WhyWeWork BrianVee
WhyWeWork BrianVee

Episode 123 · 9 months ago

#123 John Ratchford - Ratchford Photographic Studio - BrianVee WhyWeWork


John Ratchford is a professional photographer who has been in the industry for nearly four decades. While he acknowledges his struggles, he also highlights his love of serving his clients.






Welcome to why we work with your host,brian V. As he speaks to people like you from all over the world. As wetogether dive deeper into our motivations, struggles, joys, seeminglymissteps, hopes warnings and advice which would be an encouragement to usall to get up, get going and keep on working. Working is tough, but workingis good now. Here's your host to why we work brian V. I'm brian B and this iswhy we work today. I have the great pleasure of speaking with johnRatchford John since 1993 has been the owner and operator of RatchfordPhotographic Studio today. I want to find out from john how has photographychanged over the last three decades, but also how has it remained the samejoin me today in my conversation with john Radford. I'm brian V and this iswhy we work today. I have the great pleasure speaking with Mr johnRatchford. Good day find sir. That's nice to be with you brian. Thanks forhaving me. Thank you very much. I think we have to give a shout out to FrankieMacdonald for hooking out stuff but I I do appreciate your time and coming onhere, would you do me a favor and tell us what industry you're in and a lot ofpeople that know you give you obviously know what you're in, uh europe, butwhat you're up to nowadays? Well I have been a photographer, like a studiophotographer, does, you know, portrait work, you know everything fromgraduations, weddings to some model work with the program. I have a littlebit of commercial and I have been, I opened my first studio in 1988 when Iwas 21. So I've been at this literally all my life. That's that's pretty, pretty amazing. Ihave a question about that later, john will you bring us back though? So itradiates a while ago, you're a young man, so that brings you pretty young.But what would have been your very first job? The first thing that got youout of the house, even if it's collecting baseball cards or makemaking a lemonade stand, just whatever it was that got you started in yourpath of work. So the first thing I did was a paper Rusche And that would havebeen the summer, like I think it was between Great six and 7, but I wasn'tlong added. It was really the next year I I got a camera, what happened? Wewent on a school trip to Ottawa And we all had little cameras, you know, 1 10in those days. And just for some reason or another, my pictures were betterthan the other kids, which was tremendously encouraging for me becauseI wasn't good at sports. I didn't play hockey, I didn't do the Canadian thingsand now I had something that made me feel special. And uh, when, when thepictures came back and we all looked at them, the teachers all gathered theother teachers in the room to show them mine now that they were that fantastic.But I had a sense of composition and clarity that the other kids and a lotof the teachers didn't have. So I had a thing and it was like the next year Istarted taking pictures of horses because we had race horses and I wasselling them to the owners. So literally that was like the first,aside from the paper route, the first real job I had was all kind of anentrepreneurial thing. So I started in 1980, I guess if you can't live navy,did you get any other jobs along the way? Say in middle school and highschool? That kind of earned some money. Yeah, yeah. I loved selling, lovefashion and I loved working in clothing stores. I've loved, you know, workingin malls and things like that. I thought that was the coolest job ever.Girls were there. Uh, you got to dress up and look your best every day and Iwas always a people person, sales were came natural to me before we get too far ahead. Say afterhigh school, is there something? It's a new question because I was listening toa guy and she just mentioned the idea of play and play is an obvious thingthat everyone should do even as we get older, But play is a really good partof our development. Is there something that you did as a kid in your play,that you really enjoyed, that? Just, it just got you out of whatever was goingon in your life? Sure, absolutely racehorses. We had horses. So we raised, it was harness racing,you know, the sulky eyes and uh, from the time I got in junior high, I lookedafter horses and I took pictures of horses. I wrote for a newspaper, bothhorses and that was my play. So, uh, sometimes a little too much play with,it didn't do that well in school unless...

