The Photographer Success Story Podcast

This show is all about showcasing each photographer(s) road to success. The beauty of each episode shows that there is no one way to make a living a a photographer. How can you relate? By listening to each story and learning from the good and the bad experiences each of us had faced along the way. Applying this knowledge to your business whether it's just starting to get legs, or fully established, will help all of us get to where we want to be. Please join me on this journey and discover that there is no wrong or right way to success, only your own way!
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The Photographer Success Story Podcast

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Now displaying: 2015
Mar 23, 2015

Hosted by Michael J. Molinski


Interviewed: Dexter Davisx



Today’s Sponsor: none

I need to focus on getting you content, not sponsors!



Grew up as an artist, interested in comic books, thought he was going to be an artist. 


Laguardia High School, Manhattan


Attend college in 1994 for art & graphic design, City Tech - Brooklyn 

Advertising design.


Forced into photography at college, had to buy a camera, Pentax K1000

Buy own film, Tri-x 400

Processing in Darkroom


The importance of making each shot with film, working on a budget


After college, a friend was a wedding photographer. Picked her brain, but never second shot for her or anyone, ever.  Contrary to what the school taught, she freed him the dependency of the use of a tripod.


How do you find your first wedding?

The search goes on and finds a friend who wasn’t considering even having a photographer.


That feeling of getting paid to be a photographer, now it feels like a business.

Begging for weddings to get people to take a chance that the work is good enough.


First business card from a kiosk back in the late 90’s's&safe=off&client=safari&rls=en&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=bWUPVcC7LonooAS_qoDwBA&ved=0CFEQsAQ&biw=1440&bih=815


Almost a decade later with shooting weddings on the side, a job opportunity and romantic interest have Dexter moving to an area where he knows no one.  It wasn’t too far where the transition was cut and dry. Still shooting in the NYC area while trying to build a client list in his new home in Albany.


Networking with other vendors, getting on social media, changing website in 2004, doing everything possible to break into the new market.


Late comer into shooting digital, “that guy who said its not as good as film”  Everything started changing and the writing was on the wall to go digital.


“I’ll meet you in the comfort of your own home” as a way to get more clients, leading to some interesting scenarios in the days before GPS.


By 2006-7 a shared workplace was rented out with a videographer.  One step closer to getting a studio.  Bret Wasserman, owner of Silhouette Art on Video


The feeling of wanting a “space of my own” is the driving force to get a 2,000 sq ft studio and office space.  Hang up photos and showcase the best work.


Getting promoted in his main job, promised to move back to NYC with an office, then everything is just gone!  Losing a job in the housing mortgage industry, gave time build up the photography business more and it worked.


With nothing else to lose, he stopped job searching and went all in to be a photographer.


Couldn’t realize his full potential as a photographer doing it only part time.


The benefits of picking up an editor at the beginning stages of growing the business, transitioning into a better work flow.  Getting out of Adobe Bridge and Photoshop. 45 minutes.

Night and Day difference transitioning into Lightroom.


In 2011 getting a new office space and shooting area.  Adding to the square footage by cleaning out the back room and turning it into the photo spot.


What the added pressures are for photographers who employ editors and studio managers.


The fail story, bad lighting, film errors, nothing to save.

Flash sync errors, before digital cameras just wouldn’t allow you to take a photo with it.

The curtain would drag across the film plane with the flash only exposing a portion of the image.


Canon 5DmkII 1/160th of a second shutter lag example.


Shooting the camera upsidedown so the shutter lag made the sky darker.  There’s a reference to this in the link above as well.


Favorite thing to shoot, couples.

Least favorite thing to shoot, babies


Thankful to be able to make a living doing something really fulfilling and enjoyable.


Of over 150,000 people surveyed only 30 percent admitted they honestly enjoy their job and their bosses. Those who show up but are less than thrilled about it — or “disengaged — made up the biggest category at 52 percent of workers. The remaining 18 percent are people actively disengaged — those who vocally express their discontent in the workplace.



Gear talk:

Pentax in the film days then Canon Rebel 2000, then Canon 20D

PC editing preference, learned on a Mac.

Doesn’t see the advantage of going to Mac after gaining all the experience on a PC

Lenses are the favorite or all gear, 70-200 2.8 is the go to lens for most shoots.

Wants to get the 100mm 2.8 Macro


2014 the year of breaking gear, lots of use with Canon CPS


Recommend for interviews (which was conducted before the show went live): 

Jeff Foley


Michael Gallitelli,


Dino Petrocelli,



Should The Photography Industry Turn Its Back on Doug Gordon?


