Burn Brightly Without Burning Out : Aligning your Passion, Life and your Business with Alice Park from NAPCP

Photography is, for most of us, a seasonal business. And with seasons of hustle comes seasons of burnout. When that happens, it’s best to trust the creative cycle and lean in to your purpose.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily work of your photography business and forget why you started it in the first place. But when you live and work in alignment with your purpose, you’ll be amazed at all you can accomplish.


In this episode, I’m chatting about passion, burnout, and creativity with family photographer and co-founder of the National Association Professional Child Photographers Alice Park.

She’s sharing how she found her passion for photography and how she finds ways to inspire creativity and confidence in girls and young women. Plus, she’s explaining why photographers should trust their creative cycles in order to avoid burnout.

What’s in this episode:

  • How Alice began her photography career and eventually founded the NAPCP [2:52]
  • How to balance multiple businesses, a home life, and your passion projects [10:28]
  • How to work with your natural creative rhythm and internal clock [13:12]
  • Inspiring creativity and confidence in girls and young women [17:22]
  • How to avoid burnout, simplify your business, and protect your energy [22:38]
  • Making time for yourself and your passion projects [27:18]
  • Why photographers should invest time and energy in learning the business side of their work [30:24]
  • Doing the inner work and finding your true purpose in life [39:57]

If you want to reignite your passion for your business and keep burnout at bay, tune in to this episode.

SUBSCRIBE: iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher

Resources Mentioned

Check out Alice’s favorite planner, Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner

Meet Alice Park

Alice is a passionate photographer, mother, and leader in the photography world. She and her husband founded the National Association of Professional Child Photographers (NAPCP) in 2009 to create a space for specialized child photographers to gather and connect. Now, hosts an annual summer camp for girls and young women called Creativity Camp.

Connect with Alice

Visit her website

Follow her on Instagram

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[00:00:00] Alice Park: Really be intentional about scheduling time to reflect and to plan. So this January, I actually have dedicated these to 12 months of the year and I am being very intentional. I told all my clients I’m not seeing any one or scheduling anyone this month, so I can truly just focus on reflecting on this past year. I had two buckets. One is what worked. What didn’t? And I’m writing it down. Burnout, of course, is something that I have highlighted on what didn’t work. And so I am really planning the entire year this January. If it doesn’t fall in these calendars, in fact, by September, it’s not going to go in the calendar. I set aside time when I am scheduling photoshoots in these windows. Once that gets booked up, I’m not taking anything else. 

[00:00:59] Lisa DiGeso: Welcome to the Art and Soul show where we dove into heart opening chats on photography, business life and that messy in between. I’m your host, Lisa Digicel, a mom, a photographer and entrepreneur, and I’ll be sharing honest conversations and advice for photographers with insight on mindset, entrepreneurship and creativity. The goal of this podcast is for you to be able to gain insights and strategies that will get you real results. Because let’s face it, having a photography business can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. This is the place you can go when you need a boost of encouragement, a kick in the pants and inspiration to pick up your camera. This is the art and soul show. Hello, my friends. Welcome back to this show! So today I’m chatting with Alice Park. She is the co-founder of the National Association of Professional Child Photographers, Park Studios, and founder of Alice Park Photography in Atlanta, Georgia. Alice is a passionate, creative entrepreneur and industry influencer with more than 15 years of firsthand experience, growing three global businesses from the ground up. Alice is an expert in the needs and challenges of running a successfully branded business. Her experiences resulted in heartfelt insight into the nuances of a company’s culture, from branding, networking, marketing to design and customer service. Along with her husband, the husband and wife team is committed to educating and giving back to the international network of specialized child photographers who have supported them so strongly over the past decade. I am so excited to dove into this interview with Alice. Without further ado, let’s get started. Welcome, Alice.  

[00:02:43] Alice Park: Thank you, Lisa. So good to be here. 

[00:02:46] Lisa DiGeso: So for those that haven’t met you yet, can you share who you are and what you’re passionate about?

[00:02:52] Alice Park: Absolutely. So I am Alice Park. I’m a mom of two, 10 year old Lyon and seven year old Elise. They keep me so busy. Rightfully so. I have a photography business with my husband here in Atlanta. We’ve been in business together for 17 years. We actually started the business before we started dating. It’s an interesting story. I’ll have to share that it’s really fair, but we have a 2500 square foot all white studio in the heart of Buckhead here in Atlanta that we use for many of our photography events. We host a creativity camp there and we also rent it out for other creatives, photographers, event planners, designers and so forth. And we also have an organization that you may have heard of. It’s called the National Association of Professional Photographers that we started over a decade ago. So we have a deep love of our industry, the photography industry and the creative industry as a whole. I am always personally just trying to grow as a person, as an artist. I have a lot of passion projects that I’m working on right now that keeps me excited and helps me stay creative and really just on fire. I just if you could just summarize me in one phrase, I really just love living life to its fullest. I love doing the things that keep me on fire and inspired, and it’s just a pleasure to be here to talk to you today.  