I was, uh, I was focused on too manythings. But yeah, it was the horses that really kind of pulled me out.There's such beautiful creatures, aren't they? Yeah, yeah, there was a,there was an excitement with the horse racing, you know, there's an excitementif you're, if you're 12 years old and you know, you're, you're wanting to getout of, there was five of us kids, I wanted to get out with my dad, I wantto be with the men and I love to go on the track with my dad kind of you knowyou're you're leaving your mother then sort of you know, you're not the littleboy anymore and it helped me grow up as some people know that you're in CapeBritain and you and I were talking a moment ago, my uncle Ian has a barnfull of horses and his father, my grandfather earl raised horses as welland it's just always something that I wanted to have my own horse or you know,be at least close to something where I could at least participate, help andget my hands dirty and get in there as well. Yeah, yeah, no, it was a big part of mylife and uh got me started in this industry aside for working in the malls.Uh I sold life insurance briefly, but uh I had a kind of a turning point inmy life. I was 19, I was a heavy drinker. I was getting into all sortsof trouble, was living in Halifax then and uh came to a point where I was inthe detox and doing things like that and I had to get sober. Is this afterhigh school? Yeah. This is only a couple years after high school. Beforegetting into that though. Were what were you thinking you wanted to do? Did you have an idea as you were,you're in graduation? I always thought I'd be in business. I thought maybe Icould have a men's clothing store or something that I really didn't think Iwould have a photography studio. It was always a side gig to me. Um I don'tthink I ever really thought of it as a profession ever. And after I got sober,um, I was, you know, I was unemployed, I lost my job with the insurancecompany. They let me go. And somebody suggested that there was a little filmstore downtown here and uh, they said the guy needs help and I wasn't working.He said, would you give him a hand and you know, he would pay me a few bucks.So I went in there, found out he was closing out and really a quick turn ofevents within three months. I had, I got a little loan from uh, you know,one of those government agencies that helps young entrepreneurs, I gottastart up and I was in business three months later. Isn't it funny you and Iwere talking again? I said and mentioning the hardships we have, thedifficulties we have and maybe you might want to get into that. But isn'tthat funny how that worked out for you at that point to where you are now? Andyou know, you were coming over a hump, not sure what you want to do. And I waslike, Hey, there's a guy over there. He needs some help with photography. 30,30 years later. This is what you're doing. It's funny because we, we worryand we're concerned and we think, Oh no, it's not gonna work out, but it alwaysdoes. Yeah. And uh, really, you know, I have to thank God for that and faiththat because at that point when I was getting sober, I really like, had comedown to nothing, like I lost my job, I had lost, I got kicked out of where Iwas living. I was engaged to be married. That was over and I was kind of downand out and I became very open to what God might have in store for me becauseI was you know, I was screwing things up. So I became became somebody whosaid yes to suggestions if somebody was trying to help me. The stubbornnessleft me and that was it was just a matter of that, you know, that guyneeds help, would you give him a hand prior to that? I found out about thefilm store needing help because I was volunteering at the hospital. I wastaken around the books to the patients because I was sitting in Tim Hortonsone day and I said, you know, I feel guilty I'm not working, I've never notworked, knows I was a worker. And I was getting kind of down to myself and oneof the guys says, look, why don't you volunteer at the hospital here? They'relooking for people. So I said yes to that. That brought me to the lady thatwas working there. She said, oh, my husband has a film store, would youlike to? Really? That's how it happened. It was a series of yes, yes to God.Really? I felt I was saying yes to So when you started you got your loan, youstarted your business and there's probably some ups and downs along theway. But basically from many, many 1993 of owning your own business And upuntil 2017, that's a pretty good career right there. But you kind of came uponsome other difficulties. What was that?...

