How photography + mentoring can make anything possible | MDC Designs

In case you’re not aware, I offer one-on-one photo and business coaching on a very limited basis. Over the summer, I changed up my mentoring experience allowing an opportunity build longer term relationships and lasting friendships with my clients. The decision has been life changing for both me and them. I’d like welcome one of these women to the blog today, Marlene, who is going tell you a little about her photography and business journey. You’re in for quite a treat, and perhaps it will inspire you to want to snag one of my 4 open coaching slots for early 2014.

Photography has always been a passion of mine and I’ve been a good student of capturing the essence and describing a story behind a lens.  Although the feedback has been tremendous from family and friends, I was never content with the quality of my pictures.

Being my biggest critic is both a blessing and a curse.

I’ve only lived in Leesburg, Virginia for a short while, but the biggest connection I have made so far was meeting Beryl at one of her local Momtographie classes.  We did not actually make a “formal” connection at that time, I simply took her class and tried to make some magic happen behind the lens.


It was the following year, in 2012, that things clicked even more when I took her Radiate class. Can I tell you I had a blast?  

It was a summer class, but perfect for me since I spent 6 weeks away from home and was able to capture the beauty from far away places and share the photos and receive feedback from like-minded woman online.

And the journey continues with Beryl in 2013!

On a return trip from Canada last New Year’s, I was chatting with my husband about launching a new business.  I had been a stay-at-home-mom for almost 4 years and I missed the opportunities I had to connect with clients when I was working as a Human Resources Advisor and longed to make myself pretty again with some classy outfits and creative accessories.  His support was tremendous and after making myself a few pair of earrings, I started creating them for my online shop.

However, I still had one big hurdle to achieve and that was one of taking amazing and wonderful photos and staging my product.  Yes, I am every bit of a critic of my work as I mentioned above.

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I embarked, once again, on a photography journey with Beryl where everything tumbled into place when she was searching for one last mentee to complete her Resonate program for the year.

Bells started ringing in my head and I thought, MOI,  MOI, this is for MOI.  This would be so perfect, if only Beryl could help me on the business side of things. I was getting comfortable behind the lens now, but I had no clue as to where to begin my online business.

And so our paths connected through building bridges

When she said YES, I was dancing a happy dance and, the connection and a business relationship between a mentor and mentee happened, and so began our journey to make my online business a creative and artistic venue as I had envisioned it.

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Setting realistic and clear goals, paving out expectations, creating structure and deadlines, and receiving prompt and constructive feedback are all part of a successful business coaching relationship.

Four weeks of close guidance, bouncing ideas back and forth, concrete exercises and work platform suggestions, photo sessions, dinner dates to discuss achievements and “to do” lists were all part of our commitment to make our business alliance a pleasurable experience.

And, was there a moment I ever doubted myself of my venture?

Not even once, to my surprise.

This was the best decision I ever made to keep my stress level down, enjoy the process, give myself credit for doing things I would have never even approached a year ago, and it’s given me the gift of receiving through the eyes, ears, and support of a coach.


Working with Beryl enabled me to learn so much more about myself, creating a business from scratch, and appreciating the love of doing things on my own.

I never realized that creating a logo and building a website could be so easy and FREE!

Seriously, Beryl made wonders for me by referring the tools that I needed to make my start-up journey a smooth and inexpensive ride.  Plus, I have so much to gain from her marketing and blogging experience that I’m thrilled about approaching these techniques to increase my websites visibility and build a lasting relationship with my clients.

Thank you doesn’t seem like enough, but I hope future successes will show my coach that I was a serious contender in this business.

i-RQVBgw8-XLMarlene Chiasson is a Jewelry Designer and Owner of MDC Artistic Designs.  She hails from Canada and now lives in Virginia with her husband and son where they share a love for hiking, biking, traveling, and enjoying their neighborhood in the lovely historic downtown.  Her business goal is to make creative and modern accessories to inspire women to have confidence and discover their own unique style.  Check out her online shop at for some inspiration. 

Want to make huge strides in your 2014 photography or business goals? Check out the Resonate experience to see if its for you, or just go ahead and contact me now and let’s start a conversation.