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Guerrilla Workshops

Final 2011 Guerrilla Managment Class Set for October 14-17


I’ve just posted the dates for the last Guerrilla Management Workshop that is scheduled for 2011. It will take place on October 14-17 at my vacation home and studio in Deep Creek Lake, Three studios are already booked, so that means I have 12 studio spaces left. We had a great class in Fredericksburg, VA last month; I’m already hearing about some major accomplishments made by the group below. I’m looking forward to an equally productive class in Deep Creek next October.



Guerrilla Management Soldiers On

Al Gore will have a hard time making folks in Virginia believe in global warming! It has been a long time since so much snow fell in the Washington DC area; the devil in me likes to think that all this snow is a manifestation of Mother Nature trying to send a message to the U.S. Congress to shut down, go home, and leave us alone :-).

The good news is that most everyone made it to Fredericksburg, VA for the Guerrilla Management Workshop. The only folks who had any real trouble got stuck overnight in the Dallas airport—of all places. Yes, it snowed in Dallas!

After all the weather chaos leading up to this workshop, I can’t say enough about how great these photographers were in keeping on task and making real progress with their businesses. We were so busy that Judy Grann and I completely forgot to take a class photo. So here are candids of the class hard at work—and even at play during an evening at the Grann household. They were a great group, and I expect big things from them!


Final 2009 Management Workshop Set for September

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A Hot Time At Guerrilla Management

Here’s the class photo for the most recent Guerrilla Management Workshop, which took place at my vacation home in Deep Creek Lake. As usual, we had a class full of dedicated professionals from all areas of the country and at various levels of experience in the industry, but all with one thing in common: they are determined to make the most of their businesses. What wasn’t normal, however, was the July-like temperatures in April! We hit record temperatures for three of the four class days, but the hot weather didn’t slow this group a bit. I’m expecting some great success stories from them!

Judy Grann and I were delighted to have Jen Roggi (below at left) as class assistant for this workshop session. Jen is one of my favorite studio owners, and it’s always a delight to teach with her. I like to tease Jen that her background as an elementary school teacher is great preparation for teaching adult photographers (just kidding), but the fact is, she’s a fine teacher and an excellent studio consultant for Studio Management Services. Because the business that she operates with husband, Dan, is primarily a wedding business, it was great to have Jen aboard, as she is well aware of the challenges facing wedding photographers in a market that is crammed full of unqualified prosumers charging unrealistic prices. You can visit Jen’s studio website by clicking here.

Thanks to Jen and to a great class!

The last Guerrilla Management Workshop of the year is scheduled for September 11-14 at Deep Creek. I’ll be posting it and advertising it soon, but anyone who is interested can register now by calling (800) 842-2349.

Hail The Irish Guerrillas!

On the last full day of the Guerrilla Management Workshop in Athlone, we got together for the most unusual class photo I’ve ever appeared in . . . and the most fun! I love it because it is the perfect reminder that although everyone who attended was seriously committed to enhancing their business management skills, this was a wonderfully fun group of photographers! Though not as energetic an image, here’s a better view of the workshop participants.

Thanks to Maria Dunphy for capturing both group photos and also to Lorcan Brereton for providing some of the photos below.

Like most of our workshops, we had photographers with differing lengths of time and experience in the industry. Years ago this would have complicated a hand’s-on class, but not today, as every photographer is either starting or relearning how to reach today’s consumers in an ever-changing economy. The entire group stayed on task, and I’m expecting to hear some outstanding progress reports.

After dinner one evening, we had a brainstorming session about reaching new markets, and I was especially pleased with the participation.

The conversation continued when Mary O’Driscoll arrived, and the group decided to meet again with Mary as a facilitator to keep the ideas coming. It was great to see photographers being so willing to contribute ideas and to explore them as a group so that everyone can benefit. The group has promised to keep me informed about their progress, so I expect that I might have more to report in the future.

On our last evening in Athlone, the class had a lovely meal together, and I was pleased that Maria Dunphy and her aunt, Sister Nina, were able to join us. I wrote about Maria, Nina, and Maria’s dad, Oliver, in an October 10, 2007 blog post when I visited their studio in Kilkenny.

After dinner, Judy and I were surprised and touched to receive gifts from the class: “Thank-you Teacher” notepads and beautiful crystal candle holders. Mine is now proudly displayed in my living room along side the candle stick set that my son machined for me when he was in college; they look great together, and I treasure them both. Judy and I will never forget the wonderful teaching experience and the fine friends we made in Ireland!


