Elevating Your Mindset and Photography Business Tips with Tee Westbrook and Sammy Hearn
Join Tee Westbrook of Cool Girls Create and Sammy Hearn as they discuss how to start a business in photography. Sammy is an entrepreneur that offers photography, graphic arts, creative direction and editing services.
After working in print news for a good portion of her 20s, Sammy decided that what she truly wanted to do was create art. She left the news world in 2016 for full-time freelance work and never looked back, and has since shot for NASA, Manuel Couture, Bloomberg Associates, and more. Her favorite shoots are creative, imaginative, dreamy and glamorous, with a touch of science fiction and otherworldly taste.
by Andria Williams
February 19, 2021
0:30 Sammy kicks off our conversation by giving us some background knowledge about her journey. She grew up in the Nashville, TN area, and went to Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) for Journalism. She started out working in the News industry, but quickly learned that it was not her cup of tea. She described it as working in a high level stress environment, while doing excessive work, with nothing to show for it. In the midst of her long work hours, Sammy still found time to take pictures. She has been taking pictures for fun since she was in high school, but never as a career. In college, she served as the Photography Editor for MTSU Sidelines. At that point, she began taking pictures surrounded around fashion and things she loves. She worked in journalism for one year before she decided to go full time with photography. She now does photography, graphic design, and many other things surrounded by her passion.
“I had $100 in the bank when I quit my job. That was 5 years ago… I haven't looked back since.”
Fun Fact: Tee and Sammy met at the start of Sammy’s career which was 5 years ago. It is great to see women growing together through their careers!
4:00 5 YEARS DOWN THE ROAD
“The first few years of freelancing were hard! I was hustling like I was when I worked in journalism.”
Sammy describes the beginning of her career as being extremely difficult and tiring. She was working long hours and overextending herself to people to gain clients, but still were not seeing the results. She was careless for a while and scrambled to buy groceries sometimes. She states that if she could go back in time, she would tell her younger self to have a positive mindset and only accept what brings the most peace. Her life changed when she decided to take a life coach session titled ‘Money Mindset Mastery’ with her friend Brook. The deal was to exchange services, which did not really appeal to Sammy at first because she did not know what the session would do to her life. This session changed her whole mindset on money.
She explains how she grew up in a household of lack. Money was tight, so the mindset was always “We can’t afford that”. The life coach session taught her that a lack mindset is not healthy. Sammy is now undergoing spiritual and emotional unlearning of negative things and releaning of positive things. She began meditating, writing affirmations, and eliminating any negative talk such as “I’m broke” or “I can't afford that”. She is learning to instead say “I’m gonna get that another day”. Once Sammy started implementing these techniques, magical things started happening.
9:35 THE LAW OF ATTRACTION + MANIFESTATION
Sammy explains how changing her mindset changed her money flow. She started getting paid gigs back-to-back just by appreciating simple things like how the sun was shining. During COVID, she felt herself slipping back into the lack mindset, so she decided to take another course titled, ‘Feminine Frequency’. The course talked about the differences between masculine vs feminine energy. The word “manifest” starts with the prefix “man” which means to do or work towards. Society teaches women that they need to hustle like a man to see the best results. Feminine energy is all about receiving. The course focused on being present in the moment and letting things come to you.
“A person should only use masculine energy to bring themselves joy and to do things that makes their body feel good”.
14:12 LESSONS LEARNED
“It’s 20% photography skills and 80% business”.
- Do not mix business and friendships. Their opinions matter, but not that much.
- Weed out your garden of toxic people.
- Believe in yourself. One hundred percent.
- Create a business plan!
- Do not get caught up in social media numbers.
- GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD!
22:00 TIPS FOR BEGINNERS
- Shadow someone who is doing what you want to do.
- Do not overspend. Buy a used camera if needed or use your iPhone.
- Get creative with the tools you are using. Ex: Using a flashlight to get a brighter photo.
- DIY is the way to go! Having natural fun with your shoots brings in more attraction.
30:45 3 WAYS TO BOSS UP YOUR LIFE
- Practice self love and self care. Deal with your childhood traumas and do shadow work. Become more enlightened as a person.
- Do not get caught up in the hustle mentality. Lean into your feminine energy. Remember your thoughts are energy too.
- Have fun. Create from your soul. Focus on doing work that makes you happy.
BONUS TIP: DO NOT PLAY INTO WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK.
APPS YOU SHOULD USE:
CANVA: Free graphic design app.