This month I decided to interview Olympic Photo Group. Their studio name comes from being in the shadows of the Olympic Mountain Range in Washington although they do have a connection with some possible future Olympians. I talked to Brad Camp, one of the co-owners of the company to learn more about their story.
Three partners with decades of experience created Olympic Photo Group in 2006. Brad started his career in 1986 as a news photographer and spent nearly 20 years covering news events for community papers in the Pacific Northwest. Jesse was also a news photojournalist and also worked for wire services and has supplied much content to national sports media outlets over the years. Greg is new to the field; he followed his interest in photography after years in sales and marketing.
Olympic Photo has begun settling into three tiers of clients. Corporate, schools and sports. Their main sports outlet is USAG Gymnastics meet photography. “We bring our team of shooters, viewing stations and support to meets in the PNW and have been the go-to studio for regional and state meets in Washington.” Brad's daughter is a high level competitive gymnast so they have all become use to working around chalk dust. “Covering competitive gymnastics is a very rewarding experience for us, we get to see up close the hard work of these young athletes and perhaps our next Team USA member.”
What makes Olympic Photo Group so unique though is the joining of three independent studios into one new company. “Brad's studio focused on corporate and weddings. Jesse was focused on editorial and professional sports and Greg's company was focused on leagues and high school teams.” Together they combined their talent, equipment and circles of influence and have become one of the fastest growing studios in their market.
Their favorite type of shoot is team photography. “Since we have extensive portrait backgrounds, we have been able to take the 'traditional' team photos and provide a new and creative look. Parents have been thrilled with something that looks new and creative.”
When it comes down to their equipment Olympic Photo Group is Canon all the way. “Our lens bucket ranges from 16mm to a 400 2.8.” When they are down at field level their go to lens is a 400 2.8. “Nothing like getting down at field level and compressing the background for that tight, clean shot of peak action!”
Throughout the rise of their company over the last six years they attribute some of their success to their partnership with EM. “We have been with EM since the beginning of our company. It is the backbone of our client contact, proofing and sales. Without the tools behind EM, our business would be hard pressed to find a solution to meet our diverse client base.”
They came across EM via recommendations of other photographers from a sports shooter blog site. “Once we poked around with the trial, it became a clear choice for us.” They enjoy the live chat feature with EM technicians “we get answers to questions VERY fast. Also the lab pricing is better or equal to the cost ratio of using our own in-house lab, but we don't have to do maintenance! “They also enjoy the customer interface,” clients are able to find their galleries and it is clean and simple.” “The functionality and ease of working through the checkout process is the biggest feedback we hear. It is essential that our clients don't need a learning curve to use our services.”
Lastly like every photographer I interview I like to ask what tips they have for other photographers to continue to be successful. “Like any athlete—train every day. We shoot every day on something. The best advice we got from leaders in the industry is to the carry a camera, even a P/S every day and practice your craft. The camera is merely a tool; It's the eye behind it that captures the moments. Train that instinct and eye to observe and record.
To learn more about the team at Olympic Photo Group visit their website at www.olympicphotogroup.com