How AI Can Change Your Photography Business – And Your Life with Cameron and Tia

Sandra Henderson (00:00.126)
AI blew up in 2023. And I think it’s pretty safe to say that it was the most talked about topic in the entire photography industry. I know there are a lot of people who love it, there are a lot of people who hate it, and I completely understand and respect everybody’s opinions, and everybody’s hesitations, but personally, I am embracing the shit out of it because it truly makes my life so much easier.

My friends Cameron and Tia feel the exact same way, so I wanted to have them on the podcast to talk all about different ways that you can use AI for things like content creation, editing, how it can improve your client experience, where to start, and so much more. If you’ve never heard of Cameron and Tia before, they are wedding photographers and photography business coaches based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They met in second grade at Jonathan Elementary School, and 16 years later, Cameron proposed to Tia at the same elementary school.

Can we please pause for a second and talk about how freaking cute that is? That is the most adorable story. Cameron is an ex-attorney and Tia is a past dance teacher who transformed their passions into a career that allows them to have a life together filled with independence and tons of travel. Now they teach others to create the same flexibility and freedom in their own businesses. This was such a fun interview and Tia’s energy is contagious. I know you’re going to love it.

So sit back and enjoy after the intro.


Transcript of my interview with Cameron & Tia

(Intro Music)

Welcome to Keeping It Candid. I’m your host, Sandra Henderson, an international wedding and family photographer and business coach. I help wedding photographers use systems to build out the backend of their businesses to gain control and continue to thrive no matter what life throws their way. And on a more personal note, I’m a strong Enneagram three-wing too who’s obsessed with tacos.

And my love for travelling combined with navigating chronic illness life are just two of the many things that drive my passion for all things systems, workflows and beating burnout as a business owner. Join me every week for a candid behind-the-scenes look at what it’s really like working as a wedding photographer, where I’ll give you actionable steps to take your business to the next level. Absolutely no fluff here friends, so go grab your favourite notebook and pen and let’s dive into this week’s episode.

02:15 Introduction of Cameron and Tia

Sandra Henderson (02:15.702)
Before I dive in, Cameron and Tia, I would love it if you guys would quickly just introduce yourselves and let everybody know a little bit about what you’re all about.

Tia
Yay. Yes, Sandra. We are so excited to be here. It has been long overdue. We are pumped. It’s going to be so freaking fun. So to introduce ourselves, it’s complicated because we’re husband and wife, so our story actually starts in the personal realm, but it’s very intertwined throughout there. So Cam and I actually met in second grade. We went to school all growing up together. It’s insanity.

We started dating at the end of our senior year of high school. So we’re barely high school sweethearts, but we rep it. We make it a freaking thing. You know the deal. And so post-college was when photography started coming into play. Cam had been photographing here and there, high school, college, but like elective kind of vibes. And all of a sudden I was like, what if you made this a business? How freaking fun would it be to make like a logo or like an email address? We had no clue. We thought that would be the highlight of our existence.

But we really did not make it side-hustling. We were photographing high school seniors for almost three years, so part-time. We do not even call it a side hustle. It was like we would photograph a senior and it would fund our date night afterwards. That was the vibes until we got married. We got into the wedding industry and we’re like, wait, this is freaking fun. Why have we literally not been considering this?

And it was just because we were doing our own careers. Cam was actually in law school at the time. He was going to become an attorney and I was a dance teacher, a dance coach. And we were just on our own pathways until we were like, hey, let’s try to book like three to five weddings for the following year. Let’s see what’s up. We quickly found out we are not “dip our toes in the water” kind of people. We are like “dive head freaking first.” And so we ended up booking 18 weddings. It just kind of snowballed. That was literally Cam’s first year as an attorney. So it was like burning the candle on both ends.

And we really quickly figured out that, hey, we do not get time together. We were working two different careers where Cam had something very standard, typical work hours, nine to five, but it was also like first-year attorney. So like, let’s get after it. And if you’re not getting after it, you’re not going to do well. Whereas I worked with a school schedule. And so I was starting 2pm and I worked till 10.30 and we did not see each other as this first year married when we were building our lives.

And I think we didn’t know it then, but photography became something where it wasn’t out for us. It wasn’t out of careers where we didn’t get to spend time together and it became something where it was full of freedom and flexibility. And so that’s why we latched onto it. We dove headfirst and we haven’t looked back. So we’ve been working from home together since 2017. We’ve both been full-time since then and it’s so fun doing it together.

