Lamonte Gwynn is the owner of Lamonte G Photography. He believes that being photogenic starts within. He uses his branded Expression Coaching™ approach to help his clients capture and create images that reveal their inner photogenic magnetism.
Over the past 13 years, Lamonte has helped hundreds of people step into their confidence to attract their target audience. Whether it’s photos or videos, Lamonte is a master at bringing out the very best in his clients.
[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]
Umar Hameed 0:01
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone! My name is Umar Hameed, I'm your host on the No Limits Selling Podcast where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how you can become better, stronger, faster. Just before we get started, I've got a question for you, do you have a negative voice inside your head? We all do, right? I'm gonna help you remove that voice and under 30 days guaranteed, not only remove it, but transform it. So instead of the voice that sabotages you, there's one that propels you to much higher levels of performance and success. There's a link in the show notes, click on it to find out more. All right! Let's get started.
Umar Hameed 0:41
Hello, everyone, welcome to another episode of the No Limits Selling Podcast. And today I have the privilege of having my personal photographer, Lamonte Gwynn, he is magical. Actually, I don't look that handsome with his photographs, I look better than Brad Pitt. Lamonte, welcome to the show.
Lamonte Gwynn 0:59
Thank you for having me, Umar, I appreciate it.
Umar Hameed 1:03
The reason I wanted to have you on the show is like so many people feel self-conscious about their photographs. It's like, "Don't take my photograph." And when you're taking professional shots, you need to feel comfortable in your skin. You can't pretend who you are you need to authentically feel powerful in who you are, and that conveys a message to people looking at it. And so how long did it take you to go from being a photographer to someone that could actually capture magic.
Umar Hameed 1:30
It took me a while. To be honest in I know when I first started photography, it was a situation where I just thought I just wanted to take pictures. It was something that I enjoy doing. But then I started to notice something that for me, it wasn't just about the way people looked, like I needed something more. And the funny thing is, although I was doing it, it took me years to figure out why I was doing it. But for me innately, there was something about me that just needed more. And I really started maybe about six years into into my photography business, I really started honing in on expression. So yeah,
Umar Hameed 2:29
What's kind of interesting is, I haven't played Squash since May, I left Baltimore in May. And I was playing squash every single morning or tennis. And then it's been like six months since I've played some back at the court, not playing me games yet. But I was talking to a more experienced player. I said, "You know, hey, I'm looking for some games. I'm a C player," and then we batted the ball around a little bit and he goes, "You're not a C player, dude, you're a D player." I was like, and he wasn't being mean, it was just my image of myself was a C, but the reality was, I was definitely a D, how depressing. So for you as you were improving your craft, you must have had a sense of "I'm pretty good." And then when did you realize that you weren't as good as you thought, and you really needed to find more expertise and mastery in this area.
Umar Hameed 3:18
So I really had an early on in my business, I really had an issue with connecting with people.
Umar Hameed 3:26
Lamonte Gwynn 3:26
I was this warm up phase where I, because I'm not I'm an introvert by nature. I'm the guy at a social event who sits in the corner and doesn't say anything to anybody. And when I go to a marketing networking event, I really have to focus and make myself go up to people. So even people coming into the studio, it was just really difficult for me to warm up to them and them to warm up to me.
Umar Hameed 3:52
Lamonte Gwynn 3:52
So is this like, really odd thing. So when I there was a photographer in New York who had a workshop called, Light is light, and he really helped me understand light. But then I said to him, "Listen, I want to do a one on one with you because I have an issue connecting with people," right? So he sends me a photo of a of a model and says, "This is going to be our model for that," and I said, "No, I don't work with model models, I need a mom. Find me a mom that I can actually..
Umar Hameed 4:27
Lamonte Gwynn 4:27
..shoot with. [laugh]
Umar Hameed 4:30
Please go on.
Lamonte Gwynn 4:31
Yeah, I needed I needed somebody who I knew that was my target audience,
Umar Hameed 4:38
Lamonte Gwynn 4:38
And I watched how he had watched how he worked with them. But then after practice and practice and practice, I then be get began to get into a rhythm with people. And I began to actually in my salespeople process, when people first walk into the door, setting the expectation for the shoe, all of that I started to connect as a way to use, as a way to use the experience and getting to know the person so that when they walk through the door, I didn't feel like I was meeting a stranger for the first time. They felt like they had a connection with me prior to. So it took years for me to get that but it was a practice in once I had that photoshoot with that with that guru. Yeah, that guru in New York, it really helped me to see the areas that I could improve on. And then I just started practicing because it's not something I didn't walk away from that meeting. I mean, from that experience, thinking, "Oh, I got it," It was a practice, it was a practice.
