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Meet Downtown LA Photographer: Anthony Mongiello

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anthony Mongiello.

Anthony, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Had a girlfriend who needed headshots and coerced me into taking them for her and I used her camera to do it. I wasn’t good at shooting people at the time so I had to go to a library (age alert!) and read books on how portraits are done. Fast Forward 13 years and 8000 people’s headshots later and now it’s my life.

Has it been a smooth road?
There were times where I hated the result of my client’s photos! When that first started happening I wanted to run away and quit. Artistic failure hurts worse for me than academic or financial failure. I think It’s because it’s so personal and with portraits you’ve hurt two egos when you fail. What I’ve learned along the way is that failure does happen, sometimes not at first but eventually you’re going to not achieve what you set out to achieve for any number of reasons. It’s best to just put that behind you when it happens and try again. If I didn’t do just that I wouldn’t be doing this today. Now I just give free reshoots if someone’s not happy for any reason and that takes a lot of pressure of some of my client’s who might be starving actors and can’t afford a redo if things go wrong.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
Shooting the Fido Friendly cover with Omar Millar and Eva LaRue. They were a real pleasure to work with and so kind, helpful, and gracious. They did everything they could to help me make a great magazine cover.

Tell us more about the struggles you’ve faced along the way.
Sometimes I would look at shoots and be mortified with the results. They seemed to look fine on the back of the camera but when I get them home and look at them objectively the lighting was bad or the color was way off and seemed unfixable. This always makes me think I’m not doing enough to make sure I’m worth the money people are paying. It feels awful and it makes me want to give up. As time has gone by I have learned to fix almost anything with photoshop so I can feel better about the final result. But even if it’s presentable with the final retouching it makes the client feel a lot better if they look good right out of the camera. And that’s what I strive for.

What’s your outlook for the industry in our city?
Los Angeles is the best place for portraits maybe in the world. You have tons of photographers and hundreds of thousands of people who get professional portraits (Actors) almost every year. So there are tons of people to practice on and they are typically very willing to let you do whatever you want to get them a great photo. This helps so many photographers get good at photographing people, more so than many other markets do.

Pricing:

  • $249 for a portrait session, one outfit. This is what professionals do and some actors who just need one good shot.
  • $100 per additional outfit. Use by actors or people who need more media than just one professional portrait.
  • Company shoots with candids and office photos for website updates start at just $449.

Contact Info:

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