Building Your Digital Event Photography Business Page 2
NC: We constantly market to all areas, including country clubs, hotels, catering facilities, party planners, bands, DJs, florists, and social clubs. You name it and we market our services to them. We have worked for everyone in our area and we are known in the industry as the "can-do-anything" company.
Steve C. Mitchell of Boxcar Studios is an internationally published freelance photographer based out of Indianapolis, Indiana. Mitchell specializes in sports and entertainment photography. He is also the founder and publisher of the website www.dphoto.us. This is a free website dedicated to digital photography users, news, and forums; it has an active photo critique area.
SB: Regarding marketing digital event photography, how do
you market and promote your services?
Steve C. Mitchell: The types of events I shoot are generally rather high profile, focused in the sports and entertainment industries. I am a freelancer and nothing speaks louder in the photography industry than the quality of your images and the ability to always come back with a picture, so that is the number one marketing tool.
I have an 8x10 portfolio and a 12x18 print portfolio and am a huge proponent of using the web as well. It is the best marketing tool for the digital photographer. You can be the greatest photographer in the world, but if no one sees your work to recognize your ability, you have nothing. Our website, www.dphoto.us, was created to help digital photographers at all levels share information, and most importantly, learn how to create better images through online critique galleries. Regardless of what level you're at, we all still have much to learn. We learn from each other by "checking our egos at the door."
I don't advertise my services by any traditional methods. If there is someone I'd like to work with, I direct them to my website, and hopefully they like the images. In the end, that's what counts. Having great subjects helps my marketing immensely. I've been fortunate enough to have been able to shoot some great events, from the NFL, NBA, F1 Racing, and many musical artists.
SB: What recommendations would you make to a photographer looking to make a career move into this field?
SM: Do it because you love it. You have to have a passion for photography and for what you're shooting. The hours are long, and the work can be physically demanding. You have to have an understanding partner as well. Weekends and most holidays are workdays. You better be very good and very consistent. It's one thing to make a good picture now and then, it's another to make one every time regardless of the environment. Unique situations happen in the field. A professional adapts and makes a picture. There's no place for saying "sorry." You also have to be patient. Do what you say you're going to do. Retaining ownership of your images is of the utmost importance if you are a freelancer--never sign away ownership.
Even though I am limited to what I can do with some of the images I take, I never sign away ownership. If the opportunity arises to sell the image elsewhere, you can get the proper approval later if necessary. You never know what image might be valuable.