We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael Baxter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michael, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I was the reluctant entrepreneur with no intention of starting a business. I left my last corporate job and was temporarily freelancing until I found the job I wanted. Here I am 17 years later so I figure this must be the job.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I entered the field of Commercial Photography during a period of transition from to film to digital, when the market was flooded with photographers. It was easy to enter the industry, but difficult to distinguish my work from so many others. I wanted to produce top tier work, but I didn’t have the knowledge or experience to do so. It became a process of trial and error, resulting in a lot of bad photos before I started getting good ones. It’s a tedious process, but self assignment paired with studying the work of others, can result in a whole new thing…your own style. I’ve learned a lot about business along the way, which is an easily neglected part of the craft.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We’d base the Valley tour around some of our best coffee houses. First we’d grab an early breakfast in Cave Creek then hit Janey’s Coffee House. After that it’s kayaking on Tempe Town Lakes, then lunch at the Cornish Pasty Co. Next it’s Lola Coffee downtown and a walk around the Irish Cultural Center and Japanese Friendship Garden. In the afternoon we would head over to Cartel Coffee, ride bikes around Old Town Scottsdale, then relax at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale. For dinner it would be one of the steak houses at South Mountain, followed by a drive up for a view of the city lights. If there was time the next day, we’d try to hit Gold Field and Joe’s Farm Grill, in the southeast valley, then maybe Topgolf. It may not be the “best time ever”, but fun nonetheless.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’m grateful for the support I was given. I thank God, my wife and parents, along with a lot of clients that helped give me a chance. I also appreciate the work of more experienced photographers, to help drive me to excellence.
© Baxter Imaging LLC