And how did that transpire for you? Andwhat was going through your mind? Well, the first studio was more of a one hourphoto lab at 88. Okay, so that was, you know, you bring your film in, you getthem up in an hour. And that kind of business at that time was starting togo out, Walmart was getting into it. And the supermarkets, they were usingfilm developing as a loss leader and we just couldn't keep up. We couldn't beatwith their prices. I did have a little studio in the back Of that one hourphoto lab so that I was taking pictures. But really the main business model wasthe photo lab. So I ended up going bankrupt in 1991. I hung out as long asI could, but I was in all kinds of death and I wasn't able to dig my wayout of it. So again, you know, almost down and out. And I went to Alberta Because there was a little transitionbetween 91 and 93 when I opened the business. So I went to Alberta to, tothink and to be a way I work for a newspaper up there and just reported ina small town, Alberta, Northern Northern Alberta was high level. So Iworked there and I always kind of felt uh, cover desire or curiosity aboutpriesthood and I thought this is a good time in my life to do it. If I'm gonnado it, I better do it now. And uh, so I went to Ottawa and I was with areligious community for two years. And uh, at the end of that two years, itwas gonna be my year to go to seminary. And although I had a great experiencethere, I have nothing, no complaints. Some of my best friends are still there.I felt, you know, I don't think God is calling me to be a priest and I justhad this inclination. I was going to come home and open the business. Sothat's what I did. So through the 90s I no struggled along. You know, it's hardwhen you're starting up and I started to join the professional associationsbecause I thought you're going to be successful. The best way to do it islook around and other successful people and copy them. So it's really, that'skind of how I did it. I started to travel, you know, go to the maritimeconventions and then we'll go to the Canadian ones. And every time I cameback from a convention, my business would double because I would have allthese great ideas from successful people and how to do it. Right then Iwould travel to the States and, and uh, yeah, I had a school business in thebeginning brian, so I was doing like school pictures and had built a bigbusiness and probably, I think it was around 2002 I had to make a choicewhether I'm going to be a school photographer or I'm gonna be in studiophotographer, more of an artistic kind. And I picked the ladder. So that was a struggle. As, as you approached 2017. How how arethose struggles mounting for you? What was, what was the issue? What was therub? Okay. So through the 2000s, um, started the getting serious about doingportrait photography and things took off. I had great success through, youknow, 4567 2008. Um, I was on the speaking circuit. So I spoke in europeat conventions. I spoke down the states, California all over Canada. I did aCanadian tour one summer, you know just a speaking tour and then people willcome and hear summer. So as you know it was a bit of a rock star Photographerlife in a sense. But then we hit that recession in 2000, Late 2008 in 2009.And my mistake Brian was uh was running so fast, I wasn't really watching whatwas happening and I was running a little too close to the edge. Soeverything I was taking in, I was blowing oaks either in in staffexpenses, advertising budgets, you know new gear like there was no,there was nothing I I didn't say yes to if I wanted to do something in mybusiness, I I had no limits on what I was going to do. I didn't spend a lotpersonally, I didn't have a lavish life, lived in a small house, didn't spendmuch that way. It was always single. But yeah, so that recession hit, it,hit herd and I was still on the speaking circuit so I would fly outevery sunday morning. It seemed maybe finish your wedding saturday night, gethome at three in the morning shower and go to the airport because I had to flyout on a five a.m. Flight. Maybe fly out to british Columbia at a California,teach for a couple of days, not get back until Wednesday and then only have,you know, thursday friday, maybe saturday here in the studio if youweren't doing a wedding and I wasn't watching my business and there startedto be, we started to go in the red, so I was paying out more than I was takingin. So that's speaking to our didn't...

...really pay that much because uh it hasalready been booked a year before, but the crowd now that was during thatrecession, I don't know if you remember that 2009 2010 Everything just shrunk.It was horrible. So for you, you came to the end of yourrope thinking that what were you going to do instead? What were your options?Well, I I kept trying to fix it. 2012, 13 14, but just getting more depressed,more negative and you know, funny thing, all the things I did to be successful,brian was traveling around the uh, you know, taking advice from the experts.I'd stop the traveling because I felt I can't afford it. I felt like ahypocrite, I didn't want to speak anymore. So I was off the speakingcircuit and I just got into a bit of a funk and I thought I can't make this out of the businesschanged and it was good. I got humbled in a lot of ways, it was Humiliating.At one point I moved in with my dad, rented my house out, 45 years old, yougotta go home and live with your father in the spare room and you know, writeyour house out, it was, it was tough. And the other bad part was I becamevery negative fairy JJ, it's almost like a marriage brian, you know,marriage is going great during your honeymoon stage and then you have, youhit a speed bump and I didn't handle it well and I thought, God, I don't knowwhat I'm gonna do, it was 2017, my father had died in 2016, so that was abad year because you know, you spend a lot of time in the hospital and you'renot, you're not in entrepreneurial mode. So that was the following year and Ithought, you know what I'm done. Um I don't know what I'm gonna do, I didn'tthink, you know, maybe I go back, go back and work for the catholic church.Somehow made some inquiries. I thought maybe I could move to Ontario to do it.So I was ready to go. I was really ready to leave it and then I went on aneight day silent retreat because I thought if I'm gonna make a big lifedecision, I'd better pray about this and especially I was thinking aboutworking for the church or I was even willing to go back to seminary, youknow, I was still single and anything but what I was doing and a funny thinghappened brian at the end of that eight day silent retreat, I thought God wasgonna have this yellow brick road, this new opportunity that was going tobecome so clear to me, I was gonna Do a totally new career path, maybework for the church. And at the end of the retreat I felt I'm saying twothings. The first one was, I want you to go back to work and fix this and Iknew that had to be God's voice because that wasn't the one I wanted to hearand the other one was that it was great that I made eight days of quiet tolisten and not that I never prayed, I prayed all my life and I tried to youknow, I was always a a mass going, you know, you know catholic guy that justtried his best, but I didn't have lots of time to sit and listen to what Godwas saying to me and I felt him saying, you know if you go back and fix this,if you give me a little piece of you every day, I can help you and when I came back I kind of made acommitment, you know that every night I was going to take an hour after workand I had keys to the church because those good friends with the parishpriests and I said do you mind if I slip in there at night because I'msomebody I'm very 80 HD Ryan, I have to have, if I, if I work out, I have to goto the gym to work out, I'm not going to work out at home, I'm not gonna prayat home the same way I pray in the dark church all along because there'snothing else to do there. So through that fall that was, that came home inaugust and through the fall, you know, it wasn't the business that had tochange. It was me that had to change and slowly but surely I started to openup to ideas and, and I felt like he was really guiding me in that january. Iwent to Nashville to the big convention again the first time I went a while anduh, I just stumbled upon this business coach there that took a liking to meand I can't say enough for that guy, steve Saporito is his name. He called ahe, you know, what's that fable? Where the mouth pulls the pin out of thelines pa mhm grateful. That's what this guy did for me. You know, a lot of waysyou kind of saved my life, he gave me a new purpose in business. How did he dothat? What, what was it that he did? Maybe in particular or maybe in subtleways that kind of gave you a new leaf on life or lease on life? Greatquestion, because I met him in the, in the, in the booth, you know, they havea trade show, so sitting in the booth...

