Hi there, I'm Manali! A wedding photographer & educator serving Charlottesville VA & DC. Click through for all my favorites from recent sessions, adventures and travels, as well as tips & tricks for clients! Grab a cup of coffee, relax, and feel free to connect with me elsewhere as well! Cheers to you!

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Overcoming Perfection by Combatting the All or Nothing Mindset

November 9, 2021

If you’re a photographer like me, maybe you can relate to a day in the life:

You start your day off with the strongest mug of black coffee, you’re feeling good in your Athleta leggings & a cute Zoom-appropriate top. You have your to-do list meticulously written out in your Simplified Planner.

All is well and you have that ready-to-tackle-the-freakin’-day vibes going STRONG.

*Cue the first mistake of the day*

Your Reel that you spent 37 minutes making yesterday posted WITHOUT the text on it.

So your perfectionistic-tendencies take over & you start running in auto-pilot to get it all fixed before no one notices.

Delete — edit — re-type caption — add in cover photo — post — “oh wait!” add in hashtags

And you breathe a sigh of relief, you handled it like a pro!

That is. . . until you open your inbox to an unhappy client freaking out about when they’re going to receive their pictures from your shoot that happened LITERALLY YESTERDAY

“It’s fine, everything’s fine”

You fire off a response that’s overly nice & includes plenty of !!! and 🙂 to save the day

And all is well again, except for the fact that your heartbeat is now running like you’re mid-Pelton workout & your coffee has made you jittery and you look over to the clock to see that it’s not even 11 AM. . . .

Not gonna lie. . . .I was hesitant to tell you this, but this used to be ME — like every Monday.

As soon as ONE thing went wrong: it was a pretty strong predictor of how the rest of my day was going to go.

Any innocent mistake (whether it was even my fault or not!) and my day was d-e-r-a-i-l-e-d. Nothing would go right for me the rest of the day.

Have you ever fallen into this trap, friend?

This is what happens when we’re in an All-Or-Nothing Mindset.

“The All Or Nothing mindset is a cognitive distortion — a negative or twisted thought process. You see things in terms of extremes, in black and white. You are either a success or a failure, according to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Los Angeles: “Your performance was totally good or totally bad. If you are not perfect, then you are a failure. This binary way of thinking does not account for shades of gray, and can be responsible for a great deal of negative evaluations of yourself and others.”

It can be the greatest thing holding you back from succeeding. If you don’t think you’ll be the VERY best photographer out there, why even try?! You give up altogether when you could have served so many incredible wedding clients or family clients in your area.

When we fall into the All or Nothing Mindset, we rob ourselves from the opportunity to even try or to fail upwards and learn from our experiences.

Now most days you can find me brushing off little mistakes and continuing on my day knowing that no one typo is going to end my photography career. Mistakes happen. We are human.

If I have a BIG project I’m excited about — I go ALL IN!

I don’t let the fear and the self-doubt stop me from taking action to try. I believe in working out of a place of faith over fear and know that no matter what the outcome is, I will be okay.

Getting over the limiting belief and fear that “Everything Has To Be Perfect” is the ONLY way that I was able to launch the Elevate Mastermind Program that’s opening up its doors at the end of this year!

It had always been a huge goal of mine to provide a high-level group coaching program.

But before I did the mindset work, it was only ever a pipe-dream that always stayed on the back burner because my FEAR was in the driver’s seat.

And now the #1 question I get asked is how I moved past my fear to do big things like:

  1. Start up my photography business
  2. Make the leap to full-time 11 months later
  3. Raise my prices so quickly for weddings (we’re at $5K+ and counting!)
  4. Branch out so quickly into brand photography
  5. Create the Behind the Business Course
  6. pivot into coaching with the Elevate Mastermind

— All within 3 years while dancing competitively, staying close with my family & enjoying brunches out with friends!

Spoiler alert: I’m not Superwoman but I’ve had some pretty amazing coaches & have worked on my mindset since WAY before I started this whole business thing.


Inside you’ll find:

  1. Why journaling is so powerful
  2. What’s driving 90% of your daily thoughts & actions
  3. How to get your brain on board with your big business dreams
  4. AND. . . 20 daily, weekly, monthly & quarterly journal prompts designed to expand your mindset & set yourself up for success


If you’re wondering what the inside of a successful & streamlined photography business looks like the Behind the Business is for you! It includes every resource you need to become as confident as CEO as you are behind the camera! These intentional resources & strategies will help you win back your time & step into the role as CEO once and for all!

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