Author Archive

Establishing A Unique Brand

Posted: May 31st, 2016

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] It’s often the case that finding yourself as an artist is difficult with all the distracting noise out there in the business. It is a difficult thing to look within, find that inner clarity, listen to that voice within and THEN build a strong brand-name around that vision. But, as artists, this [...]

The Art of Self-Promotion

Posted: March 31st, 2016

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] Self-promotion is a tricky business – a delicate recipe of resources, relationships, and timing. An artist gains traction and momentum by being seen in many credible places at one time. So how do we accomplish that without becoming full time marketing gurus? How do we come across as confident without looking arrogant? How do [...]

Knocking On Doors

Posted: March 21st, 2016

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] What does it take to get in front of the right people at the right time? It takes research, determination, personality, sincere kindness, and a positive go-get-em attitude! I am constantly marketing, and when I’m not handling my own marketing I know that the company Agency Access I have doing marketing for me is [...]

Evolving from Photographer to Director

Posted: February 16th, 2016

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] There’s often a very thin grey line these days between the definition of photographer and director. I’ve found that many clients want a one-stop shop. After saying,  “no, I don’t direct television” for several years, I finally started saying, “yes, I can make that happen”. However, this becomes a situation where you’re stepping into [...]

Creating Client Connections

Posted: February 8th, 2016

Research is essential to finding new clients who fit with your brand.

Going Off the Beaten Track

Posted: December 18th, 2015

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to shoot a big project in China and Tibet. I did some things right and I did some things wrong. Here’s what I learned. Know the culture. No matter where you go, but especially overseas, it’s important to have a good understanding of the culture [...]

Sharing Good Energy: The Art of Helping Others

Posted: November 18th, 2015

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] Social media marketing for artists can be so much more than just promoting yourself; it offers a great opportunity to connect with others by showcasing work that inspires you. Pick several artists that you admire, reach out to them, become friends and, from time to time, share fun projects they’re doing with [...]

Preparing for Risks

Posted: October 30th, 2015

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] For me, finding success as a photographer has required one calculated risk after another, year after year. It seems that the farther I go in the industry the greater the level of risk increases and the more seems to be on the line. While it’s true that greater risks often lead to [...]

Soul Food: the Art of the Test Shoot

Posted: September 22nd, 2015

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] Truth is, we are artists and artists must create. Not because we’re paid to but because it’s what we love to do. It’s what we have to do to scratch the creative itch that constantly nags at us. Commercial photography often loses its soul. Thus, if commercial assignments are all we do, [...]

Losing Gracefully

Posted: July 27th, 2015

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] I’m going to take a moment to hold my head up high, take a deep, soothing breath and confidently tell you that I most certainly have a lot of experience with losing bids… I’ve most likely lost as many jobs in my career as I’ve gotten! Now that I’ve gotten that off [...]

An Evolutionary Path to Photography

Posted: June 29th, 2015

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] Eckhart Tolle once said, “In seeing who we are not, the reality of who we are will emerge by itself.” My decision to become a photographer and commercial artist wasn’t a lightbulb kind of moment, but more of an illuminated path I followed. When I started my career, “my plan” looked very [...]

The Bigger Picture

Posted: June 4th, 2015

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] The modern photographer must be more than a camera operator. We must meet the creative team on their level by showing that we not only bring value to a project, but that we understand the bigger picture. It’s important that we express through our work and approach to marketing that we are [...]

It IS Personal…

Posted: May 8th, 2015

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] I sincerely enjoy meeting and working with new people but there’s usually a lot on the line with the commercial projects I’m on so my team must be a well-oiled machine of perfection.  Some shoots are easy while others are extremely difficult!  I need to know my team members can work well together [...]

The Next Step

Posted: April 24th, 2015

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] Personal work is an important part of continuing to grow as an artist and photographer. I have found that creative buyers are interested in hiring me based on the personal work that I create. Though it’s important to have fun with personal work as an artist, this is no game! Personal work [...]

The Magic of Vision

Posted: March 20th, 2015

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] Finding Your Vision It’s easy to get sidetracked from your career goals and there are a whole list of good reasons why it happens. Sometimes an artist has to reinvent themselves because their niche has dried up or they feel creatively unchallenged. Children are born or a parent needs caring for. It’s [...]

Saying “NO” is never easy…

Posted: February 23rd, 2015

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] You don’t have to take every job! We ALL know this. We’ve all experienced the “low ball” clients, the “triple bids” and “bad contracts”. It’s a reality of our business and it’s up to us to educate ourselves. Only we can know individually what’s good for us and what’s not. But what [...]