Guerrilla Management Goes Abroad!


Need Business Help Now?

If you can’t afford to wait any longer to achieve business success, act now and you can grab one of the few spots remaining in the April 24-27 Guerrilla Management Workshop.

There are no shortcuts to business success, but I’m very proud of the highly focused success path that my teaching partner Judy Grann and I have developed through our Guerrilla Management Workshops. It is wonderful to know that many of the industry's top performers credit Guerrilla Management with putting them on the path to financial success and helping them to achieve more leisure time. This intensive hands-on workshop can do the same for you if you are serious about your business: We will help you to see where to make the changes necessary to control the present and future direction of your business.

Workshops are limited to 15 studios to assure plenty of interaction. To learn more about this profit-producing workshop,
click here. You'll learn what we do in class, why we get such good results, what graduates have to say about their experience, and so much more.

To register, call 1-800-842-2349.
Outside of the US, call 1-717-867-2135.

A New Group of Guerilla Grads Hit the Street

Last month Judy Grann and I graduated the first group of Guerrilla Management Workshop students for 2009. This particular class worked so hard (as you can see from the photos below) that for the first time in years, we didn’t have time to take a class picture. I believe I was able to get most everyone in these photos; I hope so, because this was a wonderful group: I’ve already heard about the progress some of them are making, and I’m eager to hear from them all.


New April Guerrilla Management Workshop Posted

Last week I posted a second 2009 Guerrilla Management Workshop for April 24-27 at my lake house and studio in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. If you are interested, then you'd better register NOW. We already have 11 studio slots filled, and the limit is 15 studios. For complete information, click here.

A Very Special 10th Anniversary

It's hard to believe that it's been 10 years since Judy Grann and I hosted our first hand's-on workshop designed to help photographers improve the financial performance of their businesses. Back in 1997, only a year before the first workshop, I was fairly certain that I had taught my last Business of Photography class because it was so hard to attract business students to affiliate schools, where students were far more interested in studying posing and lighting. What's more, teaching the information using paper forms, pencils, erasers, and adding machines was painful for everyone involved.

What emboldened Judy and me to attempt our first two Guerrilla Management Workshops in the fall of 1998 was the possibility of using as a teaching tool the Planning and Pricing modules of
SuccessWare, the new fully integrated studio management software developed by Judy's company. Our expectation was that we could allow students to use the software to quickly analyze the financial position of their businesses, then we could help them with strategies that would zero in on where and how to earn more profit. Well it worked! And the clarity that the software brought to the financial side of studio management was beyond my wildest expectation. What it had taken me two weeks to teach could now be absorbed in four days.

Since those first two 1998 classes, nearly 700 studio owners have attended our
Guerrilla Management Workshops, and Judy and I continue to marvel at their accomplishments. Many have made huge improvements in their business, and some are now among the most successful studios in the country. We are so pleased that many graduates keep us up to date on their activities, and what is especially satisfying to me is how many have taken what they learned about financial management and are now teaching others. It's also nice to know that our workshops helped to inspire Scott Kurkian, PPA's CFO, to ask the PPA Board to launch the Association's Studio Management Services, which now is in its 6th year of educating and advising photography businesses.

We couldn't have hand-picked a better group for our 10th anniversary workshop! They are shown below on the deck of my Deep Creek Lake, MD home, where we hold our spring and fall workshops.

I am absolutely certain that this group will make the most of what they learned, and I fully expect to hear some extra-special success stories from them. I wouldn't be surprised if an instructor or two emerged from this group as well.

So thanks to everyone who has supported our workshops over the past decade. As I celebrate this special anniversary, I am mindful of what a privilege it is to teach because of how much the teachers learn from their students, both in the classroom and in the years to come. Judy and I look forward to many more great workshops and to making many more long-lasting friendships.


Guerrilla Management Means Spring is Here!

I was so glad to get to Deep Creek for the May Guerrilla Management Class. I've had an unusually heavy travel schedule, so I hadn't been to the lake since last Christmas. That's a record for me, and one that I don't enjoy achieving. Spring was trying to make an appearance, but heavy rains were not helping. Fortunately we did have one really nice day before the class left. I'm so glad, because we had such a great great group there. Very hard workers, with great personalities, and an interesting mix of newer studios and veterans. Really enjoyed our time together, and I look forward to hearing about the great progress I know these photographers will make.

Feb. Workshop: Wonderful Folks — Awsome Talent!