Last piece of advice: Try to be different. Push things farther and do things you don’t see other photographers doing and don’t let anyone tell you you can’t.  Don’t be afraid to fail.

Failure is not fatal. The worst thing in the world is to not try.




Mar 6, 2015

Hosted by Michael J. Molinski


Interviewed: Diane Stredicke

Hudson River Photographer



Today’s Sponsor: Zenfolio

Get your free trial today:

Referral Code: 95C-HAQ-MT7



Chelsea Clinton’s wedding in Rhinbeck, NY


Brooklyn, NY

Hudson River Creative LLC


Washington State University

Grew up outside of Seattle 


Moved to NYC and attended NYU


Brandsmasher top 100 Wedding Photographers in the US


Second shot for Sarah Smith, Albany photographer


Molinski Photography, aka Photographics Solution sample video of us explaining wedding albums.


Liberty Warehouse Weddings


Tatiana Breslow


We discuss the least favorite part about the wedding day and turn that into an opportunity to learn how to shot that subject better.


Triathlete Magazine shoot, same approach as a wedding portrait. See the example at


Setting goals after the wedding season, for example update website or learning a new skill like off camera lighting.


Favorite thing to shoot is the portrait session after the ceremony.

Talk about the emotions behind a first look session versus post ceremony


All about cocktail hour and diving that time up between shooting and actually taking a break


Networking with other photographers and deciding to be an open book to help out each other is the healthiest way to look at this business.  They’re not competition, but colleagues.


How we crossed paths for the first time at Hunter Mountain.  This time I was doing video while Diane shot stills.


Selling all Canon gear and switching to Nikon!

Playing around with Nikon at Mystic Seminars.

Ergonomics plays a big role


Here’s a list of a bunch of gear we talked about, all are affiliate links to our Amazon account so if you want to support the show, buy your gear after clicking through our stuff :)


Nikon DF


Nikon D750


Ona Prince Street Bag


Godox Flash


Neewer Cheetah Lithium Battery Pack


MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt display


Photo Mechanic




Presets VSEO


Kirk Masten, Masten Labs Film Packs


What it’s like to outsource editing to other companies 

The Editing Salon (maybe the Image Salon?)


Queensbury Albums


Workshops with other photographers


Melissa Surprise Photography - Baby & Child Photographer


Jeff Mosier - Actor / Headshot Photographer, NYC



Today’s Sponsor: Zenfolio

Get your free trial today:

Referral Code: 95C-HAQ-MT7


Jan 27, 2015

Hosted by Michael J. Molinski


Interviewed: Jeff Foley


Mechanicville, NY  


From taking photos on vacation to photojournalism at the local paper

First decade in his professional career as a writer


Hudson Valley Community College to get the foundations of photography


Joe McNally workshops


Being a wedding photographer is a lot of pressure and how it involves many aspects of photography, the landscape, fashion, still life, portrait photographer.


Newsday, ESPN, Ring Magazine, USA Today, The Associate Press


The first wedding, overwhelmed, too high of expectations complete with a micro breakdown in the solitude of his car.


Heather Bohm-Tallman, Saratoga Second Shooter, gaining more experience.


Didn’t get into photography for the money, got into it to make pictures


Niki Rossi Photographer, giving critique and humbling the photographer


Removing the emotion and story behind the photographer and let the work speak for itself.

If you have to explain it, the photo might not be as strong as you think it is


First paid writing experience as opposed to photo gig.


Terry Rooney, Shoes for Africa, first story, hudson mohawk runners club


You have to be know your gear, you have to be really good with people, and you have to know how to run a business, better be able to market, and get a little lucky.


Making the transition back to shooting weddings solo and then getting laid off from his full time job and the importance of networking


Reaching out to wedding venues to get them to talk about you, specifically being in the right place at the right time with the Franklin Plaza and shooting their newly renovated 3rd floor.


The mental alertness it takes to work a wedding. It’s not only taking photos and running around.


Building your photography business book

Best business practices for photographers

Digital wedding photographer


The pomodoro method.


You have to be all in to make a living as a photographer, it won’t happen by accident.


The importance of finding your price, irrelevant to what other photographers are charging


Mazzone Hospitality


Is pinterest the bane of a wedding photographer’s existence?


Newborn photography could be the most difficult niche out there


Fundy Album software


Learn your camera, don’t worry about everything else.  It just takes time.


Who would be on the next episode:

Katherine Wright Art Center Troy

Joe McNally

Howard Schatz, sports illustrated

Jan 26, 2015

Hosted by Michael J. Molinski


Interviewed: Rebecca & Jesse Turnquist


We pick up with talking about marketing and transition into the sale pitch that we all give.