[00:04:20] Lisa DiGeso: I love that. It’s so great. Well, I have been like, gosh, NAPCP, I think has been around as long as I’ve been around. And I think I remember joining a gosh back in maybe 20. I mean, 20 years later, very, very early. And so I just love what you guys are doing and your continuing, growing and really supporting the newborn and the child portrait photography because it’s so needed. So can you share a little bit what it maybe is and how it came to be?

[00:04:53] Alice Park: Absolutely. So I started my photography career kind of. Well, I’ll just backtrack a little bit. I went to school for engineering, hated my job. Yes, said one year in the corporate field, met my husband, who encouraged me to step outside my zone and really think about the things that make me happy. That’s when I discovered my path in photography. And so not long after that, we started our photography business. I learned early on to create a niche in my business, and right around that time it was when DSLRs just started to come onto the market. And so I remember making that transition from film to digital and then just like starting to build my business then and then honing in on child photography. My husband is very much a business person. And at the time I was young, I was like twenty four, twenty five years old and I wanted to do seniors and weddings and destination events and children and family and all the things. And so he really encouraged me. Thinking about the long term and what I wanted my life to look like, I said I wanted to be a mom, I wanted to be active and engaged in my children’s life. And so we realized then that doing destination weddings was probably not something I should pursue. And it was also around the time when a lot of his friends were starting to have children. And when you start to have children or are around a lot of friends that are starting to have children, your mind just shifts and you are open to the possibility of what life is like. You know, with this precious little being and everything. Your whole focus shifts. And so he said, I needed to focus on children and family. And he was right. And so I started to really hone in on the craft and really started to market to the children in the photography sector. I created these books with the help of my uncle, who creates albums. They were these gorgeous coffee table albums that I offered exclusively to my clients. We saw them being offered in the wedding industry 15-16 years ago, but it wasn’t really something that was readily available in the children and family market. So this was something that I offered exclusively to my clients. And then my name and reputation soon just kind of blossomed. And so right around the time, as I mentioned before, the flowers were just hitting the market and I noticed that many moms were starting to pick up the DFLer start, taking pictures of their own children and sharing them with their friends and family. Before they knew it, they had a business under them. And as they were learning their craft in the artistry of photography, technically being able to use a camera and edit and so forth, I realized that many photographers who were early in their careers did not know how to run a business, and there was so many questions out there on how to run a successful business, and there were very little resources. And so my husband and I, we started to just kind of brainstorm on how we could create an organization that supported children and family photographers as a whole. It really elevated the industry. So we set some standards on good practices, good business and photography practices and really, just like creating a community of photographers around the world that shared the same interests, passions and goals, really. So NAPTIP was born soon after that, and it has really just evolved over the years. You know, like my husband and I, we started the organization truly just as a passion project. It’s a labor of love, you know, and we have just made some incredible friends in the industry over the years because of it. So we’re just so grateful. 

[00:08:48] Lisa DiGeso: I love that. Well, I know that we’ve got a mutual good friend in Heidi Hope, and I know she’s a big investor for that coffee as well. So I just think that’s so cool. Are you doing so now you I know over the years have done, I believe in personal events. Yeah. And there’s been some, some retreats that you’ve done with that. Are you planning on more once the whole COVID thing is done moving? 

[00:09:11] Alice Park: I truly hope so. I have been. I mean, if the past couple of years have been so hard for me personally, there is nothing more special than an in-person event where we can hug and we can share conversations late into the evening about those big, lofty dreams of ours. And those nap sleep events in person have been just kind of a hallmark of and as an organization community, as I mentioned before, is such a huge part of who we are meeting people like Heidi Hope, you know, and being inspired by all of her wisdom. It’s unlike any other. I mean, I love what has transpired over the last couple of years in terms of virtual events and being able to bring well-known speakers, educators and industry leaders into the homes of thousands of photographers. But you know, there is just something so special about in-person retreats and experiences. And so absolutely I was. I was. You know, planning one for January 20, according to you, but of course, things change and, you know, you just have to change course and this all will end well. And when that happens, we will be ready to gather again. 

