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How I Landed my Dream Job with a Snickers Bar | How I Joined the Kylee Ann Team

Landed Dream Job with a Snickers Bar

Did you read that title I decided on for this post? That something as small as a CANDY bar landed me something as HUGE as my dream job? Crazy right? I’m going to share the story behind how I first started following along with the Kylee Ann Brand and also how I landed a job that wasn’t even a job that existed.

The story starts about 6 years ago. I came to USU in Fall 2010. I lived on campus and loved my friends and classes. I had basically decided that I wanted to be a photography major, but I wasn’t super motivated to do anything about it right away and took only general classes. Thanks to social media and a mutual friend, I somehow stumbled upon a “photography Facebook” page (like every college age Utah girl starts at some point in their life).  This page was started by another girl that was my age at USU starting her photography business. I followed along with the page for years as I completed my major. To be honest, I compared myself and my fledgling business to this Facebook page and business ALL the time. I had watched this girl go from being a very similar photog in skill and education to starting to progress in image quality and growing a successful business. I was in school and loved my classmates but didn’t really love my classes or assignments. I wanted to be a wedding photographer, but had no idea how to get there. I was super hard on myself.  I spent those years watching a successful business via a Facebook page but instead of seeing it as an inspiration of what could be possible, I was only seeing a competitor. I didn’t  even have a business license or business plan- so basically we weren’t on the same playing field. Sadly, I spent a long time resenting another photographer’s success and NEVER once commented with support or reached out to her to ask questions about how she had built a successful business so young. I sincerely thought that if someone else was prospering, than that meant that I was suffering, because I wanted to be in the same business. Sadly, that mindset meant that I kept myself ostracized and alone in the photography business.

Fast forward to 2014. I was still following this same photography page, and approaching college graduation. I had seen that this photographer still lived in Cache Valley and was starting to offer education, in the form of one day workshops. I was preparing to walk into the real world with a photography degree, but without ANY business experience. For some reason, despite all of the feelings I had fostered over the years, I had noticed the workshops being offered and they stayed on my mind for weeks. There was an internal pull that I had NO choice but to take the workshop. The topics were all things I needed to learn to start a business, but it would be the first time I would be meeting this photographer I had followed for years and years. Also, I felt silly that I had just completed a degree but had to PAY more money in order to learn the skills to be able to create an income from my education. Anyway, I waited up until the last day to register to finally pull the trigger. That was in November 2014, and when I went to pay the balance of the workshop online, it didn’t work. I panicked and sent an email saying that PayPal wasn’t working, but I was local and could drop off a check to meet the deadline. I remember it being a busy day with work and a test at school and I was in a hurry to drop off the check. I felt so relived that she was letting me drop off the check because I had struggled with the online payment. I had a snicker’s bar in my car from lunch and some notebook paper. She had just had her second baby and I was a nanny to two girls. I wrote a quick note about how I knew chocolate was an essential element to parenting two children and left the check and chocolate in her mailbox.

Landed Dream Job with a Snickers Bar

By this point, I’m sure you’ve realized that the brand and photographer I had been following for years is named Kylee Ann Photography. I wish we could find it somewhere but I’m convinced I was probably one of the first people to find and like her page back in the day. I followed along as a silent follower for years and suddenly signed up to learn from the girl that I had compared my photographer self with all that time. I made a goal list for several things I wanted to do in the months before the workshop to prepare to have the best success, such as learn Lightroom basics, buy a new camera, and choose an editing style. I also bought every resource in the Our Photog Blog store that was available at the time. When February came around, I was prepared to start my career as a wedding photographer and knew that this would be the jumping off point.

