by Michael Ayers Published
"To all of us photographers, it's a living; to our customers, it may be a reason for living"
How did you get started in photography? I was a civil engineering student back in the 1980s and the whole field was turning to computers. I decided that I didn't want to live my life behind a computer, so naturally, I turned to my second love: photography! And now that digital has come of age, I live my whole life behind a computer! But seriously, photography has allotted me the creative outlet I was always searching for.
Do you work from home or do you have a separate studio? My studio is the entire lower level of our home, with a separate driveway and entrance.
How would you best describe your personal style or technique of photography? Our albums are cutting-edge and multi-dimensional. Our goal is to be different and better, by providing an exotic and completely unique wedding album. More than two dozen album companies from all over the world are using my designs in their album manufacture today. So my studies in civil engineering pays off!
Can you tell me a point of reference in your job? Get exposed, Deal with negatives, Watch things develop, and Stay focused! If you can do all these things, you will have great success with your studio!
How many hours are you prepared to work in a typical week? There isn't a week that goes by that we don't put in 80 hours. But if you truly love what you do, you will never work a day in your life!
Would you say that shooting weddings and portraits is a good career choice if you want to make money?
It takes more than 10 years to start making some real income in photography and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. Be prepared to exert effort.
Can you work under pressure? Pressure is my middle name. It's not the things that happen to you, it's how you respond to what happens!
How do you sell your work? No advertising; everything is word-of-mouth. I have always felt that if you work hard and give a great product with spectacular customer service, then clients will return and tell their friends!
How do you handle criticism? Criticism is really someone's way of telling you how they feel you can be better. Always consider the source and never take advice from anyone who is not where you want to be.
What advantages does digital offer you? Digital is just a new tool, albeit a very useful and powerful tool! The goal is to create extraordinary images without the client knowing how the image was created - they don't need to know if was made with a digital camera. I can buy oil paint and canvas at an art store but it won't make me into a Rembrandt. And it's also true that anyone can buy a pro camera, but that doesn't make them a photographic artist.
What was your greatest success? We recently celebrated our studio's 20th anniversary in our new home (visit: www.TheAyers.com and click on CONTACT to view a picture of the new location). Only about 1 out of 20 photography studios will make it past their 10th anniversary, so 20 successful years is a big achievement.
Did you have a 'lucky break' like many other successful photographers? A few years ago, I was honoured to accept the International Leadership Award on behalf of photographers around the world at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. This was the honour of a lifetime.
The Societies of Photographers Convention and Trade Show at The Hilton London Metropole Hotel ...
You have 288 days until The Societies of Photographers Convention starting on Wednesday 10th January 2018