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Teri (she/her) describes herself as a body image coach and boudoir photographer, but she does SO much more! Join us as we discuss how our own body image affects our client work, rejecting the idea of Photoshopping ourselves and our clients, and how educating ourselves and our clients about the psychology of body image can change lives.
Like I’ve been wanting to make all these changes, but I was afraid of maybe I wouldn’t be making money. Well, shit, I wasn’t making money anyway, because of the pandemic. So now’s the time to throw caution to the wind and take a fucking chance on something. And everything’s already chaotic and up in the air, let’s just go for it and start making these changes.
We go deep talking about how we both love to just get shit done right away when we have big ideas, and discuss our CliftonStrengths (you can take a quiz here, if you don’t already know yours!)
“The best thing you can do as an entrepreneur or a business owner or somebody that just maybe feels like they’re different from people that love a nine to five job, the more you can become self-aware and understand that the things about you are not problems – they just weren’t meant for a standardized world, the better off you’re going to be, to build systems that actually help you flourish instead of trying to fit yourself into what you think it should be.” – Teri Hofford
Twyla Jones: Hey Teri.
Teri Hofford: Hi.
Twyla Jones: How you doing?
Teri Hofford: I’m good. Thanks. I’m just chilling in Canada.
Twyla Jones: I wish I could be with you.
Teri Hofford: Yes, I wish I could bring all my friends here right now. It’s a little volatile where you are.
Twyla Jones: No kidding. I need to start like digging a tunnel or something.
Teri Hofford: There you go
Twyla Jones: From Florida.
Teri Hofford: It’ll be a while, but that’s okay. We’ve got time on our hands now, all the time in the world.
Twyla Jones: Well, I’m so glad that you came on. I met you years ago.
Teri Hofford: Yeah, in 2017.
Twyla Jones: I think so. I think that is exactly the year we met and I loved you immediately. There is just something about getting to be with you in person.
I mean, you’re so amazing online too, but to like be in your presence, I just found to be a really wonderful experience. You’re such a magnetic person. And I just like wanted to keep being around you from the moment I met you. And if you remember, I think our flights were leaving at the same time. So we still got to keep having breakfast at the airports.
I still remember ordering with you and I did not want you to leave.
Teri Hofford: Yeah. It’s always hard to part ways when you like forge that quick bond with people, it’s like, okay, I know it’s kind of awkward because I know we’ve only known each other for three days, but I’m going to miss you.
Twyla Jones: and it’s not even like, I wanted to do anything with you. I just wanted you to be around, you know, keep hearing your voice and commentary on what…
Teri Hofford: my comment Teri…
Twyla Jones: Very good. Okay. So for those that do not love you yet- just because they don’t know who you are – I’d love if you could share a little bit about yourself, like how you got into photography and what it is you do now, which is amazing.
Teri Hofford: Sure. So now I describe myself as a body image coach and boudoir photographer.
I originally got into photography, basically. It was a ballsy move. I moved from Korea. I moved home from Korea where I was taking just self portraits basically.
Twyla Jones: I didn’t even know you lived in Korea.
Teri Hofford: Yeah, there’s a lot of secrets, but, I came back and I was like, Oh, I’m pretty good at this. I’m going to do weddings.
So then I really just jumped into it, but very quickly I realized weddings for me are not something I’m super passionate about, but in my community, that’s what paid the bills. So I was like, all right, we’ll keep going on this train. But I never was like super good. I was kind of the average wedding photographer you could say.
And then, around that same time, I had started my own like body image journey to understand more about myself. Like starting to appreciate my body, and for what it could do and all that good stuff. And I started to use my photography as a way to express what I was finding out. So I did a project to help people realize that, that there wasn’t like one body type to aspire to, even though we all think there is.
And I basically invited, I did a Facebook call and I was like, maybe I’ll get like 10 people. It’ll be great. I ended up with like over 75 women between Winnipeg and Regina that is yes, the name of the city in
Saskatchewan where I, where I photograph them in five minutes with, like there was no Photoshop, like you only took five photos.
They could wear as much, or as little as they wanted to, to basically just show that there was not one body type and that all bodies are great. But what came out of that? While I went into it, yeah. I’m like, yeah, this will just be a fun little science project. What came out of it was that I got all these emails back from the women that participated.
And like in five minutes they, they were like, Oh, my confidence is so much higher. I can’t believe I did that. Like, wow, I’m so proud of myself. I’ve never been that vulnerable, blah, blah, blah. And I was like, well, shit, if I can do that in five minutes, what could I do if I gave these women a day?
And then that’s when I started to jump into boudoir photography at that time. And that was like 2014, I think there was not a lot of people photographing all bodies. And if you were, they weren’t showing them in the boudoir industry, but in the industry as a whole, like looking at wedding photography and so on, you never saw people posting their work of larger bodies, particularly. Cause that’s what I could relate to. So my first year in business, essentially, I spent almost every day photographing, like I tried to get like, whether it was paid or unpaid, I just shot as many bodies as I could to gain, like say this is how I gather my data to make assessments on things is I use people as my science subjects.
And that kind of helped me learn more about the psychology behind body image. And then I started to research the psychological aspects of it, on my own time, through textbooks and books like that. And then, yeah, and then that kind of brought me to the point where I started educating other photographers because I realized while, helping individual humans was great, I could probably only affect maybe you know, 150 to 200 people a year. Whereas if I helped educate other photographers to understand body image and how it impacts our clients, then the impact would be that much more exponential. So I started to get into education and stuff like that.
Twyla Jones: Incredible.
Teri Hofford: that’s the very short, but long-ish but short story.
Twyla Jones: I love it. I love that you shared all of that and I, I don’t think I’ve ever told you this, but I feel like I have some really complex feelings about meeting other photographers. Like in person and it’s always, it’s such a strange thing to be around, but always, if there’s someone that’s you know, very beautiful or very skinny or something in everybody’s dying to photograph them.
Right. Like even at like meetups and stuff, there’ll be one that’s like going to be the model for everybody else. And that does something to those of you, that, I mean, like me, like nobody wants to photograph me. You know what I mean?
Teri Hofford: That’s a lie. I spent time with you in Florida and I photographed you
Twyla Jones: You were the first person that has ever made me feel like that.
And it is just this like very, I don’t know, like awesome. And so this would be more like a testimonial. As someone who has been photographed by you, to feel like you, you can make somebody feel like they are a muse, which I just think is the most wonderful thing to feel like I could inspire somebody to create something. That they’re excited to create something, you know?
And. I don’t know if that was, it was such a nice experience for me after just feeling like, as a person feel like I am so sorry, you have to photograph me. I’m sorry that this is what you have to work with.
