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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Relocating advice
Douglas Bovitt, Photographer
Philadelphia | PA | | Posted: 5:37 PM on 08.31.14
->> Hi all,

I'm relocating to the Tampa area and could use some advice. I've never done anything like this and it's a bit intense. I'm moving in October and in the coming month I plan on contacting as many editors as I can find, but thought I'd ask the question here too.
Has anyone here ever done this? Care to share the experience? Thanks!
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 6:19 PM on 08.31.14
->> From a realistic standpoint, WHY are you relocating without already having talked to all the editors in the area beforehand to see if there is any work available? Is there a warrant out for you in Philly, or are you doing this because you like the weather better, or are you following the love of your life who landed a job down there whereupon you are coming along too, or what?

In no way do I mean to sound sarcastic, but such a big move doesn't make sense with the way the industry is.

As to advice, I certainly hope you have at least 6-8 months of living expense money in your bank account. It used to be 3-4 months but with the current economy it could take one a lot longer to become established especially when starting out fresh without any prospects in hand.
 This post is:  Informative (3) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (1) |   Definitions

Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 6:40 PM on 08.31.14
->> Douglas, I'll probably get an "inappropriate" for agreeing with Mr. Pizac...but so be it. He's completely right. Tampa, as I'm sure many of the SS members who live in that area of Florida would tell you, is a totally over saturated market....really over saturated. You've given yourself one month lead time? I wish you luck but this has "train wreck" written all over it.
 This post is:  Informative (2) | Funny (0) | Huh? (1) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 12:04 AM on 09.01.14
->> "... 6-8 months of living expense money ..." is far too optimistic in my opinion. Regardless if it Tampa or Smallville pop. 1,200, you are going to face intense competition from established shooters, part-timers and PWCs. 12-18 months is probably a more fair estimate of what you will need for living expenses in addition to working capital for six to eight months if you are working the phone and pavement hard during the first year.

If I was in your shoes, the first thing I would do is write a business plan, a marketing/promotional plan and set goals to achieve for each step of the plan. Personally, I would focus on making contact within the corporate and industrial segment of the industry. Editorial work, because of declining compensation and sheer number of people willing to work for next to nothing, would be a secondary income source. During this time I would also look for niches that with little to no competition to exploit. I would think you will find it easier to generate steady revenue in the commercial realm first while building your editorial, wedding and portrait clientele in a new environment where you have don't have a network yet established.
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
New England | | | Posted: 4:03 AM on 09.01.14
->> Why assume Douglas is in for a train wreck? Maybe he accepted a position in another career field in Tampa. Maybe his spouse accepted a job in Tampa. Maybe he has family he needs to take care of in Tampa.

People relocate for many reasons, don't assume train wreck based on no facts what-so-ever.
 This post is:  Informative (2) | Funny (0) | Huh? (1) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Douglas Bovitt, Photographer
Philadelphia | PA | | Posted: 10:04 AM on 09.01.14
->> Doug and Chuck,
Thanks for your brutal honesty. I realize that this may be the biggest mistake of my life, but there's no stopping the train now.

Clark,
Thanks so much for the advice! It's taken me 20 years to get where I am now and I know it's gonna be a beast getting established down South, but I'll give it my best.

