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NWP Interview - Julie Poole #39573
03/09/13 05:37 PM
03/09/13 05:37 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
James Morrissey Offline OP
I
James Morrissey  Offline OP
I
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
Flashback Interview

Re: NWP Interview - Julie Poole [Re: James Morrissey] #39574
03/09/13 05:38 PM
03/09/13 05:38 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
James Morrissey Offline OP
I
James Morrissey  Offline OP
I
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
Part I: About Julie Poole

JM: Hi Julie. For the people here who many not know you from the forum, would you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
JP: I grew up in Carmel, in a typical suburban household. We had one miniature Schnauzer and I was obsessed with horses. At age 16, I moved to Knoxville, and I got the opportunity to actually ride hunter jumpers. I was a member of the UT equestrian team and on the board of the UT equestrian club while in school. I ultimately went on to graduate with a degree in psychology. With the degree, I went back and forth being a mortgage broker and running a hunter/jumper barn/lesson business.

I have been married for 16 year and have twin 10 year olds. I also have 3 whippets who I show and lure course. To see the dogs, go to  HYPERLINK "http://aperturewhippets.com" http://aperturewhippets.com The kids and husband area all over that site too! (

JM: How did photography come into your life?
JP: I did the whole 110 film thing as a kid and made lots of photo albums. I had no real aspirations of anything but taking photos to remember things by until about 8 years ago.

JM: Who were your photographic influences?
JP: Susan Sexton was a huge influence on my equine work. I always loved Vavra also. Susan would definitely have been one I aspired to be like. My dog influences came from friends and clients. I listened closely to what THEY were looking for and developed my style that way

JM: What formats do you use for your current work?
JP: I use all Olympus professional gear, currently the E-3 and the two lenses I use most in my work is the 35-100f2 and the 50-200 2.8-3.5. I have all their high end lenses, and a couple of the super high end ones.

The quality of the lenses is amazing. I am very particular on my lens choices! The color rendition of the sooc jpgs is almost perfect. I am comfortable with the system and when I see my friends and their ginormous lenses, I am not envious! Not to mention in the last 8 years I have never had a camera that needed sensor cleaning, so, no dust spot cloning necessary. It works for me and as long as Olympus keeps supporting their professionals I won’t change.

JM: What is your photographic education?
JP: My only formal education is the U of TN photography certificate program. It is a non credit program but was integral in learning the mechanics of shooting

JM: You mentioned earlier that photography is not your first career. How did you get to this point?
JP: No, it follows on the heels of my mortgage broker life. I honestly sort of fell into photography. It was after the kids were born and I was riding dressage. I would shoot clinics for the fun of it and I was asked more often to do photos for friends. A close friend was the president of ETHJA (East Tennessee Hunter Jumper Association) and asked me to start shooting their local horseshows. That is what started the wheels turning and my journey into professional photography.

JM: How would you describe your work? Is there a specific 'look' you are trying to achieve in your work?
JP: I prefer a timeless look that will be as beautiful to look at 20 years from now as it is today. I will do a little trendy stuff, but, I don’t want people looking back on their portraits and thinking “OMG, that is so 2010!” the way we look back as some of the stuff done in the 80’s(aka double exposures! Library backgrounds etc;) I usually say it is classic portraiture with a kick. I do not think my photography is as stuffy and boring as the connotation “classic portraiture” conjures up. I do follow the principles of it though. My goal in my work is to create art you want to display on the walls in your home.

Re: NWP Interview - Julie Poole [Re: James Morrissey] #39575
03/09/13 05:38 PM
03/09/13 05:38 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
James Morrissey Offline OP
I
James Morrissey  Offline OP
I
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York

Part II: The Business Aspect of Photography

JM: What is it that you feel draws you to pet photography versus other professional ventures?
JP: It just sorta evolved into this. I “speak dog” and have a real connection with both my human and canine clients. I truly enjoy working with them.

JM: Are you doing other paid portrait/professional work?
JP: Yes, I also do children, family photography and equine photography

JM: Talk to me as if I were just starting today to start my own business - focusing on pet photography. What do you believe are common mistakes that beginners in the business make?
JP: The biggest mistake is starting too soon as a “professional". Calling yourself a professional and charging people before you can reliably produce *consistent* results is the fastest way to failure. People have long memories and if you give them a sub-par product early, well, that won’t be forgotten.

JM: Let's talk about networking for a bit. What are the sorts of connections people should be making?
JP: Any and all to begin with

JM: How did you go about making those initial contacts when you first started?
JP: My initial contacts came from people I knew in the equine community. I did horse shows which was almost like working for advertising. Nothing like being out there in front of a group of people to get people to know what you are doing. Those contacts just built on themselves

JM: If you had to look at goals for future connections today, what are you looking for say 12 to 18 months down the road?
JP: I really don’t set networking goals. I just keep doing what I am doing. If it stops working, I’ll change.
JM: What types of advertising do you use to promote your business? Is it mostly google (or equivalent) advertising? Or are you using direct mailing, commercials or other forms of media (such as bill boards, etc)?
JP: I am almost 100% word of mouth referral and social networking based. Years ago I put ads in upscale magazines, did a tv commercial, and other small print things and had ZERO return from it. I get a great response from Facebook as it is people who are already interested in me.

JM: How have you worked to brand yourself? What makes what you do different from the scores of other pet photographers out there?
JP: I am heavily branded as an animal photographer. That branding just came from, well, photographing animals! I don’t know how I am different, I just do things my way. I am a fairly unique person to begin with. We always laugh I walk to the beat of my own little drummer

JM: How have you worked to develop your pricing structure? What do your photographic packages look like?
JP: I do not have packages. I found them to be a big pain and no one liked what I put together. All my products are a’ la carte and I do have bonuses when certain levels are reached. That has worked out much better for me. It seems people go through waves of favorite products I offer. Canvases are always a prime seller, along with coffee table books.

JM: Would you share your experience with publishing?
JP: My dog show advertising comes from clients who are showing their dogs. That is a market brought to one by clients, not publishers. I have sold photos to advertisers like “Back in the Saddle” and “KV Vet supply” as cover images. My stock work is fairly limited though

JM: You recently opened your studio. How has that been going?
JP The studio is wonderful. It is actually my third one. The first was above a car dealership we had and when that was sold, I moved into one with a friend, which worked out wonderful until I needed my own space. I have to give huge thanks to my husband for all the labor he did to get it up and running! He did a wonderful job! It has the most wonderful warm feel to the space. I just love being there

Re: NWP Interview - Julie Poole [Re: James Morrissey] #39576
03/09/13 05:38 PM
03/09/13 05:38 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
James Morrissey Offline OP
I
James Morrissey  Offline OP
I
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York


Part III: The Shoot
JM: Where does most of your work occur, in your studio or on location?
JP: It is about 50/50

JM: Would you please talk about your photographic set-up?
JP: Honestly, it depends. I have a full studio with a backdrop system, a paper system I put together and a couple of other shooting areas in the space.

JM: Typically, how do you look to use light in your work? Is it mostly done with studio light or natural?
JP: Outdoors it is natural light with reflectors and in the studio, it is strobes

JM: Do you work with a handler?
JP My dog show clients usually have handlers and there are times I hire a dog wrangler for large promotions. As a rule, I just usually have the owner help me.


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