Smashing our Failures, and our Marketing Strategy for 2023 // Kick Ass Photographers podcast – episode one

Jan 15, 2023

It’s the Kick Ass Photographers Podcast – Episode One! Whether you’re editing or driving or cooking dinner, stick us in your earholes and hang out with us!

Things we chat about in this episode:

  • Our marketing strategy for 2023
  • How to make Instagram marketing much more pleasant and less stressful
  • My viral reel plus getting on Sam Smith’s Instagram and what happened
  • How some people succeed despite making all the algorithm mistakes
  • Our word for the year
  • Failure and how it’s a journey to success (failure is kind of a theme of this episode almost unintentionally!)
  • Not overthinking stuff
  • Diana and Lomo cameras and shooting film
  • Hanging out with other photographers and acting like big children
  • The “6-figure income” thing and our thoughts on that
  • Why I started doing web design
  • My failed businesses and that time I pitched to Dragons Den
  • Why I chose a different name for my business than my actual surname
  • My life as an OG influencer in 2010
  • Our Bruges trip – the best waffles in Bruges, and how we got through a panic-inducing situation “relatively” calmly


 Todd and I work together. We live together. We’re a couple, we’re both wedding photographers. You’ve just described a co-dependent relationship. I did. Excellent. We spend every waking hour together.

So we chat about work and photography and business and things like that. 24/7 guys. Oh my goodness, we never stop. It’s true. So we thought, you know, Let’s hit record sometimes and just record our chats and why not force someone else to listen? You can eavesdrop on our chats and we tell our members of the kickass photographers membership about these chats and they were like, oh yeah, we’d love to like, hear what you guys talk about and what you discussed because everybody in this industry, almost everybody is kind of alone, right?

You are at home alone. Or whatever. You’re not in business with someone else. Normally, you’re not in business with somebody else. You haven’t got colleagues and stuff like that. So it’s great to have someone to bounce stuff off of like, is this a stupid idea or did you hear what happened? Or, you know, something that happened at a wedding.

It’s really nice to chat about. With someone. So Todd and I, we have that anyway, but hitting record means you can feel less alone in this, in this industry, this photography industry. And unlike our real life conversations, you can skip the boring bits and get to the good stuff.

I wanna, I kind of wanna start this first episode. with a topic that’s like, I, I really enjoy discussing with you. Is it holidays? Can we talk about our holiday? Oh, we can, we can definitely talk about our holiday. I’m sure people love to hear about that. Holibobs. I hate that expression. . I hate that word.

No, actually, actually, so it’s like, it’s January, so new year and all that, and I don’t really go for New Year’s resolutions and stuff, but our lovely friend Tash, who’s a photographer. Hi Tash. Hi Tash. . She has a thing where she has a word of the year, and I’ve since discovered it. That is the thing people have a word of the year to go ahead with, and I thought, okay, right.

I’ll think of a word of the year, and I came up for my word with the word positive. So I want everything, not like toxic positivity. Everything’s always great, even though it’s not. It’s more like, be nice to people. Assume the best of people. Just bring a positive vibe into the world. Whatever happens, try to see the positive or be positive about it.

So the point of this is it’s like a touchstone, right? For your year. That’s, that’s it. So you try to bear your word in mind and then keep coming back to it somehow. And I actually have all the time. And do you know what, what actually started, what, what made me choose the word positive? You’re never in a million years again.

I guess what the reason is we had a bit of a a hoo-ha with our neighbour last year, and I got all funny about it. And I was really upset about this, this thing that happened with our neighbour. It wasn’t very nice and. They kind of came with a tiny peace offering about, about a month later. And I said to Todd, can you believe them?

They’ve like tried to offer us this peace offering. How dare they? Like what do I do? Obviously I’m not gonna take it. And he was like, no, take it. Take the peace offering. Like be the bigger person. Take this as a positive. We can make amends now. And I was. . You know, I need that attitude. I need a more positive attitude.

Like, yes, I’ll take the peace offering. No, I won’t be nasty about it. You need some of that smugness and toxic positivity in your life. , smugness, . That’s exactly what it’s like. You know, it’s, well, it’s not a smugness really, but, and that’s my word for the year. Smugness. Smugness. The more smug. So, so that’s my word of the year positive and it’s actually really helped me if I’ve ever been feeling any sort of way about something or, you know, if you like, comment on a Facebook group or have a difficult email from a client or something like that, think positive.

You know, how can I be positive about this? How can I say something nice? And it has been at the forefront of my mind. However, I kind of want to start this episode with the flip side, not flip side so much, but, I think it’s a positive actually. And that is the word failure. I think failure is really important in business, in life.

And without failure, you don’t learn. Huh? This sounds like such a cheesy podcast now. Without failure, you don’t learn. I thought it was gonna be negativity. , that’s me is the opposite of positivity. Yeah, yeah. It’s not exactly the PO the opposite. It’s just not a positive word. However, I think po I think failure is a positive word.

What’s the opposite of toxic though? Pleasant, , pleasant, positivity, pleasant negativity, , pleasant, toxic, positivity, and pleasant, negative. But you know what that’s like. What’s the word when you are? Passive aggressive. That’s like that, isn’t it? You’re passive aggressive. Like talk, like negative positivity.

I’m going to be pleasantly negative this year. sounds really mean. Sounds like you’re gonna be really mean. You’ll be like, you look really good today. You must have done something. I was like, negative positivity, isn’t it like making someone feel bad, even though you’re saying good work. . I feel like it’s, you tell ’em to bugger off, but you say it with a smile.

Oh, I love it. . I’m gonna try that. You say it pleasantly. I’m gonna try that, that the words are horrible. It must be so confusing. like, oh. Oh, okay. . So the whole failure thing I think is just really, really important in business and life, and, I am a feet first no thinking kind of a person. So I’ve had a habitual failure.

Yeah, , like I’ve failed so many times, but as a result, I’ve, I have actually succeeded so many times as well because I just throw it all out there and something will sometimes stick and you learn that the thing that sticks is the thing that’s worth sticking and I don’t, you know, theorize over everything and plan it all out.

like wait till I’m ready and wait till everything’s perfect to try something or to do something knowing I’ll succeed because then I won’t actually ever end up trying anything. There’s no point where you’re like, now I’m ready. Now I feel ready. So this is like the opposite to that whole perfectionist thing, isn’t it?

Where you put off and put off starting something? Cause you wanna do a really good job of it. Yeah. Cuz then you never actually start. So I am. all about just trying things without thinking too much. So, and we’re, we’re like character opposites. So this is horrifying to me cuz I like to plan stuff out. He does.

And I, I, I feel like I need to be good at something to want to do it. So it’s really, really hard for me to just throw myself into things that’s really interesting. Like I did my, I shot my first wedding without any experience or knowing a camera or knowing, like I knew some stuff. I learned a bit, but I didn’t really think it through.

