Recorded: Welcome to the ReWork with Allison Tyler Jones, a podcast dedicated to inspiring portrait photographers to uniquely brand, profitably price, and confidently sell their best work. Allison has been doing just that for the last 15 years. And she’s proven that it’s possible to create unforgettable art and run a portrait business that supports your family and your dreams. All it takes is a little ReWork.

Recorded: Episodes will include interviews with experts from in and outside of the photo industry, mini-workshops, and behind the scenes secrets that Allison uses in her portrait studio every single day. She will challenge your thinking and inspire your confidence to create a profitable, sustainable portrait business you love through continually refining and ReWorking your business. Let’s do the ReWork.

Allison Tyler Jones: Hi, friends, and welcome back to the ReWork. You know, sometimes it’s difficult to overcome our fear of expressing our opinions with our clients, advising them, basically just becoming an expert. How do you do that? Well, today’s guest Iryna Sosnovska is from our Mindshift membership group and she is Ukrainian by birth. She has made some huge moves and taken some big risks in her life and she shares how she opened her Manhattan portrait studio in the middle of a pandemic and how she has learned to embrace her inner expert. I know you’re going to find some great tips on this today. I know you’re going to be inspired by her story and I can’t wait for you to hear it. Let’s do it.

Allison Tyler Jones: All right. Well, I would love to welcome Iryna Sosnovska from Manhattan, New York. Thank you so much for being here today, Iryna.

Iryna Sosnovska: Hi, Allison.

Allison Tyler Jones: I’m so happy to have you here.

Iryna Sosnovska: You’re very welcome. Such a pleasure.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yes, I know. I love it. Well, I feel like we’re old friends, even though we’ve never actually met in person. But you’ve been a student in the Art of Selling Art course, and then you’re in our Mindshift membership and you’re just an integral part of our community. And the reason why I wanted to have you on the podcast was because you’ve done some really scary things with your business during hard times. And so I’d love for you to just introduce yourself to our listeners. Tell us who you are, where you are, and what it is that you’re doing.

Iryna Sosnovska: My name is Iryna Sosnovska. You did a fabulous job pronouncing it correctly.

Allison Tyler Jones: Oh, thank you.

Iryna Sosnovska: So, yeah, I’m in Manhattan in New York. I’m a portrait photographer. I opened my studio, the physical studio, about two years ago, so in the middle of pandemic. I am mostly family and kind of half-and-half family and women’s beauty and a little bit headshot. And I’m from Ukraine. Moved here 11 years ago. And, yeah, that’s in short.

Allison Tyler Jones: I love that. So the thing that I think is interesting about your journey is that you have been a journalist, a photojournalist, you’ve lived in a lot of different countries. English is your second language. You’ve gone through the pandemic as everybody in the world has, but you’re now also dealing with this strife in your homeland, which is a stressor as well. And so through all of these very difficult things, you’re still thriving and building an amazing business in Midtown Manhattan.

Iryna Sosnovska: Yeah. All sounds so amazing. But of course it looks much prettier on the outside than in the inside, there’s a whole lot of stress and heart and sweat. I was just thinking that I’m so overworked now before my vacation that I hope I will be able to enjoy my vacation. Because I’m just overworked.

Allison Tyler Jones: So tell me more about that. What do you?

Iryna Sosnovska: Yeah, so you mentioned the journalism. I was a journalist in Ukraine probably like 14, 15 years ago. I’m a sociologist by education. And I started working while at university as a journalist with my husband. And then we decided to change paths. We’re very adventurous people, so I guess that’s helpful in business.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah. Oh, absolutely.

Iryna Sosnovska: So at some point we decided to move from Ukraine to Prague, Czech Republic. We lived there for a little bit. And then stopped that, and then we moved to New York City 11 years ago. We were just two of us. And then I thought I would be a fashion photographer, so I kind of wrapped my journalism. And then my daughter was born so I switched to families and portraits. And what else did you mention? Of course there’s stress with Ukraine, but I hope by reading less news every day, every single minute, watching less and just trying to help those people that I know, because there are a lot of people I know who know people who need help. So, yeah, when something horrible happens, you just take it as it is. You can’t be stressed and crying all day long.

Allison Tyler Jones: Absolutely. Well, and I think that’s such good advice because the news media, they make money by just scaring everybody to death. And we kind of have to take a break from that occasionally. So it’s good to know that you’re doing that.

