Will Shoot for Food
With every day that passes, it’s becoming more evident that, photographically, I am wasting my time in San Antonio, at least when it comes to turning out some good PJ work. It isn’t that nothing happens here, because plenty happens here in SA. However, no-one here is hiring to shoot it, at least not at a rate that I can make a living on.
Of course there are other things to shoot in order to make a living, but let’s be honest — we’re talking about weddings and quinceaneras. No thanks.
There is a commercial/advertising market here, but you have to have the right connections to get the really good clients. One of my best agency clients recently closed its doors, so that kinda hurt. I just joined the ASMP in hopes of finding new commercial business via their Find a Photographer service, which has proven to be very helpful to some of my colleagues. A lot of publications, both US and international, rely on the ASMP to find local shooters. That’s what I’m banking on.
I’ve also decided to start the push to get hired on staff somewhere. Ideally, that would be in New York or LA, but let’s face it — I don’t have a degree, and most papers want a degree. They don’t care what it’s in. Besides, do I really want to be a newspaper shooter again? I wouldn’t make shit for money and I’d spend a lot of time shooting fluff that gets mixed in with the good assignments.
Ideally, I’d like to get on with WireImage, Getty Images, etc. I like wire service work. I do a lot of sports and entertainment (Recording Academy/Grammy) work for WireImage as it is, but that is seasonal. I’m always really busy near the end of the year, but the other three quarters are dry.
I think my best route would be to look for some hockey work. Surely there is an NHL team somewhere that needs a team shooter. My experience as the team photographer for the San Antonio Rampage for the last four years has made me some good contacts not only in the American Hockey League, but also the NHL.
During the NHL lockout I did some work for Bruce Bennett and Getty Images, which was nice because it allowed me to establish a working relationship with the NHL photo crowd. Some of you may know Bruce Bennett as the most experienced hockey photographer in probably all of North America. And, for those of you who don’t… he is. He’s been shooting NHL action since the early 1970s.
Maybe I’ll feel better about my situation here in SA once hockey season starts back up. I will be covering the Phoenix Coyotes’ training camp in September, as well as the Coyotes/Stars preseason game in Dallas on the 22nd. The AHL season will fire up right after that, and this season I’m going to make it a point to get seriously noticed by the leagues. It’s tough when you’re a hockey photographer in Texas, but I’ve been told more than once that my images are easily some of the best in the league… And that’s coming from league officials, too. Not that I’m one to boast, but I don’t mind admitting that I’m good at what I do.
After all, I’ve dedicated my life to photography. I should be able to admit that if I want to.