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The Elena S Blair Photography Mastermind Alumni Feature – Samantha Nunes

Over the course of 5 months, photographers who choose to be apart of the Elena S Blair Photography Mastermind will transform their business and themselves. Although every experience is different we have seen so many talented photographers grow in ways that sometimes even surprise themselves. In this blog series we will highlight Alumni who have completed the photography mastermind and allow them to discuss what their personal experience was like. Keep reading to see the thoughts of today’s Alumni, Samantha Nunes.


What cohort were you a part of?

I was apart of Level 1 – Cohort 4.

Samantha Nunes an Alumni of the Elena S Blair Photography Mastermind

Samantha Nunes

What your favorite part of the mastermind?

Everything. Is that even an acceptable answer? In all honesty, everything truly is my favorite aspect of the ESB Mastermind. The extraordinary part of it is that it comes on unexpectedly, albeit wonderfully. Let me divulge further.

The ESB Mastermind is the whole-freaking-shebang. You get it all, regardless if you know that is what you are signing up for. Class by class, waves of knowledge crashed into me. Wave by wave I was given the education, soul healing, and mind focusing techniques I was desperately longing for. The ridiculous this is that some of the content presented I didn’t even know I was in desperate need of. How did I live before this? I don’t know. I do however recognize that I am now living with actions of mindfulness and intention. Personally, and professionally my life is all the better for it.

It is easy for me to get stuck in the rut of knowledge acquisition. I love “knowing” things. Or rather I love listening, reading, and gathering information. However, a collection of knowledge is just that, a stagnate collection. What I often feared was the motivation to act on that knowledge. To put that knowledge to work. After ever class I was given the choice; I could turn my back on all of this information or I could lean into my community, the ESB Mastermind Cohort. So, I chose to lean, and that is what they did as well.

If I absolutely had to, I would crown community as my favorite part of the Mastermind. I joined the Mastermind with a group of strangers. In the course of my time in the Mastermind, I had established some of the strongest personal and professional relationships I have yet to experience in my life.

Everyone has insecurities. Heck, I have a laundry list of them. But you know what, that doesn’t matter, and it didn’t matter to my ESB Pod. They too had their list of insecurities. Reflecting on our relationship now I can clearly see that we found our personal strength, acceptance, and perseverance through the eyes of each other. We were all there because at some point or another we proclaimed to ourselves that we were worth it; that our businesses were worth it. My pod never let any of us forget that.

What are some changes or improvements that you have seen in your business since joining and completing the mastermind?

There is not an inch of ground in my photography business that has not been positively impacted by the ESB Mastermind. I’m a factual person, so let’s start with the easily quantifiable items.

Numbers – Not in the order of significance.

  • Session fee – $350 before ESB MM. to $750

  • Doubled both Instagram and Facebook followers while having an average engagement rate of 15%

  • Additional five figure income from diversifying services

Growth and improvements without the numbers

  • Upgrading website to increase SEO, the client experience, and brand representation

  • Implementation of time saving strategies: social media, client correspondence, batch work, etc.

  • Increase client experience by streamlining communication and providing essential client education

  • Last but definitely not least, building unflappable relationships and professional contacts and vendors

Photo from one of the shooting demos at the Palm Springs Elena S Blair Mastermind Retreat

Photo captured by Samantha Nunes during the shooting demo at the Palm Springs Elena S Blair Mastermind Retreat

What are some changes or improvements that you have seen in your habits, lifestyle, confidence, and spirituality that you have seen in yourself since joining and completing the mastermind?

Personal growth. That’s a hard one. It is especially trying as an adult. We are so rigid and stuck in our habits: our way of thought, our physical routines, our mode of existence. Imagine having a light dusting of liquid cement placed upon your body. It is fine enough to allow movement, but too rigid to allow for movement outside your norm, too ridged for growth. Now, with all your being consciously tense and shake your body with purpose loosening the inhibiting glaze and cleansing you. You’re free. Free to grow, to move, to think outside of your cement cage.

That was me. My life was an accumulation of cement dustings. Shaping and molding me into replicate molds of others in society. Personal growth and development as an adult takes a life altering event to elicit life altering personal change. But what if I told you that you can control what you perceive as a life altering event. Anything can hold such importance in your life if you’re ready for it to.

The ESB MM was my professional life altering event. I chose it to be. I consciously dedicated importance to it. Held it in the highest regard and throughout the course of my mastermind learned the importance of vulnerability and allowed myself to be vulnerable to the process. Vulnerability is an immensely powerful tool. It allows you to break down and examine what was and to distinguish what gets to stay and what must go. If there is one thing that the ESB MM changed in me personally it is the ability for myself to be vulnerable to myself. I have the tools I need to shake the cement dustings of life’s events, to be vulnerable to my experience, and decide which part of it I will keep and which parts I will allow to leave. Vulnerability must not be confused with weakness, because it is not, it is the exact opposite. It is void of judgment, bias, and emotion. It affords its holder the sight of clarity. It is the most luxurious lens in my equipment bag, and it was personally gifted to me by Elena and her mastermind.

How would you describe the Retreat experience?

Have you ever walked into a new place and had the overwhelming sensation of belonging, nostalgia, and purpose? That is exactly what walking up to the ESB Mastermind feels like. Like coming home, to a family who sees you, accepts you and has their fists raised high in the air supporting you through the journey of life.

The ESB MM retreat is an oasis on the journey. Busting at the seams with camaraderie, education, and the intertwining webs of networking. Reflecting on that weekend, it’s hard to believe it was only a weekend. What an amazingly bewildering beautiful experience.

My ESB MM journey began in March with an application. An interview in April. The start of my cohort was in July. From July until December I virtually gathered with the women of my cohort every Thursday. We were scattered throughout the North American continent but for two hours every week, we sat together in our own little nook of the cyber world.

I came to know these women. The sound of their voices. Their facial expressions. Their businesses. Their greatest goals and their worst fears. It is mindboggling to comprehend how incredibly close we got while geographically being so distant. So, when I say arriving at the ESB MM was like coming home. It truly was. What you must understand is that my heart, soul, and mind had already made the journey. A six-month period of growth, exploration, and bonding. My body was just a little behind. So, for the first time, my physical being would be meeting these strangers, but the rest of me already knew them as my sisters.

At the beginning of my ESB MM experience, and throughout the duration of it, I always viewed the retreat as the end of a grand adventure. The night cap of our cohorts time together. The celebratory gathering of an almost year long stint in my life. I could have been more wrong, and I am so grateful that I am.

What are you working on right now? What is something that you are excited about in your life and biz? 

I am excited by my life in general. Not just the goals set, but about the experience of the journey. My family is healthy, happy, and thriving and I am in a very sweet spot in my life. I have everything to be grateful for.

Professionally I continue to push forward. I have just recently been granted the title of being a published photographer. A new website is underway. A few professional partnerships are being established. It’s all very exciting. Educationally, I am still working towards my master’s in fine art. Eventually, I wish to speak and educated on human connection and emotion within the photography classrooms of colleges and universities.

BTS at the Palm Springs Elena S Blair Mastermind Retreat

Photo of the Palm Springs Elena S Blair Mastermind Retreat

Behind the Scenes at the Palm Springs Elena S Blair Mastermind Retreat


You can view more work by Samantha Nunes at her website www.sterlingreverie.com and on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.

If you are a photographer who is looking to level up and transform your business and mindset to achieve your goals, you are invited to apply to be in the next Cohort of the Elena S Blair Mastermind. You can join the waitlist to be notified when applications are live and being accepted. Don’t miss this opportunity to create life long community, the business of your dreams and the confidence to be authentically you.

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