Monday, February 4, 2008

Cycle 61 Photography: "... absolutely own it..."

Through the Bay Area Strobists Flickr group, I stumbled upon Cycle 61 Photography, a.k.a. Nick Davis. Nick is working on starting up a photography business, and while I think he's chosen one of the hardest tasks possible (supporting himself with photography in one of the most expensive cities in the world) I think he has the right idea.

From Nick's first page of business goals:

"... I don't want to be just another landscape photographer, another wedding or headshot or whatever guy. I'm willing to work through that, but I'm going to find a niche, dig it out with an axe, make it viable, and absolutely own it. I want everybody who shoots in my field to have the thought, nagging in the back of their mind, that if they do a kick-ass job then everybody will think they're copying Nick Davis."
As someone who flirted with starting a business a while ago I know a bit about what it takes to succeed in photography: a ton of effort and a way to distinguish yourself from all those other photographers. Not to say that I've succeeded in any way, but I've seen enough to know how much work is involved. Trying to be a photographer 'like everyone else' isn't going to cut it anymore, nor will depending on selling microstock. You have to offer your customers something they can't get from anywhere else, be it your vision, unique style, personal skills, or experience.

And you have to commit to the endeavor: part time photography will not make you a lot of money without building the business for years, which is ultimately why I abandoned my plans (because we need money NOW, not in three years). Or, maybe I should say I just put them on the shelf for a while...

So, I'll wish Nick luck and recommend that you check out his blog. He's got good stuff on there already and it will be interesting to see his business plans evolve.

(from Cycle 61 Photography, used with permission)

PS My favorite image on his site was at the top of his second goals post (I won't show it here because I don't have permission). It has excellent color and texture, and it made me think:

"What the hell is that there for? Nuts and bolts?
Oh, I get it!"

1 comment:

Nick Davis said...

Hey Sean, thanks for the comment and the post. You're absolutely welcome to use the nuts and bolts image, just toss in a photo credit. I'm aware of the scale of the mountain I'm headed up, and the more grassroots support I have, the better. It's so much easier writing a blog when you know somebody's listening.
Cycle 61 Photography