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March 6, 2020

What choosing a niche you love can do for your business

What choosing a niche you love can do for your business

In this episode of She's Crafted to Thrive our guest is Renee Stengel, an underwater and portrait photographer based in Charlotte, North Carolina. She shares how several life hurdles changed the trajectory of her path, but through them all, she’s always searched for ways to be true to herself. With that, she’s found ways to jump into things that fuel her passion and allows them to light her path. If you are tired of competing on price in your creative business or looking to stand out in a saturated market Renee will share her tips and mindset on how to truly create an impact in your life and business by choosing a niche you love. Check out the show notes Here.

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Transcript
Nikita Williams:

Hey you guys, I am so excited for this episode because I have a really amazing and talented and heart-centered and passionate water photographer. She is an underwater photographer. Her name is Renee Stengel. She is amazing at what she does. I mean every time I see her work I just cannot help but just be like, wow. Like it's amazing and you'll hear me love on her about this in the episode. But what I love even more so after having this conversation with Rene's that she has always been true to what she loves to do. She's had many life hurdles. Um, some new to me. I've been following Renee for over two years at this point and I've really seen um , different things. I'm in her business. We're in the same mastermind as well. So I'm just so honored and privileged to have her on the show. If you are feeling stuck, if you have life hurdles and you're trying to figure out how to connect or find your passion, how to stand out in saturated crowd, you definitely want to stay tuned for this episode because Renee is going to share her journey. And some mindset that I think has allowed her to continue to capture the things that she loves to do them and find people who love her for doing the thing that she loves. And I think that's ultimately what everybody really wants in their business, is to do something that they absolutely love and find a tribe and find a people that want to support and cheer them on. So stay tuned and can't wait to see you. On the flip side, I'm so awkward. Stay tuned. Welcome to, she's crafted to thrive. I'm your host, Nikita Williams , and this show is for all the ladies who are making and creating things that they love. You will hear conversations about the real, everyday struggles. Oh, juggling life and business while trying to maintain passion and harmony as women. We have the skill of getting things done, but sometimes we'll get in our own way. It's here. We'll , you'll see that you're now alone. You'll discover that success does not mean perfection. Fear and negative thoughts and challenges are all a part of the journey. And on this podcast to find the inspiration and tools you need to have a life and business that's thrives . So I'm so excited to have Renee on the show. You guys know I love photographers and know every time I say this, I say this every time I have a photographer on the show, but I've never had an underwater photographer on the show. And y'all, she's the bomb. Diggity like I know I just went back to like the eighties or whatever phrasing bomb data came from. But Renee , your work is absolutely beautiful.

Renee Stengel:

You're too kind.

Nikita Williams:

I love it. Every time I see a post, like literally raving about it, like I'm like, man, I don't know one. I'm like, I would love to, but I don't think I would look that great in water. But that looks amazing.

Renee Stengel:

Oh, thank you. Thank you. It's definitely a like, it's definitely not for everybody and not all that common, you know? And so it's fun. It's really fun to create in that space and , um, to work in that space. So I love it. Uh, it's definitely a passion and it has to be because it's not an easy space to work in. Uh, but , um, but it's fascinating and creative and challenging and I love it.

Nikita Williams:

Well, I know I kind of just jumped in like being super excited about the awesomeness that you do, but please introduce yourself and let everyone know who you are, where you are, which is important. Um, and um, we'll jump in a little bit after that.

Renee Stengel:

Okay. I'm Renee Stengel and I , um, my studio is Rene Stengel photography and I'm in Charlotte, North Carolina. And uh, I'm an underwater portrait photographer. So I had been a photographer for ever, I don't know if I want to say how many years cause that ages me, but yeah, well over 10 or 15 or more, I was a post newborn photographer and have studio in , uh , Washington DC area. And then for my husband's job, we moved to Kansas city and then we moved to Charlotte and we've been in Charlotte for almost four years. Um, and when we first got here, I said, done no more. I'm , I've, I've started two studios. I'm just going to focus on my boys. I have three boys who are now four, 10 and 12. Um, and um, you, my husband works long hours, travels a lot. And I was like, I'm just gonna just got to focusing on them. And about a year into that, I was like, eh, I adore my boys, but I'm a better mom and a better person when I'm creating and a lot of people can create for themselves without running a studio and do an amazing job of that. I see some moms that are just creating art and creating photography of their own kids and they're not working and not running a business and they're doing an amazing job for me.

