Radio Interview Transcripts

MorePhotos Radio - Dennis Craft for WPPI


ANNOUNCER:  Welcome to the More Photos’ Radio Photography Spotlight brought to you by helping professional photographers with all of 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 afternoon and welcome to More Photos Radio. My name is Damien Allen and joining me on the telephone today is Dennis Craft of Craft Photographic Gallery in Marshall, Michigan.  Good afternoon and welcome to More Photos Radio, Dennis.
DENNIS: Good afternoon, how are you doing?
DAMIEN: Not to bad, sir. Hope you’re doing well there in fabulous Marshall Michigan. You’re going to be speaking at the upcoming WPPI Conference.  Could you tell us what will your workshop is going to be about?
DENNIS: The title of the program is The Heart of a Child and there is so much more to photographing a child than just snapping the shutter. I think it goes down to relating to the children to getting them in the types of moods you want them in which can be challenging at times so we’re not only going to be looking at the photography aspects, but some of the things that go into my mind of photographing children and getting them on the same page that I am on for creating their images.
DAMIEN: What day and times will your seminar be held during the conference and how can participants find you at the conference?
DENNIS:   My program is on Monday, March 8th and it is 8 am until 10 am.
DAMIEN: What do you hope your participants to your workshop are going to take away at the end of the day, Dennis?
DENNIS: Well number one, I think I want them to have a good time first. I think that photographing children is one of the most exciting things we can do as portrait photographers, and I’ve photographed an awful lot of things. I’ve photographed events, I’ve photographed weddings, I’ve photographed high school seniors, and yet the pure joy in my business is when we get to photograph children. So first I want them to have fun. I want them to learn as much as then can about what goes into photographing children. So we’re going to talk about lighting I think. We’re going to talk about different situation whether we are doing window light photography or outdoor photography and at the same time all of this is going to be intertwined with some of the psychological things I go through when I am photographing a child.
DAMIEN: How long have you been a photographer and how did you get started with WPPI?
DENNIS: I’ve been a photographer for 30 years. I started in photography, I bought a studio here in Marshall, Michigan, after I graduated college with a degree in bio-medic electronics which really has nothing to do with photography. So that’s how I got started in photography, and I learned photography by going to classes, participating in events much like WPPI is putting on.
DAMIEN: As a member of the WPPI, could you tell some of our listeners what are the positive benefits of being a member of a professional organization?
DENNIS: Well there’s a number of benefits in being members of a professional organization. First I think is the camaraderie. You’re getting to meet people from all over the country that have the same interests. Somebody in California, I can learn an immense about of things about how they market their business and how they sell there product, because they’re in a different market place than I am in Marshall, Michigan, so I can learn from them, and I can take away what I can use in my studio to grow my business. So I think camaraderie, friendships, and the availability of being able to tap into other parts of our country and see what is going on in other studios around the country.
DAMIEN: What do you see as the keys to building a successful photography business, Dennis?
DENNIS: Boy, if you’d asked me that question 5 years ago, I think it would have been a totally different answer. Today at as I sit here today, I think the key goal is relationships. I think if you’re not building relationships with your clients, with the people you are doing business with on a regular basis, I think you are going to struggle in this business, because if our clients are only looking for the cheapest prices, we don’t want to play that game so we need to be building relationships with them so they desire to use our services because of that relationship. So I think any more relationships is the most important part of my business. DAMIEN: I’ve been checking out your website and you’ve got some fabulous photography up there, very, very awesome website, very unique lighting and posing. And one picture you have a model sitting on a tire in a beautiful yellow gown, and we can see her reflection in the mud. How did you get a shot like this and get your subject to pose in an unconventional way?
DAMIEN: What’s going to be new for Dennis Craft and Craft Photographic Gallery in 2010? Are you doing more workshops and conferences? Are there any special new projects that you’re going to be working on?
DENNIS: Yes, there’s a number of things I’m going to be doing this year. I’m teaching a couple week long schools which is the Mars School in Cape Main, New Jersey, and then I’m teaching at Image Expiration which is British Vancouver, Canada, and those are week long schools. So I spend five days, four and a half days basically with intense study and those classes are usually limited to about 20 – 25 people. I’ve got a couple of other conventions I’m going to, California, things like that, and those are all listed on our website, but studio wise things that are going to be going on this year I think we are making concerned efforts to work in areas that used to be very easy for us to generate business, the children section of our business, the family portrait session. We’re marketing much more aggressively on Facebook and through our website and our email services and stuff like that. So I think that’s the biggest change for the coming year is how we are going to be marketing to our customers, not necessarily printed material any longer, but more of the e-marketing through Facebook and email blast from our client base.
DAMIEN: And are you finding that social networking and the digital marketing is now more of the business than ever before?
DENNIS: Certainly more of the business than it has been in the past. We still do printed materials. We have an electronic newsletter, but we also print the newsletter and send that out. We still have a good number of our clients that prefer to have a hard copy, but there again that number is dwindling each and every year so we are certainly getting more into the social networking through Facebook and not into Twitter yet, I’m dragging my feet on Twitter. That’s just reality, I’m dragging my feet on Twitter, but I do have a good following on Facebook.
DAMIEN: Well if someone wants more information on what’s going on with Dennis Craft and Craft Photographic Gallery, how do they get in touch with you? What’s the website and contact information they would need.
DENNIS: Our website is I have my personal email which is and our studio email address is So they can get ahold of me either way that way. They can also go through the website and there is a contact link there.
DAMIEN: Well thank you very much for joining us today, Dennis, and letting us know what is going on with Craft Photographic Gallery and the WPPI conference in Las Vegas.
DENNIS: It’s been a pleasure. Thank you for the opportunity and I look forward to it. It’s a great bunch of people involved with WPPI, and I’m looking for a good time.
DAMIEN: It was a pleasure to have you on the show today. We encourage our listeners to attend Dennis Craft’s workshop and to attend the WPPI Conference in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada, March 8th – 10th, 2010.   This is More Photos Radio. My name is Damien Allen. Everyone have a great afternoon.

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