I wasn’t like, what is wedding photography and this, is this what I want? I just had the idea and, and just, well, it was only someone’s wedding, it was nothing too important. Well, luckily they weren’t gonna have a photographer anyway. They were gonna give a camera to the mum. So I was like, I couldn’t do anything.

Particularly what you were gonna say to the. That’d be amazing. That should be a thing. You’re gonna give the camera to the dog and see what happens. I feel like I’ve done a wedding. I’ve done a wedding like that. I have, it was, they put, they put a wedding on their dog. Frida, I think the dog was called, how do I remember this?

I remember names so well. And the dog just ran through the crowd and it was just amazing. But yeah, I think in cameras, Amazon, dogs, that’s the next topic. So you’re saying you did a better job from the. I’m not saying I Korea was born. I’m not saying I did a better job than the dog . I cannot ever say a dog did a bad job about anything.

No, I will not say that a dog. I just tried. And for example, this podcast, this is not the first episode we’ve ever recorded. We’ve recorded, this is actually episode 1,986 , and the others were just practice. About maybe 50 of you will have heard episode one that we put out not that long ago, but we weren’t quite sure what we wanted to do with the podcast, where we sat in the podcast market and literally where we sat in the room to do it.

Yeah. And we we’re back in the same place actually. Several episodes, episodes in in, in Rabbit ear, in virgin com, several episodes on, and we’re back in the same place. , but episode one was just us sort of chatting. We, we decided we’ll do it short, we’ll keep it to one topic, and then we, we didn’t quite know who it was for, why we were doing it.

We were just kind of chatting. And then episode two, it became a slightly different audience. I made a Facebook group. I got a website. I made an Instagram for it. Like it was a whole different thing. I made it. That’s how you know you’ve made it. When there’s a Facebook group and an Instagram . This is serious

That’s the thing. You think I’ve got a website now I’m official. I can’t tell you how many websites I’ve bought and have failed, and I’ll tell you about that in a minute. Actually. That in fact, the talking about all the, my failed businesses was episode two of the previous iteration of this podcast.

But we didn’t know about podcasting. We had never done it before. We’ve done like courses and workshops and stuff with our faith showing for the members. We have talked before, almost, almost every day of our lives, , but we’ve, we’ve rarely dusted off this old microphone. So the first episode, second episode, they were.

We didn’t know it at the time, but there were trial runs and then we recorded the third one and we were like, why are we doing this? What’s the purpose? Who’s gonna listen? And why would they be interested? And we had a big old crisis as you do, and we paired it all back and thought, right, we’ll start again.

Big old argument, , working together with your partner does sometimes, you know what? That’s the story for another day. . So we, if we make it to another day, if we make it , he, he clenched his fist then he didn’t stay tuned. Guys, , he clenched his fist at me, . So we thought, right, we’ve got a membership with over a hundred members.

We have a kick ass photographers Facebook group. We’ve got a really good kick ass photographers Instagram. We know photography and the business of photography and everything like that better than anything else. So we thought. Why are we not just making the photograph for the podcast about photography?

Because we kind of went in the direction of just general business, like self-employed people. We were like, no, no, we, we are photographers. That’s what we do. So we started afresh with that in mind that we are gonna talk about things that are relevant to photographers, whether that be work. , you know, weddings, stories, or you know, taking time off on the things that we do, how we work together, that sort of stuff.

Cameras maybe occasionally don’t, don’t know. I’m not sure I care enough about cameras. , I shoot on semi-auto cause I can’t be bothered to think about settings like . I don’t care if they’re cool film cameras. We might talk about them. Todd might, if it’s, if it’s hipster enough, we might deal with it.

Otherwise we’re not going there. I don’t, the only hipster, I used a Diana once, , do you remember Diana Cameras? I do remember. Oh, it was awesome. And a lomo. I used a little lomo camera. Oh, they all my favorite photos. I loved What was special about the Diana? It looked cool. It had like, is that the thing? Yeah, it was, it.

So it was plastic in achievement. It had this massive flash, like, you know, like in the old days of like Hollywood photographers had this big square flash, the one that would go posh. Yes, it had one of those, and you wear a curtain over your head to like shield yourself. But I should have, it would’ve been cool.

It looked like that. and there was like a failure in every single photo. But I loved it cause it was so cool and different. And it was fun to play with. Artistic failures. Artistic failures. There were no real failures. It keeps coming back to failure. And if I hadn’t just tried Diana, I wouldn’t have learned things.

I’m not entirely sure what I learned. I guess film photography helps you learn things like not putting too much effort in, not like shooting too much. , I’m not thinking about it too much either. You just take something, a photo of something that’s nice. , this was not a planned segue, by the way, guys.

We haven’t planned all this out and thought it through. Every conversation with Todd segues into film photography . So planned or not, it was gonna happen, wasn’t it? But yeah, I just wanted to talk about failure because I am not someone who overthinks stuff probably to my detriment sometimes. But like honestly, I’m running, I’m currently running three businesses and they’re all literally equally successful.

and that is because I’ve just tried stuff. So I’ve got the wedding photography business, which is over 10 years old now. I’ve got a lifetime in wedding years. It is a bit, isn’t it? I’m nearly 14. It includes like the covid years as well, which counted for 10 years in itself. Did, agreed. 2020 was worth 10 years.

My face is aged 10 years I think. Thanks to Covid. Agreed. Agreed. I run well. I, we run now. I started kick ass photographers, which started as. I wrote templates for blog posts and about me pages, which actually still sell really well. I don’t promote them in any way, but every day there’s a sale and I’m like, this is amazing.

That’s so cool that I’m still helping people with that. And then I, and, and what is kickass now? Just for anyone joining us that isn’t aware. It’s, it’s really just a membership now. So I have done courses, I have done workshops in real life, which have been super fun and we still do real life meetups for members, but it is a membership.

It’s monthly membership and we hang out on Zoom every week and chat and we answer people’s questions and we have a laugh and we share fun stories from weddings and we all go away feeling a lot better about ourselves and our. And we, we try and help photographers to level up their business. I would say that’s real business.

Speak there. Level up your business, right? It’s gamers speak really. Gamers speak. It’s like Mario, speak to me. . That’s amazing. Okay. Now that I know it’s gamers, speak from Mario. Hearing those like business. Idiots on YouTube. Go level up. You’re a business. I’m gonna actually now think of Marion. It’s gonna make me happy.

I feel like that’s not where they get it from, but it’s what I think. It’s what I’m gonna think of Now, think of leveling up. It’s what I’m gonna think of now. It’s when you walk into a mushroom and get bigger , and that is business folks. walking into a mushroom and getting bigger. , who wouldn’t want that?

That’s nineties gaming. Maybe not. Not present day. So yes, we help people level up their business, their photography business, and we do it with courses that are in there. We do master classes. Courses. Talks from other experts. And actually this month we’ve got, well, over the next couple of months we’ve got Nadine, Van Biljong talking about album sales, and we’ve got Kaity Griffin talking about Google Ads, which I can’t wait for.

like both of those are gonna be so epic in, you know, getting more bookings and earning extra money. So can’t wait for that. But we have a feed where people ask questions. We have get togethers in real life, which is so fun. We went to all We Love Hours. Last year it was amazing like being at school. But for adults it is.

