So, who is behind ?
I’m part creative ninja, part digital nomad with a pinch of savvy business woman! I’ve always been a bit of a free spirit and I’m completely amazed by the journey that brought me to where I am.
Curious to know how I got here? keep reading!
My path to Stock Photography
I guess becoming a photographer was always in my blood. Crazy fact: my parents met in a photography class!
The funny thing is that I only picked up a camera professionally in my 30’s. That said, between the beautiful family pictures my parents took of me and my brother and learning film photography as a teenager and becoming a dark-room-nerd in high school… I guess it was meant to be.
But before embarking in this career, I worked in product design and marketing for a big American multinational (think baby powder). Although design was a good fit for me, utilizing both my creative and problem solving skills, working in a corporate environment surrounded by engineers wasn’t. It didn’t take very long before I realized that the 9 to 5 life wasn’t going to be for me (Tim Ferris is partly to blame too!). I left the corporate world after 2 years and never looked back.
The Nomad life
Did I mention free spirit? My next plan was to travel for 6 months through South America.
Little did I know that this period of my life would last 4 years! My ex-husband was a photographer based out of Colombia, and I worked as the creative director on many of his shoots. This is also how I first started to do research about generating passive income through photography.
After 4 years living abroad, and freshly divorced, I came back to Canada and moved back in with my mom….at the age of 32. I had no clue what to do next, but that’s when I found out about Yuri Arcurs’ stock photography bootcamp in South Africa. I did have some pre-existing knowledge about photography, but I had never worked with a DSLR camera before! I quickly learned the basics and thanks to my hard work, I placed 5th out of 120 participants in this program.
This got me an internship with PeopleImages. For 8 months, I lived in South Africa and Denmark, working with professional models, producers and retouchers, learning to take amazing pictures with a great support team.
But then it was time to come home. Now a trained photographer, I once again moved back into my mom’s guest room… at 33 years old (insert trombone sound here). Despite my well-honed craft, I still needed to develop my business skills as solo entrepreneur.
For the first year, I tried my hand at family photography. Armed with drive and talent, I had high hopes to build a business for myself, but I had no portfolio, no contacts, no business skills, trying to make it in an over-saturated market.
I felt discouraged, drained and I almost gave up on photography entirely.
So I decided to put all my energy into something I knew: Stock Photography. I was hesitant at first because I found Stock images too commercial and I haaaaated the thumbs-up shots. I then made a promise to myself, I would only do photography that I was proud of. Suddenly, I felt inspired as an artist and jumped-in feet first – doing everything that needed to be done to make my stock photography career.
I had worked with a team before but I had sooo much more to learn as a solopreneur! I worked two side-jobs and built my business on the side. Step-by-step I mastered key aspects of the business and started to gain traction. After establishing a good workflow, my revenues increased by 900% in 12 months.
A business As You Are
After a long period of dedicating my energy to building my Stock portfolio, I finally had a moment to think of my future plans, both on the professional and personal side.
With a strong professional photography portfolio, I started AsYouAreImages.com and built a website I was proud of. I finally felt like my images had a strong cohesive aesthetic and it was easy to send potential clients to the site. I am not a very networky or salesy person, so having a killer website helped showcase my skills. I now have a lot more freedom in commissioned work and rarely have to negotiate rates. THIS is what I had envisioned when I got started in photography!
But equally importantly, I have so much more freedom! Having money from Stock Photography coming in every month completely changed my life.
I don’t have a fancy car or mansion, but I do have an abundant life: I travel multiple months per year, I take time off with friends and family without guilt, indulge in afternoon naps and long weekends, all thanks to passive income.
More than that, I earned full-time income while working part time (I jokingly call this being semi-retired at 38 years old)!
Sharing the love
Another thing about me is that I’ve always been both an artist and a teacher. Being a dark-room-nerd in high school, and teaching swimming lessons as a student job, are two of my true passions.
I am so grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had as an artist, and all I’ve learned along the way to becoming a successful Stock Photographer that I wanted to share it with you.
Maybe you’ll read some blog posts and maybe you’ll sign up for an advanced course. No matter your path, I’m excited that you are here 🙂
Still curious? That’s good because I’m a pretty chatty girl! Listen to this podcast episode to get more personal:
In 2014, I started AsYouAre Images. As the head photographer and founder, I wanted to be surrounded by positive, kickass collaborators (models, assistants, second photographers, retouchers, office assistants). That’s why the AsYouAre crew is made up of me (wearing many hats) and passionate, loving, and creative freelancers – no fuss, no divas! Together, we form a positive and energetic team, working together to co-create images with soul.
One of the founding beliefs I built into my business is that the images that I distribute have an impact on those who see them. That’s why I pride myself on producing responsible imagery.
Authenticity: We work with real people of all ethnicities, genders and age, in real environments.
Real bodies: We don’t work with underweight models because we believe that they don’t represent a healthy standard for viewers
Ethical retouching: We NEVER alter body shapes. We do remove temporary imperfections like stray hair or pimples, but we believe that shapes and expression lines are part of the human charm. Wouldn’t you agree?
Since 2013, Julie Francoeur and the As You Are images team has been part of the Compassionate Eye Foundation’s project. By volunteering to create and shoot stock photography projects, we have produce images that raise royalties to help fund education, health and community development projects in developing countries.
LearnStockPhotography.com is a site whose goal is helping and educating photographers about licencing their images online. These tools include links to suggested online products and services provided by other merchants. Some of the links that we post on our site are “affiliate links.” To show appreciation for your support, we will donate 25% of all income received in the form of affiliate commissions. At the end of the year, we share that donation between a non-profit and an LSP Scholarship.
The LSP scholarship
Now it’s your turn
What will your next step be?
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