Teri Hofford: I hear that all the time from clients, the amount of apologies that start from the moment they step in the door and then I don’t even hear some of it because they’re with the makeup artists, but they spend the whole time, in make up apologizing for their eyebrows, their skin texture, their pores, their lips that are not equal, like symmetrical, like just, we apologize for so much shit that doesn’t matter. And more importantly is the stuff that, to be honest, I find fascinating and love to photograph on people is like the stuff that, that makes them them, you know,
Twyla Jones: Yeah. Well, and it’s, I mean, I don’t know, it’s also complex because also cause I have a friend like that who is, you know, just, I don’t know how to say it conventionally, like, you know, Yeah, perfect. Like the ideal or whatever, and still like tears herself apart, or will want things fixed in a photo. And then it’s just like, I don’t want to fix that because that’s a thing that I want to display to show people this is beautiful and look how beautiful it is on her. And it’s okay to have that.
Teri Hofford: Yeah. And it’s interesting, like the timing that we’re actually doing this podcast or recording it is because literally two days ago I made the announcement that I’m going Photoshop free in my studio.
Twyla Jones: Listen, Teri, I want to tell you too. I wrote up the questions that I was going to ask you when we were supposed to do this podcast what a month ago or so?
Teri Hofford: In June?
Twyla Jones: Yes. And like my very first question was what made you start embracing, all the bumps and humps and stuff?
Teri Hofford: Yeah. So for me it was like the, I like, I just literally just did a video on this on my YouTube channel,
Twyla Jones: I didn’t get to watch it yet, but even just the split screen thing, I just adored.
Teri Hofford: Yeah. I think it’s important for me to acknowledge that Photoshop was necessary to get me to this point. It allowed me to provide a bit of a safety net for the clients that came in to be photographed, and to let, and to give the opportunity for the women that never saw themselves as a glossed over like magazine model to have that opportunity to say, look it, you can also look like that.
It’s okay. I think it was really important to have that, but now, in the last year and a half, there’s been a bit of a disconnect because I’ve been doing a lot more work on self growth, my own body image journey, but also like really, working on helping like other photographers and talking about this all the time.
And there was a disconnect between the work I was creating out of the expectation that comes with Boudoir photography, as opposed to, what was right for me to do as a boudoir photographer. Because I know you very quickly fall into the rut of, I know what sells, and I know this is why marketing is as shitty as it is, is because people buy into the idea that you are better because your skin is smoother. You look younger, you look slimmer and so on. And I just, basically two days ago had enough of that then said, Nope, no more.
Twyla Jones: And I was also thinking about you just in thinking about discussing this and like you’re going to save so much time.
Teri Hofford: Well, that’s also a bonus now I got to change my pricing to reflect that I’m not like, cause mine’s based on like time spent, you know?
So I was like, Oh yeah, no, that’s like a hard thing for me to figure out. Figure out what that looks like. So guys, I’m excited about, I’m very excited, like for my own portraits, like self portraits, I stopped retouching my own photos about two years ago. And it has helped me, like now when I see a photo of somebody else takes it and they Photoshop, I’m like, yeah, it’s nice but I don’t recognize myself.
Twyla Jones: Yeah.
Teri Hofford: It’s the same thing with wearing makeup. Cause I never wear makeup day to day. So when I see photos of myself with makeup, I’m like, yeah, it’s okay. But I still, that’s not who I know myself to be. So there’s that disconnect that happens there, which can, which could make me not actually love a photo, if that makes sense.
I like it and it’s great, but it’s almost like it’s separate from myself. It’s not about me. It’s about who that person was created to be in that image, if that makes sense.
Twyla Jones: Yeah. And I also feel like none of this would be as impactful if you weren’t coming from a glossed over place first.
Teri Hofford: Correct. Exactly. And I think that’s really important. Cause I, think that’s one of the fears of a lot of photographers I’ve heard is they’re like, Oh, I always. Like I never learned Photoshop. So like people, I always felt like my work was bad because I did not learn the skills to Photoshop.
Like they, it was almost, especially in the boudoir industry, not all the other ones, but, that they, it made them second guess their ability to be a photographer, realizing that, that it’s almost like the boudoir comes with an expectation that you’re a retoucher first and a photographer second.
Like it’s always Oh, we can always fix that in post kind of thing, idea, and it made people not like they stopped because of the comparison they stopped photographing boudoir, because they felt like they could never live up to the glossed over versions of women that they were seeing on, on Facebook groups and so on.
Twyla Jones: Yeah. and I think it is so important because often as a photographer you grow your skills and then you just, learn how to do more and more editing and make things look better. But I. I feel like it’s more rare to find a photographer that’s like very good at what they’re doing. So they’re good at posing, they’re good at like the color grading and stuff, but to keep it natural and not go to that extent. So it’s important to see that images can still look good without all of the extra.
Teri Hofford: And I think that almost is better. I guess it depends on the intent of why you’re photographing in the first place. So that, that’s what I, I always try to emphasize that because there are people that do want fantastical images of themselves, like fantasy inspired, to look like they stepped out of a magazine. But for me, my mission has always been to empower the client that’s in front of me to like, own their body first.
And then, and then it’s about them. It’s not about their partner, their partner’s just privileged to get to see the photos. And then somewhere along the line, I stopped challenging my own belief systems. So then. I was like, no, we need to keep pushing to bring boudoir into the direction now where people can accept themselves, pores and all and stretch marks and all , and work towards that. And we’re seeing it more in advertising too. Anyways.
Twyla Jones: Yes! And don’t you, like, anybody listening, love that so much more like, and those are the brands you want to follow. So I think it’s important just as photographers to keep that in mind, like people do want to grow with that. They want to see it.
Teri Hofford: And that’s the thing. And I did, so it was about a year ago, or it was when I had my Facebook group for my clients. And I did a thing where I shared like a post, like probably an aerie ad or something where they were un-Photoshopped. And I was like, so you all like this, but you don’t want that to be you is what I’m understanding.
And they’re like, yeah. So then, so that I took that as, okay, then I’m probably not going to be successful if I opt for that, even then I was testing the waters to see where the market was at. But at some point, like somebody has to, and because I’m, I consider myself to be kind of in a leadership position of a community of boudoir photographers.
I don’t want to be the last one on the boat. You know what I mean? Like I need to be leading this charge, specifically because of the mission of the group that I have. And the intent of why I do the work that I do anyways. So yeah. So I was like, this is where it’s going eventually. So I’ll just get there earlier than most people
Twyla Jones: I love that so much. Well, and, and that’s the thing too. So I have a friend who talks down about herself a lot and we’ll talk about like specifically like hating her nose and all of this and wanting to have it fixed. And one day we just had a very, I don’t know, open conversation about it.
And I was like, listen, I also have a big nose. How do you make think it makes me feel to hear you talk about that. That makes me think like also you hate mine to hear how much you hate yours and that you think that it needs fixed. And do you hate mine? And do you think that I am like unattractive because of the parts and all of that.
And, I think that that was really impactful for her. Because you don’t always think about I don’t know those words that you’re putting out in front of other people.
Teri Hofford: No, and more importantly, like a lot of women, and I focus on women specifically because they talk about body image issues more than men do, but saying that kind of shit when you have children around is exactly what yeah – they’re going to hear it and listen to it. And even if you’re like, Oh, not you though. They don’t know that. They’re like, well, why not me? Like, obviously you’re talking about me because we’re very, we like to turn it back on ourselves. That’s what we do. But it’s really important for people to understand that those words have power, not just within themselves. And then when somebody says Oh, but not you, like your nose is beautiful or whatever. I’m like, you see how you chose to see the beauty in mine. You’re also actively choosing not to see the beauty in your own, so you can literally choose to see the opposite of that, but you’re not doing it.