Iryna Sosnovska: And I’m grateful. Ukrainians are grateful for the news, to be honest. And sometimes I feel bad that I don’t follow that much, because when it becomes so used, everybody’s used to it, there’s less of change happening. So I hope news will keep showing and the world will keep terrified and do something.

Allison Tyler Jones: Right. Exactly. Well, yeah, we need to be informed, but yeah.

Iryna Sosnovska: Yeah.

Allison Tyler Jones: As far as—

Iryna Sosnovska: But you can’t follow everything all day long.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah. I love that. So you opened your studio how long ago? Your current studio.

Iryna Sosnovska: So the brick and mortar was opened in 2021. I moved here 2020.

Allison Tyler Jones: Okay. That’s what I thought. I thought it was during the pandemic.

Iryna Sosnovska: Yes, was…

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah. So you’ve done that. This is what we’re asking all of our students that are doing these little short podcasts. You’ve made all these changes. You’ve gone into a new studio space in the last couple of years. If you had a genie that appeared before you and said they could grant you one risk for your business, what would that be?

Iryna Sosnovska: Yeah. Well, if I can I would ask for a billion dollars, if I’m totally honest. And if I can, if that’s even an option, but I suspect that’s probably not.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah, I would ask for 8 million and fat metabolism. Yeah, exactly.

Iryna Sosnovska: Yeah. So I would ask for some big sum of money because I’m stressed about mine. Okay. So that put aside, that’s probably not going to work, going to accept that answer. So I would probably just being known in my area. I’d like that. Being known among women, educated, middle-class, upper-middle-class women preferably married and with kids. I just wish they knew I existed and what I did because if they knew they would flock in.

Allison Tyler Jones: They would just be here.

Iryna Sosnovska: They would line up.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah. Well, and obviously some of those women are finding you because you have a thriving business. And I think what you said earlier is absolutely true, everything always looks better on the outside than on the inside. But for every successful business, there’s a business owner laying awake at three in the morning going, “Okay, things are okay right this minute, but how am I going to pay the rent next month?” Or whatever. We never know what’s coming around the bend. To be in businesses is to risk, for sure.

Allison Tyler Jones: So your number one genie thing would be to become more known. So what are you doing at the current time to become more known to your clients?

Iryna Sosnovska: I’m actually doing more social media presence, especially on Instagram. Because I’ve learned that it is true and clients have been finding me on social media, Facebook, Instagram. So I’m becoming much more serious and I’m posting and I’m showing my work, so exactly what I do, which is printed work.

Allison Tyler Jones: I love that.

Iryna Sosnovska: So I’ve learned a lot, been inspired and learned from you here and there a lot. And I also learned how important it is, because a lot of the things that you assume, of course everybody needs to be on social media, but how to be and how exactly and how important it’s to be there. So I’m actually thinking of more campaigns, because right now I’m mostly campaign based. And then here and there, of course, too, I mean I’m in all schools’ auctions. They have their galas in New York City. That helps, too. But I do believe in social media, believe it or not.

Allison Tyler Jones: Right. I couldn’t agree with you more. I feel like that’s really where we’re getting our newer, more qualified clients is through Instagram people. And it’s people that have been following us for a while, like they stalk you for a while then they might see their friends come to you or whatever. I’m sure you’ve had people call and say, “I’ve been following you for X number of months, years, whatever.” And then they finally make the call.

Iryna Sosnovska: Oh, I wish. Not yet. I’ll get there.

Allison Tyler Jones: Well, it’s coming. But I think it’s telling that story. And we need to be way more consistent than we are on Instagram. We’re certainly not perfect. But when we do post, it is usually with the purpose of telling the story behind what it is that we’re doing.

Allison Tyler Jones: So what steps are you taking today to rework that problem? So just you’re being more consistent? Is there anything specific that you’ve learned that you’re being very intentional about with your posting?

Iryna Sosnovska: Yeah. So I’m very intentional about posting also keeping in mind who it is that actually looking at those posts and really showing less of just photos of images, but more of the wall art albums. Being there myself, so that artist who is the person behind the camera. I find that people… I mean, everybody always told me, but I didn’t listen. But it is important. And I now learned that it’s very important for people to know who is that photographer? What is she about? What her style is, what her taste is, what her set of beliefs are.

Allison Tyler Jones: Right.

Iryna Sosnovska: And also just showing. So I used to, before ReWork, I was just showcasing, “Here’s what I shot. Here’s my part.”

