Today we’d like to introduce you to James Duckworth.
Thanks for sharing your story with us James. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Everyone loves photography…… right?! It’s available to most on their cell phones and digital images are inexpensive and somewhat easy to master. Everyone can enjoy clicking and sharing on social networks. It wasn’t always that way. Photography was significantly more expensive and difficult to master in the film days. There wasn’t immediate feedback like today. You had to wait to get your images back from the lab to see how things worked out. Think about that for a minute. You take a trip and click the shutter not knowing for sure what your camera “saw” – is the image blurry, exposed properly and what does the composition look like on a flat 2-dimensional surface. I learned photography in those days.
My father was a professional photographer. He inspired me early to photograph and I did. It was not an easy thing to learn but I had some success. I chose to not pursue a career in photography and instead I studied business/accounting at Baylor University and got my CPA license. Along the way, I owned or partnered in several businesses. About 16 years ago before my father passed away he told me the digital age was coming and he thought I would really enjoy it. He purchased a digital camera for me and I was hooked. My wife, Kimberly, likes to say he is looking down from heaven and smiling.
I began doing the photography for one of the businesses I owned and moonlighting with photography during the evening and weekends because I enjoyed it. Some assignments were paid and some were just for fun. I’ve done work for Atlanta Photos and the Atlanta Visitors Bureau for almost 10 years. I did quite a bit of family portraiture in those years. I am self-taught in digital techniques and the software necessary to refine images (referred to as the digital darkroom). I continued down the path and a little over 3 years ago I sold my distribution business and decided to do photography full time so I formed Corporate Exposures.
Additionally, I sell my fine art images through my website www.duckworthonline.com. I’m fortunate to be able to travel and that allows me to take photos from around the country which is something I really enjoy. There is so much to see in the U.S. and I take the time to travel to places many don’t visit.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Photography is a lot like consulting and early in my career, I worked as a consultant in public accounting. We had a saying “you eat what you kill”, which means you must constantly be on the lookout for your next opportunity. I take every opportunity I can to let people I come in contact with know about my photography services. I’ve built my business almost entirely by word of mouth. It is very rewarding to work with new clients, learn about their business and build relationships with them.
I’ve joined a couple professional organizations trying to network and grow the business. I’ve had some success networking with these organizations but it’s a challenge. You spend a lot of time driving to meetings and sometimes all you come away with is new friends. The meetings can be fun but it doesn’t put food on the table.
I’ve also done quite a bit of volunteer work donating my photography services to charitable organizations. I’ve found that work very rewarding as most organizations bend over backwards in appreciation.
Corporate Exposures – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Corporate Exposures is a commercial photography services company. I provide digital images for companies to use in their marketing materials and on the web. There is a focus on architectural photography but I’ve also done other commercial photography including events, headshots, product photography and creative imagery. Most of my clients are smaller businesses but I’ve done work for several Fortune 500 companies.
I don’t have a studio so that helps keep my cost down. One of my main marketing themes is cost-effective photography. Photography services is a very competitive field and rates one can charge for their services have dropped a lot in recent years. I try very hard to deliver a quality product at a price that can meet tight business budgets.
I sell images from around the country with my fine art photography website. I have a lot of landscape work but also have skylines from many U.S. cities that are popular. I also have galleries of Atlanta images. More of my Atlanta work can be seen on the Atlanta Photos website.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is enjoying what you are doing while providing a service to people who enjoy working with me. It’s a simple as that. The creative aspects of photography can be really fun and challenging. Many times its not cookie cutter. When my clients see the work and are happy it’s a successful engagement.
- Website: www.corporate-exposures.com
- Phone: 404/644-4767
- Email: email@example.com
- Other: www.duckworthonline.com