You know? I think that’s a big thing. People just like, Oh, it’s just the way that I think and feel well, you don’t have to, you’re choosing it.
Twyla Jones: I feel like, I don’t know. I just feel like you’ve probably done so many powerful things for so many people, even just like my really fun experience with you was just so nice for me to have, but I would love, I don’t know if you have some more, maybe stories about transformations you’ve seen in clients.
Teri Hofford: Yeah. So there’s been a lot and sometimes I’m like, was it a transformation for them or was it a transformation for me? So when I first started and I had, I always talk about Sam, she’s one of my, like I talk about her in my confident curves videos, and she actually models in one of them for me, Cause she was like, when she came in for two consultations before we ended up shooting because she was she did not believe that she was worth being photographed in an intimate nature. And like her body language, the first consultation, scared me a little bit. She like arms were crossed. She was just like, meh. And even, even still, like, usually when people come into the studio, I’m like, okay, have a seat on the couch. And she took MY chair, like what a power move to like, take my seat instead of, I was like, okay, but anyways, apparently during our con then sometimes I dunno, you probably do this when you’re shooting.
It’s like, sometimes stuff comes out of our mouth that we don’t know that we’re saying. Cause I always say, I don’t believe in Jesus, but the Lord does work in mysterious ways. And like sometimes stuff will come out of my mouth that I don’t know, I’m saying. cause at one point during the consultation, she was like, what you think you can make me look beautiful?
And apparently I said, you’re already beautiful bitch. I would never swear at a client in the consultation. Oh my God. But I think it was, I was matching her aggressiveness with equal aggressiveness to be like, fine. I’m not going to try to convince you of something. And then she did end up coming in. And then, so the shoot went and she was anxious of course, and nervous, and we did it and it was great. But then during the reveal, she didn’t even. Like she wouldn’t even look at the computer to like, watch the slide show when I was like, you need to fucking look at the photos. And then she finally did. And she just broke down.
Like literally, I, she hugged me so many times after that. And now she’s one of my main muses that I use all the time, because it was like we unlocked something that she just did not realize before she came in. And like that to me is That solidified to me, like why I did the work that I did.
She’s one of the ones. And there’s like countless other ones similar to that where maybe not so aggressive at the beginning, but like where they just didn’t think that they could do it and then they do it. And like the photos to me are just the outcome. Like they’re not.
Twyla Jones: I literally did not care about the pictures you took of me.
Teri Hofford: Well thank god, because I don’t think I sent them to you for a few months, but
Twyla Jones: well, you just got yours. I’m like, you know what? Nevermind, it’s like to me, the experience was so great. that’s what I like. That’s what I needed.
Teri Hofford: And that’s the thing. And, and whether or not it was, like me reading into what I creating, what I thought clients wanted, as opposed to just doing what I do best. I got away from the process and I focus solely on the outcome, which is the photos and making sure they were edited to perfection, so they wouldn’t be upset about them. And it was like coming to that realization that. We, as a society are very, very heavily focused on outcomes, success. But that’s where, you’re never happy when you focus on that.
So it’s really, and then, because I’ve been doing a lot of work in positive psychology and stuff like that, like studies have shown if you focus only on the outcome, you’re always going to just want more and be more disappointed. But if you could focus on the process. Then the outcome is what it is.
And it’s just like a memory or like a throwback to the amazing process that you just experienced, that collaborative effort where you felt like a muse or, that you did this thing that scared the crap out of you with the body that you have, like all of that good stuff.
Twyla Jones: Yeah, I was just talking about that the other day. I can’t even remember what it was in reference to, but it was just, it was exactly that like how important the journey is. I think it might’ve been homeschooling or something, like you need to be able to enjoy the process of cause we’re homeschooling now, of just teaching the kids and sitting down with them instead of allowing yourself to get frustrated because they can’t make a cursive D perfectly.
Teri Hofford: And that was one of the things that I started to realize is that I’m very goal oriented, but the reason why it was never fulfilling was because I would just get the goal and then I’m like next, like I would not sit and be like, okay, like how was that getting there? What did you do? What was the process? Did you actually enjoy yourself? And always, we never see the context around the outcome, if that makes sense. Which makes us lose a lot of gratitude for the outcome. Which I think is a big thing.
And I see that in the photography industry all the time where people are like, Oh my God, I had a $10,000 sale. Everyone’s like, woo, yay. And it’s like, that’s great. but how did you get there? like let’s acknowledge the process because there will be a time when you don’t- maybe you only make $1,000 sale and you’ll be upset because it wasn’t a $10,000 sale. But if you put just as much effort into that $1,000 sale, then it’s equally as worthy as that $10,000 sale.
Twyla Jones: I just think for us, the outcome is so fleeting because it’s an image and like it’s time to shine and not even every single one of your images is going to be seen anyway, that you spend so much time on. But it’s so fleeting, like the adoration or whatever that picture might get. So if you do not enjoy the process of creating that, then it’s so important to just reevaluate what you’re doing.
And right before this podcast started recording, you and I were talking about that because I just recognize that in myself, I’m spending lots of time, working on courses for other people. And I realize I really like that deadline is just really hard for me in this space, in my life. Even if I had a year to create something it’s just, it’s too stressful for me to, I don’t know, put all the effort in it. And so I’m not, I can’t enjoy the process as much as I enjoy teaching. It needs to be like on my own timeline. And I just feel very empowered by that and happy for when I get this one last big project done, to just, I feel free.
Teri Hofford: Yeah. And I think that self-awareness brings liberation. I think that’s the thing that’s really important for people like, especially creatives to understand.
Cause we’re already trying to like squish ourselves into this model of well, you’re not successful if you’re not pulling in, if you’re not also an entrepreneur or like all this bullshit, we’re already trying to fit ourselves into a box that maybe shouldn’t exist for creatives, because everybody’s is so different that, yeah, I think becoming self-aware is really important because it helps you stay focused on what you’re trying to do with the work that you create. But going back to where you said, yeah, not like people are, there’s so much work that you spend time on that nobody’s going to see my God, basically, as soon as I post one photo from a set of photos, let’s say there’s probably 50 photos from the set – I’m like, if I post it on Instagram, I’m like, everyone’s seen it now. So there’s, no sense in me sharing the other shit. And I’m like, there’s so much work that nobody has seen of mine.
Twyla Jones: Same. I think I’m just going to start doing only five minute sessions and you just have to happen to be on the beach where I am hanging out already. And that is my new portfolio. I swear, that’s what I’m doing from now on, because like I spend, I over-deliver and I spend so much time editing and I really would rather go be on the beach with my kids.