Sandra Henderson
That is so amazing. I am a dive headfirst in the water kind of person too. I mean, unless we’re talking about actual water, I don’t like anything cold. And so like to get into actual, I am a very slow and steady kind of person. But for everything else in life, I like to dive in head first. But I always love hearing stories about couples who work together because my husband and I, we’re on the same page that we were never going to work together like to keep our marriage healthy and keep us sane. We’re never going to work together. And we both are in agreement on that.

Tia
So it’s always so interesting to me to hear just like how other people have come together and made it work. And in full transparency, day to day, like working from home, Cam and I do not work together. We are fully CEOs of our own things and all the divisions within the business and we really only go to each other when there are like anomalies in the protocol of like, oh, what would we do for this? Or how do we want to restructure this? Then we’re working together. Obviously, we’re in shoots together. But the rest of the time I’m like, no, no. We could not be sane if we were constantly…

Well, actually… In 2017, I tried to get us a long desk where we sat right next to each other. It didn’t go well. It’s not my long desk. Now it’s just Cam’s long desk.

That’s so funny. But yeah, it doesn’t matter how much you love a person. Every second of every day together is too much. You need some time. So I totally relate to that. I thought about getting a long desk once to like, my husband’s like, maybe I can help you out. Or like every now and then he talks about getting involved with video. I’m like, go for it. I want nothing to do with that. I have no issues admitting that videography is way harder and I want no part of it.

And so, yeah, there’s been times that I’m like, we could just work side by side. And then I’m like, no, that’s not a good idea. The dream is okay, but then the reality sinks in. I’m like, no, that would make for some really uncomfortable work days.

Tia
Yes. I was like, oh, we’re going to sit next to each other and chat. And then I’d want to dance and sing along to the music. And Cam would be like, I cannot focus. I cannot get a single thing done.

Sandra Henderson
That’s so funny. My husband is just like you, Tia. He would be singing and like doing all the things. And I just feel like, can you stop while I try to work, please?

Tia
Yes, and you need that balance.

Sandra Henderson
Yeah, exactly. There’s times that I’m trying to like get one last email done and I just kind of like side-eye him if I’m trying to do it from the couch. And I’m like, I love you, but how do I politely tell you I need you to go away just for 10 minutes and then you can come back but like while you’re here, I’m never gonna get this email done.

Tia
Oh, hilarious.

07:42 The Excitement and Hesitations of AI

Sandra Henderson
Oh, it’s so funny. Well, today we are talking all about AI, which I am so excited about. I think it’s been like the number one talked about topic in the photography industry this year. And so I am excited to hear what your take on it is, and how do you feel about it, about this new wave of AI coming into the industry?

Tia
Freaking exciting. I think we’re at a really cool point because, so listeners, if you’re listening to this later at the time of recording, we’re in the fall. And I think we’ve hit this wave where in the spring, so many people were chatting about AI and it was like, if you’re not talking about it, I don’t know what you’re talking about. And now there was like a lag of like a lot of people going through a busy season and maybe just like resting on their laurels. Is that what the phrase is?

I tried to pull that out and I was like, I’ve never said that in my life. But just like their standard workflows that they’ve been using for years upon years and maybe AI fell by the wayside or maybe they couldn’t quite figure out how it worked into the workflows. And so we’re going to be able to chat about that today as people start heading into maybe an off-season for them, a lot of people seasonally and how that could kind of look. And so, so excited. I will say in retrospect, I was the person who was very not into AI. I was just… Okay, pretty close. Spill the tea cam. What was the vibe?

Cameron
Yeah. I mean, so our personalities in this respect are very different. I am very techy, very much wanting to be on the leading edge and test out new products and new software and all this stuff. Tia very much is not. When obviously this huge wave is coming and Tia’s like, I don’t think AI is something we should be using or I don’t know. I was like, why? Yeah, it’s too much work to do something like Tia. In our daily life, you use AI all the time. You just don’t realize it or you’ve come to accept it and the role it’s playing in your life.

You like that in our car, every time we navigate somewhere, you’re using AI to help do that. Our car itself has some AI driving features. It will self-drive.

Tia
Cam and I literally have a Tesla that self-drives and I self-drive 90% of the time.

Cameron
We have tools in our house that will automatically close the lights at certain times or when certain things like these different automations, various AI tools. Like, I love that all of our shades are automated to automatically close a half hour after sunset. Like, it’s a vibe and like the laziness in me is living for that. And every time you’re asking Siri to do something for you, you’re using AI. So just like all these things in your daily life, over and over again, you’re using AI to help improve your life, make it a little easier, make it a little better. This is a bigger scale, granted, but it is the same.

