justin key photography

Hi friends! I have the pleasure of knowing a power couple whose goals are to follow their dreams of running their own businesses. You may remember my feature post about Sarah Key, and her career with Rodan & Fields skincare. Well, her husband, Justin Key, has his own photography business: Justin Key Photography.
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Photography is an art I truly enjoy; photos can capture timeless memories, but what’s refreshing about Justin’s photos are that they expose you to organic, picturesque sites. He focuses on landscapes, structures, nature; they may seem like simple shots, but they leave room for the person viewing the photo to interpret what they’re seeing in any way they’d like. For example, what do YOU see when you look at Justin’s “Runnin’ Down A Dream”:
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Runnin'-Down-a-Dream
Runnin’ Down a Dream – Justin Key Photography
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Pretty cool huh? To me this photo represents a few different in-depth ideas. There are independent branches, but they are intimately intertwined. It represents us as people; we are individuals who need interaction, support, and inclusion. To me this photo represents a holistic and spiritual world — a humble reminder that you are part of something much larger than life itself.  It’s family, work, play, love.
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With that said, please join me in learning more about Justin, and how he got to where is today in his photography career!
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>>What inspired you to get into photography? And at what age did you decide to learn more about photography?<<
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I was always curious, as a kid, about the science behind photography. The first big purchase I ever made was this $70 Fujifilm film camera that I thought was the coolest thing ever. I brought it everywhere and looking back at my images, mostly of zoo animals, they weren’t great in any aspect but I remember the excitement of bringing my film in to get developed and the anticipation of seeing the prints. I wish I could remember how old I was, my guess is about 12 or 13, but for some reason photography drew me in really young and was the one phase of my childhood I never out grew. Photography was always a hobby of mine, I enjoyed doing it but never worked at the craft until I went to college. I shot for the yearbook in high school and started to understand the capabilities of my camera better, at this point I was shooting digital and the instant viewing allowed me to figure out what everything in the camera did and how to control the light better. It wasn’t until I started thinking about college that I even considered photo to be a path for me. In college, I entered an art program with primarily a photojournalism background so it led to a lot of learning and experimentation in different genres. That was when I think I truly fell in love with photography
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>>What are your favorite photos to take, and why?<<
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I have shot darn near everything when it comes to photography. I started out shooting sports primarily and loved it but my focus has shifted over the years. I would still love to shoot sports because being on the sidelines of big games is a feeling unlike any other. I’ve tried portrait and weddings but I have a hard time directing people so I have tried to distant myself from that genre. Landscape and travel photography is what I’m focused on now and see myself doing going forward. I like to look at my work as art, I don’t shoot a lot of the colorful sunsets or breathtaking panoramas, I try to find a sense of place in my photography. I like to think of my work as capturing the character of Earth. I’ve always been drawn to nature and travel and my eye tries to capture the moments and the details that make up the memories we take from places. I don’t know that I have crossed over into the fine art realm quite yet but that is the type of work I would like to be classified under some day.

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>>Where do you see Justin Key Photography being in the next 5-10 years? What kind of portfolio do you plan to build?<<
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My current goal is to become self sufficient through my photography and I’m hoping to do that in the next year or two so looking beyond that is tough. I see a lot of growth that can be made in my work. I continue to look at my images and think they could be so much better than they are so in 5-10 years I would like to see my portfolio improve to the level I believe I can achieve. I would love to have checked off a lot of places on my travel list and see my name grow larger in the photography community. I plan on sticking with my landscape work and am currently in the works of expanding my website to include a new segment of my work I’m calling the Long Shutter Project. Currently it will be a collection of abstract series with the goal to raise money for muscular dystrophy but I see it expanding beyond the single cause down the road and I hope in 5-10 years to have raised a good amount of money for those causes.
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>> What advice do you give aspiring photographers?<<
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If I had to give aspiring photographers advice or even thinking about what I would tell myself starting out would be not to be afraid. I spent a long time doubting myself and worrying about the potential of failure and it held me back for a number of years. Once I got over those fears and doubts, I’ve seen my work improve, I’ve seen more opportunities come my way and I believe more in myself and my future. You can’t be afraid to chase your dreams and the sooner you can believe in yourself and put the time in to make it happen the sooner that dream becomes a reality.
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>>Who are some of your favorite artists? Do you have any particular favorite art pieces that speak to you?<<
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As a landscape photographer obviously Ansel Adams has been a big inspiration to me. I did a study in college of Masumi Hayashi’s technique and her work gave me a different perspective of the way we view scenes. Art Wolfe has some incredible work, Martin Bailey has a style similar to mine, I have been listening to his podcast for a while because he has a lot of the same views as me and it wasn’t surprising to find our work is pretty similar. Mark Rothko is a painter I have been inspired by as well.