[00:10:26] Lisa DiGeso: I love it. I love it. Now you’re a busy lady. So balancing many hats can be really tricky. So I’m someone who runs multiple businesses as well. So this is really a question for me too. So can you share how you balance running multiple businesses and still having time for yourself, for family and for life? 

[00:10:48] Alice Park: Well, unfortunately, Lisa, this is something I’m still learning. I will say that I have an amazing support system. As I mentioned, my husband is my partner in every aspect of life. We have the same shared aligned goals, and I feel like when you have a partner that truly just shares the same goals as you. And for us, it’s simple. We just want to feed the children and house them. And so that makes it so simple. We share in everything. We read a book early on in our parenting journey. It’s called Fair Play and it really just has a methodology behind it in that the husband and wife, usually working parents, like to strategically sit down and really just lit up the daily task and responsibility so that the burden of managing the household and children and schedules and businesses doesn’t fall on one person. You know, we have to strategically sit down every Sunday evening and lay out all of the things coming up that are all of the menial things involved in making sure those things happen and then everything in between. So my husband, number one, is the strongest supporter and my partner in everything. And then we are very fortunate to have built a very likable family team that supports us and we support them. And it’s just a very rich relationship where we support each other and all that we do. So I also will say that I am blessed to have a mother in law that lives 10 minutes from here. And on days like today, when I have a child home sick, she’s able to come over at a moment’s notice and help us out. So I just feel like women have to really just build our village. It’s so true. And when there’s an opportunity for me to serve a friend up here, a fellow working mom in a way where I know exactly where she is, she just needs a helping hand from someone who could just step in and take reins of something that’s essential to her search for her to continue her work. I know that I can count on her to do the same whenever I need my help. So that is, I think, first and foremost, having just a strong support system. Also, I don’t get a lot of sleep, so I have just found my rhythm in, yeah, in my days and I had to start my mornings off really slow. Yeah, but it’s generally a really good time for me to reflect and to sit quietly with myself, do a little meditation and then to move a little bit. And then in the late evenings is when my creative light and energy really comes to the table and I can’t ignore that. And so most of my creative energy comes in the evenings. Everybody has their rhythm. And so that’s where I do a lot of my work in the late evenings. So I love that.

[00:13:52] Lisa DiGeso: Yeah, I think it’s so important being aware of your own bio like rhythm and your cycles because like for me, at two o’clock, I am done. I can’t plan a meeting. I can’t like 2:00 in the afternoon. The only thing I should be doing is having a nap or meditating or Savasana like that, is it? 

[00:14:13] Alice Park: Yeah. 

[00:14:14] Lisa DiGeso: And like, I’m the same in the mornings. The mornings are like my creative brain is on fire until about noon. 

[00:14:20] Alice Park: Yeah, and-

[00:14:21] Lisa DiGeso: I’m into bed by 9:00. 

[00:14:24] Alice Park: I have so much. I have tried so hard to be a morning person. Lisa, I have tried everything under the Sun over my 40 years of life to be a morning person. But I just can’t fight like my rhythm because I noticed it with my children as well. They’re born this way, and no matter how much I try to get my youngest daughter to fall asleep at night, it’s just like I can see her brain on fire. Just like you, you. Yeah. And so I know she gets that for me. 

[00:14:56] Lisa DiGeso: I love it. Yeah, yeah. Do you find you do a lot of journaling at night to integrate and that kind of stuff? Yeah. 

[00:15:03] Alice Park: Yes. I’m a big, full focused planner person. Are you a fan of Michael Hyatt? 

[00:15:09] Lisa DiGeso: I am a fan of Michael Hyatt. 

[00:15:11] Alice Park: I love that. So I started incorporating journaling in my bedtime evening routine, probably about 10 years ago. I found that it helps declutter the minds. And when I am able to release a lot of the things that bog me down and prohibit me from truly resting, it really enables me to no one get set and ready for the next day on a positive and prepared note, and then allows me to just truly let go, you know? So I started the practice of journaling when my oldest was born, and then I found that really setting aside time to just ease myself into the bedtime routine, let go of what is keeping me up at night and just release it on paper. It just really helps tremendously. 

[00:16:00] Lisa DiGeso: Yeah, for me, what I’ve been doing over the past maybe three or four months is asking myself, like when I start, you know that like the hamster wheel loop, you start to get one thought. It’s like, like, I get this client gallery or I got it. You mean all this like whatever is causing me the biggest loop and stress is just like, get it out, write it down and like, assess how long is this going to take me to do this if it’s like less than five minutes? I do it right now, if, like, if I can, if it’s like not two in the morning. 