Tia
So any listeners that are sitting on the fence feeling like, I’m still not sure, or I don’t even know how this actually integrates into my business with my clients. That was me. That was 100% me. And now you’ll hear me throughout this. Like, I am the number one cheerleader of AI tools. I am a proponent. Like, let’s freaking go. So anyone who’s feeling like that, let’s get you off that fence.

Sandra Henderson
Yes, I love that. I was so excited about getting involved in AI in my own business. But I’m kind of like a combination of the two of you where I like I was super excited for that tech side of things because I hate culling, I hate editing. So I was like – anything that’s gonna take this off my plate, I’m so here for it! I hate saying anti-mirrorless camera, but I was just like, if it’s not broken don’t fix it. I can use my camera perfectly. Well, why am I gonna run out and buy a new mirrorless camera? Just because it’s the newest tech on the market.

And then last year, a local camera store had an unbelievable deal where I could trade in equipment and then get an extra 30% on top of that if I spent in-store. So I got like a whole mirrorless kit for like $1,300 Canadian, which would be under $1,000 American. It was just unreal. And now I use my mirrorless and I just even yesterday I was editing photos and I was like, what was I thinking? Why did I not do this sooner? And like, I’m totally the person who doesn’t think the camera makes the photographer. But photographers who’ve been in this a while, you know, like, sometimes that one little change in your gear can be the missing piece of the puzzle. And so that was totally what happened when I switched over to mirrorless and leaning into AI this year to get all the rest of the work done has really just been like the icing on the cake for sure.

Tia
Yeah, Sandra. Okay, the mirrorless is a really good example because when we first got mirrorless and started using eye tracking, I felt, and I think this is going to lead into our conversation later, I felt like it was kind of cheating. I was like, this is so easy. Like I’m not refocusing. I’m not recomposing. Like, wow, this is just like, I’m cheating. I’m chilling. But you know what it allowed? So much more time for everything else on a shoot.

So much more time to actually have composition nailed, have picking out locations, posing, all of our attention to clients. It allows so much more capacity for that because of something, a little tiny part of the puzzle that became so much easier. And so I think AI and a lot of tools that we’ll talk about today, they don’t need to be revolutionary. They don’t need to take a huge part of the weight off of you, but I think some will.

But some of these little ones can take little pieces of the puzzle out of there so that you have more time and energy to allocate to everything else that is in your wheelhouse.

Sandra Henderson
Yeah, absolutely. I think what you just said is the biggest takeaway that I hope people get in terms of overcoming any hesitations they have about giving up control when it comes to using AI is that AI is just another tool in our toolkit. It’s just like Photoshop, just like our flashes. It’s not meant to just completely take over for you. And I know a lot of people that I’ve talked to have had that hesitation. So I’m so glad that you brought that up.

Tia
Losing the personal touch element to it, losing the, hey, how is this going to be customized for my clients? And if I don’t have this hand in it or if I don’t have this personalization to it, is it going to feel like something that they don’t necessarily want? But two concerns that are two like arguments to that. I think number one, I was really resistant to using a scheduling tool for a long time, especially for our client-facing things. This business-to-business like scheduling for a podcast interview, I was like, oh, 100% because I know that client or whoever I’m interacting with is used to that. But I was really resistant for our engagement sessions using a scheduling tool.

And that was so counterproductive because I was just thinking, oh, they need this personalization. What if they really need a Sunday? And I know we have limits on our Sundays and we don’t want to shoot on Sundays, but what if they really need it? Then somehow we switched over to a scheduling tool and never scheduled a Sunday ever again. And it’s because I was making assumptions about what clients wanted.

And clients are really living in an Amazon era. They’re living in this era where people know that they need answers and they want answers immediately and they want to be able to book things immediately. They want to be able to buy things immediately. And I was making these assumptions for them just, I don’t know, resting on my laurels of what I thought they wanted. And so I think that it’s really important that we really assess, is this just something that I’m used to and that I want to make assumptions about them? Versus what do they really need, what do they really want? And then there’s also what’s gonna save me time.

Cameron
Yeah, I also think there’s a mindset shift that needs to happen with AI tools in accepting that these are tools to help you rather than like people replacements. I mean, I think so often, especially early on, it became, okay, well, this is going to entirely replace human editors or it’s gonna entirely replace human copywriters. But if we step back and treat this as a tool that can help us get more done or help us focus on other things on our shoots or focus on other things while we’re driving, let’s say. Like all these little things, AI is a tool to help you refocus or put your focus somewhere else that you would rather have or that is more money-making for you, to be honest.

