings this year. I have countless maternity content, family shoot, then the referrals from them when you kind of put on your business hat and you're like business products aside, this is a whole network of people that I want to get into. And there are people that do network marketing or direct sales that have multiple businesses because it makes so much sense. It's been so smart for me and now I have the perfect mesh of both. And I talked to like I'm in such a sweet spot. I finally have hit a sweet spot. And I mean, I'm very extroverted, I'm a sad. I love people. I love bopping around. So for me to be submerged into another pool of people, like amazing, that's.

Monique (Host) 00:34:02
Something I really enjoy about my photography business and Cove had changed things a little bit and now my lifestyle is different. But I loved that and I still continue to have like I have this amazing couple. We're doing an engagement session in the fall at Sunshine Village in Banff and I can't wait for it. So just super adventurous people who value wellness and really being outdoors and real connection and having their feet dirty and going on adventures. It's the best and so if you can find your crew of people like that. Especially as a photographer. But I guess in any business. You know. Whatever kind of group of people that you want your community. It's just the best feeling to find your people.

Shannon (Guest) 00:34:50
Destination weddings. You did? Yes. Okay, so I went to Bam, actually, with technically Kammoor. We went to Canmore.

Monique (Host) 00:35:00
I'm going in a couple of weeks. It's so beautiful, isn't it?

Shannon (Guest) 00:35:03
It was so amazing. So I know the bride and so Blair and I both went out and then we met her fiance. We stayed with them and their wedding was the bride and groom, me, and then the broom's brother and his fiancee and the officials, we hiked an hour up a mountain. They had their dress like, rolled in their pack, they had a suit, they did a first look on the mountain, they did vows. It was so beautiful. And then we hiked back down and then we did some photos at the fairmont, springs and bands and I'm like, this is so cool.

Monique (Host) 00:35:35
People don't realize that that's what it can be. I think people maybe are starting to realize that there's an other alternative to what getting married and what ceremonies can look like, but oh, man, that's exactly it. It's so cool when you get a couple that are just open to do something so different and really be in a magical place and make it so special. Not that the traditional sort of setup of a wedding isn't, but just to do something entirely different is so cool. Wow, how fun. And you stayed with them too?

Shannon (Guest) 00:36:06
We stayed with them and then we came home and then the next this week we went to Dominican for another destination wedding. And then next week I'm going to Mexico for another destination wedding.

Monique (Host) 00:36:17
Yeah, baby, I swear, like living 2019.

Shannon (Guest) 00:36:21
Molife like son's, baby, just like say yes to it all the next couple of years, I just want to focus on honest and my business and then from there I will just see how that goes. But yeah, I think I'm just finally at this sweet spot around, I get the best couples. Like, every weight wedding is so fun.

Monique (Host) 00:36:43
Nice, no drama, chill.

Shannon (Guest) 00:36:45
Yeah, it is. The energy around, like, I'm just me, I'm not a big production. There's not like five of me. And I feel like you attract that.

Monique (Host) 00:36:55
Intimate energy totally attracts like, energy attracts energy. And yes. I'm so with you. Wow. Well, I guess as like a lasting note, do you have any advice for creatives looking to find their flow?

Shannon (Guest) 00:37:12
I would say imposter syndrome is such a thing that comes up with the photography and just like visual arts in general because you're always looking for inspiration, let's say. And I think you just need to know, like, when I go into shoots, I'll ask couples, like, how do you want to feel? Because so much of my work, my art is around feeling like, how do you want to feel? Because if you're feeling happy and fun and carefree and playful, then that's what will come out in your images. So if you can kind of get real with what you want your business to feel like, what do you want every day to feel like? Because yesterday I had this moment where I was like, wow, I used to hustle serving at a restaurant for like six to 8 hours to make half of what I make in a photo shoot. Now, it's always that perspective around if you want to keep doing this and you want to be successful at it, what is going to keep you going? And it has to be a balanced approach around how do you want to feel like? You want to feel appreciated, you want to feel compensated. You want to feel not burnt out. You want to feel happy. So I feel like right now in this place of my life, I'm in such a good place. It obviously hasn't always been like that, but I know it's so good right now. So I'm really just extracting all of the sweetness from my personal life and I pour that into my clients because I'm so happy. And when I'm happy, they're happy. So I feel like you have to be good in whatever makes you happy in your day to day. Like, I got to go to the gym or I got to move my body or I have to drink my water. I got to get a good night's sleep. If you're not good, then your business isn't going to be good. So I think just always starts. It starts and ends with you at the end of the day. So if you're in flow in your personal life and you can be creative and taking time, taking time off to sit at the beach and just listen and look because we can be in front of our computer screens for hours. And I think sometimes people might think we're robots or that we can just pump out all of these photos. When you're like, so much love goes into each image that I handpicked and curated.

Monique (Host) 00:39:21
People don't realize.

Shannon (Guest) 00:39:22
They don't realize. But I feel like again, if you feel compensated, you feel appreciated, you feel happy, you're going to be so good in your business.

Monique (Host) 00:39:33
Well, thank you so much for sharing all of your beautiful wisdom and your wonderful stories. I really appreciate you telling stories that you've never spoke aloud before.

Shannon (Guest) 00:39:46
I know how hard that can be.

Monique (Host) 00:39:48
So I really appreciate it and I know that will be so helpful to people in a dark place. Like, I know someone right now who is a photographer going through a really hard time and has had to cancel some photography sessions. And I think hearing these stories will just be so helpful to make you feel like you're not alone. If you're going through hard personal times or hard times in your business, because everyone does. So, yeah. Thank you so much, Shannon, for being here and sharing your energy and sharing your stories and your light. I just think you're so wonderful. I'll have links to Shannon, basically everything in the show notes so you can find her and find her beautiful energy online, too, and follow all of her adventures. So, thank you, Shannon. You're an angel and I can't wait to see what you're up to now.

Shannon (Guest) 00:40:40
Thanks so much.

Tara (Voiceover) 00:40:58
Produced and distributed by the Sound Off Media Company.