Position title: Media Specialist @ Promote Local; Freelance Photographer
Major: Communication Arts (Radio-TV-Film)
Certificates: Digital Studies & Entrepreneurship
Graduation Date: December 2017
How did you end up working at Promote Local and starting your own photography business?
I found my job at Promote Local actually through the UW-Madison job board. I started that position right out of college and have been there ever since. My job duties have ebbed and flowed over the years though. I was initially hired to just do social media work for a few of their clients. Since then, I have assisted with many different projects, but most notably have become Promote Local’s main photographer and videographer as a result of my technical media knowledge and willingness to constantly improve. I do all pre-production and post production work for video and photo projects.
I did some photography work in college (Badger Herald, etc), but “officially” started my business upon graduating. I pretty much jumped head first into wedding photography. I started out working underneath other photographers and slowly branched out on my own. Today I primarily photograph weddings and corporate work (headshots, branding, and corporate events). Last year I photographed 16 weddings and around 30 portrait sessions. My busiest months are typically May-October.
What does a typical day in the office look like for you?
My day-to-day responsibilities vary greatly since I work for a 4-person marketing agency and also run a photography business. For my day job, I manage video and photography projects, as well as help with event planning, social media, writing blog posts or anything else that helps my team. We do have specialties at my company, but everyone also helps each other out since we are so small.
I typically have something to do for my photography business every day as well. That could be responding to new client inquiries, working on timelines for my wedding couples, posting on social media, editing photos, or working on new marketing or educational activities. There is always something to do when you run a business. If you are interested in checking out my work, my website is www.sarahgodfrey.net.
How has Digital Studies influenced your career path?
The Digital Studies track has so many different niche classes to choose from. Most of the classes I completed were within the film/video side of things. Those classes were helpful for the video work I do now for work. I learned technical skills as well as an overview of the film world and digital media landscape.
Did you have a favorite Digital Studies class?
100% Comm Arts 465 (Editing and Post-Production) was my favorite class. That class greatly enhanced my existing Premiere Pro knowledge. I also loved having the opportunity to edit narrative film. While I am not interested in working in the film industry, I absolutely loved that class.
Do you have any advice for current students?
Get involved in extracurricular activities and/or student jobs! Everything changes when you leave college. College is like a magical bubble of fun and there are so many exciting opportunities available for you. Some of my favorite activities from college include my student jobs at UW-Athletics and DoIT Video Services, working for the Badger Herald, and being a member of the Badger Ballroom Dance Team.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career thus far?
Starting my own photography business. It’s challenging, can be stressful, but it’s extremely rewarding.