Sandra Henderson
Such a great point. So what are some of your favorite AI tools that you’ve been using throughout this last year?

10:31 Favorite AI Tools for Content Creation with Cameron and Tia

Tia
So here’s where I fear that we’re going to get deep and we’re going to get meaty in here. And I don’t want to… because I want to give listeners not just the tools, I want to give them a little bit about what you can do with them because otherwise, the reality is no one’s going to spend time investigating them, doing trials, anything like that. So please interrupt, Sandra, at any point because we want to hear your experience too, especially you already mentioned some culling, some editing. We want to chat through things like that.

And I want people to be able to leave here thinking, “oh, hey, this tool could be a good fit for XYZ in my business, so I actually want to explore it.” So I think there’s three big categories that Cam and I categorize AI tools in. Content creation, photo video, and then home, like Cam already mentioned a little bit. So content creation, let’s start there.

Chat GPT. I think everybody knows it now. We don’t need to run down what are the basics of it, but let’s talk a little bit about what you can use it for. Email subjects, email copy, putting together… literally when you’re like, hey, I’m in my off season. I actually don’t have a workflow. I don’t have a whole bunch of email templates for this new type of session that needs something. Start at ChatGPT. Start with your first draft and then probe it and probe it and prod it so that you can get a third draft and a fourth draft that really is speaking in your voice, that really has a tone so that you are getting something meaty there with ChatGPT.

So I think that’s a basic one that I just wanted to highlight. If people are not using it yet, get in there, and start exploring. I know it’s hard and it feels like, “oh, this is something extra that I need to explore.” But off-season, oh, what a time for it. What a time to just spend some time here and there. Hey, let me try it for writing my blog post. Hey, let me try it for writing my meta descriptions. These little minute tasks might not take a lot of time, but compound, right?

If you’re doing a blog post for every single family session or every single wedding recap, writing a meta description in ChatGPT where I literally don’t need to tweak the meta description, I can tell it what my keyword is, I can tell it how many characters it needs… Boom, it’s done. That time is going to compound and that time could be spent, for me reading a spicy novel, for Cam watching Netflix, like whatever that is, spending time with your spouse, spending time with your children. That can be really important in the end game. So content creation, that’s a big one.

17:53 Favorite AI Tools for Photo and Video Editing

Tia
Let’s get deep into photo video since a lot of your audience are photographers.

Cameron
Let’s get into it.

Tia
So let’s talk editing, let’s talk culling. Cam and I use AfterShoot. What are you using, Sandra?

Sandra Henderson
I’m using Imagen.AI right now. I did play around with AfterShoot and I loved it. I had no complaints, but there was just, at the time there were features that Imagen.AI had that AfterShoot didn’t. And I know, I keep tabs on both of them and they are pretty neck and neck in terms of what they offer, but it was just kind of, I was saying earlier, talking about mirrorless cameras, it’s kind of like, it’s not broken, so I’m not going to fix it. I absolutely love Imagen.AI, but I’ve heard incredible things about the changes that Aftershoot has been making too.

Tia
Totally, which is so valid. And I think it is shocking the amount of time that you save. You can speak a little to this too, Sandra. What do you think, Cam? How has it been this busy season?

Cameron
Hours and hours of editing work. So specifically to Aftershoot versus Imagen.AI, we’re using both. We’re training both because obviously, we want to keep up with this and like make sure that we’re on the right track, but at the same time for us specifically, we love to do same-day slideshows at weddings and a lot of times we’re at venues that either don’t have wifi, that hasn’t given us access to their wifi, but we don’t want to try to use our hotspot randomly because we don’t have cell service either. Like all these random things, Aftershoot works offline. And so that’s a big reason that we absolutely love it. And we push it hard.

But as far as time-saving, it’s incredible. I mean, it’s like all these topics or this conversation we are just having about saving time and energy. It’s definitely not perfect. Like every single time we edit a gallery, there are photos that are just wrong that I wouldn’t want to deliver as is, but it is saving me 80, 90% of my work. It’s putting me at this amazing starting point that I’m just going through and individually tweaking photos and that’s it, and then it’s ready to send.

