My name is Don Giannatti and I run this project from my headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. The advertising, fashion and design capitol of the world.
Well, actually… no, it isn’t. It is a small market wrapped in a big city. We have few ad agencies, and fewer corporations. While design is found, it is not a heavy consideration.
In short, it is a lot like your town – unless you live in New York, Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco or… did I mention New York?
In smaller markets, it becomes necessary to serve a more diverse type of client, and it means being a more diverse kind of photographer.
Yes, I know everyone tells you to specialize. Here’s me telling you to do more than one thing.
And that is NOT contradictory, because I think you should specialize as well. Of course be known for something that you do exceedingly well. but you must create a living and an income to help you sustain your business.
I have been a self-employed photographer for most of my adult life. There were good years and bad years and a few really great years… but I never had a bank loan or a line of credit. I managed my business with cash flow.
My specialty was people and beauty, but I also shot still life, product, architecture and corporate. I was a bit of a generalist, but I played my specialty up and did well with it.
However, if I had to live off what the beauty and people work brought in, I would have needed that bank loan. Funny thing about bank loans… you gotta pay them back.
Along the way, my wife and I had three lovely daughters, and we had health insurance, braces, school and more to pay for. I developed a graphic design business to go along with my photography, and we did fine.
It’s those skills, the ones I learned assisting and later on the ‘streets’ that I want to impart here. How to bid, how to prepare for a shoot, what it takes to shoot glassware, how to shoot to a layout, pulling creative out of thin air when there ‘simply is no shot’… The skills that have served me well, I hope to impart on to you. You can then modify/delete/add to/twist/bend and squeeze into how you do your work.
My writings on the world of photography can be found at Essentials for Photographers.
The Lighting Workshop (online and off) is here: Learn to Light
My Photography Site
My Design and Advertising Site