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Member Spotlight: Picture Perfect

Member Spotlight: Picture Perfect

Vince Wallace has been an NASE Member since 2006. He owns Silver Hill Images in Franklin, Tenn.

Tell us about your business.

I studied photography in college, and did some work for my university when I was getting my master’s degree. After graduating, I did freelance videography and writing for a few years. Video production is very expensive to do as a freelancer, so in 2002 I decided to do still photography full time. I was in Phoenix at the time, and began my career assisting other photographers.

I started my business, Silver Hill Images, in 2002. After moving to Nashville in 2005, I got into doing photography for bands, musicians, and artists, including photographs for CDs and promotional advertising materials. I also do typical portrait and corporate photography. For the last couple of years I’ve been focusing my photographic efforts more on teaching workshops and fine art sales.

What’s the best thing about owning your own business?

I’m on my own. But it’s a double-edged sword: the worst thing about my business is me, and the best thing is me. I love the freedom that I have and that I’m making my own decisions. I love that if I fail in doing this, I only have myself to blame, and if I succeed it’s because I was able to accomplish my vision.

Tell us about the classes you offer.

I teach a series of photography classes, and I’m trying to add one type of class every season. These classes are a precursor to my long-term vision to create an arts ranch. This ranch would have apprentices who may not have had mentors due to finances or life circumstances come to the ranch for a few months and work one-on-one with an artist in residence. The ranch would have artists from many different disciplines—not just photography, but painting, drawing, ceramics, and music and other performing arts.

How do you market your business?

Getting out there and talking to people has been most helpful for me, handing out materials at local restaurants and other local gathering places, as well as word-of-mouth marketing. The other thing that’s really helped me during the last two years with my photography classes is Groupon and Living Social. I’ve found that these daily deal sites reach a large audience over a short period of time with no upfront cost. The deals I’ve done for my classes bring people in the door, which allows me the opportunity to turn them into customers, but even if someone doesn’t sign up for a class they’ve seen my name and know I’m here.

What advice would you offer to your fellow NASE Members?

Don’t be afraid to try new ways of doing things. Stay creative by remembering why you started the business and occasionally revisiting that, even if you don’t get paid to do it. It keeps your skills sharp and helps you get out of administrative ruts!

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Member Spotlight: Picture Perfect

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