I tell every Guerrilla Management Workshop I teach that each class is memorable for a distinct reason, and the February workshop was no exception: This was one of the most talented groups of photographers I've had the pleasure of working with. I usually have time to grab some candids of what's going on. But these 15 studios kept Judy and me so busy, that there was no time for anything but hard work. So I decided to ask each studio to send me a single image to showcase their talents. Some have already come in, and I'll keep adding to the collection.


James & Jenny Tarpley, Visio Photography, Marion, NC

Pauline Fredericks, Pauline Fredericks, Photography, Sierra Vista, AZ

Margaret and Frank Kukuc, Margaret Kukuc Photography, Burr Ridge, IL

Patty Fox, Patty Fox Photography, Woodland, TX

Sally Merritt Swart, Cantin Photography, Tiverton, RI

Marie Papp, Marie Papp Photography, Hoboken, NJ

Mary Ann Halpin & Joe Croyle, Mary Ann Halpin Photography, Los Angeles, CA

Frank & Fiorella Cunha, Here's My Baby! Fine Portraits, Kleinburg, Ontario

Veronica Enns, Artistic Images, Yorkton, Saskatchewan

Kathleen Dylan, Dylan Studios, Los Altos, CA

Kathleen wrote the following about the image above: "The older woman is in her final days, at the end of a long battle with throat cancer...she has a tracheotomy, missing teeth, and shows the effects of months of chemo...but her daughter wanted an image of her and her grandchildren where she looked like her spirit was alive, and showed her love for her family, as well as making her look healthy...anyway, something of a fun challenge for me, and the client was pleased as well." A wonderful job and a great reminder of the wonder privilege we have in documenting the lives of our subjects.


Like me, Sally Swart is a Corgi parent: She has two Corgis — Maxwell and Ruby. I can't resist posting this darling image that Sally took of the kids dressed for Halloween in 2007. I'm not sure that my Mitzi would be quite so accommodating.


New 2008 Guerrilla Management Workshop Added

I've just posted a second 2008 Guerrilla Management Workshop for May 16-19 at my lake house and studio in Deep Creek Maryland. If you are interested, then you'd better register NOW. We already have 4 studio slots filled from the waiting list of the February workshop, which closed in record time when it was announced. I'll be announcing the May workshop via an email newsletter that will go out late Sunday, December 16. For complete information, click here.

February Guerrilla Management Class Ready to Fill

If you are a regular blog reader who wishes to attend the February 8-11, 2008 Guerrilla Management Workshop in Fredericksburg, VA, then you'd better to call register NOW. We'll be sending an email blast today . . . the first time we've advertised this workshop. We've already filled 7 of the 15 studio slots by word of mouth and the website listing, so we expect the workshop to be filled immediately. We have a wonderful group so far, so you'll be in good company if you decide to attend.

Teaching and Learning at Deep Creek

Beautiful Indian summer days set the stage for four days of intense study and sharing at my Deep Creek Lake home for the annual fall Guerrilla Management Workshop that I teach with SuccessWare's Judy Grann. Class assistants were Doug Mattice of McLean, VA, (shown below with Judy during a class session) and Frank Donnino of Boynton Beach, FL (shown riding a local bear). Frank is widely known as the originator of a baby plan that is used successfully by hundreds of photographers around the country. In fact, most of the students at this workshop were active users of Frank's plan, and they can attest to how effective it has been for their businesses. Approximately half of the class were repeat students, and it was great to see them again and to review their business progress.

This group was as hard working as any workshop of photographers I have taught, and I'm certain they will make good use of the knowledge they gained in class. Each left with a financial plan for 2008 and lots of ideas on how to implement the marketing and sales necessary to support the plan.

They also clearly enjoyed each other's company, both in class and out. For the record, our second coloring contest was won by Karen Bernard of E. Greenwich, RI. Thanks to everyone for making this class so enjoyable!


What a Great Workshop!

Every Guerrilla Management Workshop takes on its own personality, and each one is memorable. I'll always remember the May 2007 Workshop at my lake house in Deep Creek, MD because the participants were especially smart, committed and personable . . . just the qualities needed to be successful in business. They also were a lot of fun!

I'll also remember them for suggesting that when workshops take place at Deep Creek, I should take the opportunity to host a creative coloring contest on the last night of class, when we gather at one of my favorite local restaurants, the Santa Fe Grill. I plan to take their advice, as the contest was a lot of fun.

For the record, the first contest winner was Renee Truett of Carrie Viohl Photography, Moultrie, GA.

Congratulations Renee!