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I need the challenge of working with other people in other clients. I take pictures of my kids all the time, but I need a little bit different venues in that. And so I started my business again and thought that I would jump into family photography, was trying to figure out how to incorporate beach sessions. The beach is about three hours away from here, three and a half. And , um, with the way I drive, it's three. And so we're trying to figure out how to make that work. And , um, I had bought an underwater housing for my camera several years ago when we lived in Virginia. I had an accident, didn't walk for about nine months and , uh, had to put everything on hold. And so I got very angry about that, that I finally invested in an underwater housing and, and couldn't use it. And so I put it in the back of the closet. It never came out of the packing box in Kansas. It stayed in the basement , in the storage unit. And , um , when we moved to Charlotte and I was finishing unpacking kind of that year later when I finally got around to finishing those last few boxes, I found it, we had built a pool after we got here. I jumped in the pool and tried it one day and that was, I was in love. And so , uh, I, I just, I just knew I had found my passion. And so that summer, that was 2018 so that summer I got in the water as much as I could. I had some paid sessions, but a lot of sessions I just crafted for myself, ask people specifically , um, you know, I need a model for this and your model for that. And crafted the sessions that I wanted to craft to build my portfolio and to build my skills. And last year it took off. And so I've only been at it two years , um , not quite two years now , but , uh , it's amazing and I love it.

Nikita Williams:

Wow. That was the quick version right there. But yes. You know what's interesting is that I feel like I've been a part of your journey. You started doing this, which is like I didn't realize it until you like without the timeline and I was like, Oh my gosh, I have literally watched you create this nice that you felt like was like no, why he's doing it. And like, what is this to being like you've been featured in magazines, you've been featured , um , like on these beautiful art exhibits and things like that. And a year like,

Renee Stengel:

well it's , yeah it's been, it's been a wild ride. So I've been on the local news a couple of times. I've been in photography magazines and local online magazines. It's, it's a fascinating niche to people. So , um, because it's so unique because there's not a lot of people that do it. There are other people in Charlotte who have underwater skills, but there's no one else who has chosen that as their focus and as their primary , uh , focus for their studio. And I'm, I have my own pool and I have my own equipment. And so that gives me that opportunity to just do that. And I thought I would shoot, you know, three or four months a year and shoot other things. The rest of the year I have a studio a still love working with babies and, and with children and all of that. I just haven't had time because the underwater is taken off so quickly that that is dominating my schedule. So

Nikita Williams:

that's what I'm doing. I am so excited. I'm so excited for you. And now I'm like super excited cause I realize I've been watching you from the get go and this particular niche. Um , I don't think I would have found you had you not done this niche. Um, because you were doing your , like the traditional photography that all photographers are doing that , not that you guys know. I love photographers and not that I'm knocking that, but it is really hard to differentiate yourself in this market.

Renee Stengel:

It is. And as a family photographer and that's why the first couple sessions that I did were beach sessions because I wanted to find a way to differentiate myself. I knew out of the gate that I had to find a way if I was going to break into the family photography market in a new city, in a new location, we'd only lived here nine months. At that point I had to find a way to separate myself out. I had done that in Virginia. PO's , newborns and doing them in a studio was newer, a newer idea when I started doing that when I was in Virginia. And , um, so I had studied under the right people and, and, and made that my niche. But then like I mentioned, I had an accident and you know , that that derailed things. And then we moved and that derailed things. And so then that niche took off and exploded and posed newborns every, you know, that's not, that's not a niche anymore. I mean it's a niche, but it's not, it's not a small niche. It's a very large niche now. And so I, as much as I love working with newborns, I knew if I wanted to not compete on price, not, not compete with the masses, I needed to differentiate myself. And I see the best photographers around and the most successful photographers around, they are nicheing. They are finding something that differentiates themselves. And a lot of them are family photographers, but they're figuring out what makes them unique and what makes them special and why are people going to come to them. And I think that is true across all creative outlets across and outside of the creative industry. But for any creative entrepreneur, you have to find what makes you unique and what makes people want to come to you. And your personality is a huge part of it, right? Showing you mine presence, showing who you are and showing what you can offer to somebody, you personally, your personal brand and your um, how you're going to give to them, but also how is what you offer different than what other people offer. And I was able to figure that out. And it's not just about finding something unique and doing it, it's about finding something unique that you love . And that is where I am so blessed that I was able to do that. The water is life to me. I have been a swimmer since I was three years old. Like I, I had begged for a pool every time I moved. I've said, let's look at this house. It has a pool. Let's look at this house. It has a hole or found the right house that had a pool. And so we made a commitment that when we moved here, whether we found a house for the pool or not, we would build one . And we did and we built a beautiful , um, and so water to me, I mean my youngest was in swimming lessons at 16 months. He can, he could swim the length of the pool when he was before he was three. So to me, water is it, I love the ocean. That's where I refresh and rejuvenate. I like to stand up paddleboard and free dive and, and you know, snorkel and swim and everything like that. That is it for me. So to be able to find something that matches my passion for families and children and my passion for photography and my passion for water and pull that all together, wow. Blows me away. Yeah . And I think that's why, that's one of the big reasons I've been able to succeed the way I have been able to is because it does blow me away. It excites me. I love it and I thrive at it and so I'm able to jump in.