[00:16:26] Alice Park: Yeah, wide awake, right?

[00:16:28] Lisa DiGeso: But actually just identifying what is my biggest stressor right now and tackling it just to move on and get out of that loop has been so good for my mental health. Yeah, I would just like spiral like all. 

[00:16:40] Alice Park: Oh my goodness, I know. And it’s amazing how the smallest little menial task, if you read it and finished, can just boggle you and hold you down from achieving bigger things. I’m a big fan of finishing the task. Yes, so I used to be one that left a lot of tasks, try to do many tasks at once and left many of them unfinished. And so, like you said, if things can be accomplished in less than five minutes one and then finish. Go on. Don’t leave it unfinished and don’t move on to the next until you finish. So I have found that’s been really helpful too. And I love you and not just checking up, but yeah, finishing the top and moving forward in a positive way.

[00:17:22] Lisa DiGeso: Now you do it. Can you touch her a little bit about Creativity Camp? Because that piqued my interest too. 

[00:17:28] Alice Park: Yes. So I started Creativity Camp three years ago for young girls between the ages of eight to 14 in the area. So it’s a summer camp offering. It’s a one week offering where we have about 30 girls between that age group come in to learn all about photography, painting, calligraphy, you know, improv and just really all of the using that side of the brain that enables them to really just dove deep into their passions. When I was their age, it was actually at the age of 12 when I discovered my love of photography. It was something that was introduced to me by my father. I felt very fortunate to have discovered that early on in my life because I felt like photography was almost my escape. So getting through those really difficult adolescent and teenage years. So whenever I didn’t fit in in middle school or high school, I skated. I would escape and pick up my camera, and I would try to document what I saw in the world. And it was really my passion that I worked hard to pursue and allowed me to just lean into something that just brought me. And that’s joy. And so during that week, we do a lot of mentoring with the girls. I work one on one on so many facets that I think are important for young girls to learn, which, you know, of course, looking inward and finding their voice. And, you know, just the exercises that just builds and grows their confidence, being able to speak publicly with an adult and even, you know, small things that will just be little life lessons. You know, when you go home today, I want you to open your eyes and like, look around, start small and ask your mom, How can I help you? How can I serve you? And just like those daily nuggets of wisdom that I help serve them for the rest of their life? And really, it is just such a bonding experience for these young girls. They’re all within the same age group, which I did intentionally get those very influential years of their life where we’re all together sharing and growing and mentoring one another. And, you know, by the end of the week, they have shared their deepest fears, their deepest desires and dreams in life, and they’ve opened up in ways that they have never done in years and they just for this really deep relationship. And then we, of course, end the week with an amazing fashion photoshoot at the end of the week, and they’re photographing each other there. You know, they have found their love in whatever artistic crap they discovered that we. And it’s just such an enriching experience, not only for them, but for me. I feel like that is part of the bigger calling of mine. I have a young daughter. I created this camp specifically for her and it is turning eight this summer and she is such an artistic soul. And she just has this deep desire to connect with other girls. And she’s a leader by heart and by nature. And so when I envision this experience, I had her in mind. And so it’s just very special to me. Oh, I love this.  

[00:21:01] Lisa DiGeso: I want to sign up for a 40 year old we we actually during did you know –

[00:21:08] Alice Park: During COVID, we had to be very creative with our studio space. And so I did end up creating a curriculum for women. I love it. Yes, we did all kinds of things like floral arrangements, calligraphy wreaths, making all the things in our studio because, you know, as entrepreneurs, it’s an ever evolving constant. Yes, you have to do what your business needs. Some years, some years will be incredible and some years you have to learn to pivot and evolve and adapt to what’s going on in the world. So it’s been fun. 

[00:21:41] Lisa DiGeso: I love that. Well, what I love too is especially those, you know, you always hear that saying where, you know, what did you love when you were like, 12 to 14 like? Because that’s like your true calling. What like, set your heart on fire and you’re actually nurturing that artistic expression of these young girls? Like, I can’t even imagine how, how that had been cultivated in me? What would life look like? Like, I just think it’s so incredible that you’re giving that opportunity to these young girls. That’s amazing.  

[00:22:09] Alice Park: Thank you. I mean, really, what we want is to just instill that do it yourself type of attitude in young girls. You could do anything you set your heart to, and these creative tools, these creative exercises and arts that we are introducing themselves. It’s just a tool for expressing yourself and will carry you for the rest of your life.

