Over a Pint with John DeMato

Oct 5, 2020

“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 from the monotony of doing the same thing for nine years. I didn’t know what I was doing with my career, and I didn’t want to own a business, but I ultimately concluded that I wasn’t doing something that was lighting me up inside and fulfilling me creatively.

I started my venture as a headshot photographer, but again it didn’t satisfy me creatively. So I started searching for other options, and I found every photographer that inspired me and tried to emulate them. However, I had no clients, to begin 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. During that conversation and during that shoot, I realized I could package this idea and gear it towards experts who have a lot of intellectual property that needs to be promoted.

Over these past four years, various iterations and refinements have happened to my business, mainly how I create the experience for my clients and maximize the value of a session. 

Watch the video above to find out more!


Want to connect with John? Visit his website here.

You can also catch this episode on Youtube or listen to the podcast here!

Got any topics you’d like us to cover in a future episode or a guest you’d like us to sit down with? Let us know in the comments below! You can also reach us on Facebook and Instagram.