Steven,
Thanks for being objective. I do plan on working outside of the photo field while I build a network.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Mike Carlson, Photographer
Bayonet Point | FL | USA | Posted: 10:06 AM on 09.01.14
->> As someone in Tampa I can assure you that Mr. Liddy is totally correct in his assertion that it is an over-saturated area...but also welcome you to drop me a message through my member page and I'll help you as much as I can in any questions about the area. We're saturated, but we're still Florida laid back and friendly (we don't have all that winter anger to deal with is what I attribute it to, though others may say the sun's fried us a bit).
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (1) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Debra L Rothenberg, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 3:34 PM on 09.01.14
->> and someone gave Steven a "huh" why??
In 1999, I quite a staff job of 12 years to move to a place that terrified me..NYC-a place where I knew no one. To this day I have NO clue why I did this, but it was the BEST thing I ever did...both personally and professionally. I was 37 and had $13k to my name from the sale of my car. It seemed like forever, but 4 days later I started pounding the pavements, rented a darkroom to print up a portfolio, and spoke to everyone. One Friday night, I went to a gym near my apt. There was a woman in the same gym attire-big over sized t-shirt, head band and sweat pants. We started talking..turns out she was the head of a PR company. She gave me a shot because she liked me. At that shoot, I met someone else who hired me for a shoot. It kept snowballing-at every shoot, at least one other job came out of it-some have been 15 year long clients now. I have no idea what that PR woman looks like-I don't think I ever saw her again but I kept (and keep) getting referrals. My husband and I shoot for 53 law firms-and it all started via word of mouth, as did my entire freelance career in NYC.
Last year my book of 32 years of photographing Bruce Springsteen was released and it all happened because I met my publisher on a job and someone told her I have shot Bruce.
4 days after moving to the city back in 1999, I looked at my cat and said "what the "F" have I done? There are 4 photographers on my floor and I suck."
Was NYC over saturated then? YOU BET! Is is now? You bet! I still get lots of jobs-and more than I can handle so I have a network of people I regularly pass shoots on to.
Talk to everyone, Douglas. Be kind and smile. Remember-Rome wasn't built in a day so give it some time.
Good luck.
 This post is:  Informative (9) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 6:46 PM on 09.01.14
->> I'm reminded of a kid from a small town just south of where I live in Macon, IL. Drew Blickensderfer, son of a well known high school basketball coach, always dreamed of being a NASCAR pit boss. His story goes like this....

With $300 in his pocket, he moved to NC and got a job mowing fairways at a local country club (lots of NASCAR drivers were members). One conversation...then another ... and six months later he became the rear tire change pit crew member and mechanic for Dale Earnhardt, Inc.'s #1 car. He's had a great career (with MORE limitations than the photojournalism industry) working for a variety of racing teams over the years. As I recall, he's was honored as the "Crew Chief of the Year" for NASCAR a few years back.

Off the cuff, I know many kids from my own area who have taken similar risks to find their dream jobs in the past 10 years. My son is one of them... he works for the Pacers. Another works for the Bulls, another is the head of photography for the Chicago Black Hawks, another shoots the Red Carpet in LA, and another works as the director of mass communications for the Chicago White Sox.

There are only a few times in a persons life where picking up and moving (before having a job in hand) is possible. If this is one of those times, then all the more power to you! Follow your heart even if your head tells you no.

Best of Luck and keep us posted!!!
 This post is:  Informative (3) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Debra L Rothenberg, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 7:08 PM on 09.01.14
->> DON'T QUIT
BELIEVE
MAKE IT HAPPEN

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCy7lLQwToI
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (1) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 11:48 PM on 09.01.14
->> Douglas,

Yes, the Tampa Bay area is BEYOND saturated with freelancers... one more isn't likely to kill us. Come on down man. We all work together pretty well here. Call my cell when you get settled and I'll take you to lunch... we'll figure it out from there... we're all in it together.

-Blanco
 This post is:  Informative (5) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Douglas Bovitt, Photographer
Philadelphia | PA | | Posted: 1:21 PM on 09.02.14
->> Debra and Kevin,

Thanks for all of the encouragement! I'm feeling better and more confident about the move already. Debra, about that YouTube video, you're hilarious. No wonder people like you ;-)

Brian,
Thank you, man! I'm definitely taking you up on the offer, be down in October.

Sincerely,
Douglas
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 4:53 PM on 09.02.14
->> Yep .... I know for a fact that Debra starts her day listening to the Rocky Theme Song "Eye of the Tiger" :)
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Debra L Rothenberg, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 9:51 PM on 09.02.14
->> Kevin-nope-just the theme from the original Rocky..Gonna Fly Now

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioE_O7Lm0I4

(I actually have it on my little Ipod-it's a great workout song!)
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Michael Augustin, Photographer
Plano | TX | USA | Posted: 7:12 PM on 09.03.14
->> I escaped from Philly.
I understand "why" perfectly...
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 2:19 PM on 09.08.14
->> Good luck on the move, Douglas!
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Thread Title: Relocating advice
Thread Started By: Douglas Bovitt
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