My name is Larry Raynard. I'm Owner / Manager of Focus 91
Photography. I've been in business for about twenty years now
and in the last twelve years I've mainly been doing portrait
work. I would say probably ten percent of my time is taken
up by actual photography. The rest of it is organizing things,
getting things to the lab, dealing with banks and Accountants
and all of that kind of stuff.
I spend a lot of time on the phone talking
to people about what we're going to do and
just taking care of business - which is a big
surprise when you go through photography school.
You learn all these wonderful things about
photography and how to handle cameras and everything,
but they don't teach you about how to get along
with people and how to run a business. They
do one little module in your class schedule
about business and it just isn't enough. A
lot of what your job really turns out to be
is Administrative, so you can keep on doing
the photography. Many photographers have sort
of come and gone and part of their problem
wasn't that they weren't good photographers,
it’s that they didn't run their business
properly and that prevented them from doing
their photography. When most people get out
of school, they probably want to get a job
with somebody and that's really good because
you find out how things work and the systems
you need to run a business properly.
My wife Joanna works with me and I find that
invaluable because you're thinking about the
next shot and if you have a second set of eyes
to look after that, that really helps. You
have to establish some sort of leadership as
well as quality levels that are up there. If
something's coming in that's not good enough,
we send it back to the lab. We do some extra
retouching, to make it a certain quality level
that we feel is the minimum standard to have,
for our clients. I think that's what our clients
are looking for. They want something better.
They could get a cheaper portrait at Wal-Mart
or somewhere like that. They're looking for
more service and a different quality of product
when they come to us.
[Personal Characteristics & Attitude:]
I'm always a Photographer first. If everything
fell apart from what it is right now, I would
still be going out and finding images. If I
didn't have a camera I would probably be using
some kind of charcoal on birch bark or something.
But, you know, that was my first love.
If you're going to do portrait, you have to
be very into people. That's what it's all about.
If you don't like people, get out of it. We're
creating family heirlooms and this is a really
nice thing to get into and enjoy making it
sort of an artistic kind of interpretation
of the family. I think this is the best job
in the world.
[Most Satisfying Aspect:]
The satisfaction that you get out of producing
something. I can see what I've produced
and can enjoy it. I can give it away to
else and they can enjoy it. You're juggling
a lot of things and if you can keep them
all in the air at the same time, it's really
a satisfying feeling - to give somebody
a product that they're going to enjoy for
lot of years. It's not like shuffling paper
around or any number of other jobs that
you could do. I've got control that way.
when things seem pretty shaky, I am in
control. I must have made some right decisions
there because I'm still in business. I
think that's the whole thing, being able
things and decide which way you're heading
with your business and any number of ways
that you could go. But you find the right
[Change In This Particular Occupation:]
I think in this time frame you want to get
certain skills, so you have to go to a
school. At this time, we don't know how
people will be using film but we do know
that people are still going to want family
portraits. So this may take on a whole
different aspect. We might be shooting
with some kind
of a digital camera.
[Attitude & Positive Behaviour:]
I wouldn't be in business if I didn't have
a good attitude because there are times
when you first start out when things are
slow - you're just sitting there and there's
no clients coming in and the bank is knocking
on the door and that kind of thing. If
you don't think positive, you just close
down and quit.