Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Romina Raggio. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Romina, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. Can you share a customer success story with us?
Absolutely! Ever since becoming a photographer, one of the things that I have found the absolute most joy in is working with clients to help them create photos of themselves with their loved ones that they can love and cherish. Sometimes, this comes in the form of helping a client realize how genuinely beautiful they are, through my lens.
Now, let me explain; self esteem issues suck, and just about everyone has them to some degree. Attached to that there’s this whole idea of being “photogenic” that everyone seems to be so obsessed with. When someone doesn’t think they look good in photos, it often ends up hurting their self esteem and they start to dislike their appearance (in many cases). By the time they get to me, I often hear things like “I never like how I look in photos” or “sorry I’m not very photogenic”. To be completely honest with you? I hear this and see it as a challenge, because see, to me, being photogenic is a completely made up concept. I believe that absolutely everyone is “photogenic”, they’re just missing the confidence that comes with being captured in the right lighting, with the best posing, and with a trained professional behind the lens to make them look and feel their best. That’s where I come in!
I want every single one of my clients to feel confident when they’re working with me. To see the photos we capture and think, wow, that’s me? In one particular instance that comes to mind, that’s exactly what happened. In her initial inquiry, my client said to me “We have had previous photo shoots and I felt so uncomfortable or that I wasn’t beautiful so I ended up hating the pictures. I want to love these.” It broke my heart when I read this, but I made it my mission to help her feel confident in herself and love her photos, and to be able to celebrate her engagement without having to worry about her appearance. In the end, after an incredible session, my client said to me “thank you for making me feel beautiful. It was so nice working with you.” I was at a stoplight when I got that message, and I had to pull over for a few minutes because I immediately teared up when I read her words. I can’t describe how I felt in that moment, I was just so overwhelmingly filled with joy. I kept thinking to myself “this is why I do what I do. This is my why,” and I will continue to carry that feeling with me into every session or wedding day that I have the fortune of capturing for the rest of my career. Not to mention, later when I saw my client posting her photos across all her social media? The smile on my face was absolutely unmatched, and I was so proud of what we were able to accomplish together.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your background and context?
For sure! Everyone always wants to know: what made me become a photographer? Not to be cliché or anything, but I have literally always loved photography, as far back as I can remember! When I was a kid, I got a tiny pink point-and-shoot Coolpix camera for Christmas one year. I used to go around the house, taking random photos of my family, of our cats, of the flowers and the grass and just about anything I could think of. This love for photography and art followed me throughout the rest of my childhood and teenage years, and I genuinely, genuinely loved it so much. When I graduated high school, I was gifted a DSLR, my first professional level camera. I was so clueless about how to use it, and I spent the rest of that Summer absolutely obsessed, watching more YouTube videos than breathing, just about. I was so eager to learn more and my love for photography only grew with each little tip and trick I learned. It was so much more real now, and it very quickly became my favorite thing in the world.
Once I started college, I started running through all these career possibilities, and I was absolutely stumped. I couldn’t decide what to do with my life, and nothing felt right. Meanwhile, I had started a minor in Studio Art and was taking every photography course my university offered. Then one day I came to the realization that I could turn this love and passion that I had for photography into a career! That I could make a living off of this thing that gave me sooo much happiness. Years later, I’ve graduated and I’m actually doing it! My dream job that I had first seen as this far-fetched crazy idea, and now it’s my reality. Sometimes it doesn’t even feel real.
Now, I work fulltime as a Wedding & Couple Photographer. I work with clients to learn their vision and execute it to the best of my ability when the day comes, whether it’s a quick 30 minute engagement session or a full 10 hour wedding day. My focus is on capturing moments of my clients being their authentic selves; the uncontrollable giggles, the happy tears and the genuine smiles that take over their whole face. Sometimes I have to make a complete fool of myself to make that happen, but that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make! I specialize in vibrant, true-to-life images, and I thrive off of bringing photos to life through my post production editing. I’d like to think that this sets me apart from others, in a way. My particular shooting and editing style is very bright, happy, and full of color. I’m also a bit of a perfectionist, so I wouldn’t dare to deliver a gallery until every last photo is completely perfect, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Not to mention, I’m a huge people person and I’d like to think that I do a great job at making my clients comfortable and to the point that we’re all just having fun together, makes it feel less like a job and more like hanging out with old friends.