Teri Hofford: And it’s so funny. Yeah. I was like, when I die, people are gonna be like, what, where was all of this work? We had no idea these existed, you know, cause you’re like, well, I mean, it’s already done, but I think you are similar to me where we’re always just kind of moving forward. And we’re all like, when, as soon as a shoot is done, we’re already kind of thinking about the next project instead of like, it’s that it’s that like continual movement instead of saying No, let’s appreciate the shoot for what it was. And like let’s take maybe five photos and put those into a folder that we will post over the next like few months.
Twyla Jones: yep. That is me for sure.
Teri Hofford: I’m sure we’re not alone. I’m sure. It’s literally, every photographer is like, Oh fuck.
Twyla Jones: That’s so funny, but I really am. I just, I feel like I’ve been going through a bit of a transformation lately and I don’t know if it’s like also just coronavirus at the same time, but it must be, but I’m happy about taking things in a new direction because I also get bored doing the same thing. And then I think also when you do something and it feels – Starts feeling the same, but you also see other people producing like kind of the same thing. Like I’m so bored of it.
Teri Hofford: and I think that because of coronavirus or like the pandemic, I really honestly, people are coming out of this one of two ways and I’m I’m similar to you. I’m like, this was the best thing that ever happened to me, honest, because I realized I’m like, you know what?
Like I’ve been wanting to make all these changes, but I was afraid of maybe I wouldn’t be making money. Well, shit, I wasn’t making money anyway, because of the pandemic. So now’s the time to throw caution to the wind and take a fucking chance on something. And everything’s already chaotic and up in the air, let’s just go for it and start making these changes. But more importantly, it was like we had to come up for a breath of fresh air from the hustle of working. And I think it was like a screeching halt to be like, You’re not working right now, and to be like, Oh no. And the first granted, the first, like two days were a little depressing and like I literally spent one day just like art journaling for 24 hours. I’m pretty sure my husband was like,
Twyla Jones: I would do anything to just have your art journal. I just want to flip through it.
Teri Hofford: Oh, one day we will do that. And whenever we’re allowed to travel again and yeah. And it, but it was like during that process of Hey, I can’t do what I always do. Like this is when all of a sudden these ideas started bubbling up, like the webcam stuff and, like all these different ideas.
And that’s where like the universe decides cards came out of and like, all of these things, all of these ideas that maybe were percolating below the surface, but were always buried under a mountain of more work, more work, more work. It was nice that, and I actually enjoyed summer this year. Like every year, I’m like, I’m going to shoot outside more, but like clients would never book outdoor sessions because they were getting naked and they maybe don’t like that.
So I never would actually do it. But this year I was like, Nope. Now I have the time. let’s go. And I’ve been shooting outside so much and it’s been so nice.
Twyla Jones: Oh. And I have loved seeing what you’re creating and I still cannot believe you found a hot pink bridge.
Teri Hofford: Right?
Twyla Jones: I’ll never get over it.
Teri Hofford: I’m not going to lie. These cards are fricking ridiculous. Well, at least for me,
Twyla Jones: They’re magic. They’re magical.
Teri Hofford: I was like, I don’t want to promise that you’re also going to stumble on a hot pink bridge.
Twyla Jones: It just makes me think like what’s out there? I don’t know!
Teri Hofford: I never would have known that existed. If we have not gone down some random gravel road,
Twyla Jones: I mean, what’s fun for me is so I come from a small town in Kansas and I knew every inch of every back road, all the gravel roads, all of that, I know all the cool things that were out there.
And there were a lot of cool things, even in that small town, but here in Florida, I have never done that. I never leave, you know, this three mile radius from my house to the beach. that’s it. Even when you came. I, we discovered all those places!
Teri Hofford: When I jumped the curb to get into that, to go, the diner,
Twyla Jones: Did I tell you that diner is yellow and red now it’s so bad.
Teri Hofford: It was so cool. When we were there,
Twyla Jones: it was the coolest.
Teri Hofford: Yeah. and then going, like finding all those little consignment shops. But I think that’s part of the fun that we lose when we start making photography a business, we get away, cause if you remember back to when you first started shooting, I’m sure you went adventuring quite a lot or like you at least took chances and looked at light differently or you saw potential in ugly stuff all the time.
Twyla Jones: I’ll tell you when it really happened was when I was moving from Kansas to Florida. Yeah. And I was like, Oh my God, there, I had that list in my head of all these cool places I needed to photograph and I was always playing it safe with clients and going to the same spot. And so that’s when I did it. And then that’s when my work took off.
Teri Hofford: Yeah. So it’s so interesting how it, like we get so far away from that and it’s like, Nope, no, we need to like, get back to exploration and and the other thing too is I noticed like all these little adventures. Again, it’s like a, another practicing gratitude in that we are like, you. You would normally drive past these locations and not see them for the beauty that they are, but when you are well, you’re not forced, but like I, I forced myself to use what you’re given.
You see the potential in things that you normally would just ignore.
Twyla Jones: Teri, that’s the problem with having too many options too, because then you can choose the best thing of this and you know, just exactly what you would want in this like dress material or something, but your cards are so great because it sets the constraints and forces you to get creative with only these items. And I think you create better work for it.
Teri Hofford: Well, yeah, because it’s like, you have, you are pushed outside your comfort zone. Next week, I have a 6:00 AM shoot. So that’s a real far outside my comfort zone
Twyla Jones: Actually, explain how the cards work because
Teri Hofford: Oh yeah, probably, probably two to three months. So then she’ll do a video, but, depending on the USPS, but anyways, so it’s a deck of cards called The Universe Decides, and there’s different categories.
And basically the idea was that you would use some kind of like , tarot cards or things like that, where you just like, separate them a little bit. And then you just hover your hand over until it feels right. And then you draw a card and then whatever’s on that card is what you have to implement into your photo shoot.
So the different categories include things like the mood of the shoot, the wardrobe that somebody has to wear, like kind of the fabric or whatever, time of day that you have to shoot, the travel time. So, whether you’re walking, biking, driving, taking a boat, it doesn’t matter. You’re going to be traveling for X amount of time and then wherever your timer goes off, that’s where you have to shoot. and then, Oh, and then there’s directions. So what direction are you traveling in? so yeah, it’s just a lot of fun to have all these constraints to work within that normally- yeah- if you have a studio you’re going to stay in your studio, right? Cause you’re paying rent and all this stuff.
Twyla Jones: Well, and you know, you can produce good work that people are going to love. And this works.
Teri Hofford: It’s consistent and it pays the bills.
Twyla Jones: Yeah. Teri, how fun will it be when you come back and we can take the cards on the boat and just boat to an Island?
Teri Hofford: Uh, yes.
Twyla Jones: And then explore the Island for, you need to make , I need a little like bonus set of I dunno, steps to take on the Island
Teri Hofford: expansion packs.
Twyla Jones: Yeah. Expansion packs.
Teri Hofford: Yeah. Well that’s, that was kind of the idea. Cause even today I was thinking, Oh, I can make it because after talking to Kevin Loughery who shoots film now. I was like, Whoa, what if we had like, you have to shoot like specific cameras you could choose. And then if you didn’t want to incorporate like a certain category, you just don’t include those.
