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Volume Photography for Schools, Sports Leagues and Corporate Headshots is now what I do.

The Pivot to a Volume Photography Business:
Schools, Sports Leagues, & Corporate Headshots

 

As 2024 begins, I am starting my second year working from home after closing my downtown Visalia studio at the end of 2022.  Last year saw some big changes in the business, from a 45-minute commute to a one-minute walk to my desk, from offering a little bit of every type of photography to just three things. Yes, there were some changes.

When I had the studio, I had a 45-minute commute from Fresno to Visalia; now, when I get up, I have breakfast, walk over to my desk, and start working.

Most of my photo shoots remain in the Visalia-Tulare area, so there are weeks when I still have that drive every day, but now it’s only when I have a job to do and money to make.  I am getting more done, but sometimes I miss having the studio and being downtown.

But, downtown has changed over the years, as Jose Barajas of Ka_Lazh Hair Designs on Church St. Recently said, things have changed so much downtown that it’s not the same as it was years ago. I think that has more to do with us having grown older and many of the people we knew have gone. It’s just part of the cycle of life. Change is the only constant.

More than just a change in the work environment

That move to the home was just the start of the changes. Last year, I whittled down my business to three offerings: business headshots, school and sports photography. Previously, I had offered so many different types of photography I found I was stretched thin; each type of photography requires different sets of skills and mindsets and has different customers. Trying to market to all those different types was something I struggled with.

What I do now is called volume photography, where I photograph a hundred school kids daily, 200 soccer players on a Saturday morning, or 50 headshots at a corporate office on a Wednesday.

After more than forty years of doing portrait and wedding photography, I wanted a change. I had dabbled in the volume market over the years but never had the time to devote to it full-time until I closed the studio and quit weddings.

I am at the point in my life where volume photography is what I want to do. I had aged out of doing weddings and portraits. I wanted something new and challenging. I am not ready to retire (I get asked that often). In fact, I have never had the mindset that someday I would retire. Quit work and do what?  I enjoy being in business for myself and find it both a challenge and a reason to get up in the morning.

I dabbled in Volume Photography in the past.

As I said, I had more or less dabbled in volume work over the years, and back in 2014, I even joined a group called Portraitefx that was in the volume market and was made up of people like me, studio owners who wanted to add volume to their other businesses.

I thought at the time I was ready to join a business group that would be something like working for a large company while still being independent. It taught me a lot about the volume business, but I found I didn’t like being part of a larger group, especially being told what I could and couldn’t do. I had been in business for myself for too long. So, in 2019, I quit Portraitefx.

It was a kick in the butt.

Covid taught me that I could run the business out of my house, but I stayed in the studio until 2022 when my landlord said they were going to sell the building, my rent was going to jump up, and I decided that it was time to close it. Things all came together at the right time, and the selling of the building was a kick in the butt I needed to make a move.

Now that 2024 is in full swing, I am moving forward with the school, sports, and headshot business, and I have less stress and more joy in my life.