That one day workshop was held at Herm’s Inn and I learned more in one day about marketing, branding and editing than I had learned in my degree. She taught about how you can take parts of your personality and make a brand that draws in people that think like you do. That BLEW my mind. She also impressed in us the idea of #Communityovercompetition…. that as photographer’s we are better when we share and help each other, instead of isolating ourself in the world of competition. From that one made friends in the industry  that day and loved the amazing bridal shoot with florals and professional hair and makeup (and the images from those shoots helped me book several weddings). I enjoyed the workshop so much and what’s more is that I found out that Kylee is funny and nice and kind!! Nothing like a “mean” photographer that my insecure mind had made her when I was back in college. She had created a successful business and was sharing all the secrets of how she did. I was floored and loved everything about the whole day. I didn’t want to and since I was one of the only local photographers that attended and ended up staying after it ended to help clean up and pack up Kylee’s car.

Landed Dream Job with a Snickers Bar

Landed Dream Job with a Snickers Bar

Later that month, Kylee’s business was growing so quickly, she needed to hire on some help. She posted on Instagram on a Wednesday night, and I only know that because I had a  class that got out early before a night class, so I was able to see the post and shoot Kylee a quick email in between walking to the next room. I even included the line “I don’t have kids, or a husband or a boyfriend that I will have to neglect to work hard for you,” and I offered to change her kiddos diapers. There was something inside of me that knew that I would be hired, so much so that I told a friend I got a new job right after I emailed her (haha cocky much?!). About 5 hours later, I got the email that I was picked out of 60 emails of photographers from around the area!! I was thrilled to get the chance to be able to be apart of such a solid business and get to see behind the scenes of Kylee Ann Photography.

I worked for Kylee as a babysitter, housekeeper, and second shooter for the entire summer. I learned her business from the inside out. I knew the names of her clients and the order of her workflow and her tendencies of her shooting style and posing. Meanwhile I was working on my own separate business and clientele. Obviously, my business began to mirror Kylee’s. It’s pretty natural that what ever you pay attention to is what you will start emulating. In September 2015, we hosted the first Kylee Ann Sleepover Workshop at her home in Logan. After meeting all the attendees and learning for a while, someone made the off-hand mention about Kylee hiring me as a second photographer in her business. In the moment it was brushed off, but struck a cord in both our minds and within a week the topic came back up to the table. It only took a few days for my headshot and pricing guide to be on the Kylee Ann Website. All of the sudden, I landed my dream job without even knowing that the position would ever be available. It was such a natural transition that it didn’t take much before I was booking my own weddings at my own pricing under the Kylee Ann brand. In the past year I have photographed almost 50 couples and weddings as a Kylee Ann photographer. Furthermore, Kylee is my best friend and I spend more time at her house with her kids than I do any other place.

Landed Dream Job with a Snickers Bar

So now to explain how that snicker’s bar got me from that busy day in November two years ago, to now being a full time wedding photographer. This summary isn’t to brag about myself, but to pull out some some small actions that lead to major principles that helped me get to a place in my career that I dreamed of achieving.. Even though I had followed her work and blog for years, what I didn’t realize at the time was that Kylee operates her business on some pretty simple values. Her main focus is kindness and the second value is service. I didn’t realize how pervasive those two qualities are in her until I met her. By my small actions of service and kindness, I was able to grow to know the smartest business woman I’ve ever met. If you’ve made it to this point in this blog post, I bet you are someone who works hard for your dreams and you know how lonely it can get sometimes when all you do is hustle and work on your business and skills. That snickers bar didn’t really represent calories and sugar to a busy mom of two but rather a gift and acknowledgment of how hard it is to be a mom and a business owner and how taking a break is deserved sometimes. I treated her with service and kindness and reached out to help her and her business in any way she needed. I also invested in her. Like I said, I bought every product she offered and read her blog every single day. Being a business owner, you can see the difference in people that are invested in you and when people just want an easy handout. By truly caring about people and making effort to help them in their dreams, you can truly change the world. For both me and Kylee, if there is someone who we see consistently commenting on our Instagrams, attending our workshops or reaching out to second shoot, THAT is the person we would be willing to give the world to. So the next time you interact with a business owner or someone who is serving you, take the time to care about them and offer whatever help is appropriate. You never know what difference something as small as a snicker’s bar could make on your entire life.

Landed Dream Job with a Snickers Bar

Landed Dream Job with a Snickers Bar

February 9, 2017

Rachel Hudson

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