Cheers!
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Well, friends, thanks for reading! It’s so rare to find a passion and turn it into a supportive career and I envy  Justin for doing just that! I hope Justin’s post inspires you to stick with your passions, and even if you figure you need to do something else for ‘work’, make sure to leave a large space in your hearts and schedules for passion projects. Check out his Instagram: @JustinKeyPhotograhy and his gallery to see more of his portfolio.
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xo Karen
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You can’t be afraid to chase your dreams and the sooner you can believe in yourself and put the time in to make it happen the sooner that dream becomes a reality. – Justin Key
Jolene
Jolene – Justin Key Photography

entrepreneur spotlight: kathy perdzock

I always envy those who have the courage and determination to start their own businesses. It’s amazing how much hard work and planning goes into creating your own empire. Today’s Entrepreneur Spotlight is my Mom, Kathy Perdzock. I didn’t inherit the entrepreneur gene (sorry, Mom!) but I always admire her story and go to her for working-world advise. Enjoy!10557231_10204530449413232_2567558594319826326_nKathy Perdzock: VP of Operations | Fiduciary Partners Trust Company

1. How did you know you wanted to start your own business? What was your ‘breaking point’, or your true motivation for starting your own ventures?

It wasn’t until I was approached to be a partner in a new venture that I thought of starting a business. The idea and challenges of building a trust company from the ground up was a bit overwhelming so I relied on my “gut feeling” to move forward with it. The people involved in starting the business had complete confidence in me which made the decision a bit easier. In hindsight, it turned out to be the best career move I ever made.

2. What are your largest accomplishments and what do you attribute those to?

Our company has experienced many accomplishments over the past 16 years. We’ve grown from 2 employees in 2001 to 28 employees in 2017. We reached a big milestone in 2014 by surpassing $1 billion in assets under administration. This is all attributed to our awesome staff. Our employees are not only well educated and talented in our industry, but they are genuinely good people. I share this accomplishment with all of them.

3. What are your top 3 lessons learned? How did you overcome these shortcomings?

Lesson #1: Take advantages of outside resources and networking – You will never know it all. Take advantage of the opportunities to learn from others and learn from your mistakes. Being in banking and trust for over 30+ years I’ve been fortunate enough to surround myself around many experienced people.

Lesson #2: Don’t get too hung up on immediate success – It takes time to build confidence and credibility but with hard work, a positive attitude and a little luck, success will follow. In the meantime, don’t forget to take time for yourself and family.

Lesson #3: Don’t resist change as change is inevitable – This is huge. When I look back when we started FPTC and compare it to now, just about everything has changed. Technology is more advanced, compliance is more complex, succession and management planning has shifted into full swing. We were a very fast growing company so it was necessary to constantly review our policies and procedures to keep up with managing risk.

4. What personality traits and skills do you think are important for future entrepreneurs to have?

Entrepreneurs need to wear several hats, especially in the beginning phase of a new business. However, as the business grows it’s important to be able to build trust in the staff and delegate duties. It’s also important in business to exercise patience, maintain a positive attitude, and have a strong work ethic. In our business, we need to be professional in our decisions, but personable in our approach to our clients and centers of influence.

5. What resources and support systems (professional, educational, personal) have you used to help you through your journey

My best resource in learning this business was always right next to me. We’ve added very experienced and educated people that have worked in the trust business for many years. In fact, several of our employees were people I once worked with when I started out in the trust business in 1989. I also have developed relationships with our systems providers that offer conferences and continued education. I was able to learn specifics about trust operations and security processing by completing a very intensive three-year course provided by an accredited school that specializes in trust and banking careers.

“In our business, we need to be professional in our decisions, but personable in our approach to our clients and centers of influence.”

entrepreneur spotlight: sarah key

Hey all! If you recall in my pilot blog post, I’m going to be posting bi-weekly Spotlights. Spotlights are blog posts about other people and their passions, experiences, successes, etc. that will hopefully motivate you to be your best self and chase after your dreams. Today’s post is an Entrepreneur Spotlight featuring one of my former college housemates, Sarah Key, as she talks about her business journey. Enjoy!

