Recently, on a project for Field & Stream Magazine, I had the opportunity to meet and photograph Hershel House, one of the world’s greatest makers of flintlock rifles, at his home outside the tiny town of Woodbury, KY. From his log cabin house, which he also built himself, he creates some of the most sought after guns in the world. Now when I say he creates, I mean it. From forging the metal to shaping the wooden stocks, he does it all to the exacting standards of a true craftsman. Check out the article by J. Edward Nickens accompanied by my images from the May 2013 issue of Field & Stream…
I have heard so many times from photographers that I have VISA, Wal-Mart, Chrysler etc. as their client and although its nice to drop names like that, it’s not going to sustain yourself as photographer for the long haul. If you are so lucky and blessed to work 1 year or maybe 2 years for the same client, well consider yourself a lucky damn person. Reason being, creative, approach, and other factors come into play that makes the whole dynamic move in other directions. Visa is not going to be the person making the argument to HIRE you…the creatives will be.
Often I tell other photographers to think about your client’s a whole other way, a way that will sustain you a long and blessed career. Your clients are your Art Directors, Creative Directors, Photo Editors, and Art Buyers. These are the relationships that need to be maintained and nurtured for the long haul. The Jimmy Bonners, Jim Hagars, Christiane Anctils, Kat Dalagers and Rob Haggarts of the advertising and editorial industries, that is where you need to hang your hat.
A case in point, Jimmy Bonner and Jim Hagar I met 20 plus years ago at a very small agency in Wyoming. Twenty years and I’m still working with my these wonderful guys…my clients. The list is long when it comes to my clients!
Build upon those relationships, and if the bonds are strong, you will have a long, successful and creative life.