Radio Interview Transcripts

MorePhotos Radio - Jerry Deck and Sondra Ayers for the WPPI


ANNOUNCER:  Welcome to the More Photos’ Radio Photography Spotlight brought to you by helping professional photographers with all their internet needs world wide. Also brought to you by Finally, an e-commerce solution for professional photo labs that makes sense. Now here’s your host, Damien Allen. 
DAMIEN: Good afternoon and welcome to More Photos Radio. My name is Damien Allen and today joining me on the telephone is Sondra Ayers and Jerry Deck of Power Consulting USA.  Good afternoon, folks, welcome to the program.
SONDRA: Good afternoon.
JERRY: Good afternoon.
DAMIEN: Now you’re both going to be speaking at the upcoming conference at WPPI in Las Vegas.  Could you please tell us a little bit about the topic you’re going to be discussing?
SONDRA: We are talking on Monday, March 8th from 3:30 – 5:30, and we’re going to be talking about how people can live the life of their design. It’s a concept we talk about a lot with our clients, and we actually are going to have real world examples from some of our studios who will be sharing the platform with us and discussing how concepts have been implemented in their business and how they are moving towards living the life of their design and it’s going to be a lot of take home information and it gives attendees a chance to be inspired by photographers who are actually working in the trenches just like they are. So it will be a lot of fun for beginners as well as seasoned veterans.
JERRY: And one of the unique things we will be bringing into this program is normally as full time success coaches for wedding photographers, we give lessons, we tell stories of what has worked, what hasn’t worked, this is going to be one of the first times we are bringing people up on stage with us like Sondra said photographers from the trenches of all different ages, all different experience levels, and we’re going to give lessons to the attendees through the studios that are on stage with us; the photographers we are featuring that have used these examples in their studios to start living the life of their design. It’s going to be a lot of fun.
DAMIEN: What message do you hope to bring to the class?
JERRY: One of the biggest messages I think that needs to be brought forth in the photographic industry right now is that success is a lot more than marketing. Success is a lot more than branding. Success is a lot more than being a great photographer. You know we all know a lot of great artists who don’t know how to bring the great business aspects out into the real world and those are all the starving artists that we know so one of the biggest messages is there isn’t one big thing usually holding people back, it’s usually 100s of little things that have to be built like a foundation, and the message that we really want to bring to people is you can live the life of your design as long as you define what it is first and then as long as you build foundations to get your life where you want it and a lot of people want to skip those foundations, and they are looking for that one big answer. They are looking for that silver bullet and it really doesn’t exist. You’ve got to do a lot of things and you’ve got to do a lot of things much better than everybody else in your target market.
DAMIEN: Now you’re not a photography company, per se, you’re not photographers. How long have you been associated with WPPI and how did you get involved?
SONDRA: We’ve actually been doing this…it’ll be 21 years in 2010 and this is what we do full time is work with professional portrait and wedding photographers and help them discover what they want their life to be and how they can get that life through their studio business. We’ve been doing things with WPPI since we started. We started out actually doing trade shows.   I think we have spoken 17 of the last 21 years?
JERRY: Yeah, I think we’ve done 17 programs with WPPI in the last 21 years, and I was actually at the first WPPI convention back in 1980 at Caesar’s Palace. I’ve been in the photographic industry for 32 years or 33 years, I lose count. So I’ve been in the photographic industry an awful long time. Sondra and I met about 21 years ago, and Sondra asked me if I wanted to be a part of her mission which was to help business people become more successful. Because of my background in the photographic industry, we joined forces and the rest is history.
DAMIEN: You’re both the co-owners of Power Consulting USA. What started you as a motivational speaker? What spark says this is my niche, this is what I need to do?
SONDRA: When I started power consulting, my goal was to help people who were incredibly talented prosper with what they were doing, and you know, I always joke about the starting artist mentality and how that it’s not romantic except in Harlequin Romance novels. I think that’s something that a lot of artists don’t pay attention to is the business and business for me is really exciting and really interesting so when I started Power Consulting my focus was to help people who have a passion for doing something, be profitable doing it, and merge into having it support what they want their life to be, and it’s all kind of fallen into place with Jerry coming on board and bringing an incredible sales and marketing background to the company. It’s just kind of evolved into what we are today which is success coaches and motivational coaches for people and it’s lots and lots of fun when people actually get the concepts that we’re sharing with them and as we start to see our clients moving to the life of their design and loving everything that they are doing with their business, it’s been very fun and very rewarding to be able to share my passion with other people.