Right. I rarely, rarely pull the, like the lighting cards. Cause I’m like 1:00 PM and I have to shoot with a constant, so I’m like, I rarely use those ones, but, but it is, if you have a nighttime shoot, it’s good to have the option of, hopefully I’ll pull something where I can use a flash or something.
But yeah. So when I was talking about, I was thinking after I got off with him, I was thinking like, what if you have to. Like your phone, if you only could shoot this with your phone, we’ll have that. And like at first you’d be like, Oh, I wish I had my real camera, which I think is something that a lot of photographers feel when they’re in a moment and they did not bring their camera or whatever, but it’s such a good opportunity to say, can I create the same quality of work, regardless of the medium that I’m using.
Twyla Jones: Let me tell you, Teri, I find more pleasure of making a awesome image with my phone than I do with my camera.
Teri Hofford: That’s amazing
Twyla Jones: because it’s like, look how good this can be. And you have to use your technical skills. Yes. Because you can’t rely on the tool.
Teri Hofford: Well, and that’s the thing. It’s like, we, again, we get so caught up in, I need to have the best camera and I need to have the best lens. and like when all of that stripped away from you is when you actually create your best work is because you’re forced to like, Okay. this is, this is what I have.
Again, it goes back to when you first started and you have a shitty camera and you learn how to make it work for you. I think there’s a lot of stuff as you get further along in your photography career that you just take for granted , and you forget about the exploration process, which is so important to creativity, and making sure you don’t burn out with your clients.
I always say these like creative shoots that I do, I probably do more of them than client shoots now because it gives me like the, it fills up my cup. So then I have more to give emotionally back to my clients. And I think it’s really important to have that.
Twyla Jones: Absolutely. I noticed you speaking a lot about like living at a high vibration and putting that kind of energy out into the universe, which I am just so aligned with. So I would love to hear you speak a little bit more about like those good vibrations and energy in general and how you’ve experienced thinking in those terms, like positively affects your life.
Teri Hofford: Yeah, I think a big thing. And this is, yeah. I call myself high vibration Teri and low vibration Teri. I don’t even know where the hell it came from, but it’s almost like I always have these two parts of my brain.
And I think this is like where it’s really, being self aware from a young age, like I always journaled. So I was always having conversations with myself, whether it be through writing or just I like to spend time alone or immerse myself in activities where I’m thinking all the time. So I’d like to, I’m very self-aware of what, when something doesn’t feel right. and that includes money. And it’s like a big part of that is not just like when I’m in a situation revolving around, you know, danger, danger. It’s also like when I do a behavior or have a thought or an action that is not in line with who I know I want to be, I feel it. Like a good example of that is during, when the pandemic first started, like Tiger King was a thing. You’re in Florida. So probably you know about that. But anyways, so anyways, in my group I was like, Oh, we’re going to do a Tiger King challenge. Cause it’ll go, like it’ll get lots of attraction and socially, it made sense or strategically it made sense. And then I was like, Oh, so pick a character. And that’s who you’re going to like, do a shoot around. and it was exciting. Cause everyone was amped up about it, but then I was driving to work and I was like, Oh yeah, I’m going to do this funny thing about Carol Baskin, you know, like all the animal print. And then as I was driving, there was like, this voice in my head was like, really Teri, what if you have a client that really likes animal print?
And then I was like, I probably do have a client that likes animal print so… And it’s like, all of a sudden I realized what I wanted to do was low hanging fruit. So then when I got to the studio, I was dressed in head to toe in this like animal print to do my self portraits. And I was like, well, shit. Like what? So I did a live in the group and I was like, listen, I’m going to show like, I’m going to humble myself here a little bit. And let you know, I thought about this is that when we do funny shoots about people, even though they’re characters on TV, they’re still real people. And we forget about that with reality TV and so on, these are still human beings and the thing is we have clients, or maybe we like, I want clients that maybe have little quirks like that as well. You know what I mean? They’re still humans. And so like my high vibration Teri was like, you can be better than that. So then I had to kinda swallow it and be like, okay, here’s what we’re going to do instead, we’re going to let people know that even if you like all this animal print, we are still going to be accepting of you in the studio and use it in a celebratory way instead of a demeaning way.
So that’s an example of how my brain like is like, Hmm. Teri. Do you think that’s the best way to respond to that? and I’m always checking myself. I think that’s also super important. So when the biggest thing is, our egos are always in the damn way. So when somebody’s like, even today, actually somebody commented on a post that I just made this morning and they were like, Hmm, this is like my take on it.
And at first I wanted to respond with well, you could just leave then, you know, or like that, wasn’t my intent, get really defensive about it. And then instead, I asked myself, will there be any benefit to you responding in a way that is equally aggressive? No. What is a better way to diffuse this?
And so all I wrote was have a fabulous day and like what could somebody say to that? Nothing. Right. And at first you want to swallow, like you literally have to swallow your ego a little bit. I’d say it’s not about me. It’s about them. That was their perspective. This is what they read into it.
I’m not apologizing for what my post was about, but ultimately I’m not, nobody wins in an internet fight. You know what I mean? And it’s like, my time and energy is better spent here. And also that person might be having a shitty day and is like lashing out or whatever. And I don’t need to be, I don’t want to fuel that fire for them.
Twyla Jones: Well, and it’s so important to just really think about the outcome you desire. And instead of reacting, just really thinking about what can make a change because obviously, the way that person responded to you, wasn’t changing your mind, you know? So then responding in kind is not going to change their mind. It’s just now you both don’t like each other.
Teri Hofford: And that’s a very good example, especially with the politics, the way that they’re going, especially in your country, we see that all the time. And I remember during our election here, like I wrote something about the liberals or whatever, cause that’s who I was supporting at the time. And some conservative person, like that’s our party here was like, you’re a stupid idiot. And I’m like, that’s not making me want to come over to your side. And that was my like, Oh, you know what? if I want to convince people that this is a good plan or like a good policy or a good, whatever education is more important than ego.
And I need to be a bit, like depress the ego a little bit and logically say Hey, if I want to really change this person’s mind, what is the best way? So you hit the nail on the head when you said what is your desired outcome?
Twyla Jones: yeah, cause people like want to react and fight really? You know,
Teri Hofford: Because they don’t know any other way. So if you can like have the, self-awareness to just stop and say, what is my desired outcome and acknowledge that the behavior you want to do is maybe not in line with that.
Twyla Jones: Yeah. Like every single time.
Teri Hofford: Yeah. Basically everything it’s so like a really good book to read on this topic is Loving What Is by Byron Katie. It is the most like, if you want to check your ego, I remember the first two chapters, I was like, this is stupid. but then I realized it’s because my ego is like, I just want to be mad. I just want to be upset instead of like, but is it, is it helping you? Well know. Well, would you like to know better? Exactly. Is it serving your desired outcome? No. Okay. Let’s stop it. You know,
Twyla Jones: How beautiful is it when you do see like really great examples of that happening? And literally the first thing that comes to mind is even just like something on Twitter or something where you just see some really excellent customer service to someone being really shitty, you know, And you’re just like, yeah, I will buy whatever you’re selling, whatever it is.