Umar Hameed 5:56
So I was listening to the radio, and there was this like Jazz Great. I'm not a jazz guy so I don't remember who that was. But he was like, 89 million years old. Like he was like way in his 80s or 90s. And the young buck that was interviewing him, he said, "So you know, I guess you don't need to practice anymore," he goes, "Son, I practice three hours every day. That's my favorite part of the day." So no matter how far you get in your profession, practicing your craft is how you get great at it. And a lot of people go, "Teach me something new." "Oh, yeah, got it. Let's move on. What's the next thing?" And I said, "No, master what you know," and practicing should be, especially if you're self aware, when you're practicing, no matter whether you're in sales, leadership, photography, playing the violin, being self aware, and noticing the results you're getting because I told you about this guy who said, "Umar, you're not a C or a D, aka, you suck, dude." But he showed me a way to hit the ball and I said, "Okay, well, how do I know I'm hitting it well," he says, "You know, hit it against the wall and have it come close to the back wall. That's how you'll know the sound that the ball makes when you hit it, and also how far it comes back." And that became, in the past, I would just hit it and not pay attention to the results, and he just got me to focus on the results. And so thank you for sharing that Lamonte and dear listeners, no matter what your craft is, you need to get better, whether you're Wayne Gretzky, or you're just like a little kid in the backyard playing I mean, Canada, we have to talk about hockey, by the way, it's a national law. So Lamonte, you were telling me that you're doing a pivot, because you want to make people feel really comfortable when they're in front of the camera, doing videos, because videos, you know, has been an important thing for the last 10 years. But in the past two or three people are realizing, "Oh, my God, I need to do videos," and a lot of people put them off because what if I'm not good enough. And you were telling me before we went on air that this whole idea of doing this training came about when you wanted to work with this woman who charges, "If anybody has a heart condition, please sit down," she charges $25,000 for a retreat, imagine retreat. Lamonte, tell us the story.
Lamonte Gwynn 8:00
So I get a call from her. And the funny thing is, she's in my inner circle, or part of my circle.
Umar Hameed 8:05
Say her name so we can actually promote her too.
Umar Hameed 8:09
Her name is Donna St. Louis.
Umar Hameed 8:10
Oh my God. I'm in Canada, we don't hear of anything but please go on.
Umar Hameed 8:15
So she called me and she said, "Hey, we have I'm doing this match and retreat. We need you to do photos, and submit a proposal," I submit the proposal. And the gentleman who I'm connected to through her call, called me back and say, "Listen, you really don't value yourself. You didn't charge enough pretty much and you realize that later on." So I called her in early October to say, "Hey, I'm just calling the follow up about the proposal," she says to me, "Well, you were not doing headshots," is what she said. Well, a day later, I get a phone call from a gentleman, a photographer friend of mine in Daytona. He's like, "Hey, I just got called for to do this proposal for a No, I just got hired to do hit photos, not headshots, but photos for a mansion retreat," and I'm like, "Wait, I know this...
Umar Hameed 9:17
Lamonte Gwynn 9:17
I know this person. I submitted this proposal to them." So I tell them, "Listen, I submitted a proposal to them. They turned it down," he said, "But what we need you to do is come in and work do the video for us." So I went in and what I learned is just how afraid people are in front of the camera.
Umar Hameed 9:36
Lamonte Gwynn 9:36
And there were so many people who had breakthroughs through working with me that they raved about the experience they, when I tell you they raved about the experience. They raved about it one. One woman she she was so disheartened because she hadn't figured out what she was going to do and she was tired and so on. I told her I said that we had a conversation about just focusing on you taking some time to to then to breathe.
Umar Hameed 10:10
Lamonte Gwynn 10:10
So she, I told her so you know what, go take a nap, go take a nap. Meditate on what you want, because you don't have the answers. And one of the things that I've learned is that Oprah Winfrey said, "When you don't have the answers, go quiet." So go in your room go quiet. When she came out, she was so refreshed. But she had a, she had in her mind what she wanted to say. And then I coached her through the process, he was the one who came out the superstar, but not happened in the process is that they all started to, they all started to come alive in front of the camera. So that experience taught me that I needed to, because I'm already an expression coach with photography, that I need to step in helping people in, stepping into that confidence in front of the camera.
