We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael Pineda and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michael, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My thought process was more like, “man, we have to go all in on this and strike while the iron is hot!” While the actual start of our business kind of came together by itself it was the steps we took after the start that really got the ball rolling. A few years back, Kim and I went on a trip to LA and shot a bunch of photos of each other for a date. Of course, we posted them online and one of my co-workers really loved the photos that we took of each other. Soon after that the same co-worker asked me if Kim and I could do the photos for her daughter’s Quincenera. At that time, I had been considering ways to supplement my income and once I priced out the work for that co-worker, I saw that we could definitely make this a profitable endeavor. The rest was history, Kim and I both enjoy photography so much, so crafting that skill came easy to us. Kim has her degree in business and marketing so that part of the business was taken care of. I am a people person and I have quite a bit of experience in sales so everything we needed was laid out right in front of us. I spoke to Kim and while we agreed that it was too early to make this a full-time income, we both decided to do everything we needed to start our business and generate a secondary source of income. We spent countless hours researching and learning things on photography, videography, how to market ourselves as photographers, and even how to build a good website. I’m proud of the amount of effort we’ve put into this and I am glad that we’re blessed enough to have a hobby that allows us extra income.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Our main focus is wedding and event photography. I am all about taking good photographs, I taught myself how to shoot and how to expose an image correctly. Kim is all about emotion. She is so good and catching that perfect moment, that split second that conveys so many emotions and feelings. I think we play off of each other very well. Our photography would not be at the level it is today without both of our touches mixed in. While we both posses the knowledge and skill to do this by ourselves, and we have had to do a few gigs separately, I have noticed that our best and favorite work are the ones that we’ve done together. As random as it sounds, I think the reason we do so well together is our vibe. We’ve been able to build connections with our clients and while we are complemented on our work, we are also complemented on how comfortable we make our clients feel. That’s the secret skill that photographers have; everybody thinks about the technical side, but nobody thinks about the relationship side. That aspect is just as important as the technical side of photography and we are blessed that many people find our vibe to be so calming and assuring. Not only is that what I’m most proud of, but I feel as if that is what sets us apart and I credit that factor to be how we’ve gotten so far. We’ve learned a ton and we’re grateful for it. As new parents we want to do everything we can in order to provide for our precious Emberly, so we’re grateful for having been able to build a secondary source of income in order to provide.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Los Angeles is probably the most famous city in the U.S.. Of course, there’s New York and Miami but let’s face it, everybody wants to go see Hollywood. It’s been pretty cool to grow up so close by. If I wanted to show somebody a good time I’d definitely start in downtown LA. Probably go to check out the broad, see the Walt Disney Concert Hall, stop off at the Last Book Store and then grab lunch in Grand Central Market. That would be a fun day. I’d probably take them to Venice Beach and then the Canals, we could then shoot up to the Santa Monica pier. We could make a day out of the Getty and the LACMA. There’s so much to do out here!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My brother, Jose “Jay” Pineda, he started his business a couple of years before Kim and I started ours. I’m so proud to see his success, I mean the guy is a powerhouse of drive and tenacity, so to see his business thriving is pretty great. Without the knowledge that he passed to me, the jobs that he’s kicked my way and his generosity I wouldn’t of had what I needed to get our business to where it is now and where I intend on taking it.
Michael Pineda, Kimberly Camacho