We are big children and so any get togethers we have involve. that big children would enjoy. So yes, theme parks and things like that. and like the whole membership is based around fun. Really. We want people to enjoy their life. Like you probably might have been able to tell, but we are not like six figure business people where we are like, Ooh, you’ve gotta be able to earn enough to have the car and have the showy stuff and get a bigger house and get a better this.

Like, we just wanna be happy. And that just means having earning enough money to. be happy and, and, and live, you know, comfortably enough within our means, but also having enough time to take time off, not being too stressed in our work, all of that stuff. So that’s kind of what we want to do for our members, is yeah, help them build a business that doesn’t give them burnout, doesn’t give them stress, helps them see things in a positive way.

And we’re kind of just a nice community for each other rather than, you know, business, business. . Yeah. Cuz there’s a lot more to being happy in business than just making money or being booked up a lot more. Yeah. That’s it. And so that’s what we’re all about. So the third business that I that I run came about during lockdown.

There’s a longer story to it, but basically I started designing websites. I have not really ever marketed it. I got booked up, had a wait list of about three or four months having never even mentioned to anybody that I did website design. So I was like, I dunno where these people are coming from, but this is great.

They’re mostly wedding photographers. Mostly like fun, colorful kind of website styles. I do a lot of the copywriting as well. I do with SEO for them. My I got, I actually did a web design group mentoring course type thing. And she called me a magical unicorn because I , I do all the things and you know, if I do a website for someone who’s not a photographer, I can even do their photos.

So that’s pretty fun. If you can’t tell, I’m the sort of person who likes to have lots of different things in my life or get all lots of plates spinning. I love one time you love spinning plates. I’ve added a podcast to the plates. Like I just, I would get bored if I just did one thing. , whereas a lot of people, the opposite way, they have this one passion, which is photography, and it’s like, do or die.

You know, it is all about the photography. Whereas I’m more about lifestyle and business than I am about photography. Like I, I got my first proper camera not long before shooting my first wedding. I wasn’t a particular photographer before I started . This does kind of sound like we started this whole podcast just to big ourselves.

Does it, does it? So, question one, how are you so awesome, . Well, well, Todd, I’ll tell you how, how do you manage to be so cool every day? This is, this is how we’re so cool, Todd. I mean, it is just, it just comes naturally to us. What can I say? So yeah, part one failure. I, I think it’s just so important to try things and fail.

That brings me on to a fun little topic that I like to call my u r l graveyard. Is it a fun topic or is it a, a horrible secret? It’s bit of both really, I suppose. So the horrible secret is that I guess for what, a really long time, actually, since way before I was a photographer. . I have been collecting URLs, collecting websites, so I’ll have an idea.

It’s, it’s an unusual hobby. Normally people go with like coins or stamps. Oh, fun. This is the modern version. Collecting URLs, collecting URLs. I mean, almost all of them don’t exist anymore, so I don’t really collect them in that traditional sense. But when I have an idea, I know you should write out a business plan and a marketing plan and a strategy and all of that stuff, and that’s great, but I kind.

With everything, jump in feet first and just start. So I’ll have the idea, I’ll get really excited. I’ll buy a domain name, I’ll make the website, I’ll do an Instagram or whatever, and then I’ll like either forget about it or stop being into that idea or realize there’s a better way of doing it. And so I’ve ended up with like almost 20 different businesses that I started and.

Have failed. And they do say like a percentage of business has failed. And that’s my percentage right there. Some people would call this a trail of destruction in your wake

Well, yeah. I like that. I’m gonna call it my trail of destruction. I have ruined many businesses. Many of them have stuck, like several of them are still around now, so that’s all good. I mean, do you wanna hear about some of these businesses that I’ve, I’ve started and given up. I, I can’t speak for the audience, but Yep.

You know, let’s, let’s carry on. I’m talking to you. Do you wanna hear about them? I, I really don’t. I’ve heard this story many times before, but, you know, we can, we can talk about it for the benefit of the podcast, . Okay. So here we go. It was, it was what year? I don’t know, actually. Do you know what? This all began before?

Oh, I guess. Well, a long time ago, it began when I was like early twenties and I decided I wanted to start a cupcake business. I was well into baking and I had won this like cupcake baking award and stuff. So I was like, that’s it. I’m going into business. I’m gonna be a cupcake baker. I’m gonna buy an ice cream van.

I’m gonna convert it into a cupcake. And this was like, this was unheard of at the time. Like I know we’ve got. Like wedding vans converting to all sorts of food now in trailers and trucks and food markets and stuff. But I wanted to do cupcakes in a van. I costed it all up. I actually did a whole plan. I costed it all up.

I did a whole business plan. This is innocent me at like 21. In my first day I was a journalist on a magazine. I had a cool job. . But I was still doing his business plan. I’d never done anything like it. When you say you had a business plan, was it like drawn up on a napkin at work at lunchtime,

Well, do you know what the most embarrassing thing about this business plan is? Is that I actually sent it to one of the guys that does Dragons Den and he replied, he, he’s in charge of like yo sushi or something. I can’t remember. Hi his name, but he was in charge of yo Yeah, he owned yo sushi.

I pitched him this idea of cupcakes on a conveyor belt like sushi, where people could just sit and eat cupcakes for ages. What did he say? He was really sweet. He was like, you know, not for me, but what a lovely idea. Good luck and all that. It was really nice. Or, or his secretary said that Anyway. Is it, is it a thing like are people doing that?

No. Even now, no. I call it yo cupcake. I was like, you wanna take it? Call it yo cupcake. I think it’s brilliant. Watch out London. Yeah, we’re gonna go there and we’ll see yo cupcake there and I bet, I bet it’s gonna happen. I feel like this podcast could just be us talking about a different business idea every time.

Ooh. Yeah. How fun would that be? ? I’m just fantasizing about how we’d make it a reality. Oh, I wanna bring yo cupcake back. Hmm. I even looked up kitchens. I looked at the school opposite where I lived and I thought, I’ll contact them and use their kitchen, right? Yes. On the weekends. So you make them in advance and then sell them from the van?

Yeah, that’s it. But I had cats. I like that. So I was like, I can’t cook in my kitchen with cats. I’ve gotta use a clean kitchen. I looked into it all, but I didn’t get a domain name. Didn’t get that far. Then, Actually before that, it might have been before that I did I made a magazine called Banter. It was really good fun.

It almost got taken up by Haymarket where I made it, but Hesseltine didn’t like it. The, the owner of Haymarket, cuz we put a blowup doll on the cover. , I didn’t like it. Oh, wow. So he, he actively didn’t like it. Actively. I didn’t know that. . Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. He was like, it was a great idea. And then he was like, yeah, I don’t think that’s gonna.