Tia
And I think a testament of growth from the time saving that we’ve seen with editing, culling tools is that Cam and I had put off having… So Cam and I primarily photograph weddings and we had put off having an associate team for years upon years for myriad of reasons. Myriad of reasons. Sandra, I’m like pulling out crazy words, things I have never said in my life. I love it. I love it. I’m saying. Whole bunch of reasons. One of them being is that editing isn’t necessarily something that we’re passionate about. Cam does all of our editing and that isn’t something that he’s like, oh, I’m so pumped about so let me take on a lot more work with an associate team where I can just edit and crank out those edits. Aftershoot has made that possible for us.

And so this past year, we started booking up with a team. We started booking next year with a team and our income, it is crazy the difference. People talk about teams all the time and how that looks and we’re still in the baby stages of it, seeing how it’s going to look and how it’s going to flesh out for us.

But because of the time-saving power of AI tools with editing, is a big reason why that made it possible for us to now three times our income, just not doing anything extra, anything extra with our time. So kind of crazy. Are you doing culling in an AI tool as well right now?

Sandra Henderson
Yeah, so Imagen.AI has had a beta of their culling, which has been great. That’s actually what kind of started me in the whole world of AI for photo and video was I was an Aftershoot user for culling for absolutely ever like, I think within the first year of it launching, and just it’s unreal the amount of time it can save. One thing that you guys have mentioned, and I think is really important for listeners to remember about AI is a lot of it does take some drafts like you mentioned with ChatGPT, you go in and like make some tweaks and make sure that tone matches what you’re looking for. And these AI programs like Aftershoot, Imagen.AI, they have a learning process with them as well.

And I know that’s another hurdle that I’ve spoken to some photographers about where they were like, it’s just adding more work onto my plate, which, it can happen, but thankfully I know Imagen.AI and I think AfterShoot have added the ability to tweak your profiles. So I think that will help with that learning curve. But yeah, it’s important to remember that it’s a tool that has to learn your process. And so I’ve been using Imagen.AI long enough now that it’s had a chance to kind of like refresh my profile a few times. And like you were saying, Cam, it’s like it takes my photos to about 90 percent. I go through, I add in some masks if I need to do spot removal and things like that.

Sandra Henderson (22:09.49)
But I did like 35 photos in a mini session in half an hour this morning because all of the work was already done for me. Crazy.



Tia
Yeah. So I think that the first draft, second draft, and third draft are really important. We need to have the mindset shift that not only are we going through how can we learn to use this tool better, but the tools are continually getting better. So getting in like Sandra, at the ground floor of like, hey, I’ve been this Aftershoot user. I am an OG. Like, let’s get after it. She’s seen it evolve, she’s learned how to utilize it as it evolves and gets to reap the benefits of it evolving.

Cameron
Yeah. And having the mindset of, yes, you do have to put in maybe a few hours of work to get these programs up and running, even a bit like what you want. And that is daunting, especially during busy season. The idea of like putting in another five hours of uploading all my past galleries to this to make sure that I can learn how I like to edit is very hard and daunting. But I have to say also that next wedding, instead of spending 8 to 12 hours editing the whole wedding, I’m spending two to three now. And every single wedding moving forward is going to be that same thing, which is incredible. We always like to say it’s like a step to the side. Don’t consider it a step backwards. It’s like a step to the side in your progress, but it’s going to catapult you forward 10 steps. You’re merging into the fast lane.

Tia
Yeah, it’s nuts. And so holler at that off-season again. What a perfect time to spend this time right now when you have a little bit more white space. If you can dig in and like, hey, I’m going to train my editing profile and let’s get after this. That is the perfect time.

Sandra Henderson
You guys already mentioned a little bit about how this has helped you kind of triple the income that you’re bringing in and start building out your associate team. What are some other ways that photographers can use AI to help them better, like grow their businesses, thrive in their businesses, and even better the impact that it’s having on their lives?

Tia
Yeah, 100%. Okay, the lives, all of these are going to circle back to the impact it can have on your lives. I mentioned spicy novels that I love to read.

Sandra Henderson (24:10.346)
Me too.

24:10 Using AI to Increase Productivity and Improve Client Experience with Cameron and Tia

Tia
How much more time (are you going to have)? So increase productivity. You’re going to be able to increase your productivity. We already heard Sandra and Cam talking about just editing. Let’s talk about, I love a tool called Descript.

Descript is what we use for kind of making any of our reels. We do weekly content that is YouTube, which is education for other photographers. So there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes. There’s a lot of business tips there for repurposing that content to reels, what I can do is pop it in a tool called Descript. And at the base level, Descript does an entire text transcript of whatever you’re talking about. It auto-populates that. And it is scary good. It is crazy. I’m going to be honest.