Umar Hameed 11:04
Nice. So let's talk about that. There's a, you know, a lot of celebrity interviews, you know, people that are like Hollywood stars, their life is in front of the camera, but they will say, you know, I" won the Oscar," and then for the next six months, I was worried that I never get hired again, that I wasn't good enough. A lot of people say, you know, "I feel like a fraud or an imposter," and we've got a name for imposter syndrome. So let's talk about human beings, and how they see themselves versus how other people see them. Thoughts?
Lamonte Gwynn 11:32
So generally, what happens is people believe that when they step in front of the camera, they have to become someone else. And...
Umar Hameed 11:40
So hold off on the camera part, let's talk in general, first of all, go back to the camera,
Lamonte Gwynn 11:44
Umar Hameed 11:44
how people see themselves versus how others see them? Because oftentimes, you can see people and go, "Oh, my God, Jack could be a superstar, but Jack can't see it." So A think of someone specific that you've come across like that, don't name names, because you don't embarrass anyone, but give me a sense of what you see versus what how they see themselves. And let's talk about what's happening inside their mind when that happens.
Lamonte Gwynn 12:06
So I've coined a phrase about that. It's, it's what I call, Dolby Surround Sound Negative Hit Chatter.
Umar Hameed 12:12
I love it.
Lamonte Gwynn 12:13
It's all, it's all the things that they...
Umar Hameed 12:16
Know they love this, they took sides that names me use with negative crap, but please go on.
Lamonte Gwynn 12:22
Yeah, it's it's, it's all the things that they say about themselves that, honestly, a lot of people don't say about them, when they see them. So it's, "I'm to this on to that I'm not this, I'm not that." So he gets so focused, and so into their headspace about who they, you know, their own perception of themselves, that it's really difficult for them to grow beyond that.
Umar Hameed 12:53
Absolutely. And a lot of times what's happening is we pay attention to the negative voice in our head, and we need to realize is, there's something inside our psyche that's causing that voice, and you can try and address the symptom. Or you can go down and figure out, "Oh, this belief is causing that," when we heal that belief, the voice stops in fact, we can turn on another voice. Right now the voice in my head is saying, "Umar, you are damn good looking," "Oh my God, thank you." So you can change the voice inside your head when you change the beliefs. But that is doubly problematic when you're in front of a camera because people don't feel comfortable. In fact, it was a friend's episode where I don't remember the episode where one of the gals was talking about it was an old video. And she said for the video started, "You know, the camera adds 10 pounds to you," and she must have been chubby when she was young. And one of the other co star says, "Exactly how many cameras were on you." But so why does it get even more intense? When we're in front of a camera, that self image that we have?
Lamonte Gwynn 13:54
It gets more intense because we look at this thing. This this I in front of us, and we see it as a flaw, it's a reveal of flaws.
Umar Hameed 14:09
Lamonte Gwynn 14:09
Right? When we watch the news, when we watch television, when we watch movies, we don't hear all of the retakes. We don't hear the mistakes. You know, a news person, it barely they will make up some bow here and there but for the most part, they can just go on movies.
Umar Hameed 14:31
Let's put that in perspective. That's what it appears like, but they're operating off a teleprompter as well. They got...
Lamonte Gwynn 14:36
Umar Hameed 14:37
They just freaking reading and make it sound like they're not reading. So yeah, we heard this unfair model, which is like movies, TV personalities that we compare ourselves to. So that makes perfect sense.
Lamonte Gwynn 14:50
Yeah. And we feel that we have to, we have to hit a level of perfection, when it really isn't about being perfect.
Umar Hameed 14:59
Lamonte Gwynn 14:59
We also feel a lot of times people feel they don't know what to say or they have to script out what they what they are going to say. And one of the techniques I use with the folks at the matching retreat is before we even hit record, I just asked them questions. And they were hitting them just like that. And I say you listen, you know, this information. A lot of times we feel that it has to come out this really Chris kind of way, when it really doesn't, you know, the information.
