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Personally, I’ve had a few ideas for books, I’ve shot video, looked at starting a stock archive of my sports work, and explored every avenue of where my photography can take me. Currently some of the work I’m doing in my free time may be best suited for an art gallery, but as football season comes around I’ll be implementing my stock archive of sports images. I’ve toyed with starting video projects as part of a 501c(3) venture, which has a classification under which literary, artistic projects can be funded. Looking at grants that also go in hand with non-profit status, there are a lot out there. Bella Pictures is a great resource for people interested in going this route.
I was sponsored by Bella Pictures to speak at the National Press Photographers Association workshop in Las Vegas earlier this month. There are so many people within the media who are going to be in transition this year. It was very nice to help people navigate through some of the land mines. The wedding business will never be the business that our parents bought into. That has already changed. And the changes in future wedding photography could be lead by former photojournalists. As a collective we are just very good at what we do and it takes time to teach good storytelling.
I would certainly be happy to pass more information along, as I did in Vegas. In order to ensure that my wedding business is successful, I also realize much of the future success will be in multimedia. You can see various aspects of multimedia and video creeping into wedding photography. It is not unlike the changes happening with online newspaper content. Quick videos and audio slide shows will be a permanent part of the future wedding business models. I am working to get myself at a level that will not only be competitive but possibly groundbreaking.
David Walter Banks
I have been speaking with a few different conferences and workshops about speaking, and have plans to work with some colleagues on a few different ventures outside the already established workshops. I believe that in a time where print media as a whole is up in the air, it’s important to diversify. This goes beyond the speaking or conducting workshops and flows into the realm of art photography print sales, producing books, and even working to generate a model of online content that is actually profitable.
I have discovered there are a great number of advanced amateurs who want to learn about photography from real professionals. A recent marketing study suggests that most of them are willing to pay for small-group or on-on-one sessions with pros. The success of Strobist, Scott Kelby, and NAPP are great illustrations of that market. I have already begun a series of speaking engagements and free workshops to build that community.
I also created a local website, Westervillelife.com, in 2007 to cover the city’s 150 anniversary. It received great praise but little monetary return. I’m still expanding it’s marketing plan and coverage. One of the result has been more local merchants and clients asking for my services.
Right now I’m doing a photo/video internship in Swaziland with an NGO, which seems to be the way international reporting is going with overseas bureaus drying up rapidly. I’ve said I don’t think of myself as a photographer, but I’m sure I will again as the need arises. If I come across a story that would be best told in photos, I hope I can recognize that and re-assume my old role. I think a lot of my colleagues are doing the same by thinking more critically about media and how best to tell story, then they’re learning how to do that – many in academia and many on the fly at their jobs. The danger of that is thinking they can do it all themselves, which I think will degrade the quality of journalism. I think many will start to realize that collaboration with specialists is the best way to go, which will ultimately preserve photography and the role of photographers.