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Meet Trailblazer Joann Wooten

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joann Wooten.

Joann, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Hmmm, where do I start?? Growing up, my first exposure to photography was watching my dad take pictures and record videos of different events. Now, while my dad’s hobby served as a stepping stone for my passion… that is NOT how I got started!

Let’s just say, I started in an AUTOMATIC mindset, thinking what I produced would result in success. I pursued this idea of a photography business with no plan, strategy, or desire to learn because I believed…why learn when my camera would do the work and I would profit??

My brother, Alex, who’s the owner/founder of Young Entrepreneur Society-Y.E.S, served me a reality check and said, “Jo, the outcome of your business is defined by the amount of work you put into it, and relationships established. If you don’t treat your business like a 9-5 job, you won’t get the results you think you deserve.”

I got to where I am today because I needed to believe God had a specific plan and trust Him to carry it out. I had to transform my state of mind from AUTOMATIC to MANUAL. I needed to trust and let God help me manage my life settings and decisions in order to take ownership of the direction He desires for me. While the journey has its challenges, it doesn’t outweigh the rewards. I learned that networking, and investing in others authentically were HUGE components of seeing the change in my business today. I’ve been blessed to meet and befriend amazing people along the way so quickly! My conversation with my brother was a humbling one…and necessary to grow. I don’t consider where I am today to be the end result… I know there is more to discover.

Has it been a smooth road?
If anything came easy would it be worth pursuing?

It has not been smooth! Running a business in the service industry means you have to get out there and network. This was one of my biggest struggles because it was easy for me to get discouraged at the first notion of rejection. I also struggled with comparison. I was CONSTANTLY on Instagram looking at other photographers wondering why my images weren’t clear, crisp, and vibrant? How come I only got 12 likes? This must be a bad picture… The comparing mindset made me hesitant to post my work. Lastly, I really desired to attend workshops by well-known photographers in Atlanta…but starting out, when it came to looking at that price of $1400 to attend it became discouraging. I didn’t know where to go or what to do!

My advice is to ask yourself, why are you doing what you do. Get to the root. Once you know your why, NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK! Build those relationships, follow and comment on that person’s page you’ve been comparing yourself to, don’t be an onlooker…REACH OUT and ASK FOR HELP, BE KIND AND BE GENUINE! Don’t focus on the “likes”/“follows” as that doesn’t define you or craft! Post your work with confidence.

Lastly, invest in yourself by investing in others! There are workshops, collaboration meetings, and networking events going on that is either free or at an affordable price. Buy the $10 t-shirt that sis has been selling for 3 months! Believe me, there are people waiting to pour into you! Get in MANUAL mode, take control, and Research!

We’d love to hear more about Wooten Photography.
Well, I’m a Gwinnett based wedding and lifestyle photographer who’s down to travel! I run this business with my husband and our 2 year old CEO. lol

I have done weddings, lifestyle brands, product photography, family and more. While most companies provide a service that is in the moment, I am so proud to be able to provide a service that my clients have for a lifetime! I believe what I do is one of the most humbling, hectic, and rewarding jobs. What sets me apart from others is that I specialize in having FUN with my clients, I remain my authentic self which helps me capture their best moments! They not only have the photos but walk away with an experience! I love what I do!!

Do you recommend any apps, books or podcasts that have been helpful to you?
Oh! I have a ton! But I will share a few resources that have really helped me in my business, personal, and spiritual life!

The Nicole Walters Podcast is AHHMAZING if you’re looking for that transparent and authentic guidance to a successful business.

People Can’t Drive You Crazy If You Don’t Give Them The Keys by Dr. Mike Bechtle is a wonderful book and resource I used personally to help with that comparison mindset on how to handle unfavorable/challenging situations with others.

Lastly, Girlfriend Revolution by Susan Thomas… WHEW! Talk about a book that will challenge you spiritually on how to discover God’s design for authentic friendships. This book exposes the brokenness within all women that keeps us from starting, maintaining, and growing in friendships with our girls!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Wooten Photography

Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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