For landscape photographer Adam Schallau, photography is very much a waiting game. Waiting patiently and adapting quickly to the environment's changing conditions, Adam manages to capture the fleeting moments in nature that take our breath away as they disappear almost simultaneously. A former Artist-in-Residence at Grand Canyon National Park, Adam's images of the awe-inspiring and sometimes alien landscape of the American West have been published in Sunset Magazine, CNN, New Mexico Magazine, and the book Photographing the Southwest —A Guide to the Natural Landmarks of Colorado & New Mexico.
All the preparation in the world cannot ensure an opportune shift in light or a sudden storm:
Significant planning goes into my photography expeditions, keeping a watchful eye on the weather forecast and anticipating where the conditions will be conducive to my style. I may develop many ideas in my head of what I would like to create, but in the end I'm responding to the environmental conditions and allowing myself to be led by them, rather than trying to work around them.
Once he gets the shot, Adam wastes no time sharing it through PhotoShelter, which he has integrated with his Wordpress blog. "It's important for me to populate my website with new images on a regular basis," he explains. PhotoShelter's "incredibly straightforward" tools allow Adam to consistently update his galleries with new photos. He then embeds images directly into a blog post with the PhotoShelter WordPress plugin, and uses PhotoShelter's social network sharing features to post a link to the new galleries on his Facebook page. Staying active on Facebook, forums, and his blog allows Adam to keep existing clients informed, reach potential new clients, and develop relationships within the photography community. "There's no denying that social networking is a valuable component to growing a modern business," Adam acknowledges.
"I may develop many ideas in my head of what I would like to create, but in the end I'm responding to the environmental conditions and allowing myself to be led by them, rather than trying to work around them."
Adam favors a clean presentation of his images with little distraction. Although he features large, unwatermarked images in his galleries, PhotoShelter's Image Theft Guard ensures the security of his files. The Image Theft Guard prevents would-be thieves from right-clicking or dragging-and-dropping images onto their desktop. Instead, Adam offers free low-res comp downloads to anyone who has signed up for a buyer account via his website. Because they are required to register for an account, Adam can track downloads in the statistics area of his PhotoShelter account, and contact clients to offer assistance or coupons.
Because Adam understands that great images alone do not build a career, he devotes as much time to developing his business as he does to shooting. Adam relies on PhotoShelter to power his photo sales and marketing, offering prints, downloads and rights managed licensing. After assignments, he creates password-protected galleries for his clients, enabling them to proof, select images, and download full res images directly from the site. Adam also sells prints, offering limited edition, signed, fine art prints directly from his PhotoShelter website. For stock photo licensing, Adam relies on fotoQuote's rights managed pricing calculator, which is built-in to PhotoShelter's e-commerce shopping cart. "Whether I'm creating a new portfolio, or uploading a series of new images, PhotoShelter has made it much easier to manage and grow my website."
The most pivotal moment in Schallau's career came recently, in 2009, when he was chosen to be the Artist in Residence on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Beyond providing him with the exceptional opportunity to live and work in the park, his position opened doors for working in other National parks. Schallau was also fortunate enough to receive sponsorships from Lowepro and Gitzo as a result.
Adam embraces diversity in his business model, offering "a wide-range of products and services including shooting assignments, leading photography workshops, private one-on-one photography instruction, iPhone apps, and fine art print sales." He has found particular success leading workshops, which are primarily attended by fellow photographers. Often he finds himself helping new photographers develop their technique in an inspirational setting, although occasionally he is enlisted to guide seasoned pros with time sensitive schedules around the best shooting locations across the American West.
I believe that this is a market with tremendous potential for growth. To be successful at it you have to be a people person and be eager to share your knowledge, experiences, and yourself. I really enjoy sharing my knowledge of photography and my passion for the American Southwest with other photographers.
Although the particulars of his business plan may shift from time to time, the goal never changes. His innovation and flexibility provide him with the means to stay outside shooting.
TOP PHOTOSHELTER FEATURES
- WordPress Integration
- Hi-res Gallery Downloads
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