Allison Tyler Jones: Pretty pictures. “Here’s my beautiful, pretty picture.”

Iryna Sosnovska: “Here’s my recent big, pretty picture. Oh, I like…” Well, maybe I didn’t go as boring as, “I love my work. I love my clients.”

Allison Tyler Jones: Of course. Yeah.

Iryna Sosnovska: But I went to like, “Well, here look at this family. I make you blah, blah.” And now you mentioned that you come up with the idea first and then you look for an image to support that. So you come up with a message. There’s something you want to say right now, or today, and you say that and you illustrate that with your photograph or a photograph of you selling artwork. So what it is that I want to say, what it is that I want to share, what it is that I want people to get inspired by and be moved, be inspired, satisfy their curiosity, perhaps, if they were following me, what it is that I do. So showing my work, but with an intention first. And then the works, of course.

Allison Tyler Jones: I’m looking at your Instagram feed right now and I can see what you’re doing. We’ll link to it.

Iryna Sosnovska: Okay. You can see when I started, like day before yesterday.

Allison Tyler Jones: Oh, stop. We’ll link to it in the show notes. But you can see more behind the scenes, showing even down to a quote by Helena Bonham Carter about art and you shooting some pictures. And then also you with white gloves on holding a piece of wall art and then having that same picture with the dancer that she’s standing next to it.

Allison Tyler Jones: So I think all of that, again, I love that. Start with the idea first and then illustrate it with an image. But I find that when you’re a creative person, you just think, “Well, that’s not that big a deal. Nobody cares about any of that.” But for people that don’t think of themself as creative, they are endlessly fascinated by the behind the scenes of what is going on.

Iryna Sosnovska: Oh, yes.

Allison Tyler Jones: It’s just like all the shows of like how the donuts are made. We love to see the factories or we love to see the chocolate being poured or a painter working in their studio. That behind the scenes, it’s really including them in our process and letting them know how we work. And then also, it’s speaking, like what you said, to that avatar, that ideal client, to say, “There’s a lot of thought that goes into this.” And so we actually only are really appealing to those who want imagery that has a lot of thought that goes into it, like this is not going to just be a quickie process. There’s a lot that goes into it. So I really see that on your feed. I think this is great. I love what you’re doing here. I think it’s really awesome.

Iryna Sosnovska: Yeah. I need to get better. And, yeah, it’s been a process and I’m learning. I’m so old school, I’m actually literally learning Instagram. So that’s that. There’s that.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah. Well, and even I just am looking at this one post you have of a restaurant that has all these portraits up on a wall that are not your portraits, but you’re just saying, “This is my kind of place. Food tastes better when the ambiance is right.” And that you like the way those are hung. And I think that is really cool, too. You live in New York City. You live in basically the Roman Empire, the current Roman Empire, right now is like all the cool stuff, everything cool is happening there. So for you to not only include in your process, but also include like, “Look at how this retail store hung these images. This is how I would hang a wall gallery,” or whatever. That is something that is unique to you, that you could really show your clients that, “This is where I gain inspiration,” and it’s all about your process. And then you’re bringing them into that, which I think is really exciting.

Iryna Sosnovska: I think it’s such a important thing for photographers, I can say for sure. Yeah, for every creator to think a little bit as a client, because we’re so much in our bottle and we don’t see the label on the outside and we really don’t realize how amazing it is what we do. We do it every day and so becomes just so mundane. But it is true that when people come in and they see their eyes and they ask me something or ask me what I think or ask me about how is that printed? What finish is that? What framing is that?

Iryna Sosnovska: And they’re so fascinated and they ask such simple questions and you realize… And they’re well educated people. They have passion on top of their professions, but they’re not in this industry. And they absolutely illiterate in photography and products. We need to embrace that more, I think, and step into that, “Yes, we know it and we can show it and we better show it.” And let people see and why.

Allison Tyler Jones: Well, and because I look at that and I think, “Okay, this woman is an artist. She receives inspiration from even restaurants that she’s sitting in.” I’m watching you work on your Instagram feed. You’re bringing me into that process. And also I want to hear more about that. And you’re willing to educate your client and be that trusted advisor and bring them along on a journey. And so I think when people then look through that and then maybe see your prices, they might go, “Oh, okay. Now I get why it’s more, because look at all the things that she’s doing.” Your Instagram feed isn’t just, “Look at all my pretty pictures.” It’s, “Look at everything that goes into this process and makes it valuable.”

