We had the good fortune of connecting with David Rumley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi David, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I suppose everything started for me out of a certain degree of necessity. Several years back I was working for some friends as a music coach at a local youth orchestra, and as we were a fledgling organization, we needed to get the word out through our media content. To help with this, I bought a camera to acquire the video and still images we needed for our website and social media pages. The more time I spent learning the technical aspects of photography in my personal time, the more I really started to enjoy everything about the art form. In addition to my teaching, I had been working professionally in the live theatre industry for over 20 years. I figured a great way to learn more about photographing people would be to start offering headshots to friends of mine in the business who needed them. So, with no shortage of willing photography subjects, I was shooting pretty regularly. Over a couple of years, and as the equipment improved, so did the need to be able to recover some of my investment. And I just enjoyed taking portraits so much, starting a legitimate business seemed like a logical step forward.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Not being much of an extrovert, I never really figured up-close and personal portrait photography would have been something I would gravitate towards, but the more I challenged myself to get out and meet people, photograph different subjects, people I’d never met, the more that shyness started to subside. My confidence grew exponentially, and as a result, so did my understanding of how to capture my subjects. Keying into your subjects personality is helpful in capturing who they really are. At the start, recreating the vision I had in my mind of a particular shoot was never second nature, never easy. But, through study and experimentation, I was able to achieve a more robust understanding of light and composition, the real cornerstones of all photography. My images became art as opposed to simple snapshots. It certainly hasn’t been easy. As you begin your journey, you’ll make mistakes. And in fact those mistakes will be far more numerous than your successes. Even WITH a strong understanding of how to “do it right”, you’ll still goof it once in a while. And that’s okay! What I’ve come to understand is that on every single shoot, if you didn’t learn something new, or develop a new skill or way to improve an existing skill, you wasted that opportunity. Always be learning! Always be open to acquiring new ideas and concepts!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’ve been in San Diego since around 1985, so there isn’t much I haven’t seen at this point. But, my first ‘go-to’ spot for anyone visiting San Diego would have to be La Jolla Cove. It’s incidentally one of my favorite spots to photograph local sea life, as well. (Another passion of mine). San Diego also has a fascinating Old West history. Checking out some of Wyatt Earp’s old hangouts downtown, or driving up to the old gold mining town of Julian are a great start. For me, the San Diego Zoo is one of the best (and most affordable) places to spend an entire day while in town. And again, if you want some serious photography training, trying to capture a fast moving, unpredictable animal is a great way to learn (especially if you plan on photographing children). Beyond that, a perfect San Diego day for me is spending a few hours on one of our hiking trails in either Rancho Peñasquitos, or in Mission Trails Park, and then spending an hour or so relaxing at a small, family run café with a latte and my laptop, going through all of my shots from a photo session.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
As I initially started shooting stills and video for The New Youth Orchestra in San Diego, I suppose the biggest shoutout has to go to the Ramirez brothers, who ran the organization until moving on to other projects across the country. They offered me the opportunity, space, and encouragement to nurture and grow my business in its initial years.