Were like based on the cover. Based on the cover, yeah. The blow up doll thing. Yeah. And we put, we put some like. I don’t know. It was quite risque for the time. Like the headlines on the cover, I’ve got a copy. I’ll, I’ll, I’ll show you. I don’t know what this guy looks like, but I’m immediately picturing Dr Evil from the Austin Powers movies.

Is he the guy that put his little finger in his mouth? Yeah. What does he, what does he say? I dunno. Should I do a, oh, I’ll do a movie impression like I do all of mine. He goes, he, I think there’s a few good quotes from Dr. Rebel. Yeah. I make up, I make up movie quotes and sounds, but I say them. With such confidence.

Cause it’s how I believe it happened. . I mean, I feel like if I was a magazine mogul, that’s how I’d run things. I would just like arbitrarily say no to people just to mess with them. Thanks. And approve like the craziest ideas.

Can I just quickly go back to this whole movie impression thing? Mm-hmm. , do you remember our last wedding? They were, I went up to some guests and I did a quote from Rick and Morty. Mm. About, you know, the , the like robot photographer who takes photos by blinking. And I quoted Rick and Morty in a funny voice as if it was like exactly the quote with such confidence.

And I walked away and I told Todd what I’d done, and he, he was like, you completely and utterly misquoted. It was the wrong quote, . I was like, no, they got it. They. I think it was a brave move anyway. Cause I dunno how mainstream Rick and Morty is. Oh, we get really, really, like on brand clients. They definitely know Rick and Morty, this guy.

They, they definitely knew it. So that’s good. There’s one wedding guest totally loved it that I quoted this, the, the robot eyes thing. Like, it’s not like Simpson’s level well known though is not at this point, is it? If anyone has seen Rick and Morty is listening to this, you know what I’m talking about, the, the robot wedding photographer who’s like , don’t mind me.

I’m just taking a candid. Something like that. Is anything like Simpsons level, is the Simpsons still Simpsons level friends is the only thing that Simpsons level? No, I mean like current though. Oh, no. Like, and especially cartoons. I feel like Simpsons hasn’t been overtaken back when Simpsons was so big and when friends were so big, we had five channels and no Netflix.

Mm. So now’s like a thousand things on. You can’t, not everyone’s watching the same thing. Like family guy is pretty big, isn’t it? I guess that’s, nah, not as much. That’s too, too rude to be, it’s got a bit boring now. I’m bit over it. Rick and Morty’s so much cleverer. Oh, and Bob’s burgers. Oh, so much. So much better.

I think with Family Guy, there’s such a formula to it that even though it can be funny, I find just every episode blends into one. Yeah. I can’t recco, I can’t remember like a plot from the whole thing. It’s basically fart jokes and puke jokes. Mm. There’s nothing clever about it anymore. Let us know if you agree or disagree on this.

I, I would say like Bob’s Burgers is up there and Rick and Morty then? Oh no. Simpsons is like up there too, but like family guy, like way below all that for me. Does anyone know Bob’s Burgers? Oh, I love that. Apart from us, let us know. Yeah, let us know if you got, it’s one of our faves. So, leading on from, so Banter magazine, I, I bought the, so when it got, when the magazine got rejected, even though we made a whole issue of, of the magazine, it got rejected.

So I bought the domain name, got a designer on board, got a coder on board, nothing happened. And then I rebranded it to Viso Stupid magazine or something. Then I rebranded it to Waffle Factory and made it just a website, like I rebranded it over and over again. Cuz that’s the fun isn’t it? The fun is getting the website and like doing pictures and having ideas,

So you rebranded the magazine to a waffle? I don’t remember why. I do not remember why. I was hoping you wouldn’t ask me that . I dunno why it was, it was the oh so Serious magazine and banter and Waffle Factory. Like it, it was just, it kind of developed and we kept on renaming it cuz I, I guess renaming your business is kind of the most fun part, isn’t it?

Like coming up with a funny business name and that for me was the fun bit at the time. So I did that. I bought the domain names, didn’t do anything with it. Is this waffle thing, our segue into talking about our holiday? Oh, we did just come back from Brugge. Yeah. Where we had a lot of waffles. Went to Brugge, ate waffles and chocolate

We do actually have a story to share with you. Would you rather I tell the story or keep going through my old domain names? I don’t mind. Whatever feels right to you, I’m gonna carry on through my domain ends cuz I just wanna talk about waffles. , you hold that thought and tell you what, I’ll break out the waffle maker after this and I’ll make you some waffles.

I’m not into homemade waffles anymore. Oh my God. I’ve tasted the best brew house to offer. I’ve never, I bought Todd that as a birthday present and I have never ever bought him present that he liked . This is, this is a whole a whole episode in itself, isn’t it? Past birthday presence, never. The first present I ever brought you days into our relationship was one that I I saw my friend wearing this t-shirt, Matt Badnock, Hey, if you’re listening, I saw him wear this t-shirt that said, oh, crop.

And it had a picture of a crop symbol on it. It was like a photography pun. So I bought him it and he was, How small do you think I am? This is tiny. It doesn’t fit. Embarrassing. Actually, it was kind of an ironic photography joke cuz it cropped me off at the waist . It was literally like a crop top.

It was. So actually maybe you thought it through and that was your plan all along. Maybe I, I should have thought that. Yeah. But we were like days into our relationship, it was so embarrassing. I burned the t-shirt right there in front of Anna as a, as a message to not buy me any gifts like that. Again, he didn’t actually, he did worse.

He left at his parents’ house when he moved out, and it’s never come out the drawer. . I’ve never even seen that. That’s the, that’s the polite way of getting rid of things, isn’t it? Leaving it at a previous address, , so yeah, big fail on the present front. The waffle machine didn’t get, he was like, I don’t like these and didn’t want anymore, so I’ve just given up.

We’ve not done presents in years. In a year or two, you save our money instead for travels. Just for travels. Exactly. So back to these, these URLs that I’ve bought. I I went through another phase of like coming, coming up with random ideas. I had moved to Margate and I’d met fellow creators in Margate.

It’s a very creative area, and me and a bunch of other creative people had all these ideas. We put them together. One of them was cats of Margate that I did with my friend Maddie, who’s an illustrator, and she has this thing where she. , do a photo and then illustrate on top of it. And it was so cute the way she did it.

She’d put like cute characters in the scene. So I was like, right. So scenes of Margate, you mean? So we, so she did it of everything of her garden or whatever. So I was like, I’m gonna take photos of Margate and you are gonna draw cats into the scene. Like, we’re gonna fill Margate with cats and I’m gonna sell ’em as postcards.

So I got the website, we did a few little, little drawings together. I went to the famous fish shop there and got like, I explained to the guy what I was doing. He gave me some like fish and chips boxes and we put a cat inside of fish and chip’s box and stuff like that, . And it was really fun. Another one very similar was a dog based website that I I started called the Daily Wag.

