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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Herrmann + Starke - Failure Is Not An Option

The team of Herrmann + Starke creates perfect moments instead of waiting for them to happen

That preparedness translates directly to the quality of the Herrmann and Starke portfolio. Such tenacity means they're constantly seeking out new approaches to solving the challenges presented by each of their clients, and it usually pays off when you can solve a creative problem with creative thinking.

Says Herrmann, “All three of us—Mike and Maili [Godwin, the third member of the studio team] and I—are the kind of people who just don't give up. If there's a brick wall, we're going to find a way around it, over it, under it or through it. In this economy and with how competitive this industry has become, that must become part of how photographers approach their careers. If you don't have that absolute determination to just make it work, you're going to get beaten to a pulp in this industry. It's too hard.”

Difficult or not, this drive to succeed stems from a passion for creating photographs. Like much else in their lives, Herrmann and Starke share that, too. “For better or worse, I have to do photography,” says Starke. “There's nothing else I'd be happy doing. No matter how hard it is to be a photographer, no matter what it takes, I just have to do it. I have to keep producing images that make our clients say, ‘Wow!'”

Working Online

“We always say that we live in the middle of nowhere Maryland, and it's pretty true,” says Michael Starke. “We're in between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., and we live in this little historic district. There's a funky mixture of people, and it's just a great place to be. But if you want to do photography, you couldn't pick a worse place.”

In order to overcome their out-of-the-way location, Herrmann and Starke utilize the Internet to their advantage. Since they shoot digitally, they now can allow their clients to view proofs digitally from anywhere with an Internet connection.

“We not only proof online, but we work with clients remotely online,” explains Judy Herrmann. “It's not immediate real time; for example, we might have a project where we're in Maryland, the ad agency is in Philadelphia and the end user client is in Boston. We'll set up our initial concept for the image and we'll do some captures and post them online. Everyone knows the schedule; they know what to expect and when to see it. We'll call and say, ‘We sent you an e-mail with a link; check it out.' Then the client and the end user can go to our Website and pull up a private online gallery where they can see our initial approach, then call and give us feedback. We'll repeat that process until everything is pretty much finalized.”

“Even with our local clients, almost everything is done over the Internet,” says Starke. “We find that people just don't have the time to come to photo shoots.”

To see more of Herrmann + Starke's photography, visit www.hsstudio.com.



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