Interview with Greg Gorman: American portrait photographer of Hollywood celebrities.
Did you or your partners have a business plan when you started your business?
I’m not really sure where to begin here as my career actually evolved from shooting simple head shots for mostly “B” movie actors and actresses. I did this for $35 a day, including film and processing, in the late sixties. After wrapping up my undergraduate work in Kansas City, I made the move to Los Angeles to finish my graduate studies in film at USC. My head shot fees gradually increased and the celebrities became a bit more of note. However, no real business plan was part of the picture at this time. I was virtually rolling with the punches. As one thing led to the next, I began shooting pictures of more prominent people for a Theatre Arts Magazine called ‘After Dark’-the likes of Michelle Phillips, Tom Skerritt, Susan Tyrell and Tony Perkins. I continued doing this while still working out of my one bedroom apartment in Laurel Canyon, shooting in my living room-turned studio.
Do you think business plans are necessary for entrepreneurship?
Before one can establish a business plan, there needs to be a business to base it off of. One cannot formulate the parameters or means of an efficient business plan without understanding the workings of the business first and foremost! To put it all in perspective, the work came first and was beginning to show some sense of regularity, then came the plan. So yes, I do think business plans are necessary to excel, but I also think that sometimes it’s okay to roll with the punches in the beginning
What three pieces of advice can you offer developing arts entrepreneurs?
1. Roll with the punches.
2. Don’t be afraid to work with big names or do big things.
3. Have a desire and passion to follow your dreams
Interview by Alex Mirabile, student in Developing an Arts Venture Plan, Arts Entrepreneurship at Meadows School of the Arts, SMU.