Iryna Sosnovska: Yeah, that’s really branding. Yeah.

Allison Tyler Jones: Exactly. For sure. So, because you are one of our founding members of the Art of Selling Art, one of the very, very first, when you’ve made change in your business, what is something that you learned when you took the Art of Selling Art that you felt like led to positive change in your business?

Iryna Sosnovska: Multiple things. Hard to pick one. But if I had to start, something that comes to my mind immediately and I’m like, “This has been biggest,” is embracing that expert in me, not just being a photographer creating pretty pictures and letting people decide or look at them independently or just like, “Here, what do you want to do?” So that’s more or less what I was doing. I create some pretty pictures and I show them and I ask them, “What do you want to do with them?” And they, “Well, I don’t know.” And maybe this, maybe that.

Iryna Sosnovska: And I didn’t really understand how important it is when people hire someone who they care about. If they hire a photographer, not a student burner, for some decent amount of money, that must mean that they like that person. They want their work. So if they hire that kind of person, then they hire an expert. They hire an advisor. They don’t realize it. They hire a photographer, but when it comes down to what they’re going to order, what they’re going to have, they really don’t know.

Iryna Sosnovska: So when I’m there with the client, first of all, guiding them, educating them in before. So I’m much more specific and straightforward. I always was honest, but I wasn’t as straightforward as after your class, after your workshop. So I really realized the importance of that very like 200% straightforwardness.

Allison Tyler Jones: What do you mean by that? So you were always honest, but you weren’t as straightforward. So give me an example of that.

Iryna Sosnovska: Well, I would say that, “This is exactly what we do and this is what it cost,” even before they ask. So I wouldn’t wait for their question and I wouldn’t be afraid of that question. I would be proudly saying, “This is what we do and this is what it costs.” And I never said before, like, “Well if you get this and that, you can spend north of $5,000.” Or, “This piece is $15,000.” So I really embrace that. And I used to just tell them what they ask and now I’m more I’d rather have the conversation earlier than later.

Allison Tyler Jones: You’re bringing it up before they ask.

Iryna Sosnovska: Yeah, I’m bringing it up. And during the consultation, before the shoot, I’m more specific about asking them, “Well, we’re not going to just shoot everything. What it is that you would like to do? And here’s how we can do it.” And I recommend and I, again, quote them. And I’ve noticed that the earlier I quote them higher, I set the expectations higher, the better the sales are. So they have that time to get used to the higher numbers.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yes, absolutely.

Iryna Sosnovska: I put so much care and love. And I really, really care about how to portray them so that all their personalities are captured. I tell them, “If I document how you look, my job is not done right. I want to capture how you really are. Your personality. And different sides of your personality and your relationships. And it’s very unique to you. And it’s what it is that’s truly special to you.”

Iryna Sosnovska: So when people stop thinking of it just as pretty pictures and they realize that, “Oh, this is so much more. This is really about our family and not just a pretty picture. This is really about my daughter or my son and how they are, how I see them, and how much I love them and what it is that I love about them.” And they start thinking. And then I ask them visualize what it is, a wall art piece or collection of wall arts. We showcase in multiple. I give them suggestions at that point or an album. And I give them the quote and they get used to it. They have time to get used to it before the shoot and then before the sales appointment.

Allison Tyler Jones: If you’re looking for a way to attract better clients, I have a free masterclass coming up very, very soon. And it’s called Four Mindshifts to Attract Better Clients. It’s the behind the scenes secrets that we use to create a profitable portrait business built around your unique style and your very best clients without working around the clock or having to market like an insane person.

Allison Tyler Jones: We have three different dates for you to pick from. And I would love to see you there. In this class, you’re going to learn about the major mindshift that all successful portrait photographers must make in order to drill down on what you do best, how to innovate by ignoring the competition and focusing on what you do best, how to simplify to sell more, a clear way to talk about your work that will educate your clients instead of selling them, and the most simple and effective marketing strategy that costs no money and will have your clients buzzing about you to their friends.

Allison Tyler Jones: This masterclass is absolutely free. And I would love to see you there. Just go to and sign up for the time and date that works best for you. That’s Don’t miss it.