Social Media = Smart Marketing

Posted: February 20th, 2015

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] Social Media is still my best marketing tool. Even with recent changes, I am able to effectively use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram together to drive traffic to my website and blog and keep people informed to what I’ve been doing. With these tools, you are able to find people who get [...]

The Value of Personal Work (Part 2)

Posted: January 26th, 2015

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] In November 2014 I wrote a post called “The Value of Personal Work”, which laid out my personal philosophy about creating fun, relevant images that appeal to a target audience and how I plan to grow as a commercial artist by creating the work I want to attract. This article is more [...]

The Value of Personal Work

Posted: November 17th, 2014

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] Personal work has been a vital part of my creative process and my ability to stay relevant as an artist. As commercial assignment photographers, we often rely on the scope of a particular project or the vision of an art director to inspire our images. It is easy to lose sight of [...]

Tips to Leading a Successful Production

Posted: October 10th, 2014

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] Planning a shoot well, problem solving on set and creating a great work atmosphere are essential for success. Here are a few pointers I’ve learned along the way. Keep in mind the big picture. Your main job is to solve problems for your client. Make your client’s day easier, help them look [...]

Building Your Network

Posted: September 11th, 2014

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] Building your network is an exercise in finding the people whom you click with. Social media has been an incredibly useful tool for me, so let’s talk about using it to build a strong and effective network. First, you will need to think about being someone that people want to connect with. It’s of vital [...]

Finding My People

Posted: August 4th, 2014

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] My best piece of advice to any artist trying to build their following is to first find people who really get you. Start with your existing support system.  I always look for people I connect with over shared interests and values. I make a good effort to stay close to those who [...]

Consolidating Overhead with a Home + Studio Solution

Posted: June 20th, 2014

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] Sometime around 2006, I opened my dream studio. It was a renovated warehouse, a relatively large studio space with a circular cyc wall that I had built and a second large area so we could have multiple sets at once. It was about the time that I really got the studio functional, though, [...]

Embracing Failure

Posted: June 10th, 2014

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] I was raised in a cultural upbringing that taught me it was dangerous to dream too big, that we should not take risks and to always remain cautiously guarded. Unfortunately, I think that state of mind is all too common in our society. We are taught to avoid failure and by all [...]

The Importance of Balance

Posted: April 7th, 2014

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] As photographers and artists, we LOVE our work. Because our passion drives us, it is common to have areas of life that become unbalanced. Though you might feel overwhelmed, there are things you can do. Here are my best tips for maintaining balance. Keep in mind that it’s always a work in progress! 1. Compartmentalize [...]

The Power of Kindness & Giving Back

Posted: March 11th, 2014

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] A respected friend, and established director, once said to me, “I believe in the power of kindness. Pay it forward – keep the cycle going.” This is the mantra that my wife, Heidi, and I follow when giving back to the consumer and business communities. Why Give Back? Just think of the potential! When [...]

A Seriously Crazy Group Portrait

Posted: February 28th, 2014

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] An advertising agency called us with a great concept they felt would be a good fit for our team. The art director explained, “We want a high-energy group portrait of 100 hospital administrators, doctors, and construction workers all standing in front of the new hospital wing, throwing hard hats in celebration of [...]

Peaks and Valleys

Posted: February 14th, 2014

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] Multiple peaks and valleys are a normal, and rather expected, part of the photography industry. Your navigation of the highs and lows directly affects your mental and fiscal health. While in the spotlight, you may find very little time to sleep and during slower times, it feels as if the phone will never ring again. [...]

A New Portfolio and the Open Road

Posted: February 3rd, 2014

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] A Guide to Showing Your Portfolio. This past fall, I jumped in my car and headed to the Big Apple to network with agencies and magazines. With a tank full of gas, my new portfolio and a stack business cards, I set out without any expectations; I simply wanted to get out of my [...]

Balancing Personal & Professional Online

Posted: January 14th, 2014

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] As artists and photographers, we strive to share our vision with the world. Social media gives a visual artist a new way to be seen. Though it’s a substantial investment of our time, it provides a way for us to find our audience without limit of funds or geography. Trying to balance a separate [...]

Incorporating CGI Into My Business Plan

Posted: December 2nd, 2013

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] I like pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. I am constantly creating personal work that challenges me as an artist. Personal work is a great excuse to just play and CGI is one of my favorite toys! My understanding of how to utilize artificial components in photographic composites has opened many doors and I am [...]

Diversifying your Business

Posted: November 6th, 2013

[by Chris Winton-Stahle] Who am I? It’s question all photographers ask themselves at some point. Photographer, director, digital retoucher, commercial artist – these days we are all of the above. Yet often we are asked to fit a description of what we do into one title, and in today’s market that can be very limiting… [...]