Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nikki D'Amato, founder of NIKKI DAMATO PHOTOGRAPHY, located in Burnaby, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a photographer based out of the lower mainland in Beautiful British Columbia. A large part of my clientele base happens to be in the food and beverage industry, So lots of product and lifestyle photography. However, I also work on many other projects… There is always something exciting coming my way! I love to stay open to opportunities and keep that creative flow going.
Tell us about yourself
I was born and raised in an Italian family, back and forth between these two beautiful countries since before I could even realize how blessed I truly was to have such a beautiful, loving family. My parents were and are an incredibly large part of how and who I became the person that I am today. I put so much gratitude into them. There will never be enough words to explain that gratitude for the immense support over the years. As I grew up, I spent a lot of time with my lovely Nonna and Nonno while mom and dad were at work. So I gained a lot of love and knowledge from the two of them as well, which is where my photo journey begins. Nonno was the photographer and videographer of the family. I will never forget the library with all the books with the "cool pictures" and the cameras.. the lenses. The slides. It was all so interesting.
The first camera I was gifted was the "tomato." Red as can be - tomato symbol on the front. It was perfect. Slowly I started taking charge of the video camera on camping trips.. (let's just say there was a whole lot of unnecessary footage from that eight-year-old me) went from the film cameras and working in the darkroom in high school - to the super-compact digital cameras. Snapping thousands of photos at any chance I got.
I then graduated high school with Advanced placement photography under my belt and eventually went to post-secondary and got my photography certificate. Been focusing on my art professionally ever since!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment would be the support to and from other small businesses. The network and connections I have made over the years are something incredibly special that I will cherish for many, many years to come.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Making the tough decisions, whether that be to turn down work if it's not following your "path" or when you are feeling the burn out - No one can say no for you. When you get a hold of how things work, how to converse with people on a professional level, and to stay true to your morals and feelings in your craft, everything will just flow.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Follow your heart! Stay true to yourself.
- Everyone makes mistakes, and you won't learn how to navigate these mistakes if you put too much pressure on yourself for perfection.
- You will never accomplish your goals if you just talk about them. Take action, prove to yourself that you can take the plunge.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Support! You need to have a good support system, whether that be friends/ family/ or even an online group, to bump ideas off. It's really powerful when you are able to share your experiences and excitement with people that you care about.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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