A colleague specializing in travel photography recently asked me about my photography projects. I told him that one of my projects was designing and producing all the communication materials for an art exhibit: catalogues, posters, street banners, mail invitations, video, viral communication, and — oh yes — photography.
My fellow photographer reacted in awe; it was not what he expected to hear. But I think expanding your creative horizons, and broadening your business, is a smart path for many of us to consider today.
In this case, I became involved with the art exhibit project about a year ago. A friend named Eva Basile — an artist and textile design teacher — had the idea to organize a touring exhibit of artist feltmakers from around the world.
The project has gathered the forces of three major organizations that deal with the medium of felt: Coordinamento Tessitori in Italy, FilzNetzwerk e.V. in Germany and the International Feltmakers Association, based in the U.K.
From the start, we used photography to set high standards for the project. A well-done photo is the best business card any venture can have. It immediately leaves the impression that you are committed to quality and that your exhibit will demonstrate the same level of professionalism.
We delivered two shots per art piece to be used in association with the event, with and without the graycard for proper white balancing and color conversion. We worked directly with the catalogue publisher to ensure the final product would be right for the exhibit.
Next, we organized the work and the schedule for a promotional video, from filming to editing.
Doing It All
Many photographers have valuable skills that extend beyond taking pictures. For the most part, we are professionals used to working under pressure and tight deadlines, which makes us well suited to manage projects.
As storytellers, we have the vision to develop communication plans and implement them in ways that connect with people.
Granted, not all of us have the same skills and interests. So start by analyzing what you do well, or what you believe you would do well given the opportunity. Then, assess how these talents might fill needs for your clients — and package your offerings accordingly.
Finally, always follow your passions. That will ensure your path is a coherent, and happy, one.