Allison Tyler Jones: I think we all have experience with that in different service providers that we have, right? When you don’t know what something costs you just don’t know. So the first thing that you ask when you go like, “Oh, if I’m going to get somebody to landscape my yard,” or “I’m going to get somebody to decorate my house,” or whatever, you don’t really have any idea what it is or how it works or anything. And so when somebody comes in and you think, “Oh, well, I know so-and-so spent this much.” Or you might ask a few friends or whatever, but until you sit down with somebody and they sit down and explain and take you through an entire process, that is such a great feeling because you’re like, “Oh, I’m in such great hands.”

Allison Tyler Jones: And you also are told ahead of time, maybe it’s way too much. And you realize, “Ooo, this is not worth it for me to spend $1 million on landscaping my yard.” But this guy, or this woman, spent the time to tell me how it worked and what it is. So then you can make that decision rather than they showed up with their trucks and started landscaping and then sent you the bill. And you’re like, “Whoa, hold on a minute. I can’t afford this.” So you’re basically getting out ahead of that, being more straightforward, and guiding them through the process. I think that is awesome. Really, really good.

Iryna Sosnovska: Yeah, and at the sales meeting, of course, when they come to see the photographs, they always ask what I think, which images work well. And I honestly tell them, but also owning it more. I explain more like why it is better, why this is worse, why I wouldn’t get that. I can tell, “I don’t like this.” Now I’ll look at this photograph, “Not a good one. Nope. You’re not getting that one.”

Iryna Sosnovska: And I think it’s for every industry wherever I go, personally, I appreciate rather being not overly sweet and nice and like, “Oh, everything is great on you. Everything looks good on you. This fits you well.” I’m so sick and tired of that. I would rather have a person tell me honestly what it is, what they charge, proudly owning it. And that instills more trust in me, because I know that they will be honest and I know that they are not desperate.

Iryna Sosnovska: If they straightforwardly tell me, “This is what we do. And we love it.” It comes through. And they say, “This is what we charge,” without being like, “Oh, we charge a lot or it’s expensive.” It’s really not up to anyone to decide what’s expensive or not.

Allison Tyler Jones: Right.

Iryna Sosnovska: Right.

Allison Tyler Jones: That’s such a subjective term.

Iryna Sosnovska: So it’s just, “This is the price. This is the price.” And they say it so just normally and honestly and very clearly that it makes me trust them and I want to do business with them because I feel like they’re so confident that probably other people… They’re so in demand. It’s just an unconscious thing. So I want to be that. And that’s what I learned a lot from you. So really stepping into that and not being, “Ah,” or like, “Oh, yes, yes, yes. Everything’s fabulous.”

Allison Tyler Jones: Right. I do. I agree with that. And I think that’s such a good point because how many times have we’ve been to a clothing boutique or a shoes or something like that? I think particularly women, you get that overly solicitous salesperson that is like… it’s not the slimy, used car salesman guy, it’s the, “Oh, you’re so beautiful. And of course your feet, even though you wear a size 12, those clown shoes are amazing on you know.” Or whatever.

Allison Tyler Jones: And you’re like, “Okay, you would say everything was amazing. So now I don’t feel like I’m in good hands. I don’t feel like you’re really telling me.” Where somebody that will speak truth to you and say, “Okay, I’m just telling you the horizontal stripes on those pants, that is not going to be a good look for you. Even though I would love you to buy these $250 pair of pants, let’s just set those aside and go for the black ones.” You love that somebody will tell you the truth.

Iryna Sosnovska: I love it. I would go to that person and probably spend more.

Allison Tyler Jones: But then you will.

Iryna Sosnovska: Yes.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah, because they’re not trying to… They really are trying to help you solve a problem. And I think that’s a really, really good example for us. So you’ve already given us so much great advice. So do you have any advice for other photographers who might be struggling in their businesses with either stepping into being the expert? What advice can you give?

Iryna Sosnovska: Well, that’s very general. Because at different stage in business, you need a different advice, so you don’t want to hurt anyone with the wrong advice.

Allison Tyler Jones: This is true.

Iryna Sosnovska: If you are a very starting photographer, then figure out by trying and making mistakes and just really doing. And figure out what you want to shoot, what really speaks to you so you connect with that. And then that, accelerate that. Build up. Really make it, whatever it is, really focus on that.

Iryna Sosnovska: If you are more or less call me established business, I don’t think I’m established yet. I’m really just building, still in a very building stage. But I think everybody’s problem is the fear. Fear is such a stopping factor. If we can just shut it for just a minute and just put it aside, don’t look there.

