We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Patrick Bertolino. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Patrick below.
Patrick, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. Earning a full time living from one’s creative career can be incredibly difficult. Have you been able to do so and if so, can you share some of the key parts of your journey and any important advice or lessons that might help creatives who haven’t been able to yet?
I have the privilege of making a good living while creating within my passion. Once I specialized into a main area of focus, no pun intended, I was able to improve my product and specifically network for the clientele that would appreciate the niche. That’s when I started generating more sales and new clients. Before I did this, I was not saying no to any shoot. The work suffered, I suffered and was spinning my wheels. Everything clicked once I put my mind into architectural photography.
Patrick, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
As an architectural photographer specializing in real estate, I pretty much shoot any home, building or community. My passion in photography began the hard way: film processing labs. The big break in my career was when local legend Evin Thayer hired me. This is where I worked, shot and learned for eight years. In 2005 I started my own business. I took every job I could: weddings, events, portraits, jewelry, and food – the ultimate “yes” man. Eventually, I was hired by a now defunct local broker to shoot real estate listings and I was hooked. It was only a matter of time until I specialized in real estate and architectural photography. My work has changed over the years. Education and image competition have had a huge effect on the quality of my images. I never stop learning. Networking with other photographers is another great source of education, so I don’t compete with them – I collaborate. Please contact me if you have any questions, I love talking about the gift of photography!
I’m very proud to have had a photograph on the covers of “Professional Photographer” and “The Photographer” magazines, published by the professional photographers association (PPA) and the Texas Professional Photographers Association (TPPA) respectively.
How about pivoting – can you share the story of a time you’ve had to pivot?
At one point, I was doing business with two large companies and had very lucrative ongoing contracts with both. It took most of my time so I started to ignore many of my original smaller clients that I began my business with. All of sudden, those big contracts dried up the same month so I was left with very little income. I had to scramble to find new clients to make ends meet. I never put all my eggs in one basket after that.
Learning and unlearning are both critical parts of growth – can you share a story of a time when you had to unlearn a lesson?
Early in my career, someone told me to “fake it before you make it” or basically put out the persona and attitude of a highly successful photographer, even if you may not yet be one. That unfortunately made me cocky. It didn’t help me to humbly grow into a better photographer and it certainly didn’t help with client relations. Once I realized I wasn’t the best, it gave me something to strive for. I look at my old work and attitude and wish I could sit down with that young man and set him straight.
- Website: https://www.patrickbertolino.com/
- Instagram: thehoustonguy
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- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-bertolino-4747b563/
- Twitter: pebtx
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj6vXbzHPT4019mpV5jEIeQ
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/patrick-bertolino-photographer-houston
- Other: https://vimeo.com/pebtx
The Woman in the one photo, is my wife, and photographer Sonya Sofranko, who was also interviewed by Voyager!