For some artists, a picture is worth a thousand words — for others, that picture could ignite their career.
On Sunday, Nick Fancher, Columbus-based portrait photographer and Ohio State alumnus, will shoot $50 headshots at Wild Goose Creative to give artists an affordable start to their career.
“A big part of being an emerging artist is getting your name and brand and professional presence into the community,” said Justin Johnson, executive director of Wild Goose and 2014 OSU alumnus with a doctoral degree in musical arts. “Having a professional quality headshot helps establish and legitimize you as an artist.”
Johnson said he chose Fancher for the job because he regards the photographer as one of the best in Columbus.
However, Fancher said it was not always that way.
“It’s not an easy path I had to take but I’m grateful for where I’m at now,” Fancher said. “I’m at a better place (now) than I was yesterday.”
Fancher graduated from Ohio State in 2005 with a degree in fine art photography but it wasn’t until his senior year that he said he realized he had chosen the wrong degree.
Fine art photography focused more on the presentation and history of art, instead of teaching him how to run a business, which was the reason why Fancher said he got into photography in the first place.
“In hindsight, I should have just taken the (debt) hit and gone to a school in New York where I would learn under the people who were doing what I wanted to do,” Fancher said.
However, after meeting his wife and starting a family, Fancher said he had already established roots in Columbus.
“I was like okay, now I’m living here and now I’ll make my own path,” Fancher said. “If I still want to do what I wanted to do from the beginning, I’m going to have to make it on my own.”
Fancher started his own business in 2007, shooting photographs from his basement or on location, all while working part-time as a Starbucks barista. It was not until two years later that he said he had the resources to quit Starbucks and photograph full time.
Since then, Fancher has been shooting commercial and editorial photography for himself and his clients, settling into his own studio in 2016, he said.
“I’m shooting almost every day, whether it’s for a client or on my own. Like last year I think I did about 200 shoots,” Fancher said. “There’s been some jobs that I’ve had that haven’t been particularly fun, but if I find myself complaining I remind myself that this is how I can keep doing what I do.”
Most of Fancher’s work consists of intentionally manipulating light to create portraits of people, some of which were featured in Wild Goose Creative’s gallery.
“He’s not only a great artist, he’s a great person to have in the community and is very generous with his time,” Johnson said. “We’ve always enjoyed working with him.”
Headshots will be first come first serve at Wild Goose Creative, located at 2491 Summit St. from 10 a.m. to noon Johnston said if there is a long enough line, artists can put their name on a 30-minute wait-list.