Radio Interview Transcripts

MorePhotos Radio - Dave Stock for ImagingUSA


ANNOUNCER:  Welcome to the More Photos’ Radio Photography Spotlight brought to you by helping professional photographers with all their internet needs world wide. Also brought to you by Finally, an e-commerce solution for professional photo labs that makes sense. Now here’s your host, Damien Allen.  DAMIEN: Good morning and welcome to More Photos Radio. My name is Damien Allen, and today joining me on the telephone we have Mr. Dave Stock of Dave Stock Photography in Highland Village, Texas. Good morning and welcome to the program, Dave.
DAVE: Good morning. I’m glad to be here.
DAMIEN: It’s a pleasure to have you. You’re going to be speaking at the upcoming conference at Imaging USA, and you have two topics actually going on, two seminars. The first one is A Focus on Value, Team and Individual Shooting Quality and Speed, You can do both. Could you tell us a little bit about the topics you will be covering?
DAVE: The two are designed to work together as a Part A, Part B, but both are stand alones in case you don’t want to get up at the wonderful hours, 7 am in the morning. In the first one we are talking about basically a team and individual photography these days we’re like all photographers facing a pretty competitive market, a challenging market place, and what many people try to do to compete with not only each other as photographers, but with parents who are becoming our own competitors because of the new very inexpensive, high quality digital cameras they have. They tend to drop the prices on the products or increase their rebates they are offering or offering more novelty items and a product mix and in each case what we are doing is we are hurting ourselves by leaving ourselves with less net profit. My response to that and the price we use and have used effectively is to try to keep the prices up and then offer a better value by doing a much better job as photographers, using multiple setups and producing better images and then really concentrating on the experience the photo shoot so it goes efficiently and parents and in and out very quickly and not frustrated to the point where they want to take their own photos. The second topic then kind of drills down a little deeper and goes into specifics of how we achieve that goal behind the camera by showing the lighting setups, equipment used, and the workflow for the photo shoots so we show how we’re able to turn out the numbers we do. We’ve done as many as 59 soccer teams and their individuals in one hour using only 3 photographers and that is something that causes many people to say, well I don’t believe you, but we have done it, we can show how we’re going to do it and that’s the whole point in having the talk.
DAMIEN: What day and times will your class be held during the conference and how can participants find you at there?
DAVE: Well they are going to be on Monday morning, January 11th. The first topic starts at 7 and goes till 8:30 as part of the Sep contracts so wherever those meetings are going to be housed. I can’t tell you that at this point. The second one will follow after a short break and then will be from approximately from 9 – 10:30 on Monday, January 11th.
DAMIEN: What do you hope your participants to your class are going to take away at the end of the day?
DAVE: I hope they come out of there believing that the way to compete really is to work very hard and produce quality. Our niche is kind of known as being one for people coming in with a camera and shoot mount strobe and take basically snap shots and take the kind of pictures we expect our parents to take with no formal training and the argument that they would make is that there is too much time and effort required lugging in a bunch of equipment and spending all the time setting up and breaking down and doing the photo shoot, and I can argue just the opposite. That if you are willing to invest that time and effort and distinguish yourself from the amateurs and act professional and produce professional results, that investment of time and effort and money in your craft will pan out very nicely for you, because you will basically monopolize the market, get repeat business, great referrals, and so it’s kind of a little sermon on doing it right. And at the second one it’s giving you the nuts and bolts of how to do it right for those who haven’t already figured it out.
DAMIEN: How long have you been a photographer, Dave, and how did you get started with Imaging?
DAVE: I started as a professional photographer in 1971 so that gets us to about 39 years. Imaging USA incorporates many little mini-conferences one Sep Con and I was one of the original members of the Sep group about 6 or 7 years ago. I spoke at their first or second conference and have been coming back ever since and speaking on a regular basis.
DAMIEN: You have been an action sports photographer; you’ve been featured in numerous local, national, international publications. What contributes to your success? What makes it happen for Dave Stock?
DAVE: Well I think the first part is you have to have a dream, and you have to not limit yourself as to what you can do. I started as a 13 year old, and I was shooting and had pictures and photos sold at a very young age and so what you have to do first is believe it can be done and second you have to go out and find out how the people that are doing it got there. So I start off by following people like Peter Reid Miller and Mark Hoffman and getting to know them and saying well what did you do to get there, and why is it that you’re successful, and I found out the answer is the same no matter who you talk to. You have to work very, very hard at your craft. You realize there is no real shortcuts and be willing to take a lot of risks on the way and you are going to fail many times, and as long as you get up off the ground one more time than you fall down, then you’re still in business.
DAMIEN: Now you are now doing youth sports photo shoots. What is the difference in your approach as a photographer in the NFL all the way down to a youth league? Could you share a few tips on being more efficient as a sports photographer.
DAVE: Well that’s a great question, because the first career led directly to the second. A lot of people who do professional sports photography kind of looked down withstanding at people who do youth leagues, but that’s largely because of the approach used by many of those people and the fact that many of them are untrained. I had kind of a vision. First of all it’s hard being away from my family, traveling around in airplanes, and I decided that if I took what I learned as a professional sports photographer and applied it to youth league photography and tried it at that level and that we would have a successful company and it’s worked out well. What I basically tell my people I work with is, because we know how to do it right, we’re going to do it right. And so it’s that approach of having the high standards and using the multiple lights and doing metering and taking multiple shots of each kid to make sure you get one that really works; it’s those ideas that I brought over from the magazine world to youth sports photography.
DAMIEN: What’s going to be new for Dave Stock Photography in 2010? Are you going to be doing any other workshops and conferences? Do you have any new projects coming out?
DAVE: Well as far as workshops I am speaking, I know I will be speaking at Sep Con a year from now as well, and I’ll be doing an 8 hour talk and it’s going to be more on how to get into youth sports photography and an overview of what the opportunity is and then more of a kind of a list of things that have to be done if you’re getting into that and it can be kind of aimed at existing photographers who are largely wedding & portrait guys who are seeing their business diminish and they are trying to figure out how to leverage their experience and equipment to bring in some more cash flow doing something a little bit outside of the box. So next on the horizon for speaking as far as profession in our company, we’re growing about 35% a year so it’s just continuing to refine our model and figure out how to get even better at what we are doing.
DAMIEN: Could you kindly share your website and contact information with the listening audience, David.
DAVE: We have a website that is under construction and hopefully we get it up very soon and that will be at and as far as contact information you can email me at
DAMIEN: I would like to thank you very much for joining us today, David.
DAVE: Thank you.
DAMIEN: We encourage our listeners to attend Dave Stock’s workshops and to attend the Imaging USA Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, January 10th – 12th, 2010.    We’d also like to thank Dave’s Sponsor, Richmond Professional Lab. You’ve been listening to More Photos Radio. My name is Damien Allen. Everybody have a great afternoon.
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