Steven Sobel thought he would be working at a newspaper as a photojournalist shortly after graduation. Instead, he launched his own photography business, now called Steven Sobel Studios.
"The market for newspaper photojournalists was drying up when I graduated, and I thought I'd have more luck on my own," he said. "I started slowly, doing only event photography, but every few months I tried to add a new skill, first I learned how to produce videos, then I added the ability to work underwater, then I received a certification to work as a digital technician. This month I'm getting a commercial unmanned aerial vehicle license. I wanted to be in control and be somewhere I could find my own opportunities. In my line of work, you go out and find your clients. There aren't a lot of staff positions."
Two years later, Steven Sobel Studios provides event photography and video services to corporations, non-profits and individuals looking to document special events. "We specialize in large events and sporting events," Sobel explained. "We have four years of experience and happy clients. What makes my work different is that I work at high energy events and work with clients to create visual materials for them that are compelling, capturing the moments with the most impact and interest. We do very complicated camera setups to try to give our clients something they've never seen before."
Sobel's advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to network. "Talk to other entrepreneurs in that line of work," he said. "They will be more helpful than you think and they know things you can't learn any other way than by talking to them. Learn from others' mistakes. Don't slog through and make them on your own."