Today we’d like to introduce you to Daniel Rivas.
Daniel, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I became interested in photography while taking a photography class in High School. I bought my first 35mm camera and started learning. My main subjects were my girlfriend, who is now my wife, and the track team, which I was a member. I would photograph the team and make prints and give them to my teammates. I found myself interested in photographing people. I continued taking photography courses at East Los Angeles Community College.
In 1980. when I was 20 I introduced myself to a wedding photographer at a family wedding. This was the big moment for me. Ray Belis of Belis Photography was talented and a good businessman. He showed me how to manage a wedding and how to run a business. I owe him a lot. I worked for him for about a year on a contract basis.
I then started to expand my contract photographer business and worked for 3 studios photographing weddings.
The next big move for me was to start doing photography full-time. In 1983, I started working full-time for a portrait studio in the San Fernando Valley called The Picture Place. We specialized in photographing children. The studio had just opened its doors 6 months before I started. I started to implement the ideas and business marketing I had learned in the past. It was hard for a few years, but we saw the business growing each year. I had built a studio that photographed clients every half hour 6-7 days a week. The studio was a volume business with great monthly specials which brought the same clients in multiple times a year. I loved watching the babies grow up from newborns to teenagers to adults. When these kids grew up I photographed many of their weddings and then their children. It was like a small town business in a big city.
In 2002, I decided to open my own studio. It was difficult with the recession going on at the time, I have been able to keep business coming by setting up my business to have very reasonable rates with excellent quality and service. My clients are very comfortable with me knowing that I will give them my best, therefore recommending to their family and friends.
I have gone from shooting with 35mm and medium format cameras to shooting with digital cameras. There have been many changes in the business, but through it all I love what I do and I’m so grateful it is all possible.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
For the most part it has been smooth. I have been fortunate to have had great clients. They have loved what I do for them and continue to return and recommend their family and friends.
The hardest part was being able to wait through the few years it took to really being successful with our goal. But I knew we had a great product and it would just take time.
The recession and the advancement of digital photography happening at the same time was a tough time. I had to change my business plan at that point and it has helped quite a bit. My mission statement has always been to help my clients the best I know how and to do it at the best rate I could offer. That continues to be my mission statement, but I have dug a little deeper to help even more.
Daniel Rivas Photography – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Daniel Rivas Photography was created to help people get great memories for the future. When people have to settle for “that’s good enough” and don’t hire a professional, I think that’s sad. Your memories are all you have when you get older and to not have them documented professionally is a big mistake. I love that when I offer a service, whether it is event photography or portraits, it is usually within most budgets.
I love photographing events such as Weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Quinceaneras, Sweet 16’s and Anniversaries. I love capturing the moments of an event that maybe the family didn’t see, but they get to feel the emotion later while looking at the images I created for them.
Photographing children has always been rewarding. Being able to have a child smile at just the right moment is a great feeling. Not all children like being photographed, but in my career, I have found ways to have them enjoy the experience. The parents have always shown appreciation which is great as well.
I’m not sure what sets me apart from others, but all that matters to me is that when I finish with my client’s service they have always been very pleased with the service and photography. I see many articles on “How to handle a bad review online”. I’m happy to say in the 37 years I have been in this business I have never had to handle a bad review online or in-person before the internet. That is my goal and I usually accomplish it by always giving more than they expect.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Being able to not only survive this long, but to help so many clients and watch their families grow. I love what I do and I’m glad I can support my family doing what I love.
- Event Photography Packages staring at $800.00
- Portrait Sessions (In Studio or On Location) for $200
- Address: 42912 19th Street West
Lancaster, CA 93534
- Website: www.danielrivas.net
- Phone: 661.618.6557
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/daniel_rivas_photography/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/daniel.rivas.photography/
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/daniel-rivas-photography-lancaster
Daniel Rivas Photography