I also disclose that my parent’s didn’t have a good experience with wedding photography and I will never see their photos because they were destroyed in the lab during development.


What’s it like to book a client that’s not a good fit just for the money?


“Everybody deserves to be happy” - Jesse

But the customer is not always right.


The most difficult things to shoot for Rebecca & Jesse

Corporate and newborns, where the one has a weakness, the other can step up. It’s what makes a great team.


Thoughts on the married photography team. Getting emotionally invested in the day.


How do you create a style that you’re known for and yet deliver a unique product every time?


David Beckstead Workshops


Favorite software - Fundy Album Designer


More Adobe Lightroom talk


MagMod Kickstarter

Off camera flash speed light modifier with neoprene sleeve

Jesse’s personal challenge to master off camera lighting.


Robert Norman photographer

Justin & Mary

Pictage Users Group PUG

Inspire Workshop


Being grateful for each other and enjoying the path they’ve taken together.

Don’t Give Up poster :)



Learn from other photographers, don’t be afraid to network and see them as allies.

Jan 17, 2015

Hosted by Michael J. Molinski


Interviewed: Rebecca & Jesse Turnquist


We talk about photography in high school in the early 90’s and film, how they met, and then get into turning photography from hobby to business.


Jesse used to use a Minolta Maxum


I started with a Canon AE-1 Program


The site first launched in 2008 and I bring up a website that shows you old versions of websites

Enter The Wayback Machine!


Just when they thought their original site was gone forever, I was able to go back to at least 2011, see for yourself, and if you really want to see some awful Flash animation, check out my original size I designed from scratch in 2005.


We also touch on using Craigslist to get the first paid wedding and what it’s like to bounce from job to job until finding a calling as a photographer. What it’s like to work a bunch of side jobs to support a family while growing the business. Realizing the photography is the passion and taking the right steps to make it a profitable business.


DABA, local restaurant in Hudson, NY


Kingston, NY

Yonkers, NY


Defining style and growing as a photographer, how the photo looks


“The City” is New York City


Frederick Church, Hudson River School of Art


What its like to have a second shoot and work for other photographers.

Merging styles and adapting your point of view when working for another photographer.


The importance of workshops and learning more skills

Creative Live

Carla Ten Eyck, Connecticut


The passion behind your purpose, which is to be a photographer 


Talk of expanding families and keeping the business going


Video of Danielle getting the news of a baby boy


Use of social media, booked a wedding from instagram and using hashtags

Younger demographic avoiding advertising, popup blockers


End part one :)

Jan 15, 2015

Hosted by Michael J. Molinski


Interviewed: Tiffany Wayne


Today we take you on Tiffany’s path all around the US with one goal in mind; to be a professional photographer.


Below are links to topics brought up throughout the show:


Clifton Park, NY


Shenendehowa High School

Photography and art classes 


#ThrowbackThursday photos from her childhood now on Instagram @TIffanyWayne


Hudson Valley Community College


SUNY Cortland (State University of NY)


Then to a law firm and back to former teacher for help to get out of that job.


Hallmark Institute of Photography


Greg Heisler


Photo editor at Woman’s World Magazine


Moved out to LA for more work, but not as a photographer, then back to NY


Ran out of film on her first wedding


Saratoga Hall of Springs


Showed up extra early at a wedding, guess what happened






Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce


Rebecca Ashby, The Pink Orange


We talk business card fails,

Use of hashtags at weddings,

Social media etiquette,


Biggest fear is becoming comfortable, keep yourself on edge


What its like to have an intern

Tiffany’s awesome rap video from May 2011:


Her new book: Photograph Couples: How to Create Romantic Wedding and Engagement Portraits


Talk about Facebook changes


Ugly sweater contest

The Old Daley Inn


Photo Plus Expo NYC



Pop Photo Poses app - Lindsay Adler


Going over the client experience

Talk about new house, taxes, health care, vegan diet, gassy refrigerator 

Eating at wedding

Gear talk

The process of individual learning


Mamiya medium format camera


Deardorff 8x10


Fashion Institute of Technology


shooting time / editing time


Shoot Q - studio management system


Holding yourself accountable 


Canon 85mm f1.8


Canon 200mm f2


Borrow Lenses


Westcott Ice Light


Canon CPS


Recommend on the podcast - Andrew Franciosa


Patty Lynn Benjamin

The tac house (not quite sure on this, will update with info from Tiffany)


"If you get told no, just get back up and keep going"


That about does it for the note and links, until next time!






Jan 6, 2015

Hosted by Michael J. Molinski


Interviewed: JP Elario


Today we go through JP’s journey from being born with a camera in hand to being one of the top photographers in the nation!

