- Vincent Rush
- Monroe, Ohio, United States
- Began my photography career as most people do...the highschool yearbook. Upon graduation I attended the US Naval Photography School in Pensacola Fla. After getting a qualification in basic photography and then later attending their Portrait School,was assigned to a military operation. Experiences included USO photography for Bob Hope, Brooke Shields, Kathy Lee Crosby and Wayne Newton.Have also had the opportunity for travel assignments to places such as Beruit, Israel, Africa, Australia, Brazil, Italy, Spain and England. Upon exiting the Navy in 1984,opened up a Tanning Salon and Health Club in Oxford,Ohio and began photographing weddings, all as a vehicle to fund my way through college. I enjoy travel, sports photography, special event and Cincinnati Reds photography. I am frequently contracted as a sports photographer by parents, sports teams, and organizations,throughout the Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio areas, to provide the highest quality sports photography, both on an individual and team basis.
September 21, 2009
Establishing Your Brand and Name
I was recently asked by another young sports photographer if I thought that he should ever give anything away for free.
“Why do you ask?” I replied.
“Another photographer told me that I should never, ever give any of my work away.”
“Are you a threat to that photographer or is your stuff that good?” I asked.
When I started shooting sports photography a couple of years ago, I had a Nikon D2x that a good friend of mine by the name of Larry Winters had just given me. Larry is one of the most successful people in the Amway business and one of the biggest givers that I have ever known. Knowing that I love photography, this was a token of appreciation for some work that I had done for him.
I started shooting in Eaton, Ohio where my son played baseball at the time. I would also shoot other kids during the games and hand out pictures the following week at the park.
At the time, I was considering establishing myself in the Eaton market. There is a photographer there by the name of Pat Taylor www.pattaylorphoto.com who has been in business since 1971.
In the opinion of many, partially due to envy and partially do to a perceived lack of people skills and arrogance, many people have been begging for someone to come in and give a much better option to the community.
Now, Eaton which I believe has about 35,000 people also has about a half dozen photographers.
Most of them fail in a relatively short time, not because of talent or creativity, but a poor business plan.
See Pat has a monopoly on the “Cash Cow” of photography. Senior Portraits, School Pictures and Team Photography. That alone keeps him profitable and in business.
Most photographers, who in my opinion are light years ahead of Taylor in their abilities, try to open up shop and establish their brand a reputation while funding a business. That in itself is a recipe for disaster.
My plan was to spend a few years establishing my brand and name, first by giving away and then by gradually charging through my website ( http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com ) until people started coming to me and asking me if I would be interested in bidding on team and school portrait photography. (Which has already started to happen)
Pat would eventually retire, sell the business or health challenges would get the best of him, and at that point, I would open up shop, having already built a solid reputation and a well established brand.
Meanwhile, a dozen or more photographers will have come and gone in that time frame.
So the answer to the question for this young photographer really came down to what was he trying to accomplish and what were his goals. If his goal was to make a couple of dollars, with no real perceived value to his work, then by all means, squeeze every penny you can. On the other hand, if the goal is to build your reputation until people offer to pay you for your work, then sew some seed in the form of free 4 x 6 or digital images.
Posted by Cincinnati and Dayton Sports Photographer Vincent Rush of Monroe, Ohio. For more information (877) 858-6295