That Photography Secret that Nobody Told Me | Knoxville Photography Mentoring

Hi there, everyone!

It is a Friday around here and looking to be an absolutely gorgeous one.  Fridays are a special day of the week for me. I love Fridays because they are one of two days each week that I set aside to not schedule any type of photography session (with the exception of a wedding here and there ☺️) and my children head to my folks’ house alllllll day!  Do you know what that means?!  An entire day to do all my things!  And, I cannot tell you how excited I am to do just that.

Today I will finish editing and release digital galleries to six clients, return emails, help complete two wedding timelines for upcoming weddings, and meet with my first East Tennessee Thrive Program client.  Whew…that is one EXCITING day!  I cannot decide whether I’m more excited to send off client galleries (because, client reactions to their images is always super fun and inspiring!) or meet with my Thrive Program client.  Because, I am 100%, totally stoked about kicking-up this amazing program here in East Tennessee.

What is the Thrive Program?

The Thrive Program is a 6 month One-to-One Mentoring Program for Photographers.  This is a heart built program for photographers created by me, a photographer.

This full court press of one-to-one mentoring covers all business topics, grows technical knowledge, challenges creativity, and leaves each participant ready to take on their dreams of building a sustainable photography company.

If you’re on the fence about your company, struggling to make an impact, looking for constructive and critical advice, or simply starting from ground zero, you are in the right place.  Welcome to a less complicated path to your goals.

History of the Thrive Program

I photographed my first wedding as a second shooter 20 years ago.  And while it was an entirely nerve-racking experience for this perfectionist, it also lighted a fire that has now created an incredible work environment that keeps me on my toes and balances my absolute love of people, travel, family, and creative arts.  That wedding was a life changing moment for me.

Since that first wedding I have photographed over 200 weddings and over 900 portraits sessions. (I’m kinda starting to feel old as I write this 😂).  And, here is my hands-down opinion:: Experience is The Best Teacher.

But, let’s hold-up on that thought for a moment.  Experience comes is many, many forms.  I have typically been a “jump feet first and figure it out on the way down” kind of gal.  And, that’s what I did with my photography business.  And, it worked.  Kinda.

It worked, but it took me 15 years and a ton of wasted time and money to actually get my act together and find the path that has created success and comfort in my photography world.  It was oftentimes overwhelming and defeating.  And, friends- it shouldn’t be like that.

I didn’t have guidance.  I had no idea how to build a brand, create a website that drew attention, create connections between myself and my client, or participate in a community of artists.  In fact, I didn’t really even know how to take decent images.  I learned as I went and made hundreds of mistakes.

While there is no “right” way to run your photography business or to create your personal art, there certainly are best practices that will form an environment that allows you to flow through your processes in a way that creates an awesome experience for your client and gives you confidence and peace-of-mind.

That is what I wish I had been able to learn much earlier in my business.  And, that is why I built the Thrive Program.

Why The Thrive Program?

That Photography Business secret that nobody told me?  It isn’t all about how hard you hustle.  YOU GUYS!  I hear that all of the dang time.  Hustle Harder!  Just stop it now.  It is not all about the hustle.  In fact, I’m not even sure what I think about that word.  Getting after your business is key.  But, when you commit to a brand and goal you do not have to hustle harder.  You will build the experiences of client work with your clients.  But, the Thrive Program will give you the behind the scenes experiences of branding, business, marketing, style creation, editing technique, and a little portfolio boost that help you skip the extra 15 years of trial and error that I experienced.

What’s to Gain:: Technical Knowledge, Emotional Intelligence, Brand Awareness, Business Strength, Personal Confidence, Artistic Community

Apply Now and Join Me for the Current Knoxville Thrive Sessions

I am currently accepting new applicants for the August start dates. And, guys, I am just SUPER excited about meeting you.  Please visit my Photography Mentoring page for all of the details and to find the application link.  And, as always, never hesitate to be in contact with me directly.

When you can be present in the season, understand your priorities, you can more than achieve your goals.  You Will Thrive.

With Grit & Grace~
Sarah Keenan, Photographer
Westland Farms Studio
Knoxville, Asheville, Nashville, Tri-Cities


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sarah keenan photographer knoxville asheville wedding family

meet sarah


I have an affinity to all things light and airy.  I love color, sunshine, romance, and laughter.  I love inspirational quotes, meeting new people, flowers, and the idea of finishing a great book.  My go-to drink is coffee.  My outlet is dance.  And, aallllll of my free time is spent with my crew, including our German Shepherd, Gaia.   

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Hi there!  I am Real Estate Photographer, Sarah Keenan.  Raised in East Tennessee and a proud graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and all that offers runs deep for this gal.  Having worked in photography for over 14 years, I am excited to be back home and working along side folks like you.

As a small business owner, I personally understand the time, effort, and dedication that goes into leading a life as an entrepreneur. I thrive on efficiency.  I am on your team.  I am your Knoxville Real Estate Photographer. 

Take a look around.  If you like what you see please give me a shout.  I’d love to serve you and your business goals.