Student Success: Geoff Maxwell

A few years back, Geoff Maxwell found himself taking short, two-hour, three-hour instructional classes at the neighborhood camera shop. He was pondering whether he should devote greater time and effort to more traditional, thorough instruction in photography. What could the results be? As a recent graduate of NYIP, Maxwell boasts a avid Instagram followers of over 50k, and is sharing stunning photos of landscapes and nature with his followers. We had the opportunity to speak with Maxwell about his current work and his tips for our current students, as well as his future plans. What we learned:

  1. What kind of work do you have to be doing right now?

So far, I’ve been focusing mainly on wildlife and landscape photography. It’s been a wonderful excuse to escape and make plans for trips into the hours. I’m sure it was part of the curriculum, but it didn’t sink in until the point that the most pleasant lighting of the day happens early in the morning and later into the night. Animals also know this and are usually active during these times. Additionally, I like to talk about what I’ve learned to new photographers by asking questions. There’s a wealth of information available online; however, nothing is as good as one-on-one attention..

Let us know how you are a photographer!

In the present, photography is my second job, and I refer to it in a loose sense. I sell my work, but it’s usually in art shows or when anyone who has a look at my social media account and reaches out. I’d like to get my work in an art gallery one day, but that is not my main focus.

I’ve been working over the last few months creating myself frames at my workshop, too. The idea of a printed image in a plastic sleeve an excellent thing, but having the print being framed and matted lets me present my work in an environment that feels complete, exactly as I had envisioned it. This is certainly still a work-in-progress.

I am currently working on a business plan which is in its early stages at present, which is related to sports photography. Although I wouldn’t recommend photographers to take on a job for no pay however, I’m in a great place at the moment to accept exchange photos with models to build an appealing portfolio. Because my work is primarily in the outdoors, I could benefit from more knowledge about lighting and poses, which is why this is a chance I am thrilled about.

What did you learn as a professional and would like to teach the students?

I’ve always taken the term “professional” to mean anyone who is able to sustain themselves through their photography. This isn’t me. However, if I were one of them I were, my suggestion is (and would be) to keep in mind the reality that if you’re a business, you have to behave like a professional. Take note of law in your state, and ensure you’re meeting the tax requirements and remain truthful about the price it costs to become a photographer. If you don’t, you will be unable to maintain your income.

Additionally, even though a captivating photograph is the one you take by using your camera, skilled editing skills are frequently required to make your photo make your photo stand out from the crowd. I strongly recommend that you learn the most possible on your preferred software that will take your images to a higher stage. It will not only improve your workflow speed however, the result will be more appealing to potential customers.

What can you do to attract new customers and market your work?

This is the thing I am currently working on, and, as of now, the answer is easy. I have conversations with people. A lot of people. I have conversations with individuals in sectors where I may benefit from the services they provide in a partnership. This has led to an increase in the number of people I am able to contact. In my early days, my goal is to start a portfolio by leveraging word of mouth and then market it in the same locations where people are. If I can gain their approval of my work, I think I’ll be on a road to success.

What characteristics do you believe a successful photographer aspiring to be?

I believe that the answer depends on the field of photography. I’ve found that numerous photographers who are landscape or wildlife photographers are peaceful people who are content within their own business. Are you making enough money from it to sustain yourself? If you are able to make yourself stand out, maybe it’s challenging. Photographers who shoot portraits must be outgoing and assertive individuals. Their work is based on attracting customers, executing plans and controlling people. If you are quiet and introverted, you will be unable to take advantage of doing this.

Whatever direction a photographer decides to go, they must possess the ability to draw attention and sell. A touch of charm can make a difference.

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