Over the years, I’ve managed to build up a business that I am overwhelmingly proud of. I’m proud of the curated style I’ve created, I’m proud of the authentic look & genuine feel of my images, and I’m proud to provide a service and a product that I know my clients will love, every time. Above all else, though, I’m proud of myself for every moment that I kept going, through all the tough times, just me and my small business against the world.
So, with that being said, when you see me gushing and ranting about how much I love my job and adore what I do? Just know that I 100% mean it. I’ve waited my entire life to reach this point in my life, and I cherish every second of it. I love what I do SO MUCH & I feel like the luckiest person in the world to have discovered this passion of mine from such a young age. To know that I’m living my life to the fullest and doing what makes me happiest every single day, is something that I will never, ever take for granted. So, to each of my wonderful clients and those who have supported me over the years, thank you, from the very bottom of my heart. <3
We’d love to hear a story of resilience from your journey.
Of course! Throughout my years in college, I spent every moment looking forward to my graduation, when I could finally focus on building my photography business full time. In my final month as a college senior, however, I was diagnosed with a rare medical condition. I won’t go into a ton of detail, but I was more terrified than I’d ever been in my life. It felt a little bit like everything was falling apart, and I took a few steps back from my business for a few months while I tried to figure it all out.
Once I’d taken some time to come to terms with it all, I eventually was ready to get back to my photography. I’m not going to lie, it was hard at first. Taking that break destroyed a lot of the momentum that I had built up, and it felt like I was back at square one. But, I kept at it because I knew that this was my passion in life. As tough as it felt at the time, I knew that nothing else would ever make me as happy, so I kept pushing to build up the time I had lost.
Now, a little over a year later, I’m happier than I’ve ever been! That pesky medical condition is under control, and I’m not too worried about it anymore. As for my business, I’m proud to say that it was all worth it. My business is thriving in ways that I could have never anticipated, and I am so beyond excited to continue to grow and nurture my business. I still have a long way to go to get to where I want to be, but I am beyond proud of my resilience in getting to this point.
Are there any books, videos, essays or other resources that have significantly impacted your management and entrepreneurial thinking and philosophy?
Yes! I am constantly on the hunt for knowledge to grow my business, and that comes in many forms. I am a huge fan of podcasts and audiobooks, and regularly find myself listening to them on long drives. Anything from The Heart & Hustle Podcast by Evie McLeod & Lindsey Roman, to Build & Bloom by Jessica Whitaker, and most commonly The Six Figure Photography Podcast by Ben Hartley.
Through this last one, I was eventually inspired to seek more education from Ben Hartley, specifically through his online course, Booked Solid: Win More Inquiries & Maximize Profits. This course has had a huge impact on my management and entrepreneurial thinking and philosophy, and has helped open doors for me that I didn’t even know existed. Ben provides an extraordinary amount of information on how to best run a photography business, and has helped me shape my business into the most profitable and efficient version of itself that it could be. He’s helped me realize the importance of charging a fair and livable amount so that I don’t face burnout and become overwhelmed, and it’s done wonders for my sanity! This course was a huge investment for me at the time, but I attribute much of my success to the knowledge I gained throughout it.
I’ve also recently been listening to the book Atomic Habits by James Clear, and I’ve been loving it! It can be a struggle to set a schedule for yourself as an entrepreneur when you’re the only one holding yourself accountable, but I love books like these that help put things into perspective and give me the tools to improve my habits. The idea that little changes can make a huge difference over time is something that really helped me build a better mindset.
- Website: www.rominaraggio.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/rominaraggiophotography
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/rominaraggiophoto
All photos by Romina Raggio Photography