Melanie Anderson will be one of our featured speakers at our 2018 Carolina Photo Expo at the Sheraton Imperial in Durham, NC August 3-6, 2018.
A: Hey, Melanie! It's great to chat with you today.
M: Hey Adrian... So Great chatting with you too!!!
A: I have known you for a couple of years now. My first impression of you was "wow this girl's got some energy". Is that just your natural personality?
M: Haha!!! Yes... My goal is to allow my "light" to shine brightly. When you Love what you do...it's easy to be energetic and spread joy....now don't get me wrong...I have my "down" days too...I just choose positivity and that comes through as "energy" most days.
A: That is true. Does your business tend to specialize in any general area of photography? And how does your energy level affect your business?
M: While we are a "diverse" studio...meaning we photograph all genres...We are known in our community for Seniors and Volume Sports...and YES...being energetic certainly helps. My interaction with Seniors carries through as I tend to be able to "relate" and keep the session moving quickly. In regards to Volume...it's a lot of moving parts with athletes, coaches, kids. My personality allows "approachability" and this community knows we are here to "serve"
A: You are one of the most approachable people that I can imagine. Most of your business is in Maryland. How would you describe that market?
M: Yes...Most of the "photography" business is in Maryland. We travel the country filming for commercial clients and photographers as well. I believe the "market" is what you make it...We certainly have thousands of photographers in our area...it's a diverse population with many families commuting to the DC area. I would say most of my clients are 2 income families, middle class and they want to provide for their kids. They will sacrifice to give them an "experience" that might cost more. They choose my studio based on our social media presence and community presence.
A: Presence and availability are insanely important for growth. You will be speaking about volume sports at the Expo coming up in August. How does photographing volume sports contribute to your community presence?
M: Photographing Volume Sports has contributed immensely to my presence in the community. Our Team and Senior Banners are all over several high schools. We ask all of our clients when booking, "How did you hear about our studio?" Number one answer we get is "YOU ARE EVERYWHERE" Well, Volume photography has a HUGE part in that. Our Banners are on the Fields, Taken to away games, Hung in the Gyms...truly has allowed us to again "serve" our community and build relationships with Businesses that want to Partner in Sponsoring these banners which then leads to commercial business as well.
A: What advice would you give someone who is trying to break into volume sports photography? Are there any specific resources you would recommend?
M: Being Organized is a MUST...when managing hundreds of kids in a short amount of time along with Coaches and Parents and Orders, etc...you need a system, a workflow...and a backup plan with your equipment and staff. Things happen...keep a positive attitude and others will most likely not even realize something isn't right...and if they do notice...they usually provide Grace. I truly find that attitude is everything.
If you are new to the market, I suggest starting with just one team...this will allow you to figure out your workflow, time involved, costs in producing products, staffing needs, etc. Grow from there. If possible attend "hands-on" training or find a mentor that will allow you to shadow a full day of photographing...It's a ton of work and lots to be mindful...Volume sports is a Beast...the more you can educate yourself prior, the more smoothly things will go.
A: There is a lot of wisdom in everything you say. I have attended your class and it was exceptional. I am excited that PPNC is hosting you for the 2018 Carolina Photo Expo. It has been a real pleasure to chat with you and look forward to seeing you soon.
Be sure to click on Melanie's images for relevant links to her class.
Register ASAP for the Carolina Photo Expo. For the month of November, you can take advantage of our Early Bird Special! Melanie is just one of an amazing lineup of speakers that you will not want to miss.