Nikita Williams:

I love that you just basically hit all like the foundational pieces of why the show is called, she's crafted the thrive, like you literally have hit all those little points because you have to find what makes you, you and brings the masses like in a way that like doesn't disrupt your, your, your zone of awesomeness. Right. And there's a couple of things that you've mentioned that I'm going to dive into in a minute, but , um, I've been around photography myself for a long time and I don't think until you did, I think how is, how is she doing this? Like there's gear for a camera in the water like that. Like, you know, I've heard of underwater for like cameras, but um, they always remind me of like the, you know, the ones you used to get as a kid that you could, but they didn't take like the best pictures. So it's like what, what in your life? Or what person or event said, I need to put my camera in the water.

Renee Stengel:

There's actually like a specific triggering event for this. So when I was , it was, I don't even, I won't even guess on the years, but it was before I got married, before I even had met my husband. Um, I went to the grand Cayman islands with a girlfriend. She was a scuba diver. I was not certified. And so we went out and we went to the, when you just went to the Caymans for a week as a girls trip, she would go scuba diving and I would go free diving next door. Like the water is gorgeous and clear and the, it's amazing. And so we'd go out on the boat, she's down there stupid and I'm free diving. And that's where I taught myself to free dive. People are like, we're doing a free dive. I was mad that I couldn't go as deep as she could. So like that's how I taught . That's how I learned how to free dive . So I was going down 20, 25 everything . I probably might've hit 30 feet on my owl , which is not any kind of a record for free divers , free divers to go 50 a hundred. The world records are over 200 I mean it's crazy. But for me that was a pretty good deal for having no training. Yes . The disposable point and shoot underwater camera and took some pictures. I've got some of those on my blog of like the old original, like I scanned them in , I found them and scan them in. But there's a photographer in the Caymans , her name's Kathy church and she is definitely a generation ahead of me like she was , she's been doing underwater photography for decades. Um, and I'm saying decades. She's incredible and she does Marine work and like nature underwater nature photography and just some incredible work. And we went to her gallery and I looked at that and I said that I am going to create, my girlfriend bought one of the prints and I couldn't even bring myself to buy one because I was like, no, I'm going to create it myself someday. I will get there. And now I don't do a lot of Marine work because I don't, I don't. You have the chances to get out there and free dive very much. I've taken a few pictures but not much. But over the years now we're to the point now where now I've used it to, I didn't even dream of portrait photography at that point, but it's, that's how it's more, but that's where it started. That was the day. Wow. That is so cool. Like that is so cool. It is, it is. I have her book on my shelf and a lot of portrait underwater photographers don't even, you know, the Catholic church, but a lot of Marine underwater photographers, they know who shot the churches, but portrait, they're like, what? Cause she doesn't do it again, a portrait work. But um, but she was, she was the motivator for me on that, so wow.

Nikita Williams:

I love that. It was inspired by another woman and her, her passion, cause she's been doing for decades. She's had to like love doing this.

Renee Stengel:

Has to , and she's had to like, you know, chart a path , you know, I mean these , these huge expeditions all over the world, all these divers people travel to see her travel, to train with her. You know, she's got a diving school and diving center in the Cayman Sao and she's made her career that way and she's like, it's a bucket list to meet Kathy church and to end to dive with her and to work with her. Wow. That would be awesome. I hope that's on your dream board somewhere. Oh, it is ?

