Archive for November, 2013

horse portraits

So most everyone knows that I’ve been working on transitioning from wedding and event photography to a new portrait based photography business.  I’m happy to say that I’ve finally completed my last wedding so I can now fully focus on what’s ahead.  Part of the process has been reinventing Brandon Malone Photography to a new business model, which is no small or easy task.  But there has been one essential task that I believe to be more important than anything else, and that’s the process of rediscovering of who I am.

outdoor bridal portrait session with a horse

I’ve been reading a series of books titled Fast Track Photographer by Dane Sanders.  I highly recommend this to any photographer considering making a living with a camera.  The biggest thing Dane pushes is discovering who you are and what makes you unique.  As I was reading along over time I was also paying more attention to different things, and finally the light bulb went off one day when we were planning a day at the rodeo.  Yes, I am able connect with many people in many ways and provide great image products to each of them, BUT where I connect the most is with people I relate with and have the most in common with.  These are the things that helps define me:

  • First and foremost is my Christian faith
  • Second is my southern country character
  • Next we are horse owners
  • I’m a Texan and love a good rodeo
  • I’m a mountain biker (though I haven’t been out much lately)
  • I love the outdoors, especially mountains and farms (so does Amanda)
  • I love a variety of styles of music as long as it’s not colorful, but I LOVE music
  • I find joy is serving and taking care of people when possible
  • I’m a husband and a father
  • I love my country and am a prior Navy aircrewman
  • I enjoy studying various religions and Christian apologetics
  • I’m constantly trying to improve myself in my personal and professional life
  • I’ve always been an entrepreneur (I shamefully tried to make money of my brother as a kid)
  • I’d rather spend more time and money upfront in an investment than save money on a cheap quick fix
  • I love creating crazy cool images for people

 

portrait with horse

The list obviously goes on.  It’s interesting to spell out things about yourself, but part of the light bulb experience for me was that I now plan to start focusing more on the horse community.  Not that that’s the only community, but I relate with them the most because we have horses, and I have a unique knowledge of horses that many other photographers do not.  I actually have to thank horse trainer Corey Jackson for helping turn on the light bulb for me.  I never thought about it this way till he pointed it out.  He and I now have plans to work on a project together for him that includes a portrait, website photos, and some video work.  I’m pretty excited.

3D portrait with horse

So as I pave the way in my new business model, I now have a clearer picture of how to travel it.  I still plan on not returning to events, but instead pursuing horse portraiture capturing the horse and owner relationship in portraits, as well as the owners in their environments.  There’s still more to discover and figure out, but I at least now have a path and plan for my new portrait photography business as I focus on the equine community with whom me and my family have the most in common with.

cowboy toddler with pony

 

maternity photos with a horse

 

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Nov 13, 2013

So I’ve been reading through a two book series called Fast Track Photographer by Dane Sanders (http://fasttrackphotographer.com/), and so I just wanted to share my own review for those interested.

These really have been two great books.  Originally I just bought the first book and didn’t bother with the second one (the business plan).  I recommend most people start the same way.  The reason I say this is because the first book really makes you think about a lot of things that you need to consider before you even know if you need the second book.  You has you ask yourself many things to see why you love photography, why are you thinking about going into the business of photography, what are the differences of working for yourself and someone else, should I be a freelance photographer or a brand name photographer, and so on.

It really makes a lot of sense, especially in today’s world of affordable electronics, tighter budgets, and fewer jobs.  If you’re going to make a jump from hobby to business, you need to fully evaluate a lot of factors and considerations.  If you love photography, but don’t love all the business aspects such as sales, marketing, customers, and so on, then you probably would be better of freelancing your work out, in which case you probably don’t need the second book.  But if full business mode is for you, then the first book will help you have a solid vision of who you are and what you are to do before you start the second book.  Then the second book will help you learn how to take that vision and show you how to take it further and then build a business plan around it.

I know it sounds simple and that you can find a lot of information online for free.  But speaking for myself, both of these books offer more than you may realize and are worth their weight in gold.  Ok, so an electronic version technically doesn’t have weight, but you get the idea.  I personally had been struggling with how to redirect my business now that we’ve dropped all wedding and event services.  Yes I knew the plan was to switch to a portrait based business, but I struggled to really define what that means for me and what is it supposed to look like.  If I don’t make it me, then how is it any different than any other generic photography service provider?  I’m about a great experience followed by a great product, and Dane’s books helped me to find the road I’m to travel and map out the path ahead.  Am I going to reveal that to you?  Of course, but not right this minute.  You’ll have to wait and see.  What I will reveal is that it will involve a move from Maryland to central Tennessee.

As for the these two books, if you’re starting or considering starting a photography business or are trying to reinvent your current business as I’m doing, then yes I highly encourage you to buy a copy of these two books and ready them.  My second copy is crammed full of paper notes.

 

 

 

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Post by  at Brandon Malone Photography

www.brandonmalonephotography.com