Umar Hameed 15:32
So you could be sneakier Lamonte. Like, what's interesting is if the cameras on to the other person doesn't know it, they're natural, they're powerful. They're charismatic, and but soon as cameras switches on all of a sudden, we're self conscious, that voice, "Am I doing things?"
Lamonte Gwynn 15:47
Umar Hameed 15:47
One of the things that really annoys me about podcasting is this, is you and I'll be having a conversation. And as soon as I stopped recording, then magic happens. Like I was talking to the CEO, we had this great podcast, and he's brilliant. And we stopped recording. And he goes, "You know, I should have told you about the time, I went bankrupt, and I lost all my money, that I had to live in a $6 a day motel. And within a year, I had a $1 million business started." And when the camera was on, he was self conscious, but soon as we switched it off, all of a sudden, he woke up. So yeah, absolutely. So how do you make people feel comfortable when you prime them with questions, so they have a sense of what they want to say? What else do you do?
Lamonte Gwynn 16:29
So there's some free work as well, one of the things that I learned about doing this retreat is that you have to do some pre-work. And what we talked about one of the things you talked about is limiting beliefs. Right?
Umar Hameed 16:41
Lamonte Gwynn 16:42
So to get over that, the question that I start with is what is your current belief about recording? And I have right down that belief. All right. Now, what do you want to believe? What do you want? When you get in front of the confidence? I mean, in front of the camera,
Umar Hameed 16:58
I am [garbled]
Lamonte Gwynn 16:59
And then you...Ha?
Umar Hameed 17:00
I am [garbled] That's what I want.
Umar Hameed 17:04
So you write it down? And then you go back and you draw a line through your current belief? Yeah, I mean, your your current belief, and you then accept the new belief.
Umar Hameed 17:16
Lamonte Gwynn 17:16
That's, that's that, that that set the the foundation of it, and then we do other work, there's other work that has to happen. In order for people to get in the mindset, that one, I can do this to step into their confidence. And it's not really step into it, it's really commanded, you can command confidence with a snap of a finger. And just like that, and through the process, that's what I help. Through the process, that's what I help people do is to be able to snap a finger and be in confidence so that they now can look at the camera, straight through the lens, and deliver whatever they want to say in confidence and feel good about it.
Umar Hameed 18:02
Absolutely. Because I think, for us, the reality is this. If you could be natural without the camera there, you're proof positive that you've got that ability. And what we need to do is to take the fear out of the lens, and that's what you do masterfully. And folks up ahead Lamonte, take photographs, he went to do another training with some light guru. And he came back so excited, and said, "Hey, let me take some shots without any lighting," and there's some of the best shots you've taken off me came when it wasn't a formal studio setting, it was just you and a camera, and just learning how to master light because that is the fabric of the work that you do same thing in video. And do your listeners and viewers, figure out what is the language that you're using? Whether it's sales, leadership, parenting, being an athlete, what do you play with? What do you need to master become fabulous. Lamonte, we're going to put all your links down below of this interview. There's two more questions I have for you. Number one, what is the main hack, you could share with listeners that they could use this technique to be more confident right now today?
Lamonte Gwynn 19:10
One of the my hacks that I use is grounding, and I want to thank you for that. So grounding is an exercise where you actually visualize a huge tree with a humongous trunk coming into your body and the roots growing down your legs and you know with a big tree like that, you know extending out and once once you do that grounding exercise you can come out of it and feel confidence. That's one of the technique my hacks that I use all the time when I feel my nerves just taking over.
Umar Hameed 19:46
Brilliant. And what's a book you'd recommend that our readers or viewers, listeners read?
Lamonte Gwynn 19:52
A book, "The Power of The Subconscious Mind" by Joseph Murphy. That book has really inspired me and helped me to understand the power of my content in my subconscious mind. You know, Umar I write notes, I write letters to my subconscious mind and put them under my pillow on a nightly basis. And it has been amazing, I've seen amazing results.
Umar Hameed 20:18
Brilliant. Lamonte, thank you so much for being on the show. Can't wait to have you on another one real soon. Thanks so much.
Lamonte Gwynn 20:24
Umar Hameed 20:30
If you enjoyed this episode, please go to iTunes and leave a five-star rating. And if you're looking for more tools, go to my website at nolimitsselling.com. I've got a free mind training course there, that's going to teach you some insights from the world of neuro-linguistic programming and that is the fastest way to get better results.