In the past, I saw people making videos like this and I thought that they were hand typing out their script. I was like, huh? How did they have time for that? I was so concerned. Descript automatically will do that entire text script. And then you can, if I was going to repurpose something, so maybe you have a behind-the-scenes video from your family session that you want to repurpose and you want to make it a reel and it was recorded landscape, you can take it into Descript. It can make it vertical for you and it can make that ratio and then it can do what’s called dynamic text. And so it will pop up the text on the screen following along.

So here’s the deal with that. I love to use it. We use it for all of our reels now, and anything that we’re repurposing. In the past, I would have tried to do anything like that, so let’s say I was trying to change the ratio just in Final Cut Pro, that takes time. Let’s say I was typing out the script. I did not make a script for this. That takes time. Let’s say I was making dynamic text popping up on the screen while I was saying these… Holy cow, the time there. So I think not only are these tools allowing you to do things that you might not have ever had the capacity to do, or it’s taking things off of your plate that are allowing you productivity in your zone of genius.

It’s getting the mundane, repeatable tasks off of your plate and it’s allowing you to just focus on the things that need your human touch or that need your specialty, your special sauce. It’s allowing you to get those out of there and then you to just focus on those. So increased productivity allows you to focus on your zone of genius. And I would argue 10 out of 10, it’s allowing for a better client experience.

I get it. I get the hesitation like we already talked about that you don’t have these tiny sentences of personalization that you might have elsewhere without an automation. But I think in this age of Amazon and this age of instant gratification, having a seamless client workflow, that is fast, that gives them immediate responses trumps everything.

And so all of those three categories then circle back to allowing you more time for life. It’s allowing you more time for your hobbies, more time with your significant others, more time with children, all of those things. And that is freeing. And that’s what we’re all chasing as entrepreneurs. We’re trying to take off all those mini hats and put a hat instead on ChatGPT and now allow me more time to read.

Cameron
Yeah, and in addition to that too, like for those of you who maybe really enjoy working, like in addition to that time savings, you can use that time savings to deliver better product also. I mean, you’re talking, Sandra, about using Imagen.AI, getting 90% of the way and then now you’re going and adding masks or spot removing. There are some times when I’m editing a full wedding and it’s taking a long time. It’s a weird day for some reason. It’s taking an extra long time. I don’t want to go through and do that extra work. But now if AfterShoot or Imagen.AI is doing 90% of that work for me is getting me there, all of a sudden it’s like, oh, okay, I’m a little freed up to actually put in a little bit of extra work to make these photos incredible versus just deliverable.

Sandra Henderson
Yeah, absolutely. The possibilities like I know it sounds so lame, but the possibilities are endless of what you can do with all of this extra time. Like it, I wish I had my Imagen.AI open right now. But the love that it keeps track of the number of hours that you’ve saved. Because it’s just – every time I open it, it’s just like this calming wave washes over me. Like that’s 35 hours of editing that I didn’t have to do.

Tia
Yeah, so fun. So exciting.

28:48 Advice for Photographers Hesitant to Use AI

Sandra Henderson
Do you have any words of advice for wedding photographers who are hesitating to get on board with AI in their business?

Tia
Yeah. Okay, we’ve hit this a little bit, but as we enter off-season, I think there’s going to be like three camps of people. Like one, the people who have literally not touched AI. Two, the people who hit it hard in the spring and they’re like, I’m trying to ChatGPT for everything. And then they got into their busy season and it just fell by the wayside. They didn’t have it integrated into workflows or the people who are using it regularly but it’s not in their workflows at all. You know what I mean?

Like it’s like, hey, I have to circle back to this. Oh, I forgot that I should be using this for this. Let me go over here and like use it for that meta description but I don’t necessarily have that in my Asana workflow, like my project management tool where I check it off. Busy season is the opportunity for this. For all three of those camps, you can just take one step forward to move to the next camp or heck, get after it and put it in your workflows. I think that there’s power to getting into a tool. So let’s just use ChatGPT. Getting in a tool, exploring it, and then saying, oh, I do really like it for putting together my email subject lines or for putting together just like my slugs at the end of my blog post. That feels really good to me and it feels like a really easy way to use it that makes sense and I’m seeing success in it.

Okay. So now I go back to my workflow that already exists and every time I do a family blog post, I am now going to have a line item where I head over to ChatGPT, it’s bookmarked up top there, and I put together a slug, and it puts together a really great slug that’s hitting my keywords for me. And now it’s integrated into my workflow so that I am armoured up when I go back into a busy season, I am already integrated into using these AI tools.

