by Zach Jody Gray Published 01/11/2012
Zach and Jody Gray are upfront about the fact that they believe it's not their photography but their personal service and business individuality that attract clients, and this is the message behind much of their training.
Every photographer who wants to be successful needs to be as good at their craft as they possibly can be, but running a photographic business invariably is about so much more than just the quality of the images you're producing. One couple that has very much taken this message on board is Zach and Jody Gray: named as one of Nashville, Tennessee's top wedding photographers in 2009, the pair have quickly gained widespread recognition for their imagery and business savvy in the wedding photography industry.
Their training expertise has seen them hosting numerous highly successful photography workshops around the world, and they've spoken at WPPI, Imaging USA and creativeLIVE, and were also a big hit at the 2011 Convention. Zach and Jody have been named by Westcott as one of their Top Endorsed Pros and they are also a part of the exclusive SanDisk Extreme Team.
"We came into photography in a roundabout kind of way," says Jody. "Zach was a touring musician right up until we got married, and then quit because he was only making about $15,000 a year and was travelling 260 days a year. He was 27, had no education and no idea what he wanted to do. He got a day job shooting yearbook photos, and though he hated the work he was interested in the photography side of it. That year he read Dan Miller's book 48 Days to the Work You Love, and realised that he could be fulfilled as an artist even if he wasn't necessarily doing music. He asked me if I thought it would be cool to start our own photo biz, and I said yes! I have always loved photography and my mother used to work in a film lab, so I have been shooting since I was a kid, although not professionally in any way. So we started our business that year, and that's where it all began."
Ask Zach and Jody about what it is that differentiates their business from all the many others out there and the answer is blunt: "Nothing! Differentiation in any business is rarely about the actual product that you deliver, but is about something more. Starbucks doesn't make 'better' coffee; rather it's created an experience around buying it and has become a billion dollar brand. Disney doesn't have a more advanced theme park with better rides, but instead positions itself as the place to go if you want happiness. McDonald's surely doesn't serve the best hamburger you can buy, but instead it delivers consistency that is fast and affordable, and that's made it the number one fast food chain in the world.
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