Ryan Pitts, from photographing wildlife to shooting weddings
The opportunity arose to interview Ryan Pitts, a talented photographer from Caledonia for the 2022 Fillmore County Journal wedding guide. Jumping on the opportunity, I scheduled an interview with Pitts. I first visited his website, Facebook page and Instagram account to gather information and get a better idea of the person I will be interviewing and his business. Good thing I did, because not only is Pitts an amazing photographer, he is an outstanding videographer. “Wow!” continued to come to mind while pursuing the wedding photos and videos, posted on his Social Media sites.
If being a photographer and a video creator is not enough, Pitts is also an entrepreneur, a visionary, a branding and social media guru, a web designer, a disk jockey (DJ), and a storyteller. Pitts is the owner of Vision Media, LLC and Vibes DJing providing service to surrounding areas such as Decorah, Iowa, and La Crosse, Wis. Pitts mentioned that recently he shot a wedding in Des Moines, Iowa.
After graduating in 2014 from Caledonia High School, he went on to Western Technical College in La Crosse and studied visual communications, a two-year program. Pitts explained that he knew he would be starting his business right away.
Pitts grew up on a farm near New Albin, Iowa, and went hunting and fishing in the area. He would carry a GoPro or a little Handycam with him. He explained that he and his buddies would mess around and making YouTube videos. One day he looked at one of his cameras and wondered if he could make a living taking pictures.
Pitts said, “It started with me taking a bunch of photos of whatever – landscapes, animals.” This went on until someone suggested he make a Facebook page to display his photos. Thus, the beginning of Ryan Pitts Production.
His first gig! Just one year after graduating high school, Pitts was asked to take someone’s graduation pictures. He felt that they should have a professional take them as he was not comfortable, but they convinced him to take the pictures, and they turned out really well. “Then families asked him to take pictures, there were more senior pictures, and then his first wedding and then it just snowballed,” explained Pitts.
Why the switch from Ryan Pitts Productions to Vision Media? He explained that he wanted a business name that someone else would want to work for. He did not want a potential employee to feel as if they were working for an individual but wanted them to feel like they were working for a business.
On his website, Pitts proudly explains, “Vision Media is prided on bringing your vision to life.” Going on, the website boldly states, “As a creative, I feel it’s most important to bring my client’s vision to life instead of the vision I have.” Thus, his business tag line is “Bring your VISION to life.” This is the second reason he changed his business name.
At the beginning of 2020, it was pretty slow thanks to COVID but at the end of the year, September and October were full. Traditionally, the first of the year is usually slow but Pitts is producing commercial videos in January, February, and March; thus, his slow time is getting less and less.
Wedding income comprised 60-70% of Pitts’ total annual revenue, which is generated from 12 weddings a year. Seven or eight of those weddings happen in September and October. He offers a discount for Friday weddings, as do a lot of the venues. He already has two Friday weddings booked for this year.
As for Pitts’s favorite wedding venues, as a farm boy it is does not come as a surprise that he enjoys shooting weddings at farms. Pitts went on to say that 60% to 70% of his weddings are shot around the Decorah area.
Pitt’s 2022 goal is to edit 80% of a wedding by the following week. According to Pitts, “Communication is huge.” He keeps in frequent contact with his clients, so they know what is going on. For example, he lets his clients know where he is at in the editing process and what other projects he is working on so they know when to expect to see a draft. He always completes the work within the contracted time. Customers voice their thanks and appreciation for keeping them updated so they are not left wondering.
After working with DJs at an estimated 50 weddings, including his own wedding this past August 8, 2020, Pitts identified a niche that will complement his wedding videography business. He found that many times he and the DJs use each other’s equipment and there are times when the DJs asked for his assistance. In addition to Vision Media LLP, Pitts started a DJ business, Vibes DJing. Now he is DJing weddings and shooting video at the same time.
Pitts can be reached at email@example.com or 507-429-8623. Visit Vision Media, LLC. at http://www.visionmediallc.com and Vibes DJing at http://www.Vibesdjing.com. Check out his wedding films at https://www.instagram.com/visionmediaweddingfilms/
Smile for the camera! Soon, I predict, that we will see Pitts shooting baby pictures and sharing them on his website, Facebook page, and Instagram.