“Images help build relationships. You need to have a balance between being a superhero and being relatable.”
For this Over A Pint, Andrew heads outside of the real estate industry and sits down with John DeMato, a branded lifestyle, portrait photographer and virtual photographer. John works with speakers, trainers, experts of all different kinds, and business owners looking to create an emotional connection with their audience through “persuasive visual storytelling.”
John talks about creating a balance between content that positions the client as the authority in the space of their expertise. A combination of powerful images, whether in person or online, and mixing that with a look behind-the-scenes. Showing your day-to-day and process into becoming that industry authority.
When the pandemic hit, John quickly pivoted to virtual photography while he was sick with the virus.
Below, Andrew and John discuss photography during COVID, John’s professional journey up to now, and more.
How did you develop the idea to start doing virtual photography, and how did you execute it so quickly?
The idea came to me while I was sick with COVID and feeling terrible. I watched a national speaker association event for the New York City chapter online, which I’m a photography sponsor for. It was during that event that I thought I could feel useful again and do something. So I grabbed my camera, and while I’m slumped in the chair, I started snapping away. Pleasantly surprised at how the images turned out, I shot the rest of the two-hour program and posted about it on social the following day, tagging all speakers and participants. The responses were so positive that I knew I was on to something! But mainly, I was just happy to feel useful and more like myself again.
How did you develop your specific niche and messaging as a photographer?
So, once upon a time, I worked in the television industry, and I was ready to jump out of a window based on the monotony of getting burned out by doing the same thing for nine years. And my initial thought was, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. I don’t want to own a business, but I ultimately concluded that I’m not doing something that’s lighting me up inside and fulfilling creatively.
I started just as a headshot photographer, but again it didn’t creatively satisfy me. Ultimately, I searched for other stuff, and I found every photographer that inspired me and tried to emulate them. However, I had no clients to start with, except for one. My one client was someone I met about four years ago. She met me at an event that I was photographing and hired me to take some photos to promote her book. And it was during that conversation. And during that shoot that I realized between her, her husband, there was a team and myself that I could do this for many more people. I can package this thing and gear it towards experts. People who put out people who have content, a lot of intellectual property that needs to be promoted, and it was born from there. And then, over these past four years, various iterations and refinement have happened over time. And the way that only in the way that I present it to people, but also in the way that I create the experience for, for the client in terms of how to maximize the value of the session. Yeah. Like the one that I liked, I found interesting, cause I haven’t ever seen another photographer do it, that you have like a, basically like a monthly subscription plan that is not necessarily cheap
Want to connect with John? Visit his website here.