Nightscape Images

Maintaining A Positive Outlook and Inspiring Others Through Nightscape Photography.

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August 11, 2020

Who are you and what kind of content do you create?

My name is Richard Tatti and I live in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia. I’m a full-time nightscape photographer and my business is called Nightscape Images. I have a youtube channel that I use to inspire and encourage people to get outside under the brilliant night sky and take images. I have been a photographer and video producer for many years and the transition to nightscape photography comes on the back of my childhood passion for the night sky and my love of photography and storytelling.

I operate by myself but my wife Glenys helps me when we run our nightscape photography workshops here in Australia. These workshops are very popular and we have a small group of eager photographers stay with us on a farm away from city lights, simply discussing all things nightscape photography, shooting the stars and including editing and post-production.

The name Nightscape Images simply came to me one day as it best describes what I do and the images speak for themselves. It only took me a couple of days to throw around the  brand names and decide on this one.

Let's go down memory lane, tell us your backstory! 

I have always had a fascination with the night sky, and all I’ve done here is combine that with skills learned doing other forms of photography. I’ve been a content creator for many years but the youtube channel is about 4 years old now. 

I used to work in a 9-5 job but did creative work on weekends, ranging from photography, wedding videos, and songwriting. So, eventually, I decided to do those creative things full time. It’s a decision I don’t regret. About 7 years ago I decided to go all out with my nightscape photography, and not long after that people started asking if I could teach them how to do this form of photography. That’s when the workshops began and they have grown every year since.

I’ve always used YouTube to show my videos but I also utilize Facebook and Instagram to show my images. Video production has been something I’ve done for many years and so the concept of using that medium to help and inspire others was an easy transition. There are not many content creators who specialize in nightscape photography and I have seen good growth on the channel in recent years. I also began an online workshop series this year which has been very well received.

How do you brainstorm ideas for your content and your advice in getting the creative juice flowing.

I am continually inspired just by being out there under the stars. I go on a lot of road trips by myself to get new compositions and also to fill my inspiration tank. I need space to do that, and getting away from the daily grind is the best medicine for me.

If I find I’m hitting a creative block, I tend to go back to the basics and often revisit a place I’ve had success before and shoot there for a while. Even walking around in the environment is often enough to get my creative juices flowing again. I’m a big believer that it’s always within us. All we need is time and space to see it again and let it out. It’s all about perspective, and a positive outlook.

What are the tools and platforms you use to help with your brand?

I use Lightroom and Photoshop to do the bulk of my photo editing. I’ve been using Grass Valley Edius for many years now to do my video editing. I use youtube, Facebook and Instagram. I use “Later” to help with scheduling my Instagram posts. Epidemic Sound for music. Of course, I have a website.

What were your fears starting out? How did you handle it? 

I didn’t have any fears starting with my photography. It was a natural progression of what I was already doing. I always had confidence in my abilities and people seemed to appreciate my work. There are always some negative comments on a public platform like YouTube but I always approach these with a sense of positivity. Maybe they have a point and I always take these comments on board and politely respond.

I was always behind the lens of the camera for many years and it has taken me a while to get comfortable on camera. It takes practice and I think I’m still learning about that, but my videos are pretty much me just going out there and doing what I do. The audience is just coming along for the ride. I think to have a really clear understanding of who I am as a person and what my strengths and weaknesses help me be genuine, and to be honest that’s all people want to see.

How did you build your brand to where it is now, take us through your process.

For the past 18 months, I’ve been posting videos every week on my YouTube channel. I love being consistent and mostly this hasn’t been a problem. There are times when I have to stop and think if the video I’m producing is simply a “filler” to get me through another week. I try very hard not to do that though. There is always plenty of fresh content and ideas to explore, but that’s why I go on road trips on a regular basis.

Everything I’ve done has been by myself, I have worked with other photographers who have been great for building my self-esteem and knowledge base as well. My brand is simply a reflection of me. I am a guy whose passion is nightscape photography, someone who enjoys inspiring others to see what I see when I’m out there under the stars.

My youtube channel has been steadily growing from the beginning but it really started to gain traction when I began posting weekly. I think that consistency is important and it forces me to be disciplined as well. I think having a fair niche and unique subject matter helped a lot.

As mentioned earlier, I’ve been a producer of content for years but mostly for other people. When I began my YouTube channel with the focus on what I love to do, it really took off, and I still love what I do up to this day. The video that really helped me along was not my best or favourite production but it seemed to resonate with the average person who wanted to try out this night photography thing with gear they already had. It was entitled. Nightscape Photography with a Standard Camera and Kit Lens. It’s still performing very well.

For someone who wants to get into content creation, what is your advice?

You have to be yourself and put yourself out there to be a content creator.

Make sure you are really passionate about the subject matter and don’t see it as a money-making exercise.

That will come as you get better at presenting what inspires and educates people. Your audience is out there but it’s not until they become your friends and you give something back to them that you’ll start to see success. Producing consistent content is hard work and you have to remain positive even when a video you think is your best work doesn’t seem to gain traction. Keep going anyway. 

Seek advice from people who you trust to give you honest feedback. Try new ideas, sometimes a slight change in direction is all you need to get back on the right track. Ask your audience what they’d like you to bring to them. Responding to every single comment that people leave, is a big one for me. This builds community more than any other single thing. People will support someone who they think cares about them.

How did you finally commit to X platform rather than your regular day job?

When I first gave up my 9-5 job there were no online platforms. I did it the hard way, by word of mouth, but I think that’s still the key to success. Let your audience recommend you to others. It’s a slow process but it will build momentum. I did all sorts of part-time creative work to keep the money rolling in but those were all stepping stones to where I am now.

Tell us your best milestones in being a content creator.

To be honest my greatest milestone in being a content creator is feeling free. My future is in my hands and that can be challenging. But if I grasp that with both hands and go for it, the sky is literally the limit.  I am quite happy to survive on whatever level of income I’m getting, especially when it gives me creative freedom to be the person I’m supposed to be. People have been kind to me but I’ve always tried to give back 110% with everything that I do.

What are your marketing strategies to grow your brand?

My marketing strategy is to be consistent, honest, loyal and friendly to everyone I meet either in person or online. I’ve never hired anyone to do marketing for me. I know myself better than anyone and I want the buck to stop with me. Lot’s of people have shared my content and I’m always happy to encourage those who are still learning by doing the same.

I talk a lot with other creators but being in Australia makes that a lot harder to do things in person. A large majority of my audience is overseas. I post to Facebook groups which are part of the nightscape photography community.

How do you handle brand deals and sponsorships? 

I am actually very wary of brand deals and sponsorships. I want people to see me as being completely unbiased when talking about equipment etc. The photography industry if full of people who are reviewing products that have been given to them for free.

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