Featured Photographer: Sal Cincotta
February 1, 2011
How did you get started in photography?
I was exposed to photography at the age of 16. My aunt had a darkroom in the basement. Plus, when I was in high school and college, my girlfriend was a professional photographer. So, I got to assist on my first wedding at 18. Truth be told, I never saw myself becoming a professional photographer. I went on to business school and photography was more of a hobby for me.
Who have been your influences in photography?
Everyone! I love looking at photographers from all over the world. There are so many great artists out there and I love seeing the world through their eyes. It’s a great way to learn and grow.
How would you define your style of photography?
Our style is really whatever sells. :)
On a more serious note, our style is a blend of pj and posed moments. I love the pj type moments, but most of our clients gravitate to us because of our more romantic imagery. These are the images we see them buying in huge prints for their home.
What is one thing that has helped you grow your business?
Having graduated from business school, I would have to say our studio would not be where it is today without the deep understanding I have of running a successful business.
These are skills most artists lack and for good reason–they are artists. However, I think there is a certain amount of art in being an entrepreneur.
What is one thing that has helped you grow as an artist?
Without a doubt, you can never stop learning and growing. The moment you do, it’s all over.
In an industry with a never ending supply of competitors, you have to work hard at remaining relevant.
That’s why we love the WPPI. We attend every year and we come home with our heads spinning from all the new things we have learned and want to change in our business to take it to the next level.
What is one failure that helped you grow as a business person/artist?
I don’t know if I would call it a failure, but listening to your clients feedback and hearing what they are saying is very important to your growth, both as a person and a business.
Clients can be critical at times and they should be. Usually they are paying a lot of money for our services. Hear what they are saying and try not to take it personal. If there are valid complaints, concerns, etc., be sure to address them and make changes to your business as needed.
What is one piece of advice that you would give to a person that is in the first few years of their photography business?
Work hard on the fundamentals. If you start out with a weak foundation, you will struggle to find success. It’s the biggest mistake I see newbies make. They get a camera and some software and they are off to the races. They are a “professional”!
Nothing could be further from the truth and they soon realize this as they struggle to make ends meet.
Invest in learning how to run a successful business and it will be much easier to find long term success for you and your studio.
Need help with your business? Check out Behind the Shutter, a complete business solution.
Need some extra fun in Vegas during WPPI? Join the workshop.
Valley of Fire workshop on February 23 during WPPI in Vegas.