[00:22:30] Lisa DiGeso: So love that it should be in schools. Know more and more of this nurturing. The artists should be in schools. I agree 100 percent.  

[00:22:38] Lisa DiGeso: So I am someone who is chronically overworked and or commits, and my focus this year is on simplifying things. That’s actually my word for the year. Now I know there have been times you too have run into burnout as well. So what tips do you have for avoiding it?  

[00:22:55] Alice Park: I’m still learning. Just like you said, I had a 2021 year where I experienced extreme burnout during the fall, too much on my plate, inability to say no and really just not a clear vision of what I wanted. And so it’s taught me to really be intentional about scheduling time to reflect and to plan. So this January, I actually have dedicated these to 12 months of the year, and I am being very intentional. I told all my clients I’m not seeing any one or scheduling anyone this month, so I can truly just focus on reflecting on this past year. I have two buckets. One is what worked. What didn’t. And I’m writing it down. Burnout, of course, is something that I have highlighted on what didn’t work. And so I am really planning the entire year this January. If it doesn’t fall in these calendars by September, it’s not going to. It’s not going to go on the calendar. I have set aside time where I have scheduled photoshoots in these windows. Once that gets booked up, I’m not taking anything else and I am going to be so diligent and so protective of this schedule. I have an amazing studio manager who manages our schedule, and I am just going to empower her to protect that schedule as much as possible. So, you know, I am still skeptical that you can achieve a life without burnout because I think that there are seasons for everything. 

[00:24:33] Lisa DiGeso: Mm-Hmm. 

[00:24:34] Alice Park: But I am going to try my best, Lisa. 

[00:24:37] Lisa DiGeso: Yeah, I love it. I think if –

[00:24:39] Alice Park: Do you know any secrets? Yeah. 

[00:24:42] Lisa DiGeso: Well, I am actually taking a sabbatical this year from June. I’m calling it My Turn-ity instead of maternity. It’s My Turn-ity, and I’m getting some time off. Right? Yeah. And I had my son 12 years ago. I was self-employed and I never got on maternity leave. I literally started my photography business six months later, and I’ve been running it and then built the Milky Way on top of that. So I’ve actually never really taken extended time off. And so I’m struggling. Because I have said, like, hard stop as of June 15th. No more clients go ahead and I have like probably 40 clients I see annually for their full full sessions and I haven’t told them yet. But I’m not shooting this fall and I just don’t even know. I’m like, I just don’t even know how to approach this yet. So this is something I’m working on, too. I’m restructuring my entire photography business with different pricing, different offerings, just really making a change up and aligning with what I want. So I’m just kind of figuring it out right now. Like, I kind of say, you know what’s even funnier? Oh my gosh, Alice, this is even like my website right now, just says Page. OK, like, I don’t know what happened, but like my WordPress site is now gone. So like, the universe is really not wanting me to book any right. 

[00:26:02] Alice Park: I know. I mean, that in itself is telling you it’s like your website and your business needs to go to a halt.  

[00:26:10] Lisa DiGeso: Yeah, mercilessly right now.

[00:26:12] Alice Park: Bold, but also so brave. I mean, I’m so impressed. I think the hardest part is making the decision to just do it. It is. 

[00:26:21] Lisa DiGeso: And then you’re maintaining that decision. And there are some hard ones because I’m getting messages from clients that I haven’t seen in maybe six years. They’ve done IVF like they’ve really wanted this baby and they’re like least that we really want you to do August 15th. Right? But that’s in my ‘no’ window. 

[00:26:37] Alice Park: Yeah.

[00:26:38] Lisa DiGeso: And I’m just like, This is and I’m like, I’m telling my husband last night, I’m like, This is killing me. This is killing me to not think. He’s like, No, if you say one, yes, one yes to one person, you don’t have an off switch. So like, you need to just say no. And so I’m just like, Oh gosh, Alice, this is tough.

[00:26:57] Alice Park: Oh my goodness, I know I share this with you on yes, person. Very difficult for me to say no, but you just have to hone in on your why? Why are you doing this? And just like.

[00:27:10] Lisa DiGeso: I love that, that’s so true. Hone in on the why and then why will reveal why this is so important to me and that makes it no easier. 