Which was . It was literally news. It was a news website for dogs by dogs. So it was like reviews of the latest ball slinger and stuff like that. I even started Instagram for it and everything, and then I kind of just, yeah, forgot about it. Like a lot of things that I’ve done, all these little, little silly businesses.

I started one called, oh My wod, which. Was CrossFit in joke. If you are not into that , what is a workout of the day? And I just love CrossFit puns. So I thought I’ll make like t-shirts and hoodies with CrossFit puns. I’ve already got some of my own that I bought from, from the internet, . So I’m sensing a theme here.

The formula is, if you wanna try this at home, think of an idea, combine it with something you love, start a website and then completely forget about it. That does seem to be the theme. Those, those are the businesses that, like, were never businesses. They were just like fun things. I was trying the off cuts.

That’s it. I have done, I have done other ones where I’ve bought the domain name for an idea and then bought then like, Adapted the idea in a different way and for some reason done a new domain name. And one of them had like four different websites. So I did one, it was like a creative agency with my friend Claire, who’s a designer.

She’s done like my logo and everyone else is all photographers logos. She’s done. Claire, Claire off off Claire, off of Claire off the tell Claire from be Brave Branding. It’s a mouthful. We did, we Are Rebel Together, which was a creative agency. We did Boss Your Brand, which was also a creative agency.

Dunno why we didn’t just put them together. And then we kind of went our separate ways, but we still work together. So now I just do kick ass photographers and do stuff for photographers. And I started more recently web design, so Claire does do some branding for that as well. . The web design one is like that third business I mentioned that has completely stuck cause that’s just like

So boring didn’t come up with a fun pun name for that one, but nevermind. Feel like the ones without a pun name are the ones that have lasted possibly. But you do have a secret name for it, not your real name. Oh yeah. Well, that’s true. Yeah. Yeah. My real name is Downing and the secret name is Puma. It’s a family name.

I just literally, when I first started wedding photography, as you can imagine, I didn’t take it all that serious. And I was like, ah, Pumer, that’s such a cool name. I’m gonna use it. Not thinking this business would last a decade and be my entire income for a lot of that time. And like, it is a cool name though.

It is a cool name. I love it. Pumer. People always say it wrong, but nevermind. It’s like a cat and it means I can have a cat logo, which was fun. We could do a separate episode just dedicated to Mispronunciations, couldn’t we? Pummer? That’s one. Pummer. Yeah. Popular one. Oh my goodness. Yeah. Is that the only one?

Pooma. Thank you for that. Yeah. . I think I might be only mis person. Pooma. That comes up a lot. That’s like a, an insulting primary school name. . Yeah. Pooma. Anything with pooing? I have heard that one. Yeah. Wonder if my cousins get any weird, like, cause that’s, that’s their actual surname.

That’s their actual name. Yeah. Wonder if they get funny pronunciations. They, they’ve had to live with it since they were kids. Imagine like cousins. If you’re listening, please write in , Elizabeth and Ellen, if you’re listening, let us know if you’ve had any weird, weird pronunciations of your surnames. We will be setting up a PO box for this podcast so people can send us gift.

Do a website for it. I know that’s the thing that still happens, isn’t it? People set up PO boxes for their channels and get sent stuff. Do they? Mm, I’m sorry. What? I’ve seen that. Yeah. Yeah. YouTube channels and Twitch and stuff like that. A lot of them have PO boxes, I think. Oh, interesting. Wouldn’t mind a 50 lens.

Got my, on that one point. Whatever they do. I thought you just meant a 50 as in like a note, a 50 pound note. I’d rather have the lens wouldn’t mind some fifties. It’s worth about 10 of those fifties isn. Another cat if someone could send us another cat. Yeah. I feel like it wouldn’t be you to us for photo gear.

No, no. even on a photo podcast, it would be send, just send the money or send animals . Exactly, exactly. So yeah, I bought like I’ve got a million other domains like related to photography. One for branding. Well, I’ve obviously got my wedding one. Anna Puma photography dot. I’ve got kick ass photographers, which is also still fully active, and a for web design.

Still active. So a bunch of them. Out of all of those websites I’ve made, a bunch of them are stuck, which, you know, is I tried, I tried those ideas. I failed. That’s fine. I learned so much. I learned web design, I learned business skills. I learned what does and what doesn’t work. I learned that you can’t just start a business and hope for the best, like there’s a lot of work involved, which is why only a few of them have.

Succeeded cause they’re the ones I care about. So yeah, if I hadn’t tried those things, if I hadn’t failed at those things, I wouldn’t have learned so much of what I know now for my business. So I have no regrets. No regrets about that. One of them actually, I started, my first ever domain number I ever bought first website was called Get Off the beaten

It’s still live. It’s, it was, it’s really basic, but it’s just my travel blog. I started it before as a photographer. a lot of traveling and I wrote up my travel stories and stuff. I tried to write them really like personal And you got some cool stuff out of that. Is that right? Oh, I used to, I was like the original, the OG influencer man, , like it was back before influencers that the, like the OG influencer was probably Jesus.

If we’re going right. Really , if we’re going like first ever, first ever, ever. Probably the most enduring, to be fair, possibly to be fair to the guy I was, I was one of the original. Internet influencers, but back then, , all you had to do was tell companies like, rather than, oh, this is how many followers I’ve got.

Have a look. It was, oh, this is how many hits I’m getting on my website. You’re just gonna have to believe me. And so I, and back in real Jesus’ Day, all you had to do was tell stories and walk on water . So, I mean, simple things have been getting more complicated ever since. life is so hard. , well, actually it was easy back then, honestly, there was a, a website called Response Source where you’d find PR people.

and they would be plugging stuff for companies they work for. So I got, and actually, do you know what Funny side note, the owner of pr response Source lives literally down the road from us and I go to CrossFit with his wife, small world. So I used to use Response Source and I got cameras, loads of cameras.

I got travel gear, like backpacks and stuff. Oh my God. I got laser eye surgery for free because I said, I said to this, this PR person, I’m going traveling and I don’t wanna have to take my loads of lens solution with me cuz, you know, wearing lenses. I didn’t wanna use disposables. What a sub story. I’m going, I’m going traveling, but I can’t see the sight.

physically can’t see them. I was like, can you help? I’m not wearing glasses Back then. Glasses were not. They didn’t have cool frames. They were so nerdy. These frames I had like, there was no option. Now people wear them with just glasses inside cause they look cool. But I wasn’t cool. I had all this lens solution.

I was, I’m not going traveling with that. I just wanna say here, no judgment on anyone else who was wearing glasses back in 2006. Whenever the judgment, all the judgment, they were terrible glasses. I’m sure you were cool. 2006. Did you just get that off thin air? I wonder when it was. No. Surely that is about the right time for us.

You are good at dates. I’m not good at dates. Maybe, maybe a little. I don’t remember. Anyway, I got free laser eye surgery. That was cool. I just wrote up about stuff. I’ve got free, like meals out and stuff. The block’s still live. It’s got my whole, like all my travels on it until not too long ago. So do, do you think that still happens, especially in like the travel niche now?

