I recently joined a women’s mastermind group called Connect For Success, and Heather Marsh of HMM Creative – a photographer and personal branding expert – is also in this group. When she noticed that I joined the group, she reached out to me with an open heart and a collaborative spirit and said “let’s connect” (ah the theme of the group coming to life!)

I met Heather at her spacious studio in San Marcos, CA and we immediately got along and had a lot in common. I loved her business model of focusing on branding for her clients and making photography a part of the overall personal branding process.

She told me I was welcome to use her studio (being that I don’t have a proper studio, unless you count the small corner of my office that i sometimes use for portraits). And of course I jumped at the chance to shoot in Heather’s studio. Even better, she was a willing and fantastic subject to photograph!

So these photos below are the result of our collaborating together at Heather’s studio.

In addition to the lovely Heather Marsh, I’ve met many other wonderful local photographers who have been incredibly open to collaborating and this has led to all kinds of abundance for each of us. I’ve learned from these local photographers (the best places to shoot, how to edit faster, photography resources), I’ve borrowed equipment from them, and best of all – we often refer business back and forth. And it has reinforced my mind set that community over competition is the way to be in business.

In his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey refers to The Scarcity Mentality. Essentially a belief that there are not enough resources, clients, money or recognition available for everyone. People with The Scarcity Mentality have a hard time being genuinely happy for the success of other people.

The Abundance Mentality, on the other hand, flows out of a deep inner sense of personal worth or security. It is the paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody. It results in the sharing of resources, recognition, and profits. The Abundance Mentality opens you up to possibilities, options, alternatives and creativity.

And what I’ve also come to appreciate is the concept of “all boats rise with the tide”, meaning that when one business owner is doing well, they raise the bar (or “the tide”) for the industry. If I apply this concept to my business I think about how I want my pricing and quality of product to be on par with my fellow photographers. The best way to achieve this is to be upfront with one another and to have a genuine attitude of helping and collaborating. 

So, thank you Heather, and all the other photographers who have been open to collaborating. I look forward to much more of this in the future!!

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