We had the good fortune of connecting with Daniel Rivas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Daniel, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
I have been a professional photographer for over 40 years and I have always tried to have habits that not only helped me to succeed, but also help my clients along the way. Giving the best product I could deliver at a fair rate allowed me to build a clientele that returned to me repetitively. I have photographed many clients throughout their lives in doing so. Starting with newborn and children’s portraits, I would photograph these babies each year for their birthday portraits, then do portraits for them for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Hanukkah and Christmas and just about any month because I offer great special offers each month. These children and families really got to know me. When time came for Bar/Bat Mitzvah’s, Quinceanera’s, Sweet Sixteen’s, Engagement portraits and Weddings I was given the opportunity to help them with those special events as well. I feel very fortunate to have become so close to clients that they always keep me in their minds when it come to their photography needs. This fair pricing habit and great service has kept me busy photographing so many families. I have been doing this for so long that I have photographed children of children I photographed long ago. That makes me happy with my choice in business practice.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have been an employee for many people and I have always treated their business as if it were mine. I have always made sure anyone that I worked for received the best I could offer to their clients making them return for more services. I have owned my own photography studio for many years and have made it a point to offer great service and excellent rates to my clients. I believe my clients appreciate this and keep coming back for more. My journey has not been easy, but I wouldn’t say it was hard either. I have always enjoyed doing photography and giving my clients images they love and treasure. It took some time to build a great business, but it was worth it. I hope everyone that has given me the opportunity to photograph them and their families know that I truly care about them and that I try to help in anyway I can.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I enjoy a relaxing simple life. Restaurants that I would visit would be The Cheesecake Factory, In-N-Out Burger, Black Angus Steak House, Wood Ranch Steak House. Pretty simple places, but I enjoy the food at these spots. Places I like to visit to take walks are The Tree People, LA Arboretum, Point Dume State Beach. My wife and I enjoy Visiting Antique Shops and Flea Markets. When friend’s and family come to visit these are some of the things we do.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My story happened with the help of four very good friends and one very special person. In 1980 I met a photographer that trained me in photography and running a business. His name is Ray Belis, owner of Belis Photography. He taught me how to create portraits and photograph weddings. He introduced me to photography seminars as well. This got me going quickly and I will always appreciate what he did for me. In 1982 I met a couple that owned a busy photography studio. Their names are Joel and Dotie Constance. Their business ethic was a great one to look up to. They offered wedding photography at great rates. They hired me as one of their many photographers to photograph weddings. They only hired experienced photographers, but this helped me to develop my photography skills with a lot of repetition doing weddings almost every weekend. I loved working for this couple. Their kids were also part of the business. In 1983 I met another photographer/businessman that allowed me to put my business habits into his business and together we created a great photography business. His name is Jan Gerstel, owner of The Picture Place. Last but not least, Their is my wife, Maria. She has been with me through it all. We have been married for 40 years. We actually met in high school where I took my first photography class. She was my best subject for my assignments. She believed in me and helped me along the way with encouragement. Their is no one more than her that deserves a shoutout in my story.
All images are copyrighted by Daniel Rivas Photography