Stay The Course; Find Your Own Style...And Clients For Your Style Will Come To You Page 2

SB: I understand "stay the course," but how did you actually find "the course"--that is, your way, your purpose? How did you get to a place where you could get assignments with some of the best art directors around?

BB: There is no secret formula. I worked hard shooting assignments for many art directors and then had each job lead to the next one. This constant working led me to find the course I wanted to pursue as a top stock shooter. That has allowed me to be selective and pick only the best assignments with the best people. I also am one of the more expensive travel shooters, so that gives a rather high-end impression. We get the biggest jobs from many agencies.

Polar bear baby.

SB: Regarding "Bill Bachmann" photography, describe the range of clients you pursue for the type of work you want to do.

BB: I aim for and shoot for travel companies, ad agencies that have tourism or cruise accounts, hotel/resort clients, and some lifestyle clients. I want to do what I love, so I aim for things that I do well and enjoy. I have been blessed indeed.

SB: How do you "stay the course" and grow your business in this crazy time of new photo gear, new technology, and economic changes?

BB: I have made a choice about what I want to do every day and I do not do any of the digital work on the computer. I pride myself in that. To stay the course I have to love what I do and I love to shoot. Fortunately, I have been successful enough where I can hire a computer person who knows and loves doing the digital work. I do look on and approve all the images before they leave the studio, but--quite honestly--I do not want to spend my time in front of a computer. Give me a mountain to climb or a sunset to shoot!

India.
Guatemalan woman and baby..

SB: Regarding marketing tactics, what seems to work best for you, given all the different marketing tools available (advertising, direct mail, website, sales calls)?

BB: We mix it all up. I believe in advertising and direct mail and do it often. Variety is the key for us. I advertise in many of the directory books and websites (www.workbook.com seems to do the best for me). We have done direct mail with every print form you can think of: post cards, flyers, brochures, newsletters. As a "premium promotion" we have even sent special clients my printed books (see his website at www.billbachmann.com/books.html). We do keep our clients informed of what we are doing and what we want to do. I like the marketing part of the business. Most photographers I meet love the computers and hate the marketing--go figure.

Bill Bachmann in Alaska.

SB: Which fields that you work in (lifestyle/advertising, travel, business/corporate, architecture) are the most difficult to sustain as a business and "stay the course"?

BB: All of these have different needs. My best advice is to find someone whose style you like and try to work as an assistant. Read books, attend seminars, call photographers, and join photo associations. All of that will help you decide what you want to do--and continue doing--as a business and a career.

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