Back To Business Basics Workshop Recap & 3 quick lessons | Leighton DaCosta, Charleston Photography Instructor


Let me start off by saying THANK YOU to all those who attended the Back to Business Basics (B3) workshop this past weekend. I was honored by your presence. To those who were unable to attend, I look forward to you attending future business workshops.

I have always believed in “Community over Competition” when it comes to the photography industry, because on the business side, I feel our responsibility is to serve the market and the market is HUGE! By aligning our individual reasons of why we do this, it helps us persevere in serving clients who share our love in what we photograph!


Lesson #1: Don’t try and do it all by yourself!

Back in December, during a networking event, several photographers reached out to me about doing a workshop. Fellow Photographer, Geno Porter (AirReal Photography) had been encouraging me to do just that for the longest. If it wasn’t for his encouragement and shared financial backing, this workshop might never have happened.

This was one of the lessons that I shared when starting out and you have limited resources. Find someone or a group of individuals who are willing to share the responsibilities and work together for a common good. You’d be surprised how much lighter the burdens are.


Lesson #2: Provide value by solving problems

Many photographers face the challenges of doing things the “right” way. By that, I mean, legal hurdles such as going through the business license process. Having the right permits at the right locations. Whether or not to have a studio or not, even down to insurance requirements, and lets not get started on what gear we need and how to get it!

Similar in my quest to help photographers solve these problems, we learned that we have to do more than just take “pretty pictures” for clients but solve their core problems, wants, desires, and needs while always striving to provide additional value.

Sometimes that value is additional time. Other times that value is access to a location that a client ordinarily wouldn’t be able to go to. We learned how our pricing is not about just what we charge, but is based on our economic philosophy as well. Making a choice to provide premium products to offer premium quality, or the choice to offer different levels of quality in products and services in order to serve a wider client base. Finding the solutions to problem and knowing WHY you want to solve that problem is critical to finding the people who want YOU to solve that problem.

Lesson #3: Continuously Improve

As expressed in the portion of learning about finding out the unknown unknowns, we learned that no one person has all the answers. Not even myself, but we should continuously strive to find the answers. Challenges arise and change everyday, as well as the solutions to them. The importance is understanding and being prepared for those changes. Our presentation, service/product offerings, workflows can all be continuously improved, but need to have a solid foundation.

A distinctive “Why.”

L-R:  Tonya , Jen,  Francis ,  Amy ,  Lou ,  Michelle ,  Myself , Desi, and  Trina

L-R: Tonya, Jen, Francis, Amy, Lou, Michelle, Myself, Desi, and Trina

To find out about future training events, please visit HERE

The next Charleston workshop is scheduled for Sunday, June 30th 2019 and tickets can be found HERE

Leighton DaCosta

Hello, I'm Leighton and I help people around the world tell their story. Let me introduce myself. Whether it's for online dating, or a professional profile, it always seems that the "About Me" section is always the hardest to write. Not because you have nothing to say about yourself, but because you want to be sincere, genuine, interesting, and brief all at the same time. I have never been a fan of writing about me in the third person, like: "Leighton DaCosta, was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and moved to Brooklyn, NY at an early age when his parents wanted to form a new life for themselves and their children. In the third grade, the family moved to Orlando, Fl, where Leighton considers his home town. After spending 3 tours in the Navy, he settled in Jacksonville, and now Miramar, Florida, where he now calls home. Today, still wanted by many, he does work as a fashion and wedding photographer. If you have a wedding(or photo shoot)... if no one else can help... and if you can find him... maybe you can hire... ok.. this is not The A- Team." But you see what I mean? What do you know about me? How can we connect? Did you know that my FAVORITE food is Pizza and Sushi? Or that my favorite color is Purple? When I go to the wine bars, I usually order Mimosas, because even the cheapest champagne tastes great with some good ole OJ. When I travel, I like staying in nice hotels. Not because of the name, (even though I AM partial to Hyatt) but because of the bathrooms. One of my favorite hotels is the Viking in Newport, Rhode Island. Small rooms, but AWESOME bathrooms. I LOVE TO EAT, and eating as much as I have, has led me to be about 100 pounds more than I was in High School... Yeah there is some muscle there, but if it was all muscle, I'm sorry folks, I wouldn't be taking photos, I would be retiring from the NFL. If you want to see some of my favorite dishes, follow me on Instagram. Because of that, I find myself now in the gym more than ever. Trying to stay fit and alive... I workout, so I can EAT! Well that's enough for now, if you want to know more about me, follow my blog. Better yet, I want to find out more about YOU. So let's talk!