Iryna Sosnovska: And sometimes, I tell myself, well, what if I weren’t afraid? If I go to the moon and look at earth from far, far away, when you are far from the everyday grind and everyday worry and everyday stress like, “Oh, this traffic. This, that.” And you just move yourself out, pull yourself out, and you just look at it. What’s important? What it is that I want to do? What it is that I would love to do even if I didn’t have to or I had all the money and all of that? What it is that I would actually do marketing-wise, if I wasn’t? I’m not there. So I’m not stressed every day, every minute, pull yourself out. And setting all of that aside to see it clearly and just do it. But that’s hard. Just doing it is really hard. That’s the hardest part.

Allison Tyler Jones: It is. And I think that what—

Iryna Sosnovska: But it’s just do it. Yeah.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah. I think what you’ve outlined is being the expert. And all of this is overcoming fear, really is what it comes down to. And you’re really such an example of that. When I think of how many Americans would leave the US, go to a complete different country where they don’t speak the language as their first language, and then do a business? You’re so to be commended. I think the accent is totally part of your brand. I’ve told you a million times that I love your accent. And you’re also drop dead beautiful and so that doesn’t hurt.

Allison Tyler Jones: But with you overcoming fear, you have so many more layers than other people do really. There’s more things that you’ve had to overcome and that you’re able to do that. The thing that I really admire about you, Iryna, is the comments that you make on the Facebook group, is that you have a very clear, even though you’re scared and we all are, you have a very clear idea of how you want this business to be. So you love the meaning. You love the personality, all that, but you also have the clear idea of the type of client that you want and how you want to talk to her.

Allison Tyler Jones: And I think that, as much as anything else… Like your work is beautiful. You’re a beautiful person. You’re kind. You have everything that you need. You’re in a great, obviously amazing location. But that, more than anything, is just that you know who it is that you’re going after and then you know how to speak to her. And it’s been really amazing and so rewarding to watch you even step into that. You had it before you ever met me, but you even to step into it more was just really amazing.

Iryna Sosnovska: Comes from a strong desire, I think. From a desire based on belief. You believe in something and you really want to do it for that reason. And then that desire becomes such a strong power. It’s really a very strong force. Because I’m not a religious person, but somehow it’s turns out that there is something out there, universe or whatever, when you want something so badly. Like I wanted my studio, I wanted so badly. I knew why I wanted, because I want people come in. I don’t want drive all of this stuff everybody’s home. I want them come and see it. Be inspired. Love their family, love them. But really I want to show it.

Iryna Sosnovska: And I knew I could create it. I want big art, but I wanted people to see it. For that reason I needed the studio. So I had a clear reason and for that and very strong desire to do that. And then I was just like, “Well, whether it will work or not, you do this, you do that.” And you figure things out. I guess that’s the advice. When you strongly want something for some reason, you really figure out that strong reason and that desire and just do it.

Allison Tyler Jones: Well, when you want it, you’re automatically putting on your lens to look for the ways that it could happen. And so then you start to see, “Oh, there’s a little place down there in Midtown.” “Oh, there’s this. There’s this that could happen. There’s that that could happen.” And so you start to see all the opportunities in the way. Whereas when you have the opposite lens, which is the, “This will never work for me,” or “This won’t work,” or “I’m too scared, or “The economy is going to tank,” or “We’re headed for a recession,” or pick the scary thing that’s happening at the moment, then your lens is selecting for that. Then you see all the reasons why it won’t work. So you’re right either way. It won’t work if you don’t want it, and it will work if you do.

Iryna Sosnovska: Right. Yeah, right.

Allison Tyler Jones: And that doesn’t mean that it happens that it’s easy. That it’s magical. Because you’re sitting here with your head and your hand, like, “I’m so tired.”

Iryna Sosnovska: Yeah, I’m very connecting with what you’re saying.

Allison Tyler Jones: It’s a lot of work, but when you decide… And it’s like one of my favorite quotes, and I don’t have the whole thing right here, but it’s like they say, “Oh, it’s not the how to, it’s the want to.” Because we can find, let’s just say photography, for instance, like learning lighting or whatever, the how to’s out there. There’s a million YouTube videos. There’s a million courses you can take. So it’s the how to. Do you want to practice? Do you want to get people in and figure out how to light somebody? And do you want to take a bunch of crappy pictures for a while before you get some good ones? Not everybody wants to do that. They want to complain about why it won’t work or they don’t have the right lighting or they don’t have enough money to buy the right equipment or whatever.