Teri Hofford: One of my favorite Instagram accounts to follow. I think it’s @raindovemodel, like R A I N dove model. They’re like an activist as well as a model, like a non-binary person. And they always get a ton of hate, of course. and because it’s the internet and that’s where people love to be mad and anyways, but they always will post their response when they have the energy with In fact, I bought a sweater from them because it says like educate don’t hate.
And the examples that are set through that is so it’s just yes, just have a conversation and just stay logical and neutral. Like nothing depresses, somebody like their anger or suppresses their anger, like just neutral, just being neutral and just not feeding into it and not you know, hiding from it.
But just being like, I can understand how you feel that way, like empathizing. Yeah. Empathy and compassion.
Twyla Jones: Yeah.
Teri Hofford: Empathy is so important. And it’s like, that doesn’t mean you’re accepting their behavior, but it’s that you can understand where they’re coming from and then help to educate them. So if you can go through the process of what is my intended outcome, and then change your response or your behavior to start with empathy and then follow with education that is taking the high vibration route.
Twyla Jones: I love it. Yeah. I always try to.
Teri Hofford: Yeah, it’s hard sometimes don’t get me wrong. Like I went back and forth on that post this morning. It was like, what do I do? What do I do? And I was like, Teri come on. So the other thing too is I think a big thing is people just feel they have to respond right away to things online.
Twyla Jones: And it’s like, sometimes I take so much time. It just goes away.
Teri Hofford: That’s the plan is that you would just ignore it. but I think so there’s this like really cool tech, the halt technique. So it’s like, don’t respond to anything until you’ve established that you’re no longer hungry, you’re no longer angry, you’re no longer lonely or you’re no longer tired, I think are the things. Yeah. So it’s like, wait. And like question, am I any of these things?
Twyla Jones: I’m going to teach my kids that.
Teri Hofford: yeah, it’s really good. you can just Google it too, if you forget what I said, but, it’s halt is the thing. So if you can implement that before responding.
The other thing is have somebody like my sister’s very reactionary, so she’ll call me first, get the vent out, blah, this is how I feel. I’m so upset by blah, blah, blah, blah. And then she’ll be like, okay, now go back and respond appropriately. So if you have somebody or a word document, that’s not an email that you can get out your feelings and then craft it into something that’s nice.
Twyla Jones: Reasonable.
Teri Hofford: Yeah.
Twyla Jones: Yeah. That’s a, that’s such a great technique. I really liked that. I want to, I’m dying to talk to you about well, everything I want to talk to you about, but, one thing that I super admire about you is how productive you are, or at least how productive you seem. You inspire me so much with every new project that you release. so, okay. You lead a Facebook group, you’re writing a book. You are constantly releasing educational resources for photographers. You did the cool Universe Decides cards. Oh, you have apparel. you have a YouTube channel now, what else is there?
Teri Hofford: Yeah, and clients. Yeah. So I get that. I get that a lot. And actually my friend Libby made a post she’s like always remember you have the same amount of hours in the day as Teri Hofford. And I was like, aww, thanks.
Twyla Jones: It does inspire me,and that you do so much of it yourself.
Teri Hofford: Yes. So that empowers me. But I want to set the record straight now is that is also the thing that led me to burn out in 2018.
Twyla Jones: Yeah.
Teri Hofford: So, yeah, and I think it’s important that people understand, again, building that context around the outcome, like what people see as me always going, going, going, but also I don’t have children. My husband and I, like my husband works shift work, so we’re both very independent people. So I don’t have to like really spend time with him.
You know, like we, we travel together. That’s where we spend most of our time together when we’re like immersed in each other’s company is like traveling. We make that a priority. I think it’s important to paint that picture around how I’m able to be so busy, is that, that is what my life consists of.
And, the other thing is in terms of like our household here, I’m not a domestic goddess. My husband knows this. I cook dinner but he basically does everything else. I just recently took on the task of cleaning the showers, because felt bad.
Twyla Jones: I had to hire somebody.
Teri Hofford: It is very hard, but I only have to do it once a month instead of every week, you know, so I was like, I’ll pick the thing that’s very difficult to do once a month and just get it over with. but yeah, so I think to build the context around the system that allows me to be busy is important. The other thing is, is that I surround myself with incredibly supportive people, that now just recently, because I can’t do everything I just brought on a VA. I have my in-person assistant Jill. Who’s actually just more of an antidepressant. I was like, I just need somebody to like, brainstorm with and get ideas out. And cause she’s also very strategic and forward thinking and she gets it. Like she, she sees where I’m going and like we’re just in tune that way.
Twyla Jones: it is so important to have somebody like that, that kind of understands your business a bit and can just listen. And, I have, Olivia who will be. She does show notes for the podcast. She gets to listen to this. So it’s about time she should be mentioned, but I was really down, the last couple of days.
And, and it’s funny because I can preach all day about not comparing yourself, like in photography and stuff, people that feel like their work’s not as good, but, you know, I was starting to do that with just all the other projects that I take on. And she just really kind of put me in my place and, you know, just really changed the perspective to me and, showed me all the things that I am doing well.
Teri Hofford: And I think that’s the thing too, because you’re like me in that we’re very big achievers, which means that again, we’re doing the thing, but we forget that we’ve done it. Do you know what I mean? It’s like I do. I just move on to the next thing. And it seems like we’ve never done enough because we’re always looking ahead.
Twyla Jones: I think also having done something really good before you expect every next thing you do to be received as well, right?
Teri Hofford: Yeah. And then when it isn’t, you’re like dee doo.
Twyla Jones: Nevermind.
Teri Hofford: And so that’s one thing that I had to, and I listened to the other thing too, is the content that I consume is really important. Making sure that I am following other people that are equally that want to be equally as busy as I do. I think it’s really important to like people that love to diversify and not just focus on one thing or people that get me essentially. and that comes also down to being self-aware of what your strengths are and literally working within that zone and allowing other people to manage the weaknesses. So I outsource my accounting, best thing I ever did. I’m outsourcing, now with the VA, I’m outsourcing my email inbox because I just, things have been getting missed. Marketing wise, I’m trying to build a structure because I do have so many different things that I’m focused on that I realize I need to have a system in my calendar, that where I focus on one thing at a time, because what I’m doing now is just like all over the place. And like today I feel like doing this, which is not a sustainable business practice
Twyla Jones: Teri, we just started using monday.com maybe about a month ago. And that’s been really nice. Monday.com.
Teri Hofford: Oh, okay. I’m going to note that down.
Twyla Jones: Have a look at it. I really connected with it in a nice way. And it was just a good place to organize. So I have a board that’s basically just these are the things that make me money. These are the links to them. Here’s some information. So even if we need to write a blog post or something, she can check that.
