It was a cold, grey, and blustery day when Kelly and I kicked off Day 1 of The Simple Plan in Dallas earlier this year. Then, Jason Huang of Table 4 Weddings walked in and suddenly the room was much brighter! His smile is contagious, as is his passion for taking his photography business to the next level.
Jason’s work is incredible…I love this blurb on his website:
“The art I create is a reflection of who I am, what I love, and the priviledged relationship I have with my clients.”
If you check out Jason’s work, then I think you’ll find there is a serious passion behind his images…and that his art truly is a reflection of who he is…the real deal!
Owner, Table 4 Weddings
Why did you start your business?
Other than an intense desire and sleepless curiosity towards wedding photography, I started my business because I knew I wanted to do work the right way. I knew if I were going to start asking for money for photography, I’d have to have a business ID, tax #, and all the other stuff to be a legitimate business in Texas. So, really, it was out of fear that I started a business. Other reasons included a lack of options (I had an econ degree and didn’t know what to do with it) and again, the intense passion for anything and everything related to wedding photography. I’d stay up late studying images, photographers and try to reverse engineer the images that affected me most. Not only was I obsessed with the technical side of photography, I began to pay attention to the small and delicate moments in life that these photographers were effortlessly capturing.
What book (business or soul-searching) do you recommend to new business owners? Why?
Pour Your Heart Into it by Howard Schultz because a.) it’s one of the only books I’ve ever read and b.) it talks about how he took an idea and turned it into a universal brand by surrounding himself with people better than him. I think today where starting a business gets easier, sustaining one gets more difficult. Being able to give up responsibilities and outsource tasks that I’m not a pro at is something I have and continue to learn everyday.
Do you have any cool goal-setting tips to share with us?
I am horrible at setting goals. Thanks to The Simple Plan, however, I’m just a little bit better.
What do you find to be the biggest challenge as a business owner?
The biggest challenge has been the balance between doing what I love and doing it for a living. The saying, “Do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” is true, but should maybe have an asterisk next to it. Doing what you love for a living requires certain things to be in place. I love basketball, but I can’t do it for a living. I need to be taller, stronger, and more athletic. Photography is something that I will lose sleep over, but it requires a ton of non-photography work from marketing, blogging, accounting, lawyer-ing, administrating, shipping, and customer service-ing. Many of those things I do not love, nor am I good at, but are required to sustain my business. Another challenge has been learning the dynamics of how different people work, especially in a team environment. Not every worker bee can be queen.
If you were starting your business all over again, what would you have done differently?
Nothing! Work hard, stay open minded, and make mistakes; I wouldn’t be here had I not taken that journey. (I should add, I probably would’ve attended a workshop like The Simple Plan a lot sooner than I had). Learning what goes behind a creative business was so important in setting my expectations and mapping out a plan. I only wish I had learned it earlier.
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