As many of you guys know, last month I drove cross country, by myself, with both kiddos in the back seat.  It was 26 hours of driving, which took about 48 hours total between stopping for potty breaks, staying at a hotel one night, and food stops.  Some people called me brave, some people called me crazy, and I am probably a little bit of both but the drive wasn’t too terrible.  Thank goodness for technology because without it I probably would have gone crazy.  I let my 4-year old play on the iPad more than he usually does and my 1-year old slept a lot so she was pretty easy.  Every year I drive back to Idaho and stay for a few weeks so that we can go salmon fishing.  Here is a video I made of some of the fish we caught.  It is such a great time and is why we drive instead of fly because we bring home around 200lbs of wild salmon in coolers on dry ice and it is easier to drive it home instead of shipping the fish, plus then I have a car while I am up there.

Usually when I do this drive I stop by the library the day before I leave and check out a bunch of books on tape.  One year I listened to the Hunger Games series while I was driving and it made the time fly by so fast!  I finally understood why my teenage sisters loved the books so much.  This year, however, I ran out of time before I left to get to the library and so after about an hour of the cross country drive I started to get pretty bored.  I decided to check on the Podcast app on my iPhone to see if any of the podcast shows I follow had new episodes.  It was then that I saw a new episode for The Pro Exposure and was excited to listen to it.  The Pro Exposure is a free podcast hosted by James Patrick and Jason Black where they give so many amazing tips for people in the talent industry.  They have topics ranging from: ways to market your business, to proper etiquette at a photo shoot, to social media tips.  I really like listening to their podcasts because they both have real witty personalities and bring a funny sarcasm with them to the show all while giving out so much valuable information….all for free!

I started by listening to the most recent podcast and then systematically went back through the last 25-30 podcasts (each between 25-45 minutes) while I was driving cross country.  I learned so much just listening to these podcasts.  It’s hard to pick just one favorite, but one of my top three favorite podcasts was the one where they had guest Joel Grimes (podcast #49) speak about how he built such a strong brand as a commercial photographer and how he dealt with all the failures throughout his career. I think we can all relate to being rejected by a company or job proposal at some point in our life, and that episode gave a lot of really great, tangible tips for how to deal with rejection or failure. They have had other really great guest speakers such as: Fitness Model and Writer Jamie (Eason) Middleton, Blogger Brittany (Davila) Schlueter (Little B), Fitness Model and Writer Kim Dolan Leto, and photographer Robert Reiff just to name a few.  Each of the podcasts kept me really entertained and interested the entire time.

You guys know that I love sharing things that I use or listen to myself and so just wanted to pass along the info about The Pro Exposure and encourage you guys to subscribe to their podcast.  James and Jason are full of so much valuable information for anyone in the fitness industry (bloggers, photographers, fitness models, etc) and it was also really helpful for anyone who owns a small business (even non-fitness related) because they gave so many helpful tips for networking, relationship building, etc.

The other exciting news is that I reached out to James a while back and scheduled a photo shoot with him while I am at the Olympia in Las Vegas!  I am so excited to shoot with James again.  I shot with him last year when my little girl was just six months old.  I am not a fitness model and so I was really nervous going into the shoot because James and Jason shoot with all the top fitness models in the industry.  I wanted some really high quality photos that I could use for my website and social media.  James has a really great talent for making you feel comfortable when you are working with him, and even though I wasn’t a seasoned fitness model he gave me so much direction and encouragement that I never felt uncomfortable.  We got so many beautiful images together that I am so happy with and will always be proud of.

_MG_9268tagged I don’t have a desire to compete in a fitness or figure competition, but to keep me motivated I do like to occasionally schedule photo shoots.  It’s really fun to have professional pictures to capture the hard work you have put in, and if you have a blog or business you can use the photos for your personal advertising.  I think James has a couple of spots available still for that Olympia weekend in Vegas (September 19-21), if you are interested in shooting with him you can contact him through his website or Facebook page.  His pricing is very reasonable and he is one of the best in the industry.

Have you ever done a professional photo shoot before?  If so, what did you think?  Do you have any tips for someone wanting to do a photo shoot but may be nervous to schedule one?  I’d love to hear your comments below!

Your friend,


Natalie Hodson is a mom of two showing how to balance family, fitness, and a healthy lifestyle.