Grads 2019 Preview!

Hey folks!  I wanted to take some time today to let all our Grads family know what we have in store for 2019!
First and foremost, thank you again for being part of our Grads community.  As we look back at the posts in our Facebook group over the year, we simply can’t believe how much talent has blossomed in our little group.  Such amazing talent and growth. And as always (and more important), such amazing human beings.
You each continue to define beautifully what the SPS community is known for: generosity, graciousness, and encouragement.  And seriously helpful!
Second, I know that we’ve changed up the “programming” of the Grads program quite often.  We’re definitely not making changes every year just for the sake of changing. Nor are we just trying to create hype each year.  Change is too exhausting for either of those to be the reason!
Rather, we’re only trying to do what serves our group the best.  
And we’re tried a LOT.  More content. Less content.  Content in succession. Content scattered.  Monthly chats. Quarterly chats. Chats at night.  Chats at lunch. And that’s just the start of the list…
Through it all, I think there’s one thing we need most in 2019: PROGRESS.
In an information age overloaded with content, how do we build progress?
Momentum.  Build momentum.
How do we build momentum?
By getting everyone to take action…together…and often!
How do we get everyone together?
Live Chats.  Bring back the Live Chat ya’ll!   
How do we get together often?
By having Live Chats twice per month, with at least one of those being in the evening.  And then by having challenges and “assignments” (of sorts) in between meetings to carry out on our own and discuss in the FB Group.
Interesting…  So, what are we going to talk about?  What are all these Live Chats going to focus on?  Or is it all just going to be unstructured?
Well, we’re going to have 3 main content legs throughout the entire year.  Think of it like a tripod, because photography. You know it! 😉
Those 3 legs of content will be:

  1. Personal Shooting
  2. Editing
  3. Business

Wait, did you just say the B-word?
Yes!  NO. Wait which one?
Yes.  I did say that.
I can explain.  
You see, a lot of our Grad members have been members for 2 years.  And that’s after the Photo Fix.  We’re noticing a new person just about every single week building out their home studio, venturing into freelance work, and many more are getting curious and gaining confidence.  We think it’s just the normal result of continued growth in photography. The fact of the matter is, a large portion of our members are becoming amazing photographers. And people want to pay them to take pics!
We can either look the other way when it comes to business.  Or continue to adapt and change to meet the current needs the very best we can.
But don’t forget, 2 out of 3 legs of our content-tripod-thingy are personal shooting and editing.  And those apply to us all!
So this won’t be SPS-MBA.  Still just Grads.
And at the end of the day, within each content leg, we’ll teach what YOU want us to focus on.  What you NEED us to focus on. Meaning, we’re going to be doing polls. Lots of polls. Polls to begin each month’s theme even!
Whaaaaat?  Did you say monthly theme?  Will there be costumes?
Yes. Then no.
Although the content tripod will stand the whole year, each month will bring a new theme.  So for example:

  • January’s theme: Preparation
  • February’s theme: Indoor Shooting
  • March’s theme: Milestones

And so on and so forth.  This will allow us flexibility within our content core, all whilst providing that aforementioned PROGRESS.  Focusing on one overall theme for a month really has the potential to get you a few more steps down the road!
We have a good idea on 6-7 themes we know we want to tackle.  But again, this will be a conversation. A group journey. We’ll be building as we go based on all your feedback!
Plus, we’ll have a second Live Chat per month where we focus more on your questions and bring in other experts to help answer them.
Experts???  Who what when where why?
Okay so instead of all 5, the important thing to know is that there’s a lot of experts out there that we think it’d be neat to hear from.
Experts within our Grads group.
And experts outside of our Grads group.
All we want to do is interview these experts.  Let them teach us. Then ask them questions…together…live.  
Hmmm.  Innnnteresting.  So Kyle are you one of these experts or are you interviewing the experts?
Nope.  I’m definitely not an expert.  I’ll be involved in guiding and some teaching, but I’ll mostly enjoy seeing the SPS team take this way (way way) further than I ever could on my own.
On that note, Erica Ogden, Sarah Bednar, and Annette Heck will be joining the SPS team to help us all on our journey into this new Grads frontier!  I know, right!
Erica, Sarah, and Annette will be creating and carrying out much of the additional workload all of this new direction will bring.  Polls, themes, creating and delivering lessons on each content leg, hosting interviews, making action steps and facilitating progress within the FB group, and even writing recaps after the month so that we can tidy them up into little mini-courses for more effective archiving and recall!
Holy smokers!  That’s a TON of work!  Very ambitious! Does Grads cost change?  Do we still get access to all the past content?
Your grads cost will never change so long as you’re a member.  And you’ll still get access to all the past grads content that’s currently here.  
And on that note, I’m actually still working on finishing the posing course.  I have 5 shoots complete that need to be edited and uploaded. Those are still coming too…100%.
Some might also remember a workflow course idea.  Yep, I think that might sound like a great monthly theme!  😉
So can you just recap?
I’ll do my best.
In a world so overloaded with info that it can be downright paralyzing, we want to help our Grads family make progress.  And we’re placing all bets on progress happening as the result of teaching thoughtfully planned content in a way that’s biased towards conversation, community, and action!
We’ll have 2 Live Chats per month.  One around the 15th and the other around the 30th.
The first Live Chat per month will consist of 3 short segments of teaching followed by a Q&A.  Erica, Sarah, and Annette will each take one short segment!
We’re thinking 30 minutes of teaching and 30 minutes of Q&A.  That 30 minutes of teaching time will be 10 minutes per content leg (family shooting, editing, and business) and will be guided by the month’s theme.
The second Live Chat per month will be interview focused.
In between Live Chats our team will work hard to facilitate discussion and inspire action.  Because that’s what makes progress.
Above all, the main thing you need to hear is that on behalf of the entire SPS team, we want to serve ya’ll.  It’s the only way to lead effectively.
Thoughts, questions, ideas?  Join us for this Facebook Live tomorrow!

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