Nikita Williams:

Awesome. Okay, so you have mentioned twice, or at least twice in our conversation that you had an accident.

Renee Stengel:

Yeah, I fell down a flight of stairs, flight of stairs, and I was holding my 21 month time and he was completely fine, but I completely tore up my knee so they had to rebuild it. Um, yeah, they had to rebuilt it, like completely rebuild it. So we, I didn't walk for about six to nine months. Oh my gosh. About six months. But I didn't walk freely without a cane or anything for about nine months. Uh , it was rough. It was really rough. It was the day before I had my first official session of Rene's single photography in my studio in Virginia. So my photography studio has had some, some ups and downs getting started. So I had the cake from the cake smash in my refrigerator. Um, and I was calling her from the hospital after the firemen had taken me by ambulance to the hospital , uh, to tell her that I'm so sorry. We could not have the little girl's cake smash session. Um, so my gosh , um, I've had some fits and starts. Um, but um ,

Nikita Williams:

yeah, so, okay. So, okay. Everybody listening to the show, Renee has already said that she's been doing this for years. She's started and begun different niches. Now she's doing underwater photography and she's had different bumps along the way. But what I love just right now just listening to you talk like you haven't lost like your passion for doing this and , um, what, what are some things, like what are some challenges or fears that you've had to work through in order to keep this? Because it's not been an easy road so far. No . And it honestly, as I've listened to your podcast at the, the,

Renee Stengel:

the knee and all that, that's , that's a smaller bump. Um, so I have my masters in international affairs and us foreign policy and I was, had my dream job at the state department. Um, and uh, that was when I met my husband and my migraines got so bad that I was missing work a couple of times a week. I was being hospitalized for migrants and we were doing everything in our power to figure out what was going on. And I finally had to go in and tell them I had to leave. And this was the job I had dreamed up from the day I started college and I had gone on and got my masters at every job that I had was building towards this job. And I finally, and I was on a fast track, I was doing amazingly well and was um, I was doing incredibly well and I had to go in and say, I have to leave. And he said, he looked at me and he said, Renee , what can we do to keep you? And I said, let me work 30 hours a week because I was working, it was a 40 hour week job, but I was working 50 to , and he said, we can't do that. And I said, I know, and that's why I didn't ask. And they kept my search security clearances open for a year for me in case I could come back. And my dream was that, you know, with some rest and some, you know, some more doctor visits and digging in that I would be able to figure it out and be back in six months and six months later it was worse. And so it took us awhile to figure out everything and I still manage my migraines. Um, something I still live with and manage it, but not nothing like that. I, they don't get so sick and I haven't been hospitalized in years and , and so it's a whole different balking now. We've pinpointed enough things, but um, so the photography was a way to like still have something for me. Um, even though I couldn't pursue that other thing, that was originally my passion, but, but at the same time, photography is always been there. Like I used to ride my bike to work in the spring so that, and leave early so that I could take my camera and stop tidal basin on the way to the state department at six in the morning for sunrise. And then I would, you know , have my suit and my backpack and then switch it off and , you know, in the gym at the state department. And I, you know, I did that a ton of times and then I would go on the weekends and sell these little note cards that I've made out of the tulip pictures. You know, it's been around since I was a kid, you know, since I first picked up my dad's SLR, modern DSLR, my dad's SLR , um, when I was, you know , 12 or 10. Um, but , um, but yeah, so I've had, I've had things to work through, right. But , um, and I'm a mom of three kids and , um , I'm the primary caretaker, you know? And so that has to be my first responsibility. So managing all that. And so there's times I look around and I see other women that are my age and I think, wow, like , look what they've done.

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You know, like I had so many dreams and so many goals and I think, crap, look at those three boys. It pretty freaking awesome. They are very cute and sweet. They're good boys, you know, and they're, they're 14 and 12. They're good boys, you know. And so we've moved three times major moves and , and I've handled all that and we've done , you know, we've done all these other things. Okay . All right , I'm good. Um , uh, so there has been some things to deal with, but you, you figure out that I don't like, like I talked to you and I said , how are you doing? You're like, you're fine. And I know that there's stuff going on and it's the same thing. You know, like you can sit around and complain about it or you can figure out all right. As long as I, I do these five things every day, as long as I make sure I do my stretches and get my exercise and see the chiropractor and eat my, eat my vegetables in and you know, drink my water and have these things and don't eat these things and do these things and get enough sleep that I can stay on track and I shouldn't have more than a couple of migraines a month, you know? And so let's just do it right. And if it starts getting worse, check, what am I not doing? What's not on the list? Okay. I'm not, I'm not managing that very well. Let's get that back in check and let's go forward.