...with an album cameos dealing with itand they said, oh, meet this guy, steve sacrament only said he will change yourlife, go to a seminar and you know, I've heard that 100 times, every, everyevery new speaker is going to change your life. I used to be one of thoseguys, you know, so I didn't really want to listen to him and uh he started totalk to me and I can tell you I was wanting to get out of the booth andjust kind of like, okay, nice to meet you, see you later. And he kept, as Iwas walking out, he kept cutting me off and engaging me and asking me why I wasfrustrated some and what had happened. And he said, you stopped caring, youstop caring about your clients and you stopped caring about the people. And Ididn't know that. I didn't realize that happened. And he said, why did you stopcaring? And I told him, you know, the story about health. Down things wentand I said, how could you help me? And he said, pretend your customer andyou're calling me to get a portrait done and we're still in the booth anduh okay, so I'm going to play along and uh all um he answers and he said, doyou want to get a picture of now? I'm not married, I didn't have any family.And I said, I don't know. I said my my work staff, I had to on staff and he said, great, start telling meabout them. And I had Kourtney and magnet Meghan and I told him a littlebit about what they were like they were kind, you know, very giving people. Iwas telling the truth and he said, tell me a story about Courtney And that yearCourtney, 35 years old, went home, found her husband on the floor dead big,You know, traumatic thing for her. Um she was only off a month and she cameback to work and I was turning 50 a few months later. And as I was approachingthe the birthday, this was a year that you wouldn't think she would do anyplanning. But she planned a big surprise party for me. She had half therestaurant all there waiting for me. And uh I just couldn't believe she didthat for me because to me it was like I'm gonna cry talking, I was like oneof the kinds of things because she was not in a headspace to care about otherpeople and she still did and it humbled me and when I started from that story,I started to break down Because I realized two things, I realized likeone I have a good staff, like Courtney was at that time was with me almost 16years. And uh I loved her, like she was just so I was so I just knew I was solucky to have her in the same with Megan, she wasn't there as long. And he said to me, how much is thatpicture worth to you now? And I couldn't put a price on it. Like I knewI just when I got back I had to have a photo of those girls because they wereso important. And he said, I just did that for you in five minutes. I said, why can't youdo that for your clients? You know? And he was just the way he layered thequestions and charitable to people that changed me. And it changed the way I, Idealt with my clients again. And uh, so now when someone calls us or wants toget a picture done here, we're not asking yes, I got to get your name andaddress, but I want to know what's your, what's your graduate? Like, you know,what's the thing you admire most of them? What's the thing you see in himthat you wish you had yourself when you were that age? And you just gettingpeople to open up and uh, you know, I've seen people in here say things toeach other that they've never said, I was doing a session with a couple. Umthey were probably in their 50's Married for at least 20 years. Itwasn't, it was it was the 25th wedding anniversary, that's what it was. And Istarted to ask those questions and especially if you ask a guy, becausemost of the time guys don't get asked and I just got to comply in a phonecall there, sorry. Um and and anyway, he got asked, I got asking thesequestions and he said things about his wife that made his wife blush and cryright in front of me. She had never heard them. So not only and she'sprobably said to me afterwards that that this changed this changed therelationship and uh and just the relationship took a whole new turnafter that. So, I mean it's just an incredible thing we can do and thebusiness did change. You know, I got out of my, I got out of my funk, Istarted to serve people in a different way. So instead of thinking about it as a business, I really justthought this is this is the way I can serve people and help the relationshipsand you know, it's paid off. So over the last three years or so you've seena dramatic change, not only in your...

