We had the good fortune of connecting with Daniel Motta and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Daniel, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
To be fully honest, I never expected that I would have a career as a working photographer. I’ve always been a creative, and how I became a photographer is a really cool story of how we’re led to our purpose. Originally, from the time I was a young kid I’ve always had a passion for playing music. I wanted to be a musician so bad. Throughout my 20’s I played in many bands while working at a local automotive shop to pay my bills. I’ve always been a hard worker, and for the longest time I’ve wanted to start my own business, but didn’t know how or what I would do. Unfortunately, after 10 years of working as a manager I was let go from my job. I panicked like anyone would, and wanted to find a way to where I could make some quick cash while I was looking for another job. I had a good friend that was a professional wedding photographer by the name of Randall Stewart. We met a long time ago through friends of friends and basically clicked because of all our enjoyment through music. In our conversations we always spoke how photography and music could somehow be tied together. You just have to see the pattern of how they connect. When I was let go, he was the person I made the call to asking for help, and he took me under his wing without hesitation. I learned so many things, and my sales background at the shop would help provide my foundation of my understanding of business. It felt like I was learning an instrument all over again, except this time I learned to use my eyes and not my ears. That pretty much did it for me, I was hooked. When you’re hungry, and want to learn you can accomplish anything you’ve ever dreamed of, you just have to be willing to want it and work hard. Fast forward to today, I’ve been in business for roughly 10 years. It’s crazy to think about, but if you rewind time I was exactly at the place where I was supposed to be. I never realized it at the time though. The thought process came later after shooting for roughly 4 years, it took a long time to really understand the art of photography, which I’m still learning to this day. Once my schedule started getting full I knew I could do it, and that gave me the confidence to be able to push forward into the start of my new career.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Over the years I’ve dabbled in a lot of different genres of photography. I can shoot a lot of different styles! But my specialty or what people hire me the most for is portraiture, headshots and commercial work. Portraiture can cover many things, from editorials, commercial and advertising, and families etc. My background started in shooting weddings, which can definitely be a lot of pressure, especially in the beginning. You have to know how to light, and anticipate when moments are going to happen as well as the many different images you need to capture. I was lucky in the sense that I had a mentor to show me the ropes. I learned how to talk to people, to go with the flow, and how price and handle pressure. Weddings weren’t the end for me, later down the road I realized that I like a controlled environment as I can put all my attention into my client. I’m most passionate about making people feel good about themselves. I love people, and thats the best thing about my line of work is that I get to work with different people and personalities! Getting to this point wasn’t easy by any means, when you’re in business, photography is only one aspect. I never had a mother growing up so I learned a lot from Sue Bryce, and Jerry Ghionis from their education programs. They taught me how to light, pose, expressions, face shapes, how to communicate with male and female clients and over all the traits that would make a great image. There are many other factors that go along with running a business, like SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Client management software, and your portfolio displayed on a website. I always wondered how a new photographer could gain clients, so I dove into SEO and learned a lot from Rob Greer who is also a photographer/SEO guru. Thats really when the phone started ringing because people were finding my work through Google, along with reviews from past clients. In conclusion, I can say that I’m a testament to success, as someone that never really had the confidence, nor the natural ability. Never stop learning and always strive to be better than you were yesterday, and I promise you if you work hard, you can achieve anything!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Personally, Britty (my wife) and I love to go out to Legacy West, that whole area has blossomed! There are a ton of restaurants as well as places to go shop, they even have a food court section that is not your typical like going to the mall. One of our favorite places to eat is Velvet Taco! Originally, we would always head out to there Dallas location but after finding out they have a location in Frisco, it was a double win for us!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Randall Stewart, he’s the guy who if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I learned a LOT from my photography idols like Sue Bryce, Gerry Ghionis, those are my top two!
Josh Phillips (For my profile photo)