Year founded: 1994
Headquarters: Seattle, Wash.
President: Keith Williams
Those who attend Northwest MSDC events may recognize Keith Williams as the man behind the lens, documenting each occasion as the Northwest MSDC’s official photographer. Williams is the sole proprietor of Flyright Productions, a Seattle-based photo and video studio. He works with individuals, community groups, and corporations. Until the end of September, he maintained studio space in the Capitol Hill/Central District area of town.
How did you start Flyright Productions?
I graduated from The Evergreen State College with a degree in communications. My focus was on video and photography. When I got out of school I couldn’t get a job doing what I wanted to do, so I took another job and took photographs on the side, on weekends. In 1994, I decided to open up a storefront. I had no computer and the minimum amount of equipment that I needed. I wanted to get out of freelance photographer mode and be more of a studio-based, community-based business. I hoped to start something in this community as a historian. I documented events at the churches, events for the NAACP, civil rights. My original business plan was to create positive images of African-American people in the community. At one point I had a lab and a darkroom. I was probably one of the only African-Americans in the city with a lab. I started with film but switched over to digital in 2004.
Who are your clients?
I’ve done work with Sound Transit, construction companies like Turner Construction Company, the city, and the county. My specialty is people—but I’ve done the whole spectrum, a little bit of everything.
What is your involvement with Northwest MSDC?
I joined the MSDC in 1998. My current main focus is doing all their events. The other MBEs see me doing these events but they don’t see everything I can do, so making more connections through the Council will be one of my focuses through the upcoming year. Fernando has been phenomenal in supporting me not only with jobs for the Council but also with his business knowledge.
Why did you close your studio?
People were not coming into the studio and doing the events they used to. I can count the number of people who’ve come in here over the past few months on one hand and still have fingers left over. I plan to start a mobile unit that’s equipped with computers, printers, and lighting.
Where do you see Flyright going?
I don’t want to give the impression that I’m going out of business—my focus is to do more activities that don’t require studio space; more activities where the backdrop is more relevant to my customers. I’ve got all the equipment to do professional work but from a van. I’m making a transition from a physical area to being more versatile. I advertise on three radio stations and in a couple of weekly newspapers but I’ve gotten most of my work through word of mouth. I’d appreciate any referrals—not just local, but national as well. In 20 years, I’ve established a reputation. When I go to events, people have heard the name Flyright.