...business, in the bottom line, but inthe way you approach. Absolutely, yeah, yeah, yeah. I had a renewed purpose.One of the things I always loved the priesthood was the opportunity tominister and care about people. But I had become so jaded this and I wasn'table to do that anymore and he reawakened that in me and it gave me anew purpose, you know, I think any, any of us brian were made in our lives tooto love and to receive it and to give it all that kind of stuff. Sounds kindof kind of cliche, but it's really true. Yeah, I mean that's what else is thereto serve and to serve and he just, he gave that back to me and uh let me giveit back to me. I never really had it as deeply as I did. Uhh with what he wasable to, he made me realize that I could still minister in a sense uh withwhat I'm doing and I didn't have to be a man of the cloth or something likethat. You know, I can do require math. It's been great. Absolutely. What does,what does a week look like for you now, now that things are a little bitdifferent? Yeah I think you you've come to a different level in the way youhandle or approach your work. What does it look like for you now? Maybe thespeaking engagements are on or off, but what do you do on a regular basis?Welcome. There's no speaking engagements. I would like to go back.Um especially you know once things started opening up because I feel likesomething to offer again I got, although I had seven credit cards Maxedout for almost 10 years, they're paid off my back taxes paid off. So I hadworked Probably 80-100 hours a week for the last few years trying to fix thisthing. What I have to do now Brian is to work smarter and not as hard. Soit's a hard transition when you're used to go go go. Uh but I have to delegatesome more responsibilities. I have a great staff. I have a new lady, jodi'sher name. Um She's the one who takes all the phone calls now. I don't don'tdo that parent anymore. I do it when they get in here. But she really opensthem up on the phone and she's been great at. So I have to delegate morebecause there's only so much here to go around and uh You know, I can't keepgoing in 53. I can't keep going at 18 1900 hour work weeks. Oh you're a youngpup yet. You Have a beautiful studio there behind you. I mean, I can'timagine going from, if you think in 1988 when you had some little place, alittle studio in the back compared to what you seem to have now, it seemsgreat. I know in Korea here there's lots of studios but they're reallysmall, right? They'll have like a little maybe a desk or a check out inthe front and then just this little room that's maybe even just mapped offby a piece of fabric. But I mean what you have going there seems incredible.4000 sq ft. I'm very, very fortunate. Yeah, I'm very blessed right now. Verylucky. What is the difference? Say when you first started photography betweenphotography itself, what are some of the differences? But what are somethings that has remained the same? You know, good work will always be agood work. That when I started we start of course on film, you couldn't seewhat you're doing now. At one point I got a meeting what they call a meetingformat camera and you would do sometimes a Polaroid of your lights up,but you really, really red light. And I got to understand what lighting was,what good lighting was and I was competing in the competitions and, youknow, earning my masters, That's still important. Now, a lot of the newerphotographers today, uh they shoot window light, they shoot outside, it'skind of very flat, it's a nice look, but it's really done. And there's notmany of the old school guys like me left that that that creates dramaticlighting or create a mood with my rather than just this blanket lightthat you see all, they're so good work is always good work and that's alwaysremained the same in your relationship with people, uh, has to be strong. Sothat's remained the same. In fact, it's probably gotten better for people whoare getting into this industry. Is there a skill that is necessary even toput your foot into it or something that you have to continually develop for youto be a professional? Is there a particular skill that one needs? Yeah,I would say if you are um interested in photography, most of the people I knowhave a sense of the beautiful and have a sense of composition. You can alwaysexpand on that. But the photographers,...