[00:27:18] Alice Park: Yes. So is this sabbatical? Is there a time frame for this or is it like whatever 

[00:27:24] Lisa DiGeso: What do I do right now? I think I want to do it at least until January 20. Twenty three. And part of the reason is I’ve always done holiday minis and I overwork and I end up like, I have so many amazing clients that the list just got bigger and bigger, bigger. And I was doing ten days of eight sessions a day that were each an hour long, like just learning and then all the editing and like, it was just crazy. And then on top of that fall family sessions, so I was shooting. Gosh, and then on top of that Milky Way and podcast and everything, and it just became so much that I was like, I, I am not there for anybody, so I need to be there for me and my family, my team, my goodness. So yeah, so it was like an extreme burnout situation, too. And I’m just like, Why don’t you just I just have to just put on the brakes and then trust that whatever is meant for me will find me later. And that’s OK. 

[00:28:17] Alice Park: And you know, like, I have found your story to be very similar to our dear mutual friend Heidi Ho. Yes, and it was when she made that decision, that very brave decision, when she was able to find the time to really sit down. And no one allows the opportunities that bring her joy and fulfillment and opportunity to just come into her life, whereas before she never had the time to even explore that, but also just sit still in her thoughts and in her own space to just find what truly just brings her alive. And I think in what we do as photographers and as creative entrepreneurs, you know, we sometimes we come from a year of like the business almost closing down in the world, shutting down to saying yes to every opportunity the year after, only to find ourselves burnt out, spread thin and really not able to come up for air 100 percent.  

[00:29:17] Lisa DiGeso: It was just like that huge pendulum swing. Yes, right now it’s just like, Oh gosh, I just want to get off the pendulum like, Oh, now I’ll be in the garden for a while, guys. Yes, I was just telling your friend today –

[00:29:30] Alice Park: That I just want to hide. I want to hide like I am taking the month of January to just not book anything or take on any new projects or really even think about anything new to really just explore. Not maybe to make a decision to take a sabbatical, but to do something to do a lot of inner work so that I know exactly what I need to do and why I need to do that. So I commend you for doing that. So that’s so brave and inspiring.

[00:30:00] Lisa DiGeso: That’s great. I mean, I’m excited. I’m excited. But the projects that I’ve wanted to do for years, like those creative ones, the things I’ve shopped for and just never done because I’ve. It’s been backed up, so I’m like, I’m just very excited about what I’m going to make.

[00:30:15] Alice Park: Yes. Samantha and your son are only growing older and have just a few more handful of years with you. So yeah, 

[00:30:23] Lisa DiGeso: it’s a special time. So, yeah, life business can wait. It’s all good. Good. So what do you wish more photographers knew?

[00:30:32] Alice Park: That’s a great question. I wish photographers would take the time early in their careers to learn how to build the business aspects of their work. I feel a lot of the cycle of photographers, as I’m sure you do as well. There is a general life and growth cycle that many photographers go through, and the ones that are able to sustain their businesses continue to grow at long term are the ones that invest in their business education early on. So like you and me experiencing the burn outs during our busy fall season, it’s very normal. But if you couple that with an hourly rate, that’s less than minimum wage, that’s not sustainable. It’s not even for one season. You know, if you take into account child care, the cost of doing business, your time away from your other full time hustle or whatever that may look like, the numbers truly just add up. And so I think a lot, if I were to talk to someone very early on in their career, the best piece of advice, I would say, is to really sit down, calculate all the numbers involved in running your business, including your invaluable time that you pour into onboarding a client, marketing to them and shooting them. Of course, all the post-production work and everything involved, from beginning to end of a client experience battering that with your cost of goods sold and then building your pricing structure from that, that’s what I wish younger photographers.

[00:32:12] Lisa DiGeso: Knew and love. I think it’s such an important lesson, and what’s really funny is when I resisted my pricing, I did not realize that I needed to pay myself and pay myself didn’t mean having money left over to buy more props because to me, that was paying myself. If I was breaking even on that like I was, I was making money and my husband finally sat down and we looked at the books. He’s like, Babe, like, this doesn’t make any sense. Why are you doing this? I was like, Oh no, you’re right. I didn’t realize like I needed to get paid to, yeah,  

[00:32:47] Alice Park: because I had no. And being paid with, you know, satisfying your clients and making them happy is just not enough sometimes. Yes, I know it’s really so important. You understand your numbers. Yeah. And factor that into your pricing and also know and understand that what we do for our clients and for the industry is truly invaluable. And there is a clientele for you. You know, it’s just like a direct relationship between marketing and pricing. Yeah. And so I feel like inevitably for photographers, wherever they are in their careers, in life cycle, their confidence builds, their pricing increases. They really realize what their art and work is worth. And you know, of course, as I said, that’s the ones that sustain over time. But the ones that sort of missed that mark early on and always price what they think their time is. Where are the ones that don’t necessarily are able to sustain that? 