Nikita Williams:

Wow. Um, first of all, wow, you didn't tell me this and I didn't know this. Like, okay . So I feel like I feel this, I feel a certain kind of way. Okay. Like I hear these kinds of stories from folks like until we get into these conversations and I'd be like, dope dog. Okay . Uh , all right. Well, wow, that is like complete, I would never have thought that that was your world. Like that is a world that that was like your passion to be at and then to flip it on its head to be in, in photography. Um, but I love that you've always had that creative in you. Like it's always been a part of you and it's never gone away from you. When you had to make that decision to go this way, you know , into this creative space, like full fully. Did you feel like you had to like find yourself again or redefine who you were or,

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I think that happened when I left my job and became a stay at home wife before I had kids. So that, that was a big transition for me because like , it's one thing for a woman to say, Oh, I'm pregnant, I'm going to become a stay at home mom now. But to become a stay at home wife with no job was such challenge. Right. And I think I'm still 15 years later dealing with some of the things that I put on myself during that period. Um, I should be, I should not be those things. And I'm realizing now it, none of that mattered, but, but those things that I put on myself and my relationships and , and who I was 15 years ago, because, Oh, well I have to be gracious that I'm being supported and this and that, and, and I'm a stay at home wife. Who's that? You know? Um, and I'm no June Cleaver. I'm just not, that's not me. I'm a hot mess when it comes to housekeeping and organization and all that. So stay at home wife, the kid . So I baked a lot. I made really good cookies , so I baked a lot. Um, but , um, so I dealt with that a lot. And then , um, and I got involved in church and I volunteer, which was good because, you know, I could say I've got a migraine, I can't come to that . And they understood, you know, it was, it was something that I could have that space to be in. Uh , but , um, then I dealt with the, you know, having kids and all that. So the transition has been, it has been different. It's been like from the, from the working professional to the stay at home wife and then now it's been from the stay at home mom to the fulltime working mom. And so then that's been the transition that I'm in now. So I did not really tryna transfer from state department to photography. That transfer didn't happen. Um, there's been other,

Nikita Williams:

other trends of their lives transitioning. Yeah . But that one didn't happen really . So . So what is some advice like, so what helped you to like, you know, I'm going to start my photography business. I feel like a little bit of me is, are you as in me where I, I could not like, I cannot not work. Like, like I feel like for me it's like I have to do something like it's , it has to be something

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that the fills me, I have to give and I have to create. So it doesn't necessarily have to be income producing for me, but it has to be something where I'm, where I'm inputting, where I'm giving more . I'm creating. And so for a long time I found that in my church and I volunteered in different ministries. Um, and so, but at the same time for me, I've always been a leader and , um, from high school, college as a child , like I've , I've been that leader. And so , um, when I was not well I would volunteer but I couldn't take on a leadership role in that volunteering. And so that wasn't very satisfying to me because I couldn't, I just had to be the show up soldier. And that has never worked very well for me. I needed to be the one that took over a program and made it something better, made it something bigger or you know, gave back in some way.

Renee Stengel:

And, and I couldn't do that because of my health. And so getting my health back on track has allowed me to now be in a place where, okay, now I can create. And that's where the space that I'm in right now is that I'm able to say, let's create this business and let's not just to take in clients and X number of clients per year and make X number of dollars, but let's create something. Let's build, let's what , what are people not doing in the industry? Let's look around what's not happening in the industry. All right . Then that there's a gap. Let's fill that gap. Let's do that. Let's, let's, okay, what else is not happening? Oh, there's a gap. Okay. Yeah . You know , let's, let's get back to people. Let's create, let's, let's help people grow. Um, you know, I see a real lack of African Americans represented in underwater photography.

Nikita Williams:

Yeah. I've got my hair straight right now. If I get in some water right now, it'd be like, it'd be like a poodle.

