Without doubt, one of the best things about running a business is the people that you get to meet.
When I sat down with Andi, my friend & designer to think through not only what I wanted the new site and brand to look like, but where I could take the business. The process of branding is a strange one, you want graphics and a 'look' to accurately reflect the business and your own personality. He managed to clear my head from all the random thoughts and focused on the way I wanted to run my business. Northern Ireland is a small place, you don't have to be doing something for long before you look around and realise that you have met some very talented people. Whenever I started the business I didn't want to shy away from other photographers or businesses. I wanted to embrace them. I wanted the strength of my business to be that I wasn't afraid to hide my admiration for other work, even other photographers that might be considered 'competition'. The amazing thing about photography, or any art form, is that it allows the viewer to make up their own mind. Does that mean that I may miss out of some work because whilst looking at my portfolio, a couple or business see another photographer I have referred and book them instead? Yes I'm sure it does, however, I feel that life is more important than to always be looking out for the opportunities to sell yourself and/or push yourself forward!
So, I have decided I want to jump in with two feet. I am new to this whole blogging thing and wanted to set aside some time to chat with other businesses, photographers, videographers etc and see what makes them tick and maybe show off some of their work. Launching 'Infocus' I want to regularly blog about others and what they do. So here we go...
Infocus #1 - Adam Smyth Films
It was a wet and cold February morning in a hair saloon in Ballyclare and I had just turned up to take some photos of a groom as he got a turkish shave on the morning of his wedding. When I arrived there, there where two gentlemen already there with a whole range of equipment. It was clear these guys where shooting video, but I wasn't aware who they where! Over the next year or so, I had the fortune of working with them on a number of occasions. Reuben & Adam where shooting for Show and Tell. This was Reuben's business and had Adam along to shoot with him. Their work was outstanding, fresh, clever and colourful.
Adam decided to go out on his own, in a blaze of glory Adam stormed out of Reuben's office with the song, 'this town ain't big enough for the both of us' blaring out of the tiny speakers in his iPhone. Well, thats how I wish it had happened. Unfortuantely I'm told, it was a lot more civilised than my slightly exaggerated story.
This week I got the chance to ask Adam some questions about work and life and a few things in-between.
Adam recalls picking up a video camera for the first time whenever he was 18, he was involved in shooting some video for the local church and found that he had a real love for it and obvious talent, although he wouldn't say latter himself. His humility got the better of him whenever he priced for a corporate shoot with a famous confectionary company. He had just started out, so charged them £100.
"I thought I was doing well until I found out the guy who normally does their videos normally charges £16,000 per video, needless to say I felt foolish".
Even Adams' criminology degree wasn't a massive help when it came to learning about shooting video at weddings, so gained his wedding experience working with Reuben at Show and Tell and realised that he loved shooting weddings. When I asked him what his favourite thing about working at weddings, he said;
"The free food.... seriously though, It has to be the variety of quality people you get to meet, from the photographers you work with to the parents of the groom. I've made a lot of friends from collaborating with other creative people and making conversation with random people on wedding day. It's a hobby that I get paid to do! It never feels like work. I get a buzz from having to think in a creative way and there is a lot of freedom when you have complete control over creative processes... ..and the free food."
Adam has hit the ground running booking lots of weddings since going out on his own, when asked about the biggest challenges he faces at the minute his answer revealed a mind exploding with creative ideas and his awareness of the potential dangers;
"The hardest thing is taking a break. I find it hard to switch off, there have been countless nights over the last few years where I have woken up with ideas and not been able to get back to sleep. I think it's vitally important for anyone within the creative industry to shut themselves off for a few weeks in the year and not think about work."
Adams talents don't just stop at video, a little known fact is that he can play clarinet to grade 6 standard and hopes this will send a shot across the bow of wedding bands like The Gents, watch out Craig Skene, if Adam decides to launch a wedding band, you guys could be in trouble! ;)
Adam has a 'MARCH MADNESS' offer on at the minute, you only have a few days left to take advantage of it [see below for details]
Finally Adam wanted to thank everyone who has played a part in him getting to his point.
Well a massive thank you Adam for taking the time to share and be the premiere Infocus feature.
I leave you all with a taster with what skills this man processes, whilst on a recent trip to South Africa, Adam shot a wee film, however, people where so impressed that it was selected for submission for a travel film festival in New Delhi, you know just as you do! Enjoy and thanks for taking the time to have a read!