We had the good fortune of connecting with Talia Haller and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Talia, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The most important factor behind my success was that I started doing. There will never be a time where you feel “ready” for your first client or ready to charge someone $10,000 for your creative services or ready to say you are an “expert”. You just have to start. Mistakes will happen. But embrace them: they are not failures, they are growth opportunities. There’s a great story I often think about when I feel frustrated about my expertise: A research study met with two groups of pottery students. To one group, they told the students they had 1 month to make the “perfect” pottery bowl. To the other group, they told the students they had 1 month to make as many pottery bowls as they could. Which group ended up with the best pottery bowls? The group who made as many bowls as they could, practiced from making many more bowls and relieved of the pressure to make a perfect bowl, ended up making the best bowls. Whatever your craft, the best way to get better is to do. If you want to get better with clients, the best way to do so is to find clients to work with. For me personally, I was obsessed with making event promos. At every event conference I went to, I quickly found the event producer and asked if they minded me grabbing footage and making a promo. The first one I did for free, the second I did in exchange for free attendance, the third I did for $1,500, and it just continued to take off from there. At my first paid event, I showed up and the event producer threw up her arms in excitement upon my arrival, “Our photographer and videographer is here!” I actually had been under the impression I was only the videographer and did not feel very confident in my photography abilities. But, I decided I would embrace the role. Since I’d be at the event all weekend, why not take photos as well? On the very first night, I was having a panic attack in my paid-for hotel room at the conference venue: the lighting in the main conference room was very low and all the photographs looked grainy. Not professional. I stayed up half the night watching low-light photography videos on YouTube and figuring out how to edit grain out of photos in Lightroom and Photoshop. Under the pressure of real client work, I learned more than I ever would’ve otherwise. On the inside, I was a complete stress ball: the client was not going to be happy. But from my experience in strategy consulting at Deloitte, I knew that perception was everything. No matter how stressed you feel, it is part of your job to put your best foot forward and to make the client feel positive about the work they’re investing in. So with my client, I put a smile on, told her how beautiful the event was and emphasized how excited I was to be capturing it. “I can’t wait to show you all the photos,” I let her know. When the 2-day event was over, I had learned so much and the client was very happy. Given my distress and imposter syndrome, I had overdelivered and provided their team with a ton of content. Since then, this client has come back with many additional job opportunities. Back to the main message: if you want to do something, don’t wait for the perfect moment, just get started.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a self-taught brand strategist and videographer who helps socially-impactful professionals and companies, primarily those in the healthcare space, create unique content that helps them spread their vision. I love working with clients, especially when I have the creative freedom to blend their initial ideas with my own and make their vision come to life. The path towards being a professional videographer wasn’t easy but I loved every minute of it. It was something I found myself constantly gravitating towards in a way that makes learning, improving, and working feel almost effortless. I wanted to watch as many YouTube videos as I could, to try out new ideas, to play around with equipment, to see how I could take a client’s concept and come to a finished deliverable. The biggest lessons I’ve learned along the way are to 1) do everything with a smile – contrary to our natural reaction to get mad when we’re frustrated, anger rarely, if ever, actually helps the situation, 2) leave empty space on your calendar so that you don’t get burnt out, 3) let your interests guide you, and 4) there is no better way to learn in the creative space than to do. When I first started creative work, I felt like I was always looking for a right answer (12+ years of schooling will do that to you). The real truth is that there is no right answer. Test out different things, gravitate towards what you like, find your style, and clients who like your work, will find you. My own style? I love clean, bright, airy, and light. I am a fan of white space, clean edges, and minimalist design. I believe that video promos don’t have to be complicated. Sometimes, simple is best. I like high contrast: black on white – but I never underestimate a good gray. I like to desaturate all but a few colors so that the main object of the photo truly pops. What’s your style?

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If someone was visiting me in Phoenix, I would make sure they brought their swimsuit, sunscreen, and a smile – also, they better not be camera shy. Touching down at the airport in the hot aftermath of an Arizonan spring day, I’d have them Uber over to the W in Scottsdale. They’d have just enough time to set down their things and throw on something fun before I whisked them out the door to one of my favorite restaurants in town, SumoMaya, known for their Mexican-Asian fusion cuisine and creative cocktails. After a few drinks, we would head back to the heart of Scottsdale. Here I would show them how the “Mini Vegas” of Arizona got its name. We’d check out some of the most lively clubs, have interesting conversations with native Arizonans and tourists alike, and then head over to a friends house for a late night swim. Throughout the week, we’d go on a number of different adventures. Day 1 we’d start the trip with a sunrise dessert hike at Piestewa Peak, taking pictures as the sun rose beautifully above the landscape. Of course, we’d spend quite a bit of time lounging by the W pool. And, if the guest felt up to it, we may even venture over to the Maya Day & Nightclub pool. Here we’d attempt to share an entire Maya Fishbowl, the club’s signature drink featuring Absolut Lime, Captain Morgan Coconut Rum, Blue Curacao, Triple Sec, pineapple juice, fresh lime juice, and topped with a bright yellow rubber ducky. If we succeeded, an afternoon nap would definitely be needed. One of the days, we’d hop on motorized scooters and jet around Old Town Scottsdale, exploring the area, soaking up the heat, and finding a cute place to chow down. One of my favorite places is the Original ChopShop, an eatery that serves health-conscious bowls, juices, salads & sandwiches. My favorite is the Pitaya Bowl, a delicious blend of apple juice, pineapple, and banana topped with granola, kiwi, banana, and shredded coconut. There is so much to do in this beautiful and delightfully sunny city – this is just a small sample of a fun, adventurous itinerary for any best friend of mine to enjoy.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Elon Musk inspires me to think beyond my personal “self” and instead focus on a vision. This helps to overcome ego-related fears, like “What if the client doesn’t like me or my work?” or “What if I’m not good enough?” and instead focus on something bigger than myself, “How best can I help to capture this business / person / story / product and share it with the world?” Adora Nwankwo, my best friend since childhood, always gives me an honest opinion, for which I am grateful. Finally, my parents have been full of endless support, willing to encourage my passions and share timely advice from their own journeys.

Website: www.impactfulvideography.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/taliaaagrace/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/talihaller/

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