Allison Tyler Jones: The ones that want to are using their garage lights or using a window or they’re figuring out how to do it. And it’s the same with business or anything else. And so I love your story so much. I think you’re so relevant to our time right now, because it is uncertain and a lot of people are very scared and nervous about what’s going on, but the Iryna’s of the world will always triumph because you will. You always will. And that doesn’t mean you’re going to be making a billion dollars in portrait photography tomorrow. It just means that you’re always going to find a way because you want to, you see the value, and you will select for that.

Iryna Sosnovska: Yeah. I want to find a way, so I will find a way. And it’s true that what you are thinking. I set aside negative thinking, so that’s not part of my today’s even worry. I stopped, I guess, a while ago. I don’t remember when. I don’t think negatively. Or when I think negatively, I’m like, “Okay, we’re not doing that.”

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah.

Iryna Sosnovska: So you can always rephrase it in a positive way. So just whether you like negative or not, just don’t do it. It’s just really, really working against you, anyone. It’s like, “How can I? versus I can’t.” That’s brilliant.

Allison Tyler Jones: Absolutely.

Iryna Sosnovska: Where can I? When I? How can I? There’s never, “I can’t.” There’s, “I don’t want.” Or, “I don’t think it’s worth putting the effort.” But there is not, “I can’t.” You can anything, if you want.

Allison Tyler Jones: Right.

Iryna Sosnovska: That’s what mom told me and it proved to be right.

Allison Tyler Jones: Mom was always right. Yeah.

Iryna Sosnovska: It may take some time, but if you really want something, you can and you will get it. But you’ve got to ask for something you really wanted. Everything comes at a price. Time and effort, of course.

Allison Tyler Jones: Yeah, of course. Well, and also I think it’s more accurate when you’re saying, “Well, that won’t work for me,” or “I can’t,” instead of saying, “I can’t,” I feel like it’s more powering to say, “You know what? I just choose not to do that. I don’t want. What it comes down to is I really realize I actually don’t want to do that.”

Iryna Sosnovska: Yeah. You can be honest.

Allison Tyler Jones: And so that’s more honest. “I really just don’t want to do that.” So if you find that you’re coming up against it again and again, and you keep coming negative, maybe that’s not the thing for you. So then find the thing that does really resonate that you really want to go for. And you’re just such a great example of that. Well, I appreciate so much you being here and sharing your wisdom with us. Is there anything else that you’d like our listeners to know before we go?

Iryna Sosnovska: No. I learn too much and you’ll spend with me two more hours. I don’t know. Just, no. I’m good. Grateful for you. That’s funny, I feel this is where my success is that Alison Tyler Jones now interviewed me on podcast, someone who I was admiring five, six years ago. And I was like, “Oh, he said, Allison.” And I’m on podcast now. That’s the pinnacle of my success.

Allison Tyler Jones: I love it. Well, I think you and I think very similarly. You’ll post something and how many times have I just put down the little pointing emoji like, “What Iryna said.” So I do feel that and I hope that someday we can meet in person because I would love that.

Iryna Sosnovska: Since you love New York, will you come here?

Allison Tyler Jones: I do. I know. I might be there very soon.

Iryna Sosnovska: Such a pleasure.

Allison Tyler Jones: All right. Thank you so much, Iryna.

Iryna Sosnovska: Thanks, Alison.

Allison Tyler Jones: You bet. Bye-bye.

Iryna Sosnovska: Bye-bye.

Allison Tyler Jones: Have I told you lately how much I appreciate you being here? I know that you have so many demands on your time and so many demands on your attention. You could be watching Netflix. You could be listening to a true crime podcast. But you’ve spent time here at the ReWork learning to make your portrait business better. And that really means a lot to me. If there’s somebody that you feel like could benefit from this episode, that you could help them and help us spread the word in helping other portrait photographers build better businesses, please go to where you’re listening to this episode and hit that share button and share it with them.

Allison Tyler Jones: And if you have time and can give us a review, you don’t even understand how much that means to a little tiny podcast like ours to see those reviews and see how we’re helping. And if you have another minute and can send me a DM and let us know what you would like to hear in the future, what you really enjoyed hearing about, maybe things that weren’t that great, how we can do better. We always want to do better and we always want to support the portrait photography industry in helping you build the best businesses ever. Thanks again so much for being here.

Recorded: You can find more great resources from Allison at and on Instagram at Do.The.ReWork.


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