Renee Stengel:

Here's one of the issues. Right? So , um, but so diversity and aquatics and working with people about, about that issue and why is there a lack of representation and why is there lack of representation among underwater photographers? Um, and so all that. And so then as you start digging in, there's a lack of representation in swim instructors and theirs . And so you start going down that hole. And that's something that I've been working on and trying to work with. My head lifeguard is a , an a diversity and inclusion. And my instructor, she travels and teaches and she is an amazing woman. Um, and so she and I have incredible chats on this issue. Um, and so she's been able to educate me a lot because, you know, I'm a white girl and I, I've lived in a white bubble a lot of my life, but, but I've also was raised by a gay father, right? Like I've , I've , I've got a lot of friends in like a whole range of diversity. And so I want to make sure people are included who want to be included and by [inaudible] bye . By reaching for that, I've got a large number of African Americans coming to me for underwater photography. And other people say, why , why, why are they here with , you know , they're not coming to me because I'm, I'm reaching for it. I'm opening myself to it and I'm, and I'm looking for it because I want to make sure they are representative as well. And it is a population that is underrepresented in this genre. And so those are the types of things that I look for and I say , where are the gaps? Where are the holes? And I want to fill it .

Nikita Williams:

Right ? Yeah. I think that's a good example for everyone. I think we always tried , a lot of people try to fit in the mold and sometimes that doesn't work. Like , like if that's your, if that's , I like to say if that's your place , like if that's how you work, then do it well and your way. But the people that I usually see that are blowing up the scenes are people who are not, they're creating their own mold and like blowing it, no pun intended, out of the water because it is something that they have seen that needs to be changed or something that they've seen that needs to be , um, just created and brought attention to. And I think you do a really good job at that. Like, even if you look at all your, your photography in the water, it's so diverse and it's such a beautiful thing to see because you see families, you see couples, you see even branding photos, you see , um, you see like , um, the beautiful pictures of the black women. And, and I'm just like, doll one day, one day that's going to be me. It's you to fall. So , um, what is one piece of business advice you would give you? This whole episode has literally been a whole bunch of advice. Y'all, I heard it. You need to listen to it again. But what is one piece of advice that you've been given and that has completely shifted your mindset on how you do what you're doing right now.

Renee Stengel:

Bless and release. I am not even kidding. This is my year to bless and release because I cannot do it all. I cannot do it all. And my dreams are bigger than I can even like hold on to . Right . And the more I let myself dream, the bigger they get. And so last year I got so overwhelmed , um, because I tried to do it all. I tried to do all my own editing, all my own email , all my own scheduling, all my everything. And this year and I shut down, I shut down. And I wasn't a good business owner. I wasn't, I didn't take care of my clients. I took care of my clients, but I didn't take care of them the way that Renee takes care of her people, right ? I didn't take care of them at the level I take care of my clients and because I couldn't, I couldn't be all things to all people. And so this year is about bless and release, but it , it's about letting go and recognizing that there are people that can do things as well as I can and probably better. And I need to let them do that. And so it's giving up some of those things and letting other people help and letting other people do things, paying them, valuing them right? Not just, not just burdening them, but giving those things out. And as I started to look at the numbers, there are a lot of things that I can outsource and that it's going to be financially beneficial to me to do so. So at first I was like, Ooh , that would cost this much and that will cost that much and I'm just starting out and I'm realizing now, no like that takes me five hours and I could make this much money in five hours. So doing what I thrive, that using my superpowers , what I'm good at, I can make three times, four times that amount of money. If I have that time to work in my creative space to do what I'm good at, to be in the pool, to be working with clients to be doing that versus what I need to pay somebody to be sending out emails, my website to be doing the things that I don't need to be doing. And so yes, I still want to have client contact that is so important to me, right ? To engage my clients and to have that. But I'm figuring it out. That's what I'm doing. January and February for me is sorting it out, figuring it out, what can I automate, what can I outsource, what can I get off my plate, what can I bless and release so that I can have a year of just thriving in my creative space. And the more I let go, the more awake I become, the more alive I feel, the more things I add to my list. So many ideas that I have and there's so much I want to do, but it's giving me that space to live in that space by letting those things go, I can live there and I can do what I'm good at. And that's , that's the biggest advice that I give to somebody less than release what, you know?

