Niall David Photography just won a Totally Awesome Award for Most Popular Family Photographer in San Francisco. We recently spoke to Niall David himself about his experience as a business owner, the best advice he’s ever received and more. Hear what he has to say below!
Red Tricycle: Your community recently voted you “Most Popular Family Photographer” – what do your customers value most about your business?
Niall David: Our clients value the hands on level of service we provide, and the amazing heirloom quality photographs we produce for them to cherish for a lifetime.
RT: What do you want people to know about your business that they don’t already know?
ND: I want people to know that we custom create stellar lifestyle family photography sessions as well as business marketing/branding photography sessions for a variety of businesses on-location. No two shoots are alike and we take great pride and care in the long-term relationships we create as much as the photos we produce.
RT: How did your business get started and what was the motivation?
ND: Like most photographers, I started using a camera when I was a little kid, I was always amazed and obsessed with capturing memories in time with this little amazing little plastic, metal and glass box. Through a life of many careers finally one day about 7 years ago, I realized my childhood dream and turned it into a full-time business. Now that I have a 5 month old son, especially the work I produce for my family clients has taken on a whole new level of meaning.
RT: Tell us, what do you start your morning with: 1. coffee 2. tea 3. mimosa 4. water 5. all of the above.
ND: Large glass of water when I wake up, one cup of coffee an hour later with breakfast. I’ve been known to down a couple of Sunday morning mimosas.
RT: What is the most awesome thing a customer has ever done for you?
ND: I love when customers write reviews of their experience with my business online via Yelp, Google and other review sites! One of the biggest thank you’s I can receive is a public testimonial of gratitude.
RT: What is your biggest pet peeve as a business owner?
ND: Not always having enough time in the day to get all my work done, spend time with my family and have personal time. Running your own business is FULL TIME you never get to punch out!
RT: How do you keep your stress levels down?
ND: I am fanatic about taking time for personal and family moments, whether it’s a few hours at the end of a hard work day, a few days off here and there, vacations and separating work and play as much as possible.
RT: What’s your secret superhero power as a business owner?
ND: Balancing work and play.
RT: Tell us, what is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received (as a parent or business owner)?
ND: Wow, good question, my life and business mentors have taught me too many things to just pick one. Probably most important is if you’re going to make it in this industry you’ll need to continue to learn, grow, and continually master your craft as a lifelong learner in order to evolve with the times. If you lose the fire or the passion for innovation, you’ll become a dinosaur, and then it’s just time to quit.
RT: How about the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?
ND: Probably that focusing on getting the newest gear or spending money on lots of stuff will make you a better photographer. The truth couldn’t be further from that frame of mind. Photography is 95% in your head and the high level skills you develop over a lifetime. The gear is only a set of tools to help you actualize your vision. Add to that focusing too much on the creative and not the business side, and you’ll never make it. I spend maybe 10% of the time behind the camera on shoots, the other 90% is all business related!
RT: Is there a special offer you’d like to include for Red Tricycle readers?
ND: As a thank you for winning the Red Tricycle Totally Awesome Award for Most Awesome Family Photographer for the third time in a row (THANK YOU!!!) I’d love to offer Red Tricycle readers an exclusive rare 25% discount on the initial session investment for all shoots booked & completed in Q1 (January – April) of 2017. Winter is the best time to get sunset shoots in early in the day as we can begin at 3:30pm – let’s do it!
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Photo credit: Niall David Photography