Today we’d like to introduce you to Dominic Briones.
Dominic, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I actually have a somewhat unique story on how I got into photography and fell in love with taking photos. I worked as a model going through college. I worked for companies like Levi’s, Banana Republic, Macys, Verizon, Gap, Men’s Wearhouse, and more (I’m from San Francisco, CA). I was never the best looking model in the world or the most in shape model, but I was always the most personable model on set and I loved talking with new people. I make friends very easily and I love hearing about other people’s story. Because of this, I enjoyed talking with the crew on set more than the other models who were busy taking selfies and hitting on each other 🙂 . Instead, I enjoyed talking with the artistic directors, the casting directors, and especially the photographers! Long story short, I slowly befriended the photographers and editors on set and picked up an interest in their art. Together, the photographers and I would help each other out and toss around ideas that would make the shoots run smoother and more efficient. Instead of taking 15 shots per day like the other models, I was getting through 40-50 looks per day. Not only did this keep me as the most sought after model for the clients (as I saved them money), but it also made me fall in love with photography as I got to know more about the art. I soon picked up my own camera (a Pentax) and quickly thereafter started shooting headshots and portraits.
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?
No, it has not been a smooth road at all. It is never a smooth road when trying to build a business, especially as an artist. There has been lost photos due to corrupt cards, last minute cancellations, devaluing of photography in general due to new technologies, and most of all the learning curve with running your own business. Just because you can take amazing photos does not mean you know how to market a business, keep your books (accounting), know how to reinvest, and run your own HR department (hiring/firing). You never really know all the intricacies of entrepreneurship until you experience it for yourself. My story is no different! Slowly, through self-education (reading a ton of books, watching videos, online courses) I have learned to successfully run my own business and I now understand that there is no substitution for experience!
Please tell us about Dominic Phillip Photography.
I am a photographer first and foremost. I love taking photos and have a passion for making people look and feel beautiful. I specialize in wedding photography and portrait work and really enjoy being around couples that are truly in love. I am known for my connection with my clients and have a talent for making people feel very comfortable in front of my camera. There are a lot of amazing photographers out there, especially in Southern California, but my unique skill is my ability to connect with people and understand what it’s like to be in front of the camera. In wedding and portrait photography, 80-90% of the clients have never had a photo shoot before and have little to no experience with a professional photographer.
For this reason, we cannot expect them to be comfortable or know what to do in front of a camera. Through my guidance, communication, and demonstration I guide them to feel (and look) natural, emotional, and beautiful. I don’t just capture pictures, I capture emotions. That’s also not just a tag line, that’s my business model.
I also expanded my business and I have a sector that specialized in photo booths! I own several photo booths and love the industry. I offer my photo booth packages (which have gif features, video feature, photo strips, real-time online sharing, and VIP red carpet/red velvet rope) to all my weddings and have expanded to corporate events, birthdays, and really to anyone looking to remember their party with a fun photo experience. I love my photo booth business because it’s centered around fun, and everyone that leaves the booth leaves with a small memory that they’ll have up on their fridge for the future.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Wow, this is a hard one. I actually love to play basketball and played at a high level all the way through college. Some of my favorite memories are actually shooting hoops on a hot summer night in front of my childhood house. Many times it’s with my dad, neighbors, and friends. I can remember the smell of summer and being outside just playing and having fun until my mom would force us in for dinner.
- Wedding packages starting at just $1,699
- Photo booth packages starting at just $399
- Website: www.DominicPhillipPhotography.com
- Phone: (949) 216-0235
- Email: Info@DominicPhillipPhotography.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dominicphillipphoto/
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/dominic-phillip-photography-orange-county
Photos By Dominic Phillip Photography