I know they've been sexually successful.They we can tell when something or someone looks nice and angle the waythe light's hitting their face, that just speaks to us in a different way.Now, you can build on that. But if you don't have that interest, I can't seethis being a very interesting or successful endeavor for you. I thinkthat's kind of the thing has to be an artistic thing in you somewhere. Isthere a particular, a particular tool, A favorite thing that you use that youcan't be without when you do your work other than the camera? Yeah, maybe it'sa specific type of camera which would be way over my head. But you need thistool wherever you go. Not so much. If you gave me one life and even like anamateur camera, I have one good light with me. I can do a lot with that. I can buildthat lash, I can direct the light the way I want, I can create a move with it.Um You can reflect it off of things to give you two lights. But if you're justusing a big window behind you, it's just that one thing and it's the onething that everybody can do, it doesn't set you apart. So yeah, one light. Itcan even be, it can be a flashlight if it had to be. Well, it's good that yousay that because there may be some people out there thinking, well, I needto buy this most expensive camera. I need to buy these particular lights andthey're trying to tell someone like tell their mom, mom, I really need this.No john says all you need is a flashlight in your hand phone and youcan make good pitch as an example that you don't need to go out and do this toat least start. It took me until a few years ago before I really updated myequipment because you know, I'm just having a hard time. The lights I wasusing, um, We're from the 90s so they weren't reliable. They were failing onme a lot. It was very frustrating. Uh huh. I would be in the middle of ashoot, maybe a big shoot outside fashion shoot and you gotta push thebutton and it wouldn't work. And I'm telling you I used to take my gear andthrow it. I get So it was one day in here in the studio that that happenedand I threw my flesh and I thought this is crazy. I have to like I was startingto do better but I wasn't out of the woods yet. But I thought to myself, I'm50 this year. I at least deserve equipment that's gonna work. And I justI just got to do this. So I went and I got approved for release so you couldlease equipment and have to buy it because I couldn't I couldn't get alone.I was in bad shape But I got approved for at least and I updated some of thenew fancy flashes, but it took me that's like 30 years into it before Idid that. And now I've pretty much, I think there's one more big purchase, Iprobably spent about 40 grand in the last few years, but I was getting along before that I was winning awards with the oldlights, just that now it's a little more reliable. Do you have a tip forpeople thinking of yourself who started as a paper boy? You also worked infashion or you're selling some pictures of horses and stuff like that? But alsoyou consider changing your career. So do you have a tip for people who aregetting into work or thinking about changing their career? Well, you know, uh my walk is going tobe different. Ii God has gotten me out of a lot of jams and he's done that forme. But the one thing I had brian that I always had is a good work ethic.Wasn't afraid of, her work, wasn't afraid of long hours rolling up mysleeves. And uh I haven't had an attitude that you know like trying todo the job right the first time. So I wasn't somebody that found anything inand he's even as I've gotten older, like I'm less likely to take a shortcutever. Um so I had a good worth work ethic and I knew that you just don't, there's no sense of entitlement with me.Like I had to work hard and I expect, I still expect to, it seems almost a cape Bretton thing,but you might have come across a few young teenagers who don't share thatsame. I don't find these days no different generation. And we all grewup a little difference, right? But I grew up in, do you do you have Anoverall goal for your studio or that in particular or something else? Is theresomething that you like? You keep mentioning 50? I don't think you'rethat old, but you might have yourself on a timeline and thinking I would liketo accomplish this before I finish working. That's a great question. Andyou know what, I don't have an answer. My goal was when I came back from theretreat was to fix it. So that was my...

...short, I couldn't see beyond thatbecause like I was in the red, like I said, I had seven credit cards maxedout all the time and always had to, you know, avoid those dreaded, you know,cause you look down your phone, you'd see Canada Revenue Agency, it was nevergoing to be a good call, even though I was making payments, they always wantedmore. It was very, very stressful. So when I came back from a retreat, mygoal was to get out of that. Um outside of a lottery ticket, I didn't think itwas possible Now four years later it's done. So it's like, I have to get a newgoal. I didn't think this was ever going to happen. So now I have to haveto change my approach. So yeah, I do. I am starting to think of uh of new goals, things I can do. Maybe wecould go back to teaching. I mean, you can teach in a platform with podcastsnow, you could you could have creative life as us photographers on there. Imean, there's other actors, I don't have to get on a plane every week andand do that. But at some point I can't keep working crazy hours, I'm working because you're just gonna burn up oryou might want to, you know, have a life that I haven't had in a while. Ido love my work though. It's been very rewarding. So brian, I need a new goal.You brought that question to the forefront, something I got to answerFor sure. Yeah, I mean, but like I said, you have another 25 of working years inyou, if you so choose right? So you have a while and many short term goalsthat might get you to a bigger one. Yeah, yeah. I don't have a big one.It's the, it's the next short term one. It's like, it's this year to, uh, tocontinue on the road him on and maybe try to work a little bit less, just alittle bit. Is there anything people may not understand about you and thatif they understood this, they would have a better appreciation of whatyou're trying to do. But also maybe not understanding photography in particular.Because I could imagine you wouldn't want to say anything bad about clients,but it's not always easy, right? I can imagine if I went to a photographer andI got pictures and, you know, I might I don't like this, I don't like what youdid, and then you get lots of things that might not be as pleasurable. So,do you have something people may not understand about you or the industrythat if they understood this, they would have a better appreciation ofyour work. A great question. So, it's like almost there's two questions tounpack there. I think if people understood, and Ikind of think, do people do get it that I'm very much I have a servant's heart,and if somebody is not pleased with something, I'm gonna go really out ofmy except you're never going to please everybody. There's things I'm gonnamake mistakes. Um There's a there's one this week that somebody wasn't pleasedwith a photograph. So you know, I'm on to that person every day, I'm going tosee it through. I don't take it as personal as I used to before when I wasyounger, I certainly take it personal and maybe have hurt feelings or or evenbe defensive. But you know what now, it's I'm not as big a deal as I used tothink I was. It must be a little heartbreaking to to have a servant'sheart. I mean, we're fallen creature who are not perfect and we do take it alittle bit closer to heart than we would like. So if we're a servant andwe're trying to serve and someone doesn't like it kinda besides thedefensive part, it's a little heartbreaking. Like I'm really trying.I want this to be the best work that I've ever done for you and if you don'tlike it, that hurts. Yeah, I've gotten over. There's always a way to fixsomething. I haven't had anybody walk away at least that I'm aware of angryor upset. Most of the time. I've heard I really appreciate you getting righton this for me. If something is a problem, like you got to get on thatright away, it's not something you can avoid. Uh you want to do whatever youcan, you want to show them that hey, I'm going to do whatever it can to fixthis for you. And I don't know, I find most people very appreciative and and very responsive to it. I don'tthink they can tell, you know, they can tell that I'm then I care. Well you'remaking them look beautiful too. I mean they are beautiful anyway, but you're,you're helping them. Like how can they complain? That looks pretty good. Youknow, especially if they look better, it's not that much negative feedback.But I mean like you say, you're never going to, you're not going to hit ahome run every time you go to bathroom. I only have a couple more questions foryou, john is there any, you mentioned some ups and downs, some bumps alongthe way. Is there any particular adversity that you had faced thateither hinders you in your work but motivate you as well to keep going. Itmight even pull you back sometimes, but...