[00:33:55] Lisa DiGeso: So, yeah, it’s so important. I think that one of the biggest lessons is learning how to value yourself. Yeah, and right, valuing your time value, valuing the time away from your family. And if you like, I mean, photography in the beginning did bring me immense joy and I loved it and I still love it. But there is a price, and I think that a lot of the times new photographers forget that and we build their businesses on adrenaline and coffee and dry shampoo instead of numbers.  

[00:34:24] Alice Park: I know, I know. And like any new hobby or creative pursuit that you do like, there is a period of when adrenaline and pure passion is going to propel you and enable you to stay up those late nights or take time away from your children by the end of the day. Are you willing to miss your son’s first soccer game or $100 or two hundred dollars? Like, no. You know, and so I just like as mothers and as women, just really honing in and evaluating your time and your worth is just so important. 

[00:35:03] Lisa DiGeso: I love it. So you ready for the lightning round? 

[00:35:05] Alice Park: Yes. OK. I love the Lightning Round. My favorite –

[00:35:08] Lisa DiGeso: Part? Coffee or tea? Coffey, what is the craziest thing on your bucket list? 

[00:35:14] Alice Park: Writing a musical, ooh, yeah, I love it. Aha. I’m working on that. 

[00:35:21] Lisa DiGeso: I love it. Pop music or like what kind of music?

[00:35:25] Alice Park: I love classical music. I think it’s just that I love it all. But it just eases my mind and gives me that peace that puts me in that piece that I just crave. So that’s cool. 

[00:35:38] Lisa DiGeso: Love it, the most luxurious vacation you’ve ever been on. 

[00:35:42] Alice Park: That’s a good question. You know, I think in my 40 years, I still have to go back to my honeymoon. Oh yeah, my husband totally spoiled me with this. I just didn’t have to lift a finger. We were as if we were in a tropical paradise, and I just was very spoiled. Any vacation where I don’t have to lift a finger, I feel spoiled. And we have since then not been able to recreate that experience. But we’re working on it. Love it. Where did you go? We went to Mexico. It was this amazing location that was a scene of a movie, and the water could not be more beautiful. We had this house on the side of a mountain that overlooks this beautiful ocean and then, of course, the mountainside. It’s just beautiful.

[00:36:32] Lisa DiGeso: I love it. What was your favorite TV show as a kid? 

[00:36:37] Alice Park: Favorite TV show is probably for House.

[00:36:39] Lisa DiGeso: Oh yeah.

[00:36:40] Alice Park: Yeah, I one 90s kid.

[00:36:43] Lisa DiGeso: Last thing you did for yourself as an indulgence.

[00:36:46] Alice Park: As I mentioned, I’m working on a musical. Yeah. So I met a girl friend in D.C., left my family and children last weekend to go see a new musical that debuted in D.C.. It’s similar to what I’m trying to achieve. So many people have reached out to me saying that I needed to go watch it. And so that week I convinced my girlfriend. We stayed in one of the chic hotels in downtown D.C. and we went to go watch the musical. Be inspired, allow that weekend just to fill us up. You know, eat at your best. Restaurants have the best cocktails and truly, just like, take care of ourselves. So I love girls. Weekends are the best, but when you stop, they are. And when you top that with just experiencing something so fun and that just likes you on fire, it’s just not it.

[00:37:39] Lisa DiGeso: Have you seen many shows on Broadway? 

[00:37:41] Alice Park: I have not as many as I wanted, but I definitely have. We have definitely been a musical enthusiast since I was like, I would say high school. Yeah, I –

[00:37:54] Lisa DiGeso: High school news. I did High School Musical Theater. 

[00:37:56] Alice Park: Yeah, I did. Oh, you sing, you sing and dance.

[00:38:00] Lisa DiGeso: And you sure. You bet I do. 

[00:38:02] Alice Park: Oh yeah, I love that you went to a high school that had a performing arts program that allowed you that opportunity. I think there’s just like endless, amazing things that come out of a person when you’re able to put them on stage and have them see and dance and like, perform. So I love that we did OK.

[00:38:21] Lisa DiGeso: Yeah. Oklahoma, West Side Story, Grease, Footloose, and the Sound of Music. The Sound of Music I did in Grade 12. 

[00:38:29] Alice Park: Yeah, that’s the best. I love that. I wish I’d gotten to a high school that had that. We had football, cheerleading and a band. Those were like the only offerings. Everything else, every other program in our high school was very subpar. And so if you didn’t fit within those buckets, you know, you were just kind of aimlessly wandering. I think that’s why I learn so much about photography.