JERRY: And I’ve always had a burning desire to see people happy.   I know it sounds kind of simplistic, but I’ve always loved the happy ending. I’ve always loved to see people accomplishing what they have wanted to accomplish and I’ll always remember, oh man, it’s got to be at least 17/18 years ago when we were giving a seminar somewhere in the northeast and a photographer waited till everybody left the room, and he came up and he grabbed me and he started crying after one of our programs. And it turned out he wasn’t making enough money, his business was going to close, his wife hated what he was doing, and one of the goals he wanted, he wanted to take his wife on a cruise, because they had never really gone on a honeymoon or had a great vacation, and he wanted to buy her a diamond tennis bracelet, and about a year and a half later, he accomplished both of those things, and for me knowing that and seeing that happen and knowing that he accomplished a goal with our help, I mean, that’s what gets me buzzed. That’s what gets me really motivated, and I’ve always loved that, and I love seeing photographers succeed. There is a lot of starving artist mentality in the photographic industry, and I don’t think it needs to be there. I believe that photographers are providing something that nobody else can provide. You know all the talk right now is about the digital moms with the cameras, and you know, they are taking the business away from the photographers. Well great photographers can still do things that amateurs will never be able to do and great photographers will always create those moments that nobody else can create, and I think that’s a real gift, and I think it’s something that is really necessary. So I got into this, and I do what I do, because I have a passion for watching people succeed. Every year we do a cruise with a bunch of our clients and seeing our clients on the cruise and sitting there as the sun is going down and the ships sailing away from somewhere in the Caribbean and looking around at these tables full of our clients, it’s a really cool, happy, warm feeling to know we had something to do with bringing them success. There’s nothing like it in the world.
DAMIEN: Can you share a few tips on how people can stay motivated in the economy seeing how we’re in a down economy right now?
JERRY: Well as far as a down economy or an up economy, we firmly believe that if you provide a product and service that turns people on emotionally, you’ll always have business. We are fortunate enough to live close to Walt Disney World in Florida, and at Christmas time we go down there and we people watch. And when you talk about a down economy, when you see people at Disney World and you see them in the stores and you see lines of 20 – 25 people at every register, you wonder how much of a down economy we are really in, because people are buying those things they want to buy. They are buying things to make them happy and fulfill them. Keeping motivated…if you’re a business owner, get motivated by staying in contact with your clients and in a down economy what you want to do is just stay in front of those people who believe in you, and our studios, our clients, who still have plenty of portrait and wedding business are the ones who stay in contact and are connected to their client. They have events going, they’ve got face to face meetings with their clients, they call their clients just to say hello. It’s all about staying connected and having that bond and giving your clients a reason to have you want to succeed. Your clients have to have a vested interest in what you do. You should want to be the best photographer you possibly can, and your client should be a part of that quest, be a part of that journey.
DAMIEN: Now on your website you offer 52 weeks of powerful ideas for free. What are those power tips and how can we get them?
SONDRA: We offer actually two things that people can take part in which are complimentary. The first is power thoughts and that was our original contribution which started almost 9 years ago and those are daily motivational tips and anyone can sign up for those at and then the power tips we came up with about a year or so ago, and they are 3 – 5 minute video tips and they are fun, they are light hearted, they’re on a variety of topics from sales and marketing to client service and motivation, a little bit of everything, and they are just quick little sniplets so that people can get a refresher, get an idea if they hear something they maybe heard before, but now it’s being presented to them in a different way and those are available by going either to the website or going to
JERRY: And those are our way of giving back, and we’ve gotten thousands and thousands of emails from photographers who have been getting Power Thoughts for the last 9 years and we’ve gotten a ton of emails from photographers who are watching us every week on Power Tips, and remember we are not videographers, we’re not professional movie directors. We just get on, one of us or both of us, gets on the video and we give you a little tip. You get to see what we look like, and get to be a part of our success journey with Power Tips and Power Thoughts.
DAMIEN: Could I get you to share the website address and contact information one more time please.
SONDRA: Certainly it’s and on that site currently you can sign up for Power Thoughts or the Power Tips and the site is under construction. We’re redoing our site so it’s the one page right now and if someone wants information about WPPI they can contact me directly at my personal email which is If somebody needs more information on our program at WPPI or the other events we have going at WPPI, they can contact me.
DAMIEN: I’d like to thank you very much for joining us today, Sondra and Jerry.
SONDRA: Thank you, Damien.
JERRY: Thank you very much, Damien, we appreciate the time you’ve taken to speak to us today.
DAMIEN: It’s been a pleasure having you. We encourage our listeners to attend Jerry Deck and Sondra Ayers’ workshop. We hope to see you at WPPI Conference held in beautiful Las Vegas, Nevada, March 4th – 11th, 2010.   You’ve been listening to More Photos Radio. My name is Damien Allen. Everybody have a great afternoon.
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