Today we’d like to introduce you to Daniel Rivas.
Hi Daniel, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I am the owner/photographer of Daniel Rivas Photography located in the city of Lancaster.
I started my career as a professional photographer in 1980. Yes, I have had a long career as a photographer and it continues to grow. I have been very fortunate to meet great photographers and businessmen that have helped me during my career and in return, I have helped their businesses grow. Here is that story.
I started my interest in photography in my senior year of high school and then took every photography class offered at my community college in East Los Angeles. From then on, I loved photographing people.
I met a wedding photographer, Ray Belis from Montebello, at a family wedding who happened to be looking for an apprentice. He showed me how to run a photography studio and how to photograph weddings. This was a great help in getting my career going. I worked for him for about a year.
The next step was getting busier and learning what other photographers did in their businesses. I started offering photography services on my own on a very small scale and worked for two other photography studios as a contracted photographer for weddings. Whoever contacted me first got my services. I kept pretty busy with one studio in West Covina. Dottie and Joel Constance were the owners of the studio and boy did they know how to keep their studio busy. At the time, they had about 15 photographers on their staff. I continued with them for about 3 years.
In 1983, I decided to become a full-time photographer. I started working for Jan Gerstel as a staff photographer in Studio City. The studio specialized in children’s portraits and was less than 6 months running. I was able to bring with me the knowledge I had collected in the previous years to get the studio moving and growing. I soon became the manager and main photographer of the studio. We were a promotional studio. We offered great rates and excellent children’s portraits that the San Fernando Valley and beyond came to love. People came from the South Bay area, Orange County, Ventura County, Antelope Valley and some from out of state. Our clients would return to us for every gift idea during the year. We would see clients at least four times per year depending on how many children they had and they would return year after year. We saw 100’s of children grow up. These little children would come in and know my name. I always had the thought that if the children liked me the parents would bring them back and they did. We were busy 7 days a week for 8 hours a day doing studio portraits of children and their families. As the children got older and became of age to become a Bar/Bat Mitzvah I decided to learn how to photograph a Mitzvah and learned the traditions of this type of event. Before I started doing Bar/Bat Mitzvahs I was doing wedding photography for this studio, but as these children grew older, I started photographing more Bar/Bat Mitzvahs than weddings which was great. Being asked to photograph such an important event for children that I started photographing when they were babies is awesome. To this day, I am still photographing weddings for some of these children (well adults now, haha). The recession in 2008 did change things quite a bit for me. So after a lot of thinking, I decided to make a huge change in my business of photography.
In 2008 I started Daniel Rivas Photography. I am a home-based business and located in Lancaster. I am a one-man business. My wife, Maria, who has been with me and backing my career since 1980 (before if you want to count high school) helps me when I am in bridal shows. I lowered my overhead and passed on lower rates to my clients. I stay very busy with events such as Weddings, Sweet Sixteens, Quinceaneras, Anniversaries and Bar/Bat Mitzvahs.
I have always believed if I offer great service and excellent photography at a good rate to my clients, they will choose my services and be happy they did. I have repeat clients and I love that. I love being the family photographer whenever they need me. I have been fortunate to have had such a long career with something I enjoy doing and I thank my clients for that.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
There were some hard times. The hardest was getting through the recession of 2008. People just weren’t spending as they had before. A big change had to be made then. This change was great for me and my clients.
We’ve been impressed with Daniel Rivas Photography, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Daniel Rivas Photography was set up not to become rich but to help my clients. It was set up during a recession and I lowered rates to help clients get quality photography and service at affordable rates. Some clients show their surprise when they ask me for a certain product which I do offer, but then I show them that they don’t have to buy products from me and this will save them hundreds of dollars because with my service in most cases, they get digital files and shared copyright. They love that.
I specialize in event photography such as Weddings, Sweet Sixteens, Quinceaneras, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Corporate events, Portraits of all kinds including engagements, maternity, family, children and business. I will tell you honestly if what you need I don’t do or haven’t done in many years. I want clients to have the best.
What sets me apart from others and what am I most proud of in my brand? I think the above says a lot about how I run my business. I won’t try to get rich from one client. I will direct you to get the best deal from my services. I want my clients to get the best I can offer.
I hope to be able to continue to offer great service and excellent photography to my clients. I love what I do and that is very important when it comes to helping clients with very special events in their lives.
- Events starting at $950
- Portraits starting at $250
- Website: www.danielrivas.net
Daniel Rivas Photography