I, I feel like it’s like max out. Yeah. If you want to get like free stuff, if you wanna stand out as an influencer, I have no idea where you would start. I don’t know anymore because you know you need. I’m thinking, well, at least 10 K followers to even get noticed, which is not easy to achieve, in my opinion, on Instagram these days.

I think it’s more than that. Cause you can buy followers, can’t you? You gotta probably prove some stuff. Yeah, like, like you’d need like an active, decently sized following to even be a blip on the radar of these companies just to get free stuff. It’s just not worth it. Buy the 10 pound socks or whatever it is they’re gonna give you.

Just buy them. Yeah. Like you kind of have to sell your soul, don’t you, in order to do it. So, you know, it’s not gonna be an authentic Instagram feed or whatever that you have, or a TikTok. It’s awful. It’s gonna be there for the purpose of selling. And I, I feel like a lot of people are over that anyway, aren’t they?

Now? I think influencer stuff is dead, to be honest. I think it’s over, like everyone knows they’re there just to plug stuff that they’re getting for free and it’s all a load of rubbish. I watched a thing on Netflix last night called Bad Influencer. And this girl in Australia, sounds like a nineties action movie.

A bad influencer starring Jean Claude Van Dam . Instead, it was starring Belle Gibson, funnily enough. And she said to the world that she had Brain cancer basically. And she had started this app cuz she was healing herself with food. And the app got huge. She, apple invited her over and everything.

She got really, really famous. And then it, it turned out she didn’t have brain cancer and. . It was all a lie and she like went to court and everything. I don’t even know what’s happening with her now. She know. I do know she’s gone to Ethiopia and she’s fa she’s faking things over there to people in Ethiopia, which is just mad.

Wow. Just mad. So I think the whole influencer thing is just a bit over. I’d love to know actually for anyone who is listening to this, like write in and tell us what your favorite influences. Does anyone have a favorite influencer? Who’s your one? Well, I guess like don’t know that I could name one.

Who’s it? Me. It’s me, isn’t it? There’s a guy called Alex Hinson who does like landscapes of beautiful national parks in America. He’s pretty cool, but I don’t know, like, I don’t know if that would be technically an influencer. Like he’s not hashtagging things as ads and he is not really trying to sell.

So like, is that still a thing? Does that count? I think that’s a better way of doing it. Mm-hmm. . So this actually leads me quite nicely onto a topic I wanted to discuss today, which was how we are going forward, going forward in 2023 with our, with our marketing and how we’re sort of changing things up a bit actually, because there’s this whole like Instagram likes and follows and algorithms and SEO algorithms and all this stuff.

I think. That’s over like your guy, Alex Hinson, right? He does the same hashtags for every picture, which is a no-no, right in the rule book of Instagram. That’s the conundrum, isn’t it, of people who achieve success because once you’re established, you can make like every mistake. And from the outside it seems like a lot of these guys don’t really make that much effort, and yet they’re kind of, their success is baked.

Yeah, which is awesome for them. But if you are small fry at the moment and you wanna kind of try and achieve something with your Instagram or your website or whatever, it’s like, oh my God, where do I actually start? Yeah. It’s really, really hard. Like you look at these people who have it so easy and it’s like somehow they’re doing everything wrong and still succeeding.

And we are posting every day. We’re doing exactly what the algorithm tells us to do. You know, we are hashtagging, we. liking and all this sort of stuff, and it’s so stressful. And do you know what we did mentoring with someone yesterday who said, oh yeah, what I normally do in the day is I’ll go on Instagram and do a post and then I’ll get to work.

We’re like, no. The Instagram posting is work. , like people can’t separate social media with work versus personal. Like if you’re gonna be scrolling all day long on the loo, maybe that’s a bit more personal. But if you are gonna be going on there and posting your work and engaging with people in your industry, that’s, that is.

like that, that’s genuine work. So anyway, I’m over. I’m completely over the stress of, oh, we’ve only got 20 likes, or why did this reel succeed? And this one didn’t. Look how many views I’ve had. Like I’m still getting, I’m still getting inquiries from Instagram and I’m putting like minimal effort in. And actually I’ve found the less effort you make, the better things do.

Like, well this is interesting, isn’t it? Cuz your most successful. Real. Am I right thinking, is it, was it real or a TikTok? It was a real, and I put it on TikTok as well. That was entirely about a like a first person account, wasn’t it? Of your brother successfully saving a cat that he found . Is that right?

Yeah. It was such a wholesome story. I just, it, this whole thing happened. Didn’t go on Instagram vanap photography and have a look at this video. It’s, it is getting likes every minute still. It was so, so popular and it. . It was something that happened to me in my life and I told the story I picked on my phone.

I thought, people need to know this story. It’s so heartwarming. So wholesome. I told the story. The American talk shows would call it a human interest story. , or a feline interest, feline interest story. I told this story in, you know, one minute or whatever in strum gives you. I just told it. It was, it was really, really badly done.

I did the green screen thing for like the first or second time ever. It was really low production value. and a sound cut off halfway through. All the captions cut off halfway through and stuff. Really poor effort, and it has gone absolutely viral. I mean, does, did they get me anywhere though? Like absolutely not.

That has got me, obviously it’s off topic, but it’s got me nothing. I once got on Sam Smith’s Instagram. Do you know what? I got messages from fans saying, can Sam Smith record a song for my girlfriend for her birthday? And oh, I want to become a singer too. Can you put me in touch with an agent? I’m like, no.

I’m a wedding photographer. He was at a wedding that I was at, that I was shooting. Leave me alone, like nothing. No followers, no likes, no new bookings from it. Nothing came of it. I got on Vogue once. Nothing like all this stuff we do, we try really hard and it just doesn’t work. So, I’m not concentrating on likes, follows, none of that stuff.

It’s just worthless. Like at the end of the day, end of the day, at the end of our lives, we’re not gonna be like, yeah, but I’ve got loads of likes on our pictures though I’m happy now. I wanna very be fulfilled and I genuinely think that’s where marketing will succeed in 2023. If you do things that make you happy and give you connections with real life people.

Then we’ll succeed. So things like seo and Instagram really come into play here because I want to be more about connections with people. I want to talk to them, I want to get to know them. I want to make real friends, you know? And that means messaging people more and commenting on things, not for the algorithm, but because you actually like something and you want them to feel good.

You know? I’m not gonna game any systems. I’m just gonna go on there on social media and make people feel good and be happy myself and enjoy it. And if I post something, it’s. . I liked it and I think the world will like it, and I think it’ll make them feel good. And a big part of that as well, which is where SEO comes in as well, and sort of website stuff, is storytelling.

I think storytelling’s gonna be really, really big for 2023. We’ve got, you know, algorithms coming out of our ears. We’ve got AI writing everything for us. But what those things can’t do is tell a personal story of something that happened to you that someone else will either relate to and feel better about or feel good about.

