Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Cesare Bonazza, Photographer of Chezaray Photography, located in Las Vegas, NV, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We create intentional branding photography for professionals, business leaders, and entrepreneurs who want to boost their visibility and establish or reinforce their credibility.
Tell us about yourself
I am a life-long globetrotter. That's the best way to describe me, Cesare Bonazza. From my early beginnings, I have always had a love for traveling the world. My official career as a professional journalist began in 1979 when I found myself on the war front photographing the killing fields of El Salvador, and later the political crisis of Romania, and the ravaging Kurdistan rebellion against the Khomeini regime in Iran. After earning several covers in major international newspapers and magazines for my emotionally provocative coverage, combat and warfare images began to take their toll. I decided it was time to turn my focus to a less volatile form of photojournalism. I felt the urge to expand my knowledge of the craft and flex my creative muscles. I decided to head to North America, where I began freelancing in Los Angeles, photographing a range of subjects from high fashion to off-beat features and everything in between. Since my humble beginnings, I have been recognized and published internationally. My celebrity magazine spreads and home layout stories have been featured in numerous publications worldwide. Since then, I have made another major shift focusing on luxe, high-end portraiture, specifically headshot, business lifestyle, and branding photography.
I truly enjoy and take the time to create a story around the people in front of my lens. I find that I love on-location portraiture because it's an extremely creative and artistic outlet for me. It gives me the ultimate sense of accomplishment, and I am committed to making sure my clients receive more than they expect. My goal is to create an excellent reputation as a portrait artist for discriminating individuals who value and appreciate a strong image, one that speaks volumes. In a sentence, I help empower business professionals to take it to the next level by creating modern images that evoke confidence, authenticity, and knowledge in an approachable yet friendly style. The transition from photographing actors up close and personal to photographing entrepreneurs, business people, and executives was a naturally smooth one – after all, people are just people. Although I still photograph a celebrity whenever a magazine sends a request. I have found a terrific photographic genre that clicks with my personality. Most importantly, it suits me and my family's lifestyle.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I have managed to weather quite a few storms, from first coming to America speaking no English and then becoming a published photographer worldwide to opening my own studio. I feel my biggest accomplishment is being able to say I have been able to work at my passion my whole life while having a good life and a great family to show for it.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I think the hardest things about being a business owner are the ups and downs of the market, staying ahead of the technology curve, and staying relevant in the industry.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
I would say to start, be prepared for a path of hard work, perseverance, and oftentimes sleepless nights. Next, look for a successful mentor to help guide you along the way. Lastly, be mindful of your work/life balance. After all your hard work, you want to be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor and not regret having sacrificed one for the other.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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