Nikita Williams:

Yes. I agree with you. I recent this year I'm doing a little bit more of that. Um, I, I've taken on a client in order to more blessed and release some things like I client that I wouldn't traditionally have picked up. Cause I'm like, Oh, it's not in my niece and you know, I'm being all like whatever. But it's like, well, this one client is going to help take care of stuff that I really don't need or want to do. So I'm going to do that. Whatever that blessing release looks like, like for

Renee Stengel:

you, you're out what that is. Right. But, but it's that figuring it out to give yourself creative space. If you're, you know, one of my favorite podcast episodes is Amy Porterfield and the , the innovator versus the integrator. And I'm an innovator. Like, that's me. And that is the heart of who I am. And, and so it's about being able to live in that innovative space , um, and create and have those big picture ideas. And that is not every person that is not everyone. And so if you are that person, embrace it and live in it, but when you've got that other stuff weighing down on you, like, I'm not good enough at that. I , I think that all those negative voices, it's hard to live in that space. You're out how to divide that work and to let someone else assist where they thrive, where they're good at that person that loves spreadsheets.

:

Oh my God. Oh my God, the person that loves that stuff, right. God bless them . Let them let them love on that stuff for you and you live where you live. Um , and hallelujah for people who live numbers, girl. Yes. I'm all with you on that. Exactly. Exactly. Okay, so let's wrap this up a little bit. Um, so what are three tools like in your business that you can not like? You're like, I have to have them. They have to be in my business. I'm using them every day , every week, every month that you think that would help any business owner or specifically a photographer. But , um, what would be those things? Oh, see I thought you were going to ask for underwater photography. I'm just going to tell you all those. Um, but whatever your heart desires, my friend Renee , see it. So in underwater photography, I'm just going to go with that cause I'm gonna make it faster. But in underwater photography, I love wearing a dive skin. So it's like a , it's like a whole body, like a , like a toddler would wear at the beach. That's pale skin. You know, like it's zipped up and it's long sleeves and long pants and it just makes me feel free in the water and comfortable cause I'm like twisting all around and showing everybody every angle. And so it just felt a lot more comfortable and I look a lot more professional. And so once I started wearing that I felt so much more comfortable with behind the scenes videos and being in front of clients whether they were dads or has been served, whoever they were, I felt a lot more comfortable, a lot more confident in the water. Um, and so I love wearing a dive skin. Um, I love , um, I always wear a weight belt, which is interesting. People don't always recognize that. And so I buy it at a dive shop. I wear a weight belt and I put about 12 pounds in it. I'm in and I wear it around my waist and that's what helps me sync and stay at the bottom. I can sink and say at the bottom on my own using breath control, but it takes less energy for me if I'm using a weight belt. So I can stay down longer and with using less , um , energy if I have a week off . So I love that. And I always wear dive socks so they look like a little black shoes and they're not like somebody commented on house slick. My new dive shoes looked cause I got new ones this year. Not about looking cool. It's about, I have pebble tech on my pool and it's little bitty rocks. And so generally the kids swimming it. I swim in it for fun, doesn't bother me at all. But when I'm working and I'm bouncing off the bottom constantly and the way I rub my feet on it, it shreds my toes. And so the dive socks protect my feet. Um , and if I'm in and out in the sidewalks hot or whatever, it just protects my feet the whole time. And so I wear dive socks and a dive suit and a weight belt. It's my whole little uniform. Yup . They are three tools that I don't go in the water without. So awesome. Well ladies and gentlemen, you heard it here. All the three things you need to like if you want to put your camera in the water, get the stuff, but this is the gear you should be wearing to do it. Awesome. Or how can we find you online and all the things.

Renee Stengel:

Yeah, so I am across platforms. I'm Renee Stengel photography, so I'm the same everywhere but a single photography.com and all the platforms. Awesome. You guys, I will have all of her stuff in the show notes and all that jazz. And Charlotte, if you live in Atlanta, Charlotte is like two and a half hours away. It's not that far but further than that. But yeah, but it's not far at all. Um, and so I uh, I shoot, we shoot down to Atlanta a couple of times a year. So it's , it's pretty quick and easy drive. It's about three and a half hours, so. Okay. So I have no excuse for one day coming to you. You do not have an excuse at all. Okay. Well thank you so much girl for being on the show. This was awesome. Thank you so much. All right ladies. That's a wrap for this episode of she's crafted to thrive. Thank you so much for joining me. Please share with your friends and be sure to like and subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes. In the meantime, check us out at, she's crafted.com to check out the show notes for all the goodies and things that we talked about, and there'll be links there for you guys. So in the meantime, just remember, you are crafted to thrive.