...just something that you can use toencourage others in their work. Um Yeah, when it does get dark and youdo get down, you know what? The sun rises the next day? I don't ever, Idon't ever worry like I used to, I think Covid kind of fixed that to minebecause when Covid happened, I thought maybe this will be it. Maybe this willbe the end. Uh, I still wasn't really out of the woods and I didn't know whatwas going to happen. So I really, really learned to live no, I just livea day at a time when you can just deal with what you have for the day and youcan handle anything. It was all the worry I used to carry about what'sgoing to happen with this or what's going to happen with that. When itlooked like it was going to go down the tubes and it took the worry away. Itactually freed me up and it changed my, my own book. So, you know, I know thesun's gonna rise tomorrow, Whatever you're dealing with today is not goingto be as bad tomorrow, Sometimes a night's sleep fix fixes things. So Ibecame very uh it helped me to live a day at a time,which is really what we should be doing. Anyway. Sometimes a nap helps you know what? Sometimes asleep alittle, there's a little five minute nap and then things seem a little bitdifferent. It holds us back from reacting right? Whatever the situationis, if you're feeling a little gloomy, your your mindset is the way it is inthis particular situation, just that one little step in a differentdirection just changes it. It doesn't make everything roses and rainbows andall of those other things, but it does change it. It just gives you thisreprieve of feeling that particular feeling at that moment. Yeah. And youknow, like really, like I said, how much you talk about faith on yourpodcast, but I can't say enough for that. It was really, it's really thatlast hour of my night when I, when I go to have a quiet time with God, you know,I say some prayers for other people and intercede and do some other things thatI may read some scripture, but I really try to take that quiet. And at the endof the quiet I go through my day and do kind of a uh an inventory like anightly examine where have I gone wrong today? Where have I gone? Right, whatcan I do about it tomorrow? It's really reshuffles the deck for you so that youready to play again the next day. I never go to bed with that. That darkfeeling. Yeah, I don't talk about faith a lot only because I allow my guests todo it. So you're mentioning it. So I'm a christian and I believe everything isa wonderful gift of grace and, and I, you know, without that and forgiveness,we're doomed, right? And a lot of people who may do things to us, that'susually where our troubles come from or we're making mistakes are making thewrong. So forgiving, you know, putting our faith in christ is that is that,that's the only way that I know of that is, uh, that works. Do you have any yougo ahead. I was just gonna say and he says, love your enemies when somebody,he does something, remember a few years ago, somebody was really upset with me.It was very hard on me. And uh, I could have reacted negatively could havecarried it. But you know what? I just made a decision. I prayed for thatperson sometimes multiple times a day, whether it felt like it or not. And tobe honest, I didn't feel like in the beginning as I'm not doing that. Youknow, God was able to open my eyes a little bit seal this person reactedthis way because that person is a hurt person and they misunderstood somethingyou did. There's nothing you can do about that. But it kind of these thingsup and yeah, I wasn't, I didn't have to carry it and I even understand it, youknow, so I've never really been someone to carry a lot of resentments. Yeah. I,I attacked them right away. Like I said, it's just start praying for the enemy.It's always in a way that Adage of people who hold resentment towardsother people and those people aren't even thinking about them. No, be likethey've done me all the ***. Yeah, that's right. Yeah. Yeah. And you knowit when you do that to another good thing happens is uh, you know, as I'mgetting older, I really hope that continues to happen for me.You know, I I understand my own fallen nature. You know, I'm not perfect. Idon't have a lot of my own issues that, uh, but if you, when I was alwaysfocused on other people's, you know, wrong or blaming other people for whatwas happening to me, I couldn't see myself in because you're deflectingeverything, you know? But when you,...

