Ding! Stepping off the elevator at The Cimarron Group in West Hollywood for my first official work day as a graphic designer was exhilarating. Creative energy filled the space and I was ready to start making amazing imagery for Universal Studios, Disney and Steven Spielberg. As a peon intern, my time ended up being spent shredding documents, scanning medium format negatives, pasting up presentation boards and endlessly searching for the “right” stock photo.
I recall one incident where I was tasked with finding a photograph of a jolly fat Santa for a holiday composite image featuring Universal characters like Spiderman, Dora the Explorer and The Mummy. Oh, boy. Eight hours later, some haggling over the licensing price with Getty Images and my deadline pressed, stressed to the max account executive and I had a Santa that kind of worked for under $1000. Later that day I marveled at the fact that I just spent eight hours.
Original Commercial Photography
Little did I know, I’d spend a large percentage of my time over the next 10 years searching for stock photos and once I found one that kind of worked for my client, I’d start seeing it on packaging, billboards, ads, websites and promotional products all over the place, even in Spokane. Frustration, disillusionment, and exasperation ensued regarding this recycling of the same 100 images all over the world and I started asking myself, “Why aren’t we creating original commercial photography for our clients?”
Birth of the Stock Photo Rebellion
If I’m spending an entire day searching for appropriate images that are totally unoriginal and overused to death, couldn’t we spend that day creating photography that is unique to our clients and their product or service? The idea of a stock photo rebellion was born shortly before I gave birth to my third child and took an indefinite break from graphic design.
Photography had been a pursuit of mine since high school but I never saw it as a legitimate career option. Until then. For the last three years, I’ve been learning all I can about the technical, artistic and business aspects of commercial photography, both locally in Spokane and around the country at various workshops. While I didn’t particularly miss being a freelance graphic designer these three years, I craved connection with other businesses.
I love the challenge of taking a creative vision and making it a reality. I love telling stories about what makes people and businesses special. And so, WorkStory came to be.
The WorkStory team spends time with you in your Spokane area workplace, with minimal interruption to your workday, capturing the personality, process and product or service you offer. Photos we create can be used for any purpose relating to your business. A brand is all about standing out from the generic. When custom photography is an intentionally created part of your overall brand image, all of your marketing efforts are more cohesive and unique to you so you can stand out from the crowd.
For now, I’m keeping WorkStory Corporate Photography focused within the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas so I can be present for my family as much as possible. We’ll venture to Seattle, Portland or L.A. for special projects. In the long-term, I envision a nationwide franchise of incredible photographers creating custom non-stock photo libraries for unique businesses large and small. Will you join me on this journey? Contact me for a free consultation. We can’t wait to tell your WorkStory!