That people just find interesting and funny. Like my cat story, you know, that went really, really well. People really, really enjoyed it. I didn’t get trolls. It was amazing. Like everyone loved it. You got one guy? I got one troll because I said the word cat without pronouncing the T. That was it. He had a problem with the word that, the fact that I said cat like that, it was bad.

And everyone knows that from our part of the country. You know, teas are always silent. We don’t pronounce them . Well, we may not. I may not. That’s it. Like right now, I’m not pronouncing Yts isn’t that terrible? But storytelling and genuine connections for me are the two things that I’m gonna go through 2023 keeping in mind.

So when I write, well, you’ll never make it on Instagram with an attitude like that. . But that’s the thing. This will be really interesting to see, won’t it? Cuz by telling stories from like a wedding or my real life or relating things to myself that people will find really interesting and they can relate to.

I think that will make people more interested in me as a person and what I. and not just cuz there’s so many photographers, they’re all, oh, look at this great photo. Look at so-and-so’s wedding. But if you tell a story, no one else can do that. No one else can replicate that story. No one can take that from you.

It makes you stand out because it’s, it’s peaking somebody’s interest. It’s a bit different. You know, reels can be used really well in that way. To tell a story, you can just put your face on the camera and tell a story of something that happened and show photos illustrating that story. You know, I just think it’s just, it’s ah, it’s gonna be a real refreshing thing in, in the age of ai, I.

people want more authentic content, don’t they? And I think part of that is because social media has now been around for so long and for a, you know, a certain generation, I guess, people in their twenties now have completely grown up with it. And I think a lot of us are now better at spotting. Just crappy, fake advertising content.

Do you know what’s interesting? Actually, I was with some friends the other day and , there’s not a huge age gap between us, but I’m on the fence with TikTok. I sometimes enjoy watching it, but my friend Laura loves all silly TikTok. She was just like howling with laughter at everything. But my other friend Kari, was like: “It’s so stupid. Someone’s just recorded their TV and regurgitating content because it’s going viral and that’s like, that’s not meaningful.” And Kari was like, “I watch YouTube videos of someone hiking that’s slow and it’s 45 minutes long and that’s what I’m into”. And I was like, this is so interesting how these two people of the, of the same generation are, are so different in what they’re looking for from the internet.

And I. I really wanna bring a bit of both into that, where it’s really interesting and funny, but at the same time it’s more real and more just authentic and human. There’s a landscape photography YouTuber called Thomas Heaton who I follow. And he posted a poll on YouTube the other day saying he’s gonna like hole himself up in her own mate uh, remote location for a few days.

And filmed some content and he asked if his followers would like short vlogs from every day of the. or one long video of the whole thing. And the last time I looked at the results, it was a 50 50 split. Oh, very interesting. So yeah, I think, I think there’s people in both camps at the moment because people at the moment, like you’ve gotta do like TikTok, you’ve gotta do like seven second videos and stuff.

And that’s really stressful to like come up with ideas. So think about like who your ideal client is. Think about what they would like to see, you know, do like you don’t, you just named two people that you really admire. You could remember their names. Can you remember the name of a TikTok person who, who, who recorded a viral.

Not the original viral piece. I, I personally never really got into TikTok. Like I’m still waiting for that to happen. I have the app, but it’s still mayhem for me because I’ve never spent enough time with it for the algorithm to learn what I like. Yeah. So it just kind of is throwing everything at me still, and I, I don’t really go on there.

It kind of feels a bit like having a migraine or something going on there for me, . You know when all this random stuff is just coming at you, it makes you, it feels like it’s giving you a D h D to watch it. Oh my goodness. , that’s the thing. So if you are now creating slower content that’s more meaningful and authentic and real and human, , you’ll stand out, someone might follow you.

Mm-hmm. and they might then book you as their photographer. Yeah, because I, I get it. I get why people are into it, but I’ve not really found stuff that’s for me on there yet. No, it’s interesting. I like Instagram because it’s people who I pretty much know you’ve got a profile and stuff like that, so you know, the trip TikTok is just everyone in the world, everywhere and no one’s got a profile, but Instagram is a bit more personal and I think on there you can really make more connections, you know, like real life friends, not just like gaming the system.

Just posting stuff that stands out because it’s a little bit, bit like more real than just trying to follow a trend. So like I’m giving you guys permission to just stop following trends. Don’t worry about trending audios or whatever, cuz you don’t need to, you know, appeal to that 18 year old in California.

Do you know what I mean? Like, you wanna appeal to someone who’s gonna book you for their wedding. So who is that? What are they gonna find interesting? Do. You know, that’s, that’s my sort of new thought process. Not new thought but’s, just my thought process for this year going ahead. And yeah, we’ll, we’ll see how that goes, but I want more authentic, meaningful relationships with friends and clients.

So that’s the way I’m gonna go with it. Very cool. Good for you. Can we talk about waffles now? We can talk about waffles. We can talk about waffles. So waffles and chocolate. Oh my goodness. We just went to brew. It was a mini break in brew. We went for like four days. That’s the thing. We go in January because his wedding photographers, the rest of the years are write off

We wanted to guarantee that there would be poor weather, so we booked it in early January and we got it and we weren’t disappointed. It rained the whole time. . It was great fun. We did it a lot. We had a great time as you would in bruge waffles, chocolate, all that sort of stuff. Nice bridges and everything.

Yeah, like I did this weird thing where like I didn’t really pay too much attention. I didn’t research it in advance. And I think, you know, with the Euro tunnel it’s easier to do that. So, you know, if you’re going on a further away trip, you might kind of research it all and plan it out. Which we’re actually doing for another trip in the States that we’re planning at the moment, like a road trip or something.

We’re really looking into that. But with Bruge, I paid almost no attention, and it’s only since we’ve come back that I found out that it’s actually a really beautiful place. So it’s like a medieval city that’s that’s got some of the oldest architecture in Europe, I think. We came home and watched in bru that film and it’s basically a tourist video, isn’t it?

The storyline was pretty like nothing. It’s a like a highly violent film, . It’s very violent. It’s not exactly what you call a tourism video , but there were a lot of scenes from bru and it was really nice to watch. However, That was not the main thing that happened to us on our trip. Our trip was lovely, but then first of all, it involved eating a lot of waffles and eating chocolate.

I dunno if I’ve mentioned that yet. , including like the drinking chocolate out there. This place that we found, they, they serve up like hot milk in a bowl. Mm-hmm. . And then the, the chocolate is kind of in chocolate form next to it, and possibly in like a pot that’s actually made out of c. So you just kind of chucked the whole thing into the hot.

And it kind of melts into this delicious, it’s amazing rich thing, which is really, really nice. The actual chocolate shops kind of suck and it’s like way overdone. So every single street has like two or three chocolate. It feels kind of boring to walk around after a while cuz a lot of these places are just there to sell to tourists.