∗What were the turning points and/or motivators in your life that inspired you to start your own side business?
Honestly, the main thing that made me think about starting my own side business was the fact that I wasn’t able to do the thing that brings me the most joy in life as often as I liked: travel. Starting a business with flexibility and unlimited income potential was a huge motivator. Life is way too short, and I didn’t want to wait until retirement to live our dreams. 
 
My husband and I love to travel and he is a photographer, so traveling is our main priority. We didn’t want to have to sacrifice on visiting a new place on our list because of finances or time. 

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I chose Rodan and Fields because I know the insecurities that are a result of skin concerns. Insecurities take over and crushes any confidence you have, and that is not an exaggeration. I know from experience. No one should ever have to live with a skin insecurity when there is a solution out there. I wanted to be able to help others realize there is a solution and if I could also help others change their life with our business, even better. 
There are plenty of side business options out there. I would highly recommend if you’re not happy with where you are, your finances, or what your life looks like, be open to learning about these options and take the time to invest in yourself. 
∗What are the challenges you’ve faced so far? How are you overcoming them?
People not believing this side business will ever amount to anything. I have big goals for my Rodan and Fields business and it’s hard for some people to wrap their minds around it. I overcome that challenge by focusing on why I’m doing my business and believing in myself to truly make my dream life come true. Why not me? Why not you! Also, when people doubt my abilities to do something, that is motivation right there not to give up.
Another challenge is the big learning curve for entrepreneurship. I never thought I would be going down this path, but here I am, and I am forever grateful for my friend Ali Zieman who introduced this opportunity to me! I knew nothing about skincare before Rodan and Fields, I knew nothing about running my own business, I had no clue how I was going to make this work. But I’m learning while I help others. I’m learning while I earn. I’m learning while I get closer to my dream life. I love to learn and grow, and this opportunity has given me a chance to continually grow personally and intellectually, and in return has allowed me to help others do the same. 
 
∗Although it’s early in your journey, what advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Never quit. Ever. You started on this journey for a reason. Always go back to that reason when things get real tough. Because they will. It is a roller coster journey, but it is so worth it. Knowing you are working for your dream life (not someone else’s dream) and that you WILL make it happen is so rewarding and motivation enough to keep going! 
 
∗What resources help you succeed? 
A strong support system. Starting on a new path in life that is not considered the typical “right” path to follow is hard. Your friends and family may not understand why you’re doing this, which could make it hard for them to support you. That is ok. Join entrepreneur groups in your town, talk to friends who get it. You aren’t alone, you just have to find your tribe to help you through the struggles of entrepreneurship and to celebrate the best times that come with entrepreneurship. It may take your family or friends time to come around to what you are doing, but know you will be celebrating with them one day soon!
∗What are you favorite books, blogs, and podcasts that continue to inspire you through your journey? Do you have particular role models?

This list could go do FOREVER! I am a sucker for personal and business development in the form of books and podcasts.
 
Some of my favorite books are: “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero and “She Means Business” by Carrie Green.
 
My favorite podcasts are: Happier with Gretchen Rubin, From the Heart: Conversations with Yoga Girl, Your Virtual Upline, and Creative Empire.
 
I also subscribe to pretty much every Travel magazine out there. I am always finding new places to travel to and explore. And when I can’t be traveling, it helps itch my travel bug a bit.
I wouldn’t say I have one particular role model. Any strong woman making a name for herself is my role model. I get so inspired by hearing how other women are out there making their dreams come true and overcoming every possible obstacle. I also really respect women that share their struggles in their journey. This isn’t an easy road and no one should think they are the only one struggling!
 
I am also lucky to have many, many successful women in my company to look up to as role models. One of my favorite parts about being with Rodan and Fields is that everyone is there to help everyone succeed. Whether you are at the tip top of the organization or just began today, we are all trying to help each other out.
Long story short, my role models are women who motivate other women to follow their dreams and make it happen. We have one life to live, mine as well make it awesome!
 
∗How can others join the R&F business?
It’s pretty simple to join our R+F team, just make the decision you want a change in your life and jump in! More specifically, let’s talk to see if this could be a right fit for you. If it is, we get you signed up and then the fun begins! Feel free to shoot me an email sarahvkey@gmail.com and we can set up a time to chat.