Editors note: This week’s Q&A will be a collaboration with the husband-and-wife team of Frank Haxton and Becky Murway of Digiman Studio.
Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about Digiman Studio and the duties of your positions.
Frank Haxton: I started Digiman in 2000. The company provides videography and photography services for business advertising, print, broadcast, Web, etc. A while back, we added video services which has become 50 percent of our business. We shoot many business and destination showcases as well as client testimonial videos.
Becky Murway: Video is so important these days for social media and getting your word out there; people would rather watch a quick video than read through a bunch of copy. Our product and company overview videos showcase what your company does and what it stands for. We’re really trying to get the word out about the video side of our business because a lot of people don’t even know we provide video services. Our photography services include everything from food, product, architecture, editorial and people.
Haxton: I’m the lead photographer. Becky also does photography and the majority of the editing/imaging. We both collaborate really well on the creative aspects of every shoot.
Murway: I came back to the company last year after an eight-year stint in the corporate advertising world. I’ve been getting familiar with the business side, so we can be interchangeable. Being in charge of marketing/business development and our social media initiatives has been fun for me.
NNBW: What is a normal week like for you?
Haxton: A normal week for us is pretty fun. Last week, we were photographing machines that turn steam into power. We shot beautiful food at Wild River Grille, a TV commercial for a local landscaping company, photographed many locations around Reno for a national brand and a few executive portraits back at the studio. We usually have very diverse weeks, which is one reason why we love what we do.
How did you get into the profession?
Haxton: I started in photography 30 years ago as a kid. I’ve only had one job — photography — my whole life. It’s taken me to places like Brazil, Singapore, Europe, Boston, Utah, etc. It’s really interesting. People will find this little company in Reno and ask to go to all over the world.
Murway: I always had a passion for photography. My dad gave me my first camera and provided me with a space to practice lighting. I started working with Frank right out of high school for three years as his studio manager. Then I had an opportunity to work as the photographer for Skagen Designs, an international watch and lifestyle brand and then went on to be the advertising manager at Peppermill Resort Spa Casino. It was cool to work in the corporate world, it provided me with the structure and experience that I now bring to the company.
Haxton: We were able to bring Becky back into Digiman after 10 years. She knew how I work and what the business was like so it was a smooth transition.
NNBW: Why did you name the company Digiman?
Haxton: When I started out, I was Frank Haxton Photography. But then I started thinking about the bigger picture. Back in 2000, when digital was emerging, I wanted to be the digital go-to guy. I built a studio based on the amazing work we produce as a company; its not just about me. When you hire Digiman Studio, no matter who is at the shoot, you know you will love the results. It was a clever name that stuck in everyone’s head. Now, when I walk around town, people may not remember Frank, but they do remember Digiman.
NNBW: What one thing you’ve learned that makes your business successful?
Haxton: We offer creative product in a variety of different areas at an affordable price. Businesses come to us for the quality of creative services and because they enjoy working with us.
Murway: We have positioned ourselves in such a way that we work with clients that are appropriate for us. We have a lot of direct business–to business clients. It’s a great partnership. We get to totally collaborate with them and they can trust us and our expertise.
NNBW: What’s the most fun you had on the job?
Haxton: I was able to go to Brazil and shoot swimsuit models. We shot on Copacabana Beach. Plus, being able to work with my wife and do these crazy assignments is pretty rewarding.
Murway: It’s hard to pinpoint one thing. The field we work in is not a job where we sit and do the same thing from day-to-day. I love using my talent and experience everyday to help our clients better succeed in their own businesses.
NNBW: What was your first job?
Haxton: My first job was working at San Francisco City Hall loading cameras for another photographer.
Murway: I actually started out at Digiman in 2003. I was the studio manager for three years and Frank taught me everything I needed to know to have my own career in photography.
NNBW: How do you spend your time away from work?
Haxton: We have a 17-month-old son and love spending time with him. We also love to travel and see the world as much as we can.
Murway: We’re really outdoorsy kind of people (interested in) hiking, biking and beach time!
NNBW: Do you have a favorite vacation spot?
Haxton and Murway: Anywhere with a beach. Actually, we have spent a lot of time in Santa Cruz. And, we do love to cruise to the Caribbean.
NNBW: If you could live your life over again, is there one thing you would change?
Haxton: I think I would live my life the same. People have always said ‘You’ve got to look out for what’s coming around the corner.’ But, I’m just not that guy, I’m like ‘What’s coming around the corner? Let’s find it!’
Murway: You can’t live with regrets. Frank has been a great influence in my life because he is an eternal optimist. You could tell him anything and he’ll have a positive spin on it. That has worn off on me.
NNBW: What did you dream becoming when you were kids?
Murway: At one point I thought I would be a teacher. I had a younger brother and I was always forcing him to play school. However, my dad was nurturing my photography career before I realized I would have one. And I had an amazing mentor Susan Taylor in high school who fueled my passion.
Haxton: I knew very early on I was going to be in photography. I was good at it, although music was a passion of mine. I started off in portraiture and then transitioned into advertising. I also had an amazing mentor called Geoffrey Nelson who I apprenticed under.
NNBW: If you had enough money to retire right now, would you? Why or why not?
Murway: I don’t think Frank will ever retire. Personally, I need that creativity and interaction with people and just thriving business life to keep me happy.
Haxton: As long as we can continue to get interesting work, why hang it up? When it’s no longer fun and it becomes work, then that’s when I’ll retire. Somebody told me they need to offer classes in retirement, because I haven’t met anybody yet who has really retired well.
NNBW: Last concert or sporting event attend?
Haxton: We love Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers. (formerly the The Refreshments). We have been to around 30 shows including a couple of trips to Mexico to see them.
Murway: We kind of follow them around. We were like groupies. (laughs).
NNBW: Why did you choose a career in Northern Nevada? What do you like about living and working here?
Murway: My family moved up here from California. The Northridge earthquake happened in 1994 and pretty much destroyed the houses we were living in. We had vacationed in Tahoe and knew it was a beautiful area so we moved up here. I love it here. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else!
Haxton: I moved here in 1995 after having a successful studio in the Silicon Valley. I moved here to be closer to family and found I loved it here.
Know someone who would be good candidate for NNBW’s question-and-answer segment? Contact Reporter Duane Johnson at 775-850-2147 or email him at email@example.com.