Paul Maynard/ Success Interview
How to reach Paul Maynard:Website: www.ColorfulVirtualTours.com
Location:Long Island, New York when I was a child and then moved to Hunter Mountain, New York. Move to colorado when I was 19 as a rafting photographer
30+ years as a photographer, a Realtor in my past life, and FAA Certified Drone Pilot!
I’ve been a photographer since my Senior year in High School. I’ve made a living with my camera for 30 years. Yes, I’ve worked in different professions which have served me well in my photography career.
I broke my neck when I was 21 years old and at the very least should be a quadriplegic. This experience has made me look at the world in a different light. The glass is always full, it’s always sunny, and EVERYTHING is possible.
I live my life with passion and love to share with others my knowledge of photography. I also love to share my passion for how to build a business, and how to manage your mind when life challenges you.
I believe that my life experiences can help you and your business grow. But, how to have success in life as well.
What inspired you to become a photographer?
I actually feel into photography during my senior year in High School. I only needed English to graduate, but the school changed it's leaving school early the same year because of how bad the class was before me. So, instead of taking study hall classes all day. I filled up my schedule with fun classes. Such as woodshop, cooking, sewing (it was required if you took a cooking class), and photography. The big hook was when I developed my first image in the darkroom. When I watched my first image appear on the paper...I was hooked.
Tell us about your first photo that really validated your interest as a photographer?
The image was a pair of shoes that made it into the yearbook my senior year of high school. I positioned one of the heels on top of the other shoe to showcase the "Nike" logo. My teacher told me how well I composed the shot and was definitely going to make the cut into the yearbook. At this early stage, I knew this is what I wanted to do. Especially if I could earn a living making images.
What has been your proudest moment as a photographer?
Back when I was creating Fairy Portraits as a fundraiser for Children's Hospital Colorado. I ran a calendar contest to raise money for the hospital. To make it into the calendar, people had to pay $1 to vote and could vote as many times as they wanted. The top 12 made into the calendar and the child with the most votes would be on the cover. Through the grapevine of parents, I was informed of a child with terminal cancer and had less than a year to live. The parents didn't want their child to know so she could have the best of what she had in her life. Once I heard about this, I did what I could to rally as many people as I could to vote for her. She ended up being on the cover and the parents were beside themselves. The image of this innocent child moved me so much and was so proud that I could touch so many hearts was one of the proudest times I've ever experienced.
How do you feel photography has impacted the way you see the world?
I see a world of possibilities for others to follow their passion because of being a photographer. I appreciate everything around me and to be able to capture the world with my camera? It makes me feel like the luckiest person on the planet. I get to do what I love and share my passion with others. Which in turn, inspires others to follow their passion. A camera in my hand has changed the world because it's changing the people I am around on a daily basis. I share how much I love what I do, and it rubs off on others.
What is your best photography related tip?
As a photographer, remember what it's like to be an amateur! I say this because when you are new at photography. You see the world in a different light (no pun intended). You're not worried about exposures, composition, and all the other technical aspects that comes with photography. Especially when you make it your profession. When you get stuck, pick up your camera with 1 lens, and go out and shoot anything and everything that has nothing to do with making money.
If you are pursuing photography as a career. Take marketing and business classes, webinars, etc. I am not a photographer first, I am a marketing business owner! Too many photographers get so caught up on being a photographer, that they are going broke because they have no idea how to run a business like a business. Yes, you have to know how to take a good photo. But, if you don't know how to run a business then all you have is a hobby. If you are not building a business. Then I would suggest, shoot, shoot, and then shoot some more.
Your photos look amazing, what's your secret sauce when it comes to post-processing?
Honestly, I make sure to get it right in camera! I started back in the film days when every click cost me an exposure. I was taught to look at all four corners before clicking the shutter. I have not shied away from in the digital age where you can find yourself saying, "I'll just fix it in post".
With that being said my biggest regret is that I didn’t let more people into my inner circle earlier on. I thought of other photographers and people as competitors and pushed them away. Only years later I realized that we could have done so much more had we teamed uip realier on and started to wkr together earlier on. Lost a few friendships because of that and I wish I could get those back.
Speaking of which, what's your post-processing workflow?
O.K., now that I have it right in camera. Here's what I do next(by the way, I am 100% a Real Estate Photographer so this is what I do with those images);
Create a folder for my images (they automatically back up to the cloud).
I then process my images in Photomatix ( I have set up a base preset to save me some time).
I bring them into Lightroom and make some minor adjustments. This can depend on the color of the lightbulbs in bathrooms, and/or the color of walls.
Export out of Lightroom and then upload it to my client's dashboard for them to list their property.
Based on my market, I've figured out how to deliver my images to my clients on the same day.
What would you like for people to take away from your work?
My images are marketable to help them help their clients. When I am on-site, I want people to see how passionate I am about what I do. Because when I am out photographing a house (no matter what the size), I act and feel like a little kid. I want people to feel and see how much I love what I do. Because I know that inspires others to follow their passion. It happens every day and I hear the same thing every day. "Wow, you really love what you do."
I also want my images to move people to want to see more. This doesn't happen on every property, but when I can do an aerial or twilight shoot. I know without a shadow of doubt. My images will stop them for a few extra seconds to want to click more to see.
What are some 'must-have' items in your camera bag?
Batteries, batteries, more batteries, and a snack. I burn a lot of energy and have to have some kind of food with me at all times.
If you were stuck on a deserted island, what is the ONE photography book you would want to have with you?
This is a tough one. After much thought, I'd actually want to have my trusty "Think and Grow Rich" by Napolian Hill. If I am stranded, then I need to have my mind in the right place. This book has been a pinacle part of my photography career.