And so I just want to encourage you to take whatever that step to the side is for a hot second to then take those steps forward so that you can go into a busy season armoured up, ready to use it, taking dedicated time to just be curious. Take time to see what new is out there, and what tools could help you influence your business or improve your business in some meaningful way.

Cameron
And sometimes it’s a flop too. I know that too. I spend every Friday, I have an hour set aside that I just research. Sometimes that’s just an hour that wasn’t super productive this time, but it was fun and it was enjoyable. Other times I’ll find a tool like Aftershoot or Imagen.AI or something else that improves our lives in some way that saves countless hours in the future or literally thousands of dollars because we found this tool in beta and now we’re getting it for free for life because we invested time in them. All these little things, just taking a little bit of time to get curious and see what’s out there can pay you back tenfold in the future.

Tia
Yes. So we call it a curiosity hour. Cam just said it was an hour on Friday in busy season, and off-season, it’s like a day. That’s like in his batch working schedule is curiosity hour. But we encourage your listeners to set aside time to get curious. I think it’s really hard because it doesn’t feel like there’s an ROI on that initially. It feels like, why would I just kind of like search around for new tools or like search around for solutions to problems I’ve been having when it’s not immediate? It doesn’t feel like, oh, this is on fire. I need to solve it right now.

But we would encourage you to just hop on and start searching around, start exploring, start looking into things that maybe you’ve screenshotted but never spent the time to dig into the tool or dig into what people are using for this. Because there can be a lot of power and the ROI can be what Cam says. It can be that you find something early on and that you’re paying a founder’s rate forever or you paid $200 and now you use this CRM for life for free. Those things are huge ROI.

So off-season is a great time to start a little curiosity hour. Start it, allocate it in your schedule, block it off and use that time for it. And I know that can be challenging, so we actually have a link that we’d love to share with your audience, Sandra. It’s cameronandtia.com/keepingitcandid. On there, it’s a page full of AI tools. So right now, like we talked about, I don’t know, like four today, it is full of it. It has probably like 30 tools on there that if you set aside a curiosity hour and your listeners want to dig into that page, you can click on them, you can explore them, you can see, oh, is this something I need? Is this something I want? Does this make sense in my life? And it can be a really great starting place for curiosity hour.

Cameron
Yeah, and also use that to test out tools too. Like, spend that hour uploading photos to Imagen.AI to see, hey, maybe this tool can save you time and money moving forward too.

Sandra Henderson
Yeah, absolutely. That is amazing. I will definitely make sure to include the link in the show notes for that so everybody can go and check it out. And I definitely will be as well because there’s nothing that I love more than digging through new apps. It’s become a new love of mine over the last year. I’m sure Cameron, you’ve probably heard of AppSumo. But I just switched to a new online calendar for like booking my clients, like mini sessions and stuff like that. I paid $30 US for a lifetime deal and like that’s replacing $144 US a year for my calendar. So I’m like, it’s so addicting. I’m like, bring me more startup companies.

Cameron
Yes, that’s so fun.

33:06 Dream Weddings vs. Automated Weddings with Cameron and Tia

Sandra Henderson
Oh, it was awesome. Well, I have one last question for you guys. This one is a fun little would you rather question… So, would you rather have 10 absolute dream weddings where you cannot use AI to do any of the work that goes along with them? Or would you rather have 10 just-okay weddings but you can fully automate every part with AI imaginable?

Tia
Ha ha ha. That’s hard. 10 is a lot. 10 is what got me, Sandra. I’m looking so hard now to go back and have to almost relearn certain things. I’m thinking about eye tracking, and how much we rely on that just every day. And then we just had an issue with a camera at one wedding, so one of our backups doesn’t have eye tracking. And so I was shooting, literally moving the focus point again. I’m like, oh my God, this is so hard. And it’s just so much more work. And so to have to do that for an entire wedding, like that alone, on top of the editing… Wait. Is eye tracking AI?

Cameron
Yeah.

Tia
I’m choosing the 10 average. But the eye tracking would get me. I also think I would not want to start with a blank screen to type up a blog post. I would also have to relearn that behaviour. That’s not a huge time suck, but I just dread waking up in the morning and looking at a blank screen for a blog post. I’d be like, oh, this feels like the bane of my existence. I choose the 10 average. What do you choose?

Cameron
I might still have a dream. I might put in the extra work, but… For only 10 and never again. 10 is the best. We never have another dream client.