...when you pray for that other person,Lord gets in your heart and he starts to say, hey, you know, I was, there's a t shirt Iwant to get and it's just simply says most things are my fault because mostthings that went wrong in my life in some way, shape or form or my fault,either by the way I reacted to them or I often did something to create thesituation in the first place. So it took a lot of the power of negativethings away and put it back on me, john is there anything else that wehaven't touched upon that you'd like to add any other words of wisdom? I thinkit's been a great conversation. But is there anything else you'd like to add? You know, if you stay at the table longenough, the chips come back to you because I went to the Trustees four orfive times in the last decades, You know, thinking about going bankrupt anduh, given up. And it was always that one little voice in my head, you know,like I always say to them, let me try one more year and they were alwayssaying you should do this now, you know, you can start back up in business again.But you know, I felt kind of a moral responsibility for the mess I createdand I always said just let me try 11 more time. So, I mean if you stick withsomething long enough uh and that goes through with marriages or whatever, youknow, and there's something you've got to get out if I get that. But I learneda lot about myself through this, I wouldn't have changed it, I probablywould have been, you know, when I was on the speaking circuit and living therock star, uh life, it was, there's a lot of self indulgence and maybe ifthat continued, I would have been a cocky little S. O. B. But but ithumbled me old and uh I would rather be who I am now from that south, I thinkit was Henry Winkler, you know who he is, the fonds, Yes, I'm happy days, Idon't know how old you are, but anyway, I remember chachi, I call, I call, ohmy all kids chachi okay, right, Yeah, so the funds was a stern and he was abig TV star in the 70s, Henry Winkler, fast forward only a few years ago, hewins his second Emmy Since the first one I think was in 1973 or four. Thesecond one is in 2017 or 18, I think it was 18 for a role, he has in a showcalled Barry and when he got up to give his speech uh he was just kind ofmaking light of it, you know how many years and then he was being interviewedafterwards and he said that if you stay at the table long enough, the chipscome back to you and I grabbed on and I related to that because I felt the sameway, you know, like, you know, I stayed in the game long enough and uh now thetrips are back, it could be gone again. Who else? Certainly, Yeah, if you'renot in the game, you're certainly not going to win, you're not in the game,you can't, you don't have a chance. How can people reach you? How can they getin contact with you for work? For getting some of that? Uh photographyfor themselves? Other than calling our number nine oh 2794 triple a toe. Mostpeople tend to reach out through social media. So we're on instagram asRatchford Studios um facebook is Ratchford Studios. They seem to be thetwo main platforms that I find that people are getting in touch with me andbuilding a new website. So it will be ready for photographic dot com, but I'min the middle of building a new one. So it will be What again? Sorry? Ratchfordphotographic dot com. Perfect. one final question, sir. Sure. Why do youwork? Why do I work? I think were created towork. Um I get a lot of joy all this aside from, you know, we have to workbut it gives us a sense of purpose and a sense of well being the times, thebrief times in my life that I didn't work. I felt like a bomb and I thinkinside of us all, I mean there's gonna be things you maybe you get sick andyou can't work, but when we can't be productive as people and especially Idon't want to sound like I'm you know it's different for men and women butwhen women have kids there are families a lot of their time is devoted theirbut when men can't produce and provide I think it's very hard on us. It'scrippling. It's crippling. Yeah it is. Yeah. So I don't know I think that'swhy I work john Radford owner and operator ofRadford photographic studio. Thank you for your time sir and I appreciate thework that you do. Well thank you brian appreciate the work that you do isgreat talking to you. Thank you very much. Keep up the good work. Thank youfor listening to this episode of why we work with brian Wien be sure tosubscribe, follow and share with others.

So they too can be encouraged in theirwork. I hope that you have yourself a productive be a joyful day in your work.

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