And you know, if there’s an affiliate link for it or something, that’s there. And then we have another one, that’s a schedule like every Tuesday of every week, like this is a template for the week. We have to have the podcasts and the show notes done. And then these are like the social media things that have to be made for that thing.
this day we want to post up one of my personal sessions. This day we post an inspiration session from our Facebook group. so every day has a purpose and then it becomes easier to write out like your captions and stuff, because you can just see the big picture a little bit better.
Teri Hofford: Yeah, I like that. And then that’s , again, when I was talking to Kevin, that’s kinda, he was telling me about one of the planners that he uses to plan ahead. and I, yeah, cause I’m very good at activating and executing. So like basically my standard workflow is, Oh, I have an idea. Let’s make it happen today. Fuck everything
Twyla Jones: I need a new website. I’m staying up all night long.
Teri Hofford: Yeah, exactly. And I realized I’ve come to realize that it’s important for me not to necessarily depress that talent because I do like to move faster, but also to understand that if it does not happen immediately, you can still schedule it in tomorrow and it will be okay.
You know what I mean? Or write it down. And I’ve tested that to make sure, like to build the logical data that yes, it will. Do you know what I mean? Like for me, I think it’s really important that the stories we tell ourselves are the things that end up getting in our way more than the actual facts. So I’m very big on creating scenarios where I’m like, you’ll have enough facts to like, so your logical brain can outweigh your emotional brain on this.
So you can say, listen, you know this to be true. Now you can wait until tomorrow to execute this.
Twyla Jones: I think that’s been one good thing about working with somebody else too. That ends up being responsible for some things. It makes you wait, because no, Olivia is not going to work for me 24 hours a day.
Teri Hofford: Exactly.
Twyla Jones: She’s taking the weekend off. You have to wait until Monday
Teri Hofford: Yeah, exactly. And like practice patience, which is something that people that love to just get going are planning and knowing.
Twyla Jones: Yeah. If you want the things done on the day, you want them done, you have to plan in advance.
Teri Hofford: Yeah. Yeah. That as well. So I think that being aware of how you work is very important. And in fact, like just bringing on the VA, I was like, listen, here’s what you need to know about me. It’s I’m going to get an idea and I’m going to execute it without your permission. So you gotta be ready to roll with me when I’m ready. She’s like, okay. But I was like, no, I’m like maybe having, you will make me a bit more patient, but, just so you know, if all of a sudden my inbox starts filling up with like model casting, then it’s just, your job is just to make a folder for them to go into. That’s all you need to know.
Twyla Jones: Thank god you and I aren’t like closer together. We would be a mess.
Teri Hofford: Or we would be amazing because we would get each other and we’d get a lot of shit done.
Twyla Jones: We would get all of the things done
Teri Hofford: and I think that’s also really important, especially, Yeah, I think it’s just being aware of like, where do your talents lie and then filling in the gaps for the other stuff, which is exactly what I do.
And it sounds like you do as well. for the stuff that doesn’t bring you joy, doesn’t make you happy, which is why it’s so easy when I have a new idea. It’s exciting. So of course I want to work on that and fuck the 70, you know, client galleries that have to get edited. I have this thing to build.
Twyla Jones: Yeah. And I have to say it’s fun to work with somebody who does, find pleasure in doing the things you don’t like, because Olivia, well, she tells me anyway that she really likes working for me and like the work that we do, and can enjoy doing the show notes so that the show notes can be awesome because otherwise, if I was doing them, it would be the thing I put off the last minute and they wouldn’t be as good.
Teri Hofford: Well, and that’s exactly. It is like recognizing that some people like the opposite things that you do, and that’s what makes the world go round. And it’s like, so when people are like, no, I love spreadsheets. I’m like, you’re fucking kidding. Like, are you joking? Come on. And they’re like, no, like I love organization.
I love organizing your inbox. I’m like, what? Excellent. And so like when you start working in your strength zone, it allows others to work in their strength zone. And that’s where confidence happens because you’re doing things that actually bring you pleasure and joy, and stuff like that.
So I always talk about like Clifton StrengthFinders is a way to figure that out for people, to help make sense of the things that you’re naturally talented at, which are not like art and music or whatever, just like your natural talents for problems or organization or whatever. It’s really good to help people figure that out.
Twyla Jones: Yeah. That was, like a quiz, right?
Teri Hofford: Yeah.
Twyla Jones: I think I want to do it again cause I forgot what mine was.
Teri Hofford: Oh, I can tell you actually,
Twyla Jones: I know you already knew what it was.
Teri Hofford: Yeah. I was like, cause I think I sent you the link, right? Because basically everyone, I know I’m like, what are you like, I need to know what you’re like, how do we mesh together? And why is that? I need to know
Twyla Jones: that’ll be fun. We’ll get to link that and everybody can do that for themselves.
Teri Hofford: Yeah. It’s so good. And I do coaching on that if people want, but that’s just a little shameless. plug, but you can just take the assessment and read the reports. They’re pretty good to understand, like how they’re showing up. I think to me learning the most, the best thing you can do as an entrepreneur or a business owner or somebody that’s just maybe feels like they’re different from people that love a nine to five job, the more you can become self-aware and understand that the things about you are not problems – they just weren’t meant for a standardized world, the better off you’re going to be, to build systems that actually help you flourish instead of trying to fit yourself into what you think it should be. Does that make sense?
Twyla Jones: Teri. I have been like witnessing this, just getting into homeschooling, like my son, Ari, he struggles sitting in front of a computer or something like when they want you to do virtual school.
And I found all these cool programs that are like there’s something called wild math, where you do math with things you find in nature and you do it outside. And yeah. And just thinking about the way people learn the best and if they need to be hands-on and being able to provide that for them, I think can also help set you up because you are I mean, how I grew up, everybody learned the same way in the same classroom and all of that, and it’s so cool to have so many different options now.
Teri Hofford: Yeah, I think that that’s gonna help, like kids have so much more confidence in themselves because I think that was a big part in school, is that, yeah, it’s a very standardized way. They were trying to make us into little robots, but humans aren’t robots.
Twyla Jones: And that can make you feel dumb because you don’t get it because you can’t like all the other kids are getting it that same way. And you just can’t.
Teri Hofford: Well, that was a thing. So for me, I’m very good with most subjects except for math. And then, so when I did my Clifton Strengths, like analytical is in the bottom five, like no wonder numbers are not my friend, but had I known that in school I would not have, I would have been satisfied getting a C like, knowing that that was the best that I could do in that class.
Twyla Jones: You don’t have to have an A in everything!
Teri Hofford: Exactly. But because of, because I didn’t have that and I was the good, smart kid that, because that was the first class I ever failed and was pre-Calculus math
Twyla Jones: Oh yeah and then you feel like a failure because of the one failure. The one thing you’re not as good at
Teri Hofford: Exactly. So I have your strengths here. If you want to know them.
Twyla Jones: Okay. Tell me
Teri Hofford: You’re maximizer, which means you like you, don’t like to work on things that are like, that have potential. You like to work on, take things from good to great. Instead of from bad to good. You’re Strategic. Absolutely. You’re strategic. Adaptability – go with the flow. Yeah. You do like that. Competition. So we touched on that a little bit, but where you do compare yourself a little bit, but also that’s the thing that makes you successful. And Futuristic. This is why you get me. So those are your top five ones. They may have changed a little bit. Not because we did this like years ago, but
Twyla Jones: it was years ago, but still mostly the same. I would like to redo it and see if it’s tweaked a little bit, but yeah, pretty much, yes.
