Magazine Article


Ready, Fire, Aim!
Standing Out from the Crowd with Clay Blackmore's Special-Event Photography

Abbey Road image with family
© Clay Blackmore

4 images of girl
© Clay Blackmore

© Clay Blackmore

girl on bus ad
© Clay Blackmore

Fleetwood Mac cover
© Clay Blackmore

© Clay Blackmore

Big Ben
© Clay Blackmore

Customers will place their new artwork in game rooms, kids' rooms, or other family gathering places in the home. Blackmore can arrange for the artwork to be professionally hung and lit. "Sometimes I'll hire a person to hang the art, because presentation is everything," he says. "If you don't light the pieces of art professionally, then they don't pop off the wall."

A Renaissance Man

Being able to get people excited and looking their best is Blackmore's strength. "We're able to tell customers how great they look, even when their vanity gets in the way," he says. "Vanity is a major hurdle we have to overcome, and we do it with ease—letting the customers know these are the best portraits they've ever had. Plus, we're starting with pictures that are done very carefully, so the people always look good. When you embellish them in Photoshop, it works together very well."

Blackmore surrounds himself with a bevy of bright-eyed young graphic artists who are eager to learn and inspire each other."Ben Banks is my number one, he's a brilliant young graphic artist," he says. "I've had a host of young kids come through, and that's key. They all work together and share ideas."

Working with Banks and the other young artists keeps Blackmore on his toes. "One of the reasons Clay and I work well as a team is that we have total confidence in the talents of the other," says Banks. "Clay is great at working with the customers to excite them with groundbreaking imagery, and he knows that any idea that comes up, I'll be able to produce."

Wireless technology and the power of ExpressDigital software has aided Blackmore greatly in his special-event endeavors. "ExpressDigital is probably the most robust event software of its kind everywhere, and I've used everything," he says. "They've got everything down-pat. Now we've got the ability to make our own borders and logos, and we use the ExpressDigital software to execute the delivery."

This special-event photography has certainly transformed Blackmore's studio, but it's not surprising that he wandered so easily into his true calling. "It's just the way I am—I'm a piece of wax that hit a table and went in every direction," he says. "I'm not a guy who shoots just kids or just weddings—I do everything. I shoot landscapes and golf courses, I do commercial work, I'm a public speaker, I teach—that's just the way I walk through my day. In today's changing photographic landscape, you need to have variety, and variety means more sales. What I'm trying to do is create more variety in our studio."