Interview with ASMP Volunteer Will Connelly
By Janette McVey
Emerging member, Will Connelly hit the ground running two years ago when he arrived in Philadelphia, a transplant from North Carolina. Quickly losing that southern accent, he wasted no time getting involved. Within months of joining ASMP he was invited to a board meeting and left with exhibit space reserved in POST (Philadelphia Open Studio Tours) and a to-do list for the chapter.
Will’s initiative took him all over the city exploring potential venues for the big Holiday Party & Website Premiere last December. I interviewed Will for the first “Spotlight” column on the renewed chapter website. Here’s his take on Philly, ASMP and photography:
JM: How did you get your start in photography?
WC: I started taking pictures as a teenager when I inherited my grandfather’s camera collection. I found that I could use photography as a means for self-expression. I majored in photography at Appalachian State University in North Carolina.
JM: What brought you to Philly?
WC: I was looking for a metropolitan area where I could get assisting work with professionals. In Philly, everywhere I go there seems to be communities- of photographers, artists, performers, activists.
JM: How did you get involved in ASMP?
WC: I was looking for education on the business of photography and to network with other professionals. Within a few months of joining, I was invited to attend a board meeting. It was there that I was asked to volunteer. I helped make phone calls and look for a venue for the Holiday Party. I also participated in POST; I helped set up and had a booth. Attending that first board meeting was the most beneficial experience with ASMP so far.
JM: Tell me about your business and your photography work.
WC: I photographed bed & breakfasts and hotels for marketing for a few years in North Carolina, as well as some weddings and portraits. As a student, I initiated digital printing services in our department and was president of our school’s official photography organization; we did a lot of work within the art communities of North Carolina. I moved to Philly with the intention of freelance assisting, and have since opened doors for other business endeavors. I have developed an interest in photo editing. My work has moved toward art since I’ve begun photographing performers and doing design work for them. I photograph all kinds of performers; fire-spinners, musicians, community events. I’ve shown some work in small galleries, but am looking to grow. I’m also still assisting. One client is a media team doing video and still work for medical marketing.
JM: Do you have experience in video also?
WC: I have experience working with the medical media client and I’m interested in getting more involved with video. I feel that marketing and advertising is moving away from print and toward online videos where viewers can watch a short two-minute video.
JM: What would you like ASMP Philly to know about you?
WC: I’m interested in networking with other photographers, learning about other projects and how others can benefit from my services. I would like to see ASMP organize a meet-up where members could discuss changes in the industry and exchange information to help each other. The ASMP Business Practices book is a vital resource for growing my business. A discussion forum would be a great way for members to share knowledge, information, and experience.