I think. So you’re not buying any better chocolate than you would get here, for example. But my favorite thing actually about Bridge was walking around at night when it’s all dark and all the street lights are lit up and you go around all the houses you can see in the windows and it’s really, really nice.

Yeah. People have their cozy houses and do you know what we took? Like, I think we took one photo of bridge. Yeah. We didn’t take many. What was that about? I think we were just more enjoying it, weren’t we? That’s it. Yeah. It’s so, like Christmas goes on for a bit longer there. It’s, it’s kind of, the Christmas fairs are going on well into January.

and so it was just kind of keeping our vibe going. Wasn’t it a Christmas vibe? It was, yeah. It was just nice to enjoy. We didn’t really think about taking photos and you come home, you’re like, damn it, I wish I’d taken more photos. It’s always the way, isn’t it? It was. The waffles were exquisite. We found this place where, oh, we hadn’t mentioned the waffles , so we found like an oat milk waffle place.

Is that right? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And it was so, so nice it, it didn’t taste like any waffle that you would have here. I feel really bad for our listeners. They’re having to hear about it and not, but not eat them. It was like warm like syrup. Oh, it was so good. Almost like cake, but a lighter texture. It’s called Otto.

If you ever go to Bruge, Otto’s waffles, Otto himself, oh my God. We went in there so many times. Otto himself was like, oh, it’s you guys again. . We had obviously no idea who this pleasant old fellow was who was chatting to us, and then like he walked off and behind him was like the poster of his shop with his face on it.

We’re like, oh my God, that was Otto himself. Oh, that was the legendary Otto , the legendary who we’d heard of for the first time 24 hours ago. . Yeah. We did get waffles in that shop a lot after we discovered it a lot. A lot. But yes, so we had a great time in bridge and we got. , we booked on the, I think, I dunno, 1120 train Euro Tunnel home.

And that was our first mistake. Going home that late. Yeah, going home that late, we were really, really trying to kill time. Like we got bored after dinner. There wasn’t much to do, so we thought, you know, often the Euro tunnel will let you go on an earlier train. So we got there two hours early. We got there at nine hoping we’d get on like a nine 20 train.

She was like, yeah, they, they ushered us through that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Go straight through. Go straight through. We’re like, yes. Excellent. We’re on 9, 9 20. Train B. The cues were enormous, but we finally got through to the main bit where you wait right before going on the train and it turned out there were no trains before our train at 1120.

So we had to wait anyway. So two and a half hours, we were waiting. We’re sitting in the car and we are watching Always Sunny in Philadelphia on my phone. Classic. Unfortunately though, I had plugged the phone into the car and left the like radio and speakers playing the sound, which meant having the car on half ignition cause I didn’t want to use pet.

the battery died at 11, what, 15 or something minutes before the car was, we were supposed to drive into the, the train and go home. We were exhausted at this point. Bad times. We was so tired. We’d been waiting two and a half hours and the car battery died. I, I’ve never been in a situation where the car battery died before.

I did not know what to do. Anna’s mouth was literally a gap for a few seconds while she processed this happening. , I was like, do I cry or scream or try to get my thoughts together and do something about it? So I, I literally sat there with my mouth wide open going. . Oh my God. Well, what do we do? It was an odd one cause obviously normally you would just phone the breakdown service, you know, wherever you are in the world.

But at this point we’d already checked in. So we’re in kind of like the passport zone. Yeah, the neutral area. So we didn’t wanna like call the AA out and then start a war somehow a European war. Cause they’ve been called to the neutral zone. How did we get the AA out to this, to this like, it was a departures lounge of an airport.

Like how do you get the AA out to. So I got outta the car and walked over to the, like the fancy lounge that they’ve got nearby for like flex plus holders or something really fancy, which is epic, by the way. It’s amazing. I am upgrading. It was so nice. I walk in and the woman starts immediately talking to me about how, I’ll, don’t worry, don’t worry.

The queue’s gonna move soon and we’ll be on our train soon. I was like, no, that’s not it. That’s not it. Our car battery has. and she was like, oh, it’s okay. It happens. I was like, oh my God, are you kidding me? I was about to cry and you’ve made me feel so much better already, and this other woman comes up.

She was like, oh, yeah, yeah, we’ll deal with this. We’ll call someone, go back to your car. They’ll, well, they’ll be there in a minute. I was like, what do you mean? They’ll be there in a minute. Will they be there in like two hours or in the morning, or Actually in a minute. and how do they know who I am? She was like, put your hazards on.

I was like, I dunno if they’re gonna go on, the batteries died. I was like, I’ll stand there and just wave. So we went back to the car and we felt better immediately cause they’d already put our mind at ease and almost immediately this guy rocks up with this van and he sticks this like. I don’t know.

There’s like thing that you stick in the battery of a car. I don’t know what it’s called. Like it, he had like a selection of battery charging packs. So he takes out one that’s like an iPhone size and tries that and that doesn’t work. . So then he picks out one that’s like car battery size and I think that didn’t work either.

And then he got an even bigger one that actually kickstarted it. Yeah. So we, we bump started the car and it started and we were so happy. And all the cars at this point were going around us going onto the. and the guy was like, you can get on this train, you can get on this train. I was like, I don’t know.

Cause we have to like drive it around to get it charged up. Otherwise he’s gonna die on the train. Yeah. So if you’ve never had a battery go before you know, once you’ve been jumpstarted or someone has plugged you in, you then have to like run the car for like an hour or two to charge it up or, yes, I was like, or drive it around.

This isn’t gonna work. Like where do we drive it for a start? We’re stuck in this departures area. So and the guy was like, I do not allow you to drive it up and down the Euro Tunnel, just, just to be clear, , it’s not how it works. So, yeah, the guy that like, let, he’s got a clicker and he lets people in.

He’s like, oh, actually you can’t go in. It’s completely full now. I was like, no, I just wanna go home. And it turned out the next train was two hours later. So we had to sit in the car for another two hours, just idling the car this time, like we couldn’t run anything obviously either. Like you don’t wanna run your in-car entertainment system and run the battery

Yeah. So lucky I had a pillow in the car, so I had a nap cause Nice. Cause I was so tired. And eventually we got on the train and the train then just sat there for another half an hour. So I think we must have spent probably about five or six hours. Just waiting. I just sat there thinking about how angry I was at life.

And you . Oh, I see. It’s my fault

Anyway, I guess we should wrap this up here cuz we’ve been going on for a while, haven’t we? Yeah, I think it’s hopefully been interesting for you guys to hang out with. Have a little window into our lives and yeah, I feel like we’re kind of, I wanna be people’s like colleagues basically where your editing or whatever and our voices are just there soothing you and making you feel not alone in this world of photography.

Talking of which we really wanna hear from you guys as well, so we’d like to know like what you’re up to when you’re listening in, like what your plans are if you are starting a photography business at the moment, if you’ve got one that’s going. Tell us all about yourselves. Yes, you can tell us by you can join the Facebook group Kick Ass Photographers Facebook group and post in there you can ask us questions.


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