We had the good fortune of connecting with Dayna Olton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dayna, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Ever since I started working, it was always for a company that had multiples of me that could fulfill a service where I was paid a base amount to generate an unlimited amount of income for that company. I was capped but they were not. I wanted to be in that type of position.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
To start, I’ve been working at my own business for about 25 years now. I started working at a photography studio just as a driver having no ambition to be a photographer but fell in love with the process that I saw going on and started to dive into that world. I did not realize the creative side that I have but this allowed me to express it. From there I saw the unlimited potential to create opportunities for myself, so my journey began. I don’t really like to compare myself to other photographers because this craft is very subjective. One person could love what I do and the next could easily pass on it. This world is all about trying to express your particular vision and you just hope that there are enough people that take a liking to that vision if you are looking at it from a business standpoint. Otherwise you just have to understand that you are doing it for personal fulfillment. Fortunately for me folks have taken to my style and are willing to pay for it. It is difficult nowadays to be a photographer if you don’t find a niche. I spent a long time just going out and photographing trying to get myself in front of people handing out cards hoping to drive traffic to my website and social media not being paid. I took that route versus advertising and waiting for people to call me . You have to figure out what might work best in your particular environment and stay with it. We live in an instant gratification world now which can be tough when trying to build a business. With the digital revolution, everyone is a photographer. People have to feel justified in paying you to do something that they cannot capture with their phone. That along with people that do it as a hobby can you really cut prices down which is a big challenge these days. You are constantly trying to reinvent yourself to stay relevant. I think I am most proud of the fact that I have been able to stay busy with photography while at the same time generate income fulfilling my creative desires and not just taking pictures of what someone wants. It feels really good when people see a photo and almost instantly recognize that it’s my photo versus someone else’s. That is a big distinction when it comes to the fulfillment and words that I like to live by…do what you love. I am excited about the future as things are constantly changing and more folks are interested in my perspective. I am constantly learning and trying new things which keeps it exciting. I’ve had slow times over the years but you just have to believe in your product and keep track of what’s working and what’s not. You have to be able to adapt if you are going to succeed. You cannot be too stubborn. I think what I would like folks to know most about my story is that nothing was given to me. I had to take my own initiatives on what I learned, how I learned, how I marketed, push through difficult times but the most important thing is that if you stay your course while adapting, you can make it happen.
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 honestly do not get out into the city that often to know the hot spots per say. The great thing is that there are so many different things to do and places to go that it would depend on who is visiting me. I am a pretty good planner and can definitely make things happen so good dinners, cocktails, roaming the city if desired, maybe a concert, art gallery. I’m sure there would be stop by the beach to pick up those vibes as well. I’m easy, I go with the wind. Kind of live by what’s tattooed on my arm “be like water”
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My family and girlfriend have been my biggest consistent support in my ventures. I have been inspired by many other creatives that I have seen out and about as well as online. Im always looking at other artists work and perspectives in which helps me continue to grow and adapt. Thank you for sharing your time with me.
Facebook: Dayna Olton