Sandra Henderson
That’s like when you see things online that’s like, you know, you have to live on this remote island with no cell phone service or laptop for a year, but you get a million dollars. I’m like, guys, it’s only a year. Like, I’ll be fine. Give me the million dollars, please, and then give me my cell phone back when the year’s over.

Tia
There you go. Yeah. So you would choose that?

Cameron
I would definitely have to, I think I would do the 10 dream weddings and have to fully automate it and then like just suck it up for the 10 and then I’ll be done with it and go back to AI from there. And I can catapult your business moving forward too. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Wait, but you would choose to live on an island with no laptop, cell phone for a year for a million?

Sandra Henderson
Oh, I mean, in 2023 standards, we might have to up that up. Like that million better go up with inflation a little bit. But yeah, I could totally do a finite amount of time with all of my luxuries. I think I could do that. But if it’s just like you have to give them up forever. I’m like, no, there’s not enough money in the world for me to give all that up forever.

Tia
No, no, no. A year. I don’t know if I could do a year. So I was going to mention this earlier when you were talking about diving into water. Are you a Survivor fan at all? Survivor the TV show?

Sandra Henderson
I haven’t watched it in forever, but it used to be like way back in the day. My photography teacher when I was in high school had a Survivor, almost like a fantasy football type thing where we had to pick who we thought was gonna win and like rank them and things like that. And I ended up winning. I had a good guess.

Tia
Okay, Cam and I are diehard Survivor fans. Our friend group has watched together for years and we watch it every single Wednesday. We do a draft… actually do multiple different versions of drafts. We bet every episode. We’re very into it. It’s very fun. I’ve currently decided that I am auditioning for Survivor. I am going to audition this off-season. That is my off-season task. So obviously you go without a laptop, computer or anything like that, but it’s only 29 days, so it’s no big deal.

Cameron
Yeah, I’m a little worried about that, to be honest, but I’ll get after it.

Tia
For a million dollars, that’s the grand prize. And we still have other people. So I mean, like that’s something that we all learned back in 2020. Like having just people around can really fix a lot of things. As long as there are people that you like, you get your little like alliance and then everybody else.

Sandra Henderson (37:24.962)
Well, that’s awesome. I am so excited for you. I hope that it all goes well, and I can’t wait to say that I know somebody on Survivor.

Tia
Okay. Hold your horses. People apply for like 10 years, or 20 years, and then they finally get selected. So I’m starting at 32. We’ll see what’s up.

Cameron
But you’re still expecting to be selected.

Tia
Oh, I will be selected. I should be selected.

Sandra Henderson
I love that.

Tia
Okay. We’ll report back.

Sandra Henderson
Amazing guys. Well, thank you so much again for joining me. This conversation was so much fun and I know listeners are going to have a million takeaways to dive into AI in the off-season. It was great connecting with you and I hope our paths cross again one day soon!

Tia
Yes, cannot wait.

38:18 Closing Remarks and Encouragement

Sandra Henderson
Okay, how fun was that interview? I absolutely loved talking to Cameron and Tia and the interview went so well that I honestly didn’t have to edit it. I had to trim off some at the very beginning and very end where we were just talking about random things, but the conversation flowed perfectly and you were literally hearing an unedited version of that from start to finish.

For all my chronic illness friends who are listening, I really want to encourage you to lean into AI this year. It’s important to remember that AI is not meant to replace you. These services and apps are tools for your toolkit to help you work more efficiently and when you have a chronic illness, working more efficiently means you have more time to rest.

Remember, it’s entirely possible to run a thriving business within your limitations. So here’s your permission this year to lean into whatever tools you need to make that happen.

Sandra Henderson
Thank you so much for listening. You can find full show notes from today’s episode at simplysandryvonne.ca/keepingitcandid. In the meantime, let’s connect. You can find me on Instagram and TikTok, just search @SimplySandraYvonne. And if you love this podcast, I’d be so honoured if you’d go ahead and hit that subscribe button and leave a review. Until next time.


About Cameron & Tia

Tia sits on a counter and Cameron stands in front of her. They're both holding glasses of wine and smiling at the camera. Photo is used in Cameron and Tia's bio.

Cameron & Tia are wedding photographers and photography business coaches based in Minneapolis, MN. They met in second grade at Jonathan Elementary School. Sixteen years later, Cameron proposed to Tia at that same elementary school. Cameron is an ex-attorney and Tia is a past dance teacher who transformed their passions into a career that allows them to have a life together filled with independence and tons of travel. Now, they teach others to others to create the same flexibility and freedom in their own businesses.

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January 31, 2024

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