The Epidemic of the Entrepreneur.
For this week’s Spotlight, Utility Avenue features Colin Nokomis, a wedding and creative photographer/videographer from Michigan.
When businesses close their doors, we must open our minds. We are discovering our way through an unprecedented time in history, learning the new norm daily, and adapting as we can. To most, the pandemic of the coronavirus has caused a clouded vision for the future of businesses. However, it has also unveiled opportunity for those that still dare to see the silver lining. We can no longer rely on conventional methods to sustain our success. Instead, we must rise to the occasion with new ways of thinking, creative solutions, and a greater urgency for connection.
My company, Captured Media LLC, is a Wedding and Creative Photography/Videography service in Michigan and the Great Lakes region. I am in my 5th year of business and have learned many lessons, and have much growth ahead of me, but I believe I still have value to bring to the table as I tend to see the world through a different lens- no pun intended. I understand people, alternative perspectives and have a deep passion for connection.
I have witnessed first-hand the power creativity and community can have during difficult times. My business has seen the side effects of COVID-19 in many ways. I have had multiple Weddings pushed back & even canceled due to the virus. Not to mention, aligning business operations with the ever-changing Executive Orders in Michigan is no small feat. It is in these dilemmas that new ideas are born.
I recently opened a new Photography Studio with a few other Photographers, and I decided to utilize this space to its full potential by offering free, that’s right, free, headshots for anyone interested. Now, you may be wondering why I would be exhausting free services when I am already losing profits due to outside forces, but it all makes sense, especially when you change the mindset that it’s an investment shoot, rather than a free one.
By offering a no-strings-attached event, I was able to network with new clients that could potentially become returning customers. I had one “free” headshot turn into a modeling session, another one became a Senior Photoshoot, and even another led to discussions of headshots for an entire Salon. When you take a little time to serve those around you, relationships are developed, & a need is created, one that would have otherwise never existed.
Another element of creativity I implemented was “Pay What You Can” sessions-essentially a 30-minute photo shoot for a family at their residence, and they pay me whatever they see fit, whether that is $5 or $200. You’d be amazed at the generosity of people when it’s in their control. Now, these types of sessions are no new concept, but on the outskirts of an outbreak, they seemed to be a perfect choice. I made a decent profit from the handful I shot, but moreover, I again reached out to the community and built connections that I believe will come back around to serve me well in the future.
Entrepreneurs are historically vetted with the responsibility of dissecting the current reality to make sense of it all. We are blessed with the curse of understanding the unimaginable, taming the inevitable and pioneering forward through the unknown. It can be a daunting task, and 2020 is no different. Society has paused. The mundane is anything but, and people turn to us in these times to seek familiarity yet desire light in the newness all simultaneously. Some scoff at the duty, but I honor the challenge. We won’t have all the answers, but we certainly can begin by asking the right questions.
Colin Nokomis Short Bio:
Colin Nokomis’ Contact Info
Utility Avenue’s Spotlight focuses on promoting inspiring businesses every week. For a chance to be interviewed, contact us at email@example.com with the subject Spotlight.