February 3, 2016

2016 Mentorship Opportunity

FILED IN: Personal

Photography has always been my dream job. It started when I was younger and wanted to be a photographer for National Geographic. To travel the world and take photos of amazing landscapes and animals with crazy zoom lenses while hiding out in a tree fort sounded like the most ideal job in.the.world.

That turned into a portrait/model photographer in highschool and then eventually wedding photography in college, but to me, being a photographer always sounded like it was up there with being an astronaut or a ballerina. It was one of those jobs that sounds cool, but no one actually does….one of those jobs that’s so far-fetched it’s even further than being a dream.



When I first started I booked a whopping ZERO weddings my first year. I was so disappointed and I wondered constantly if I should pack it in and call it a day before I got too much further in and risked even more disappointment. As a last resort, I emailed a few photographers I really admired and much to my further disappointment only a few of them replied, and those that did reply weren’t exactly the nicest :( I felt so defeated.

I watched a lot of Creative Live and tried to absorb as much information as I could. I just wanted to learn and better myself anyway I could. The one way every article and workshop I took in advised was to second shoot for someone. To find a mentor. To find a more experienced photographer who was willing to share ideas and information. However, everytime I tried to reach out and find photographer friends/mentors, it was met with negativity. I felt so discouraged and I remember telling Marco, a bit tearfully, that if I was ever at a place in my business where I had information that would help someone, I would never hoard it. I would always always try to help and share with others as much as I could.

Last year I invested in business coaching that changed my business, and me, in so many ways! And for the better! Balancing work and life has become less of a struggle and it gave me a clear idea of where I wanted my business to go. One of those ideas that I fell in love with was to have ONE second shooter for all my weddings. I gave it a try last year and had my husband and a close friend do the majority of my second shooting for me and I LOVED it. I realized that it by far is what’s best for me and most importantly my clients. Weddings are such an intimate event, and your photographer is with you from the start to the finish of the day. Most of my clients hire me not only for photos, but also because we are a good fit personality wise. I want to make sure I am bringing a second shooter to every wedding that I not only trust, but know will also be a good fit with my clients as well! I also saw it as an opportunity to give back, invest in someone and share what I’ve learned over the last 6 wedding seasons!

I am so excited for this idea to become a reality again for this year. Although my husband enjoys me bossing him around for a day ;) he loves his career as a financial advisor too much to second shoot all my weddings with me, and my close friend decided to focus on furthering his career! So this year I am on the hunt for a new second shooter/best friend.

I say best friend jokingly but also entirely seriously! I want someone who will be a good fit personality wise and I am definitely looking for personality over experience. This position would be ideal for someone who is passionate about photography whether it be family, portrait or wedding photography, who is getting started or just a few years in who wants to learn more about business and photography from me. I just ask one thing if you’re considering applying – don’t hold yourself back with thoughts of “I’m not good enough.” Dare greatly :)

The position will include mentoring, and full business coaching as well as getting to second shoot all of my local BC weddings. There may be one or two overnight weddings required as well. The second shooting hours will be paid. I value your work and time as a photographer and in exchange for your commitment to learning for the year and bettering yourself, I will commit to sharing as much information as I can!

Below are my expectations of what I am looking for commitment wise –

  • commitment to my 2016 wedding dates
  • commitment to a pre-wedding season one day workshop
  • commit to meet all my couples beforehand either in person, or via skype
  • commit to wedding debrief sessions
  • A willingness to be all in, to have a sense of adventure, and to put up with/share in my sentimentality ;)

To apply email me at justine@justine-russo.com by Sunday February 7 to get the process started. Please don’t be shy! And don’t you dare mutter or even think the words, “I’m not enough…” I will find you and shake your shoulders! haha!

If you think of someone who would be right for this as well please share it with them!

Can’t wait to celebrate with wine! :)



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