Saturday, January 1, 2011

The New Vault Photography

It's a new year and Vault Photography is undergoing some extensive changes.

Before we get into that though, I'd like to point you to a gallery of my favorite photographs of 2010
There are some 156 photos, out of tens of thousands that I shot, that speak to me personally. Some are just great memories, while others are photos that speak to me for one reason or another.
Best of 2010

Out with the old, in with the new!
Vault photography has a new logo and a new slogan

I finally got my act together and learned from some of the marketing stuff I've been reading. I've standardized my fonts throughout my written material, as well as my color scheme. The logo above is now prominently featured on - right where it should be. It also appears on this blog, on my business cards and on T-Shirts! 

Exceeding Expectations - ?
I sat down a few weeks back to ponder deeply about the direction of my business and where I want it to go. I wrote a mission statement. It took me approximately forever to come up with something that isn't terrible - but I think I got there.

Mission: to exceed expectations, providing clients with premium service and photographs while staying true to a unique creative vision.

The keywords to note are: exceed expectations, premium, unique, creative.

Of these, the only words that I don't see often in the photography business are Exceed Expectations. Sure, everyone wants to provide a premium product and be unique and creative, but so few people these days strive to go above and beyond. I realize that the experience clients have with me is going to be the deciding factor in whether I get hired again. 

New Market
For the last 5 years, I've been focusing on portraits. Families, high school seniors, pets, stuff like that. I've realized that while I love making these kinds of photographs, it isn't really what I want to be doing full time. I have decided to leave the portrait market behind, in search of bigger fish. I am so grateful to all the families who hired me to make their portraits, and I am confident that I haven't disappointed them. It's just time for me to move on.

Bigger Fish
I have identified a niche market in Flagstaff that is more or less untouched: Automotive photography. There are a lot of nice cars in Flagstaff but very few great pictures of these cars. I think I can fill that niche, and fill it well. 

Selling Car Photos
Hopefully these pictures can speak for themselves - perhaps with a little narration.
Which of these cars would you rather buy?




I know which I would want to buy. 

I think the difference between the photographs of each car is pretty extreme. Even with my limited automotive experience, I know I could improve vastly on these picture. The cars could be washed, they could be on a much better backdrop, the asphalt could be wet - there is so much more that could improve these pictures. But, for the sake of having a demonstration, I did these images in front of my house in Boulder over the span of about 30 minutes.

What is different? From the "point and shoot" style to the more polished image? 
1) Angle - Get Low!
2) Focal Length - 105 to 135mm
3) Car Position - showing all 4 wheels, as well as the rims and lights
4) Post Production: vignette, dodge/burn, sharpening, contrast adjustments
5) Lighting - one Einstein 640 camera left at full power

It doesn't take much to turn a car from a POS into a completely sellable (sexy) machine. 

I also plan on doing more advertisement-ish and action-y photos as well. If you've been around this blog for long, you'll remember some of these. (They look great enlarged)

In the past, automotive photography has been a hobby while I focused mainly on portraits. For 2011 and beyond, I'm going to focus on cars while making portraiture my hobby.

That's all for now. This post took me nearly two hours to finish because BLOGGER decided to start inserting random HTML tags and prevent my post from saving. Rawr.

Happy New Year! Stay tuned for more updates on the changes at Vault Photography!