Business Trends
Working Digitally– The Business Side; Pro Advice From Hermann + Starke

Herrmann + Starke ( began working digitally in 1994 and by '97 stopped shooting film entirely. They have specialized in producing still life and lifestyle photography for advertising and have won many awards for their work. They also give seminars at programs such as Photo Pro Expo, the HOW Design Conference, PhotoPlus Expo, the PhotoImaging and Design Expo, and numerous graphic arts-related organizations. In addition, they write articles for photo and design magazines (e.g., Photo District News, Pix, Digital Photo Pro, and Japan's I magazine) and are members of the Olympus Visionaries program, American Society of Media Photographers, and Editorial Photographers.

Self promotional piece for Herrmann + Starke, LLC.
© Herrmann + Starke LLC,, 2005

I met Judy Herrmann and Mike Starke of Herrmann + Starke digital photography on the PhotoPlus Expo conference circuit and on my own workshop tour. Their topic at the time was "Going Digital--The Business Side." When I contacted them for an "update," they graciously agreed to this interview.

Shutterbug: Regarding digital photography, describe how you think marketing with this technology fits into today's commercial and/or consumer photography business.

Mike Starke: How doesn't it? Whether you like it or not, digital technology is part of doing business today. The hard part is making it profitable.

(Left) Advertisement for Ruth Shaw, an upscale boutique in Baltimore, Maryland.
(Right) Portrait of Baltimore socialite, Ellen Macks, for "Paper Doll" magazine.
© Herrmann + Starke LLC,, 2005

Judy Herrmann: The market has become increasingly competitive and we've found that the more we bring to the table, the better our clients feel about working with us. By taking the time to really master digital capture and imaging techniques, we've been able to fully exploit the advantages of this medium to produce better images more quickly.