Resolve

A collaborative online community that brings together photographers and creative professionals of every kind to find ways to keep photography relevant, respected, and profitable.

Have an idea for a post?

Want us to find an answer to your question? Interested in becoming a contributor?Email us

‹ Home

Posts Tagged: Group Therapy

On a final note of moving on to bigger and better things, we asked our panel of former staff photographers this question. Please share your own stories — as you can see, you’re not alone. Follow the “more” link to see all photographers, and check out Monday’s “Group Therapy” for photographers’ back stories and websites. Click here for a list of all other “After Staff” posts.

  • What is your favorite thing about what you are doing now? Are there things that have been hard to adjust to?

Nanine Hartzenbusch
I love that my work hours are flexible. I have a nine year old son I enjoy spending time with so I schedule my work during his school day, and schedule only one photo session a day on the weekends. I miss having newsroom colleagues, but have joined a photographers networking group for creative support. I also regularly get together with clients or potential clients for coffee…

My favorite thing really about having my own business is just that — that I can take the skills I’ve acquired over 20+ years and do something different with them. I can provide storytelling images of children that will be cherished by their families for years to come.

David Walter Banks
My favorite thing about what I’m doing now is that my only limit is myself, and I know that as long as I’m doing everything I can to produce and then market that work, then I can continue to grow. The model of climbing the ladder and being held down by superiors no longer exists. My close second favorite element is definitely personal projects. I believe that I have found more time and realized how vitally important it is to work on personal projects completely outside of client influences. Strange as it may seem, these projects also seem to endear you way more in the eyes of those clients.

Stuart Thurlkil
I love when we are done with a project and our clients express how happy they are with the final results. I am an affirmation junky and love when what I am doing makes others happy. It is really gratifying to do work that people respect and appreciate. It is amazing when a client gives you creative freedom to run with your vision.

I had a hard time at first with the identity shift out of newspapers. I considered journalism a calling. I had been a journalist for a long time, and transitioning towards running my own business had many unexpected challenges. I realize now that I will always be a story teller and journalist at heart and that I will continue to create images that speak to our social, economic, and cultural condition. The amazing thing has been how many people have wanted me to do this for their family, company, publication, etc. More »

I was impressed by all the things the photographers we asked were doing in addition to their main photography business. I chose just a few to illustrate the range of ideas people are pursuing. Please share your own stories — as you can see, you’re not alone. Follow the “more” link to see all photographers, and check out Monday’s “Group Therapy” for photographers’ back stories and websites. Click here for a list of all other “After Staff” posts.

  • Are you pursuing work beyond video and stills?

Pouya Dianat

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.

Michael Mulvey

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. More »

We asked a wide variety of former staff photographers the same question, and here’s what they told us. Please share your own stories — as you can see, you’re not alone. Follow the “more” link to see all photographers, and check out Monday’s “Group Therapy” for photographers’ back stories and websites. Click here for a list of all other “After Staff” posts.

  • What did you do to build awareness of your photography and your new availability?

Stuart Thurlkill
I talked with everyone I knew and then went and talked to everyone I didn’t know. I found out what each person’s greatest need was and tried to find a way to fill that need. I made it a point to go everywhere with advertising and marketing material. I worked with some great photographers here in Arizona who gave me a chance to cut my teeth while I built a portfolio. I also built my own flash website. I don’t recommend this unless you have a lot of time on your hands. I also put together a print portfolio and started to shop it around to as many people in my community as I could get an appointment with.

Christopher Record
I would say a strong website is the most important first step for people starting out. I was lucky in that I had worked as a photojournalist for many years, in which time I had assembled a diverse portfolio. I also started doing weddings on the side while working at The Charlotte Observer. I was able to build my wedding portfolio while working full-time at the paper. By the time my wife and I decided to go out on our own, I had already been photographing weddings for six years. The newspaper industry has been going through so many problems and the timing just seemed right to go out on our own. We’ve been lucky that our websites have been able to attract clients from across the country.

Michael Mulvey
I instantly jumped on getting my website together and I happened to use liveBooks. I also started a blog. This allows me to routinely update a photo area with what I am immediately doing at the moment. I joined several associations and jumped into the business end of photography concerning branding, copyright law, marketing, etc. I also started networking and using the various social media sites to get the word out, build new relationships, and keep the ones I always had. More »

We asked a wide variety of former staff photographers the same question, and here’s what they told us. Please share your own stories — as you can see, you’re not alone. Follow the “more” link to see all photographers, and check out Monday’s “Group Therapy” for photographers’ back stories and websites. Click here for more “After Staff” posts.

  • What was the hardest or scariest thing for you when you left your staff position? How did you get past it?

Pouya Dianat
Free time is a terrifying thing to have, at first. When I was a staffer, I talked about everything I was going to do and kept a list. The first week I had off from work, though…I sat staring at my computer just crushed by the overwhelming weight of freedom. So I set up a comprehensive list of everything I wanted to do and organized my days to have a loose rotation. If I have a week off while the Braves are out of town I rotate my days between:

(1) PHOTO DAY – Spent working on personal projects, screwing around with studio ideas, editing photos, researching things I want to work on, planning future projects

(2) FILM DAY – Working on scripts with my roommate, who is a writer, watching shorts, reading FilmMaker, MovieMaker and Film Comment, watching movies, reading about other filmmakers, researching

(3) TRAINING DAY – Log on to Lynda.com and choose something from SEO, Flash, Final Cut, PhotoShop, or any other program and learn something new — it’s been phenomenal

And on the seventh day of the week? Errands and finances: getting bank accounts into order, budgeting for the rest of the month, paying bills, buying way too many Magic Arms at Showcase Inc., etc. The key to my new career is constant growth, continuous learning, and striking a balance between paying the bills and doing what I want to do.

