Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Justin Shockley, Owner of Justin T Shockley Photography, located in Brooklyn, NY, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

As a photographer, my business is centered around capturing and creating visually stunning images for a wide range of clients. My customers are diverse and include individuals, families, businesses, and organizations. Whether it's a portrait session for a family, a product shoot for a small business, or event coverage for a non-profit, my goal is to tell their unique story through my lens. I pride myself on my ability to connect with my clients and understand their specific needs and desires, resulting in photographs that truly reflect their personalities and brands. I am passionate about capturing candid and natural moments, as well as crafting images that are both beautiful and evocative.

Tell us about yourself

I have been blessed with an eye that beholds the world's splendor and an innate passion for capturing it through my lens. The seed of inspiration that set me on this path was planted in my youth as I spent my days in the company of the arts. At the tender age of five, I found myself enraptured by the natural beauty that surrounded me, and I knew that my calling was to preserve these moments for all eternity. The cello was my first love, as I played orchestral music on stage, but it was through the lens that I found my true purpose.

Through years of study and practice, I honed my craft, mastering the technical skills and artistic vision necessary to truly bring my subjects to life. And yet, even as I have achieved recognition and success in my field, my motivation remains unchanged: to capture the essence of the world, one frame at a time, and to share that beauty with others through my art. Like the masterful bard of old, I strive to weave the tapestry of life into an enduring masterpiece, to distill the fleeting moments of existence into a lasting legacy of beauty and wonder. For me, photography is not just a profession but a calling, and each day I am driven by the desire to capture the world in all its glory and to share that beauty with the world.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My greatest accomplishment as a business owner has been the ability to turn my passion for capturing the beauty of the world into a successful and thriving enterprise. Through hard work, dedication, and a relentless pursuit of excellence, I have been able to establish a reputation as one of the most sought-after photographers in the industry, with a diverse client base that includes some of the most prominent names in the art and commercial worlds. Whether it is a striking landscape, a captivating portrait, or a complex commercial project, I am constantly pushing the boundaries of my craft and striving to create images that are not only beautiful but also meaningful and impactful. My proudest moments have come when my clients have told me that my work has helped them to tell their stories in new and powerful ways, and I look forward to continuing to do so for many years to come.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

As a business owner, one of the hardest things is likely to be the constant responsibility and pressure to make important decisions that can have a significant impact on the success of the business. These decisions can range from financial investments and staffing to strategic planning and marketing, and they require a great deal of research, analysis, and risk-taking. Additionally, business owners must also be able to effectively manage and motivate people, handle unexpected challenges and setbacks, and adapt to a constantly changing market and economic environment. All of these factors can make being a business owner a challenging and demanding role.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Be authentic: One of the most important things for any business owner is to be authentic in their approach. This means staying true to your values, beliefs, and mission and not compromising on them for the sake of short-term gain. Being authentic also means being transparent and honest with customers and employees and building trust through open communication. By being authentic, you'll be able to build a strong, loyal customer base and attract like-minded individuals to your team.
  2. Don't over-promise: In the excitement of starting a new business, it's easy to make grandiose promises about what you'll be able to deliver. But over-promising can lead to disappointment and mistrust, both of which can be hard to come back from. Instead, focus on being realistic and setting achievable goals for your business. Communicate these goals clearly to your team and customers, and work together to achieve them.
  3. Give back: One of the most rewarding aspects of being a business owner is being able to give back to the community. Whether through charitable donations, volunteer work, or other forms of social impact, giving back can help you build deeper connections with customers, employees, and the community. It can also be a great way to attract new customers and employees who are looking for companies that share their values. Additionally, giving back can be a source of inspiration and motivation for you and your team.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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