Teri Hofford: Mine totally changed actually, because I work on them so much, that when I originally had taken it, it was very much about building and collecting, and things like that. And now I’m very much in a place of influence. It’s all about Influential. I’m using the information I collected and the stuff I built to influence people, which totally makes sense with my career.
Twyla Jones: I feel like I’m a bit of that. I love gathering all that information and then sharing it in a way that like makes sense to me.
Teri Hofford: Yeah. That’s why, like you probably have Relator high up too. That’s what that talent is where it’s like, how can I relate this to something that I understand, but also that other people can understand. So taking like seemingly complicated ideas and then making them easy to understand, we like use similes and metaphors all the time.
It’s usually classified by that, but also one of the traits of Relator is that you, you don’t let everyone in like relationship wise. You have very few but very strong, bonds with people. like you have a lot of acquaintances. Yeah, but like very few people know you exactly as you are. And then when you let somebody through and if they like through the wall, that’s what I always say, and they hurt you, it hurts like a bitch.
Twyla Jones: Yep. Yep. That’s the one.
Teri Hofford: Yeah, I got that too. And I think, and then every time it happens, you’re like, damnit,Teri, you should’ve seen it coming. And what were you doing?
Twyla Jones: I’m going to start telling you when it’s coming, I’m going to start looking for you.
Teri Hofford: See. And that’s the thing too. The fun thing about knowing your strengths is like getting other people to see how they get in your way, because. It’s our default, like our strengths, are our default. So we just do it. Like we just this is where my husband calls me a bull in a China shop because when I get excited about a project, fuck everything else. Like I’m knocking stuff over. I’m just like moving towards the goal. You know what I mean? and that sometimes isn’t great. So it’s important to have people you trust to like, come back a little.
Twyla Jones: Yep. Yep. You flip that switch like, Oh, I’m going to do video now. forget everything else.
Teri Hofford: That’s literally it.
Twyla Jones: I’m going to burn it to the ground.
Teri Hofford: And you look literally every book, like instead of just buying one book on a subject, I’ll buy like six books,
Twyla Jones: Teri, you should see how many books have come in the last week. Oh, my, but they’re so beautiful. They’re all just books for the kids to read about like bugs and the ocean and just all the things they’re interested in. And I can’t stop. And I think I bought five different homeschool curriculums.
Teri Hofford: That’s so awesome. Like it could always be better
Twyla Jones: And it’s just so fun to me. Like I love the planning and gathering of the resources.
Teri Hofford: Yeah. That’s fun.
Twyla Jones: It was so fun. it was so amazing to have you on, do you have anything else you’d like people to know before we get off or, anything you’re working on?
Teri Hofford: Oh God,
Twyla Jones: I feel like that’s a dangerous question
Teri Hofford: So we’re going to be on for another half hour talking about this, but I actually am launching eventually a boudoir university, which is going to be comprised of, at first just foundational courses that are kind of like the ethics courses that should exist in such a vulnerable genre of photography.
so it’s going to be focusing on like anti-racism courses, body image courses, working with people with that experience, trauma work, airing around things like consent, working with people with disabilities. Like basically all the things that any business should know before they’re allowed to like talk to feminists.
Twyla Jones: I feel like it doesn’t have to be just boudoir.
Teri Hofford: No. Exactly. So I’m thinking it might change. I already bought the domain. Cause that’s the other thing I do. But, but I might change the name of it to something else because they should,
Twyla Jones: I’ll help you. I’ll help maintain like the family shooting side or something.
Teri Hofford: There you go. Yeah. and so maybe I’ll start with boudoir first and then let that get going and then we can expand it. Let’s this is what happened. See? Cause I’m like, yeah, let’s get bigger. We’re like wait, let’s start with this. And then maybe six months later. This is me being self-aware in the moment, people. so I’m working on that, but I’m really excited because after the demolishment of one of our bigger boudoir establishment groups, there was a lot of questions around things like that. So I think this is something that it should have been there earlier on, but, it wasn’t so I’m going to make it. That’s what I do. and then my book hopefully will come out in December, which is all about , using positive psychology techniques to help improve your body image, which is exciting. It’s in the editing process now. So it’s written, which is good. That took two years, but it got done once I put my mind to it, and stopped procrastinating. And then what else am I doing?
and then I do have, if people are interested in learning more about, working with them, Like different marginalized bodies and things like that, while our group is geared more towards boudoir, we also have a lot of people in there that are wedding photographers, family photographers, because body image does not discriminate. Family photographers probably see this all the time, but it’s also how your body image will impact your clients.
So, and understanding the biases we have around that when it comes to creating art. So if that’s a group that sounds like interesting to people it’s everyBODIES education, and maybe you can link that in the notes or something, but,
Twyla Jones: the notes are going to be so full of links, everything you mentioned.
Teri Hofford: Good. but yeah, so there’s a ton of free content. And then Twyla did mention that I just started, restarted my YouTube channel, with actual good content. And it’s only going to get better because I started a series called a series of flaws, which kind of preemptively pushed me to do the no Photoshop thing, which is showcasing marginalized bodies in photography tutorials, but also showing that you don’t need to hide people’s bodies to make them have a really good experience. , but that’s all free on YouTube. So you can check that out.
Twyla Jones: I love that so much. And yes, the Facebook group is amazing. And I have, I don’t know. I feel like I’ve just learned so much from, I don’t really participate a lot, but I read a lot and I love everything going on in there.
Teri Hofford: Thanks. I also do a ton of lives in there and
Twyla Jones: three times today.
Teri Hofford: I always just like, I just have so much to talk about and I used to write a lot, but now I’m like now I just gotta get it out of my mouth.
Twyla Jones: I’m better at talking too, I have to talk it out. I use Marco polo. Did I mention that?
Teri Hofford: You did, but I don’t know what that is. So I’m going to
Twyla Jones: do it, download it today. I think me, you and Kevin on a Marco polo might be really nice. And, it’s the best thing ever. You will love it. I think if I didn’t have it, I probably would be going live like several times a day, but it also is nice to just for me to talk things out through it, you know, the different people I have on there. So I’ve grown so much closer to the people that I have included on it, but it is like, kind of what you were talking about with the acquaintances and just being close to a very small group of people. It’s a very small group of people that are on there. which is nice too. Cause it’s not like Facebook where you just have
Teri Hofford: everyone.
Twyla Jones: Yeah. Yeah. It’s only who you want to have..
Teri Hofford: Yeah. I love that. That’s great. Awesome. that’s about it.
Twyla Jones: Great. Well, thank you so much for doing this. I’m so glad we had the chance to talk and I’m so happy you’re going to get Marco Polo cause now I can talk to you all the time.
Teri Hofford: Thanks. I also appreciate being here. Thank you.
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