Stuart Thurlkil
Not knowing very much about business and how to get the phone to ring. I was afraid that my photography wouldn’t match up with what people were expecting in the consumer and business markets. But I found that people responded to my storytelling style, and it just took some time to get the ball rolling.

Business took longer to learn, but I read a lot and talked with others who were in business and sales. I listened to other photographers at workshops and conferences and sought out people in industries outside photography. I was like a sponge, soaking up as much information as I could. I then tried to immediately implementing what I learned.

Nanine Hartzenbusch
Establishing my professional identity in a new community — we moved to a different city and I created a new business. I was known and well-connected in the Baltimore Washington community because I had worked as a staff photographer for the Baltimore Sun for 11 years. In Charlotte, where we’ve been for two years, people are still getting to know me and my work. My biggest challenge is to grow my client base, while getting to know Charlotte. A friend counseled me, “This is a marathon, not a sprint,” which has helped tremendously. Being patient has been key.

Annie Wells
Sometimes I’ll get to the end of a day and wonder, “What did I accomplish today?” Losing your profession is mind boggling, even though I knew I was going to be moving into something else. I’m also such a work-oriented person, not having a job is hard. I have covered events with friends, and it’s good to know you can be moral as well as physical support for other people. We’re all struggling. Just to know there’s someone out there who is willing to lend a hand is huge.

More »

We asked a wide variety of former staff photographers the same question, and here’s what they told us. Please share your own stories — as you can see, you’re not alone. Follow the “more” link to see all photographers. Click here for more “After Staff” posts.

  • How long were you a staff photographer and where? Did you think you’d be a staffer for life? What is the biggest difference between what you’re doing now and what you were doing as a staffer?

Jason Arthurs
www.jasonarthurs.com
If you combine my 2 years of internships with 4 years as a full-time staffer, then it’s a total of 6 years I was in newspapers. I don’t think I could ever see myself doing it forever. It was an amazing time in my life but it was so much of a roller-coaster ride I never really felt totally in control of what I chose to focus my energy on.

This summer I have been given several opportunities to teach that I would not have had if I were still at the newspaper. I taught a week-long workshop for North Carolina high school journalism students, and helped coach two documentary projects through the University of North Carolina. For one class I spent one month in the Galapagos Islands helping edit a multimedia project shot by students and it was an amazing experience and I would not have been able to get the time off work to do something like that at the newspaper.

David Walter Banks
www.davidwalterbanks.com
I was a newspaper staff photographer for a year and a half, before which I interned for a newspaper for eight months. When I began, I planned to stay in the newspaper business for an indefinite amount of time, but I did hope to work for myself at some point. However, as I spent more time in the newspaper world, it became evident that not only was it not the place for me, the industry itself seemed to be falling quickly into turmoil.

I now shoot for a number of national and international magazines; I’m part of a successful wedding photography business; I helped found the photographic cooperative Luceo Images; and I’ve begun to move toward more commercial work. I would say that the biggest difference is that I now feel that I’m controlling my own destiny in relation to the path my career is taking, as well as the images I produce.

Kendrick Brinson
kendrickbrinson.com
I had two internship and two jobs at newspapers from 2005 to 2009. Once I discovered my love for photojournalism toward the end of college, I thought I would work at a newspaper for life. My mother worked as a writer at The State newspaper for more than 20 years so it seemed like an exciting yet solid career. After about a year and a half working for newspapers, my attitude toward them slowly shifted as I watched friends lose their jobs and their enthusiasm.

I am very busy now. I work with some of my favorite photographers in Luceo Images, doing personal projects and editorial work for major newspapers and magazines. I also photograph weddings with my partner David Walter Banks under Our Labor of Love. Now I am spending more time working on marketing and researching stories that I want to tell, and less time looking for heat features to fill holes in an-ever thinning newspaper.

Bob Croslin
www.bobcroslin.com
I was a staffer at the Tampa Tribune from 1996 to 1999, a multimedia producer at MSNBC.com from 1999 to 2001 and a picture editor and staff photographer at the St. Petersburg Times from 2002 to 2006. I didn’t think I’d be a newspaper staffer for life because I saw first-hand how much the business of journalism was changing when I went to work at MSNBC. I didn’t think there would be newspaper staff positions by 2004 or 2005. Turns out I was about 5 years off.

I’m an editorial and commercial photographer specializing in produced portraiture based in the Tampa Bay area. The biggest difference is that I used to be one part of an organization and now I AM the organization. I’m the photographer, the marketing dept, the accounting dept, the IT dept, the archivist — and I do it mostly by myself.

Pouya Dianat
www.pouyadianat.com
These days my work schedule is whenever the Braves play. I had a great working relationship with the team while I was at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and they’ve allowed me a lot of creative freedom thus far. The night’s they’re out of town, I’m firmly planted behind my MacPro, editing away.

I don’t think my photography has changed, but I am enjoying my photography a lot more since going freelance. I’m exploring every outlet that I’m interested in, while still applying the same vision I have to the work I did at newspapers. A lot of the ideas I have won’t work, maybe my idea falls apart in the studio, but I learn from the experience.

Not everyone affected by the newspaper decline is in their mid-40’s with a family to support. For those of us fortunate enough to be free from those more important responsibilities, this is a prime opportunity to do whatever we want. I’ve told a lot of students that I’ve spoken to that the next phase of photography is finding something you LOVE and applying photography to it. More »



FREE EBOOK

Learn how to engage your audience and
build brand recognition across social
channels. Learn more...

Free eBook

Search Resolve

Search

READY TO GET STARTED?

Pick your package. Pick your design.
No credit card required.

Start 14-day Free Trial
Compare packages