[00:38:50] Lisa DiGeso: Yeah, that would make sense. 

[00:38:52] Alice Park: Yeah, but –

[00:38:53] Lisa DiGeso: I love all that you had. So what did you want to be when you grew up? 

[00:38:58] Alice Park: Oh, that’s so funny. I knew that I wanted to lead, and whatever I did, I craved being in a leadership position. I do remember when I was in middle school at one point telling an adult I wanted to be the first female president and loved it. So I think I have always had a heart to serve. Maybe not so much as a public servant, but I knew I wanted to do something in that capacity. So I think it really is just that I’m lucky to have found what I feel. My calling is early in my career, like leaving that engineering job was the best thing that I could have ever done and feel so blessed that I did it at twenty versus like forty three. But, you know, as a child, I just wanted to be so many things. 

[00:39:46] Lisa DiGeso: Yeah, yeah, I love that. OK, what’s for dinner tonight? 

[00:39:53] Alice Park: Chili.  

[00:39:53] Lisa DiGeso: Yum.

[00:39:56] Alice Park: It’s a good night. 

[00:39:57] Lisa DiGeso: I love it. I love to end my interviews with this last question. And it is what are you currently curious about or artistically curious about?  

[00:40:07] Alice Park: I am really curious. About doing the inner work that allows us to truly explore what we’re meant to do in life. So I feel like I’ve reached another decade in life. I was very fortunate to discover early on in my life that I wanted to pursue photography and the creative endeavors involved in that. And I feel like I have reached a kind of ceiling, you know, in my career where I don’t know how much more I can grow. And so right now, I’m very just curious about taking a step back and like doing the inner work. Yeah, like what this is saying and what this is saying. And I because I’d never, ever stopped to do that in my life, like, I’m sure, you know, it’s always just go, go, go. There’s never a time that we allow ourselves to just sit back and reflect and analyze. And so I’m taking Heidi’s course. And yeah, right.

[00:41:13] Lisa DiGeso: Now, I, you know, it’s funny because I send it, we send it at the same time and I’m like, I think I’d go back and do it again. Like, because I did, maybe one week, I’m terrible. It was like I was so beautiful. 

[00:41:23] Alice Park: I know. 

[00:41:23] Lisa DiGeso: So great. So are you doing it right now? I am. Yeah, I was doing it again right now, too. You should. 

[00:41:30] Alice Park: Yeah. I don’t know if your January is a little slower.  

[00:41:33] Lisa DiGeso: Oh, it’s so much better. OK.  

[00:41:35] Alice Park: I feel like that makes all the difference. I keep doing it in September as well. But I was just not in the right headspace. You know, we are preparing for a busy few months ahead, and I knew I just really wanted to take the time to do that, like just intentional 

[00:41:54] Lisa DiGeso: and really let it marinate. Yes. And I felt like I didn’t have that time in the fall and I was like, Oh, so like, I’m so sorry, Heidi. Like, I’ll come back. I promise you, I know she’s doing such amazing work. 

[00:42:06] Alice Park: I love it, you know, and she has structured it in a way that, you know, busy moms could do it. But I just felt like, yeah, I was not in the right headspace. And so she’s kicked off a new eight week. I’m bound. And so I am like digging deep into it, and I’m curious about all that she has to pour into me, and I’m just going to sit back and let it. I love it. I love it. 

[00:42:30] Lisa DiGeso: I said, Well, my dear listeners, we will include info about how you can get information on Unbound in the show notes as well. So Alice, where can our listeners learn more from you? 

[00:42:42] Alice Park: Yeah. So you can find my photography work at AliceParkPhotography.com. The National Association of Professional Child Photography. We kind of pseudo called it NAPCP. It’s a little easier to roll off the tongue, it’s just NAPCP.com and then Creativity Camp and Park Studios. Of course, you can find us there. It’s all linked to my photography page and then I’m very active on Instagram and you can find me at Alice Park there.

[00:43:13] Lisa DiGeso: So awesome. Yeah. Well, thanks for joining me today. 

[00:43:17] Alice Park: Thank you so much for having me.
[00:43:18] Lisa DiGeso: This is so much fun. I love that conversation with Alice. Make friends. As you can tell, I’m going through a bit of a transition in my own business, and I love this time of year because I really find it’s the best time to slow down and analyze what we really want. Now, if you haven’t done that recently, I would encourage you to pull out your own notebook and start making your own things that God is doing and things that got a goal list like Alice had mentioned. I am sending you so much of my light and my love today and every day we’ll see you next time.

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