This young entrepreneur learns from his mistakes and continuously pushes past hurdles to grow his business. Read his insights on marketing struggles, finding passion in one’s work and dealing with hiccups along the way.
James Vitullo, freelance photographer and owner of James A. Vitullo Photography, specializes in commercials, portraits, weddings and events. Although technically still a college student, he had the courage to start his own company and the work ethic to make it flourish. The results? A stream of happy clients, loads of work published and several awards under his belt.
He enthusiastically describes his business, saying, “Anything is a photograph. This is a motto developed from my aspiring career that turned into a feasible, potential business. My work is all over the board, including the living and inanimate; animal and portrait; urban and natural. I specialize in candid aspects as well as in-the-moment captures. I enjoy capturing the world and the beauty it holds.”
While his passion for his work is palpable, Vitullo still faces plenty of struggles. “My biggest challenges as an entrepreneur are competition, marketing and cost of equipment. I am overcoming these by establishing a price point that is affordable but still respectfully acknowledges my time and skill. Marketing is a no-brainer. But figuring out which platforms to be on is another animal,” he explains.
Vitullo doesn’t let that stop him. Instead, he constantly works to improve the methods he uses to get his name out there. “Being a professional wedding photographer, marketing on The Knot and WeddingWire is expensive but it pays off in the end, no doubt. Social media marketing has its perks, but directing toward platforms that specialize in certain fields only increases your chances of being hired for what you love to do,” Vitullo explains.
Still, he’s no stranger to social media, saying, “I share my work all the time on Facebook and Instagram. I smile with every comment and like I receive.” Like most successful entrepreneurs, Vitullo also likes to mix up his marketing efforts to keep things fresh. “I am beginning to use email lists that help me market my work, keep my clients engaged and keep them informed of art fairs and other aspects of my career,” he notes.
But marketing and equipment costs are just two of the hurdles he has to overcome. And they aren’t even necessarily the most daunting. Photography, like all art, is subjective, requiring constant learning and practice—which results in hiccups and failures along the way. He elaborates, “Perfection is impossible in my eyes. Learning lasts a lifetime. I have learned to establish goals in life that truly test my motivation and determination in the photography world. If the love is there, motivation, determination and success will inevitably unfold. It may not be in a short period of time, but you learn from mistakes and build from them along the way.”
Despite all the challenges he faces, this award-winning photographer uses his passion for his work to keep pushing forward. He advises, “Love what you do, no matter the cost or pay. If you stay with what you enjoy most, success will only follow along. It will not be easy by any means, but you will get there.”