Below are links to topics brought up throughout the show:


Sage College


Savannah College of Art & Design


Polaroid SX70


Saratoga, NY

Albany, NY




Letter to Sherman from Atlanta, pleading not to burn the city.


Here’s an email I sent to JP after seeing an ad for MPix in Popular Photography magazine

Michael Molinski   6/20/09  



Hey Jp,


I saw your MPix ad in Pop Photo and the fact you're from upstate.

I just want to say you do amazing work and its great to see awesome

representation nationwide.  I am a photographer myself working out of Hudson.

The caliber of your shots make me want to step my game up tremendously. 


Happy shooting.

Michael J. Molinski


I cannot find his response, thought I do remember getting one!


We met in person at the WPPI Road Trip in Boston.

(Side note, we won free admission from Zenfolio after a caption contest. We need to talk about this on the followup episode)


MPix Pro


MPix Rocks


Drop It Modern


Here’s the video JP created for his clients and picked up my Drop it Modern


Matt Ramos, awesome photographer, can we get him on the show? Find him and tell him so!


Guest blog entry featuring JP on Scott Kelby’s site


Matt Kloskowski - The Photoshop Guy


Manfrotto Magic Arm kit (affiliate link to Amazon)


Chase Jarvis video with magic arm


Angela’s Bridal shoot by JP




Profit B1 Kit (affiliate link to Amazon)


Thanks for checking out today’s episode and like I said in the beginning of the show, there’s a ton of info here!

Jan 5, 2015

Hosted by Michael J. Molinski


Interviewed: Linda Conley


From her start as working for a photo lab to moving around the country with odd jobs and back to working for photo labs and transitioning to assisting for wedding photographers into becoming a full time professional photographer.



Hudson Valley Community College

Adirondack Community College


Her pets Rigby the dog/mascot running around the area making noise.

Also an appearance by Ginney, the new puppy. 


Assisted photographers:

Jeanne Hederson

Sandy Conlin (retired)

Dino Petricelli


How Linda and I met and worked together. 

Talking RAW and JPG


Adobe Lightroom

Plugin favorite: Totally Rad  (Affiliate link below)


Thoughts on social media and use of our photos.


The transition from film to digital


I share my trick into getting more photos published WITHOUT having to paying for advertising and how we got the word out for free all over our physical area.




Jan 5, 2015

Hosted by Michael J. Molinski


Interviewed: Nicole Molinski and myself


Currently own and operate Photographics Solution, Hudson NY


In this episode we discuss our backgrounds, the story of how we met, and the start of our business.  


USMC  United States Marine Corps Photographer

DINFOS The Defense Information School, Fort Meade, MD


WRGB Channel 6 News, Albany, NY

Intern New York Network


Canon 20D - First owned DSLR


Nitin Vadukul, Michael’s first mentor


Warren Street, Hudson New York


Columbia Greene Community College

SUNY Albany


Columbia County Chamber of Commerce


Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom




Jan 5, 2015

Hosted by Michael J. Molinski


Interviewed: Myself


What is the Photographer Success Story?


If you’re a a photographer making a living in this industry, than I consider you a success.  


Currently focusing on the wedding and portrait industry in the Capital Region and Hudson Valley.  The photographers I interview are all living and working overlapping work areas.  The idea of this is to prove that even an in a saturated market, there’s still room for those to succeed who have a passion for what they do and hard work ethic.


I’ll cover the background of the interviewee going over the likes of interest in the arts, high school, college, and all that and then transition into the hobby/career side of things.


We really need to understand what that first paid gig is all about.  So I’ll provoke that emotion when that money finally comes in from the first sale. I explain the feeling of my first paid portrait session.


You’ll then hear some of the basics of running the business; some of the struggles growing the business, home studio or commercial space, subcontractors and employees vs doing everything solo.  Learning from failure helps a lot of people so I’ll be trying to squeeze out a story from when things all went wrong.  It’s happened to me and to everyone who’s ever taken a chance, so don’t worry when it happens to you.


This isn’t a tech podcast, but we live in a technological society, so I will tackle a few gear based questions towards the end.


Lastly, I always like to finish off the episode with a tip from these pros that will help the up and coming photographer, followed by a couple name drops of who should be on the show next.  


The second half of the show is a little bio of what I’m about and some history into what I’m up to;  My time in the US Marines, a blog on the side that has nothing to do with photography, family life with raising a daughter and having a baby on the way. I also touch on my local Chamber of Commerce and me sitting as the chairman of the steering committee of the Young Professionals division.


Youth Employment Service (YES Program) is a state funded program for at risk youth populations where high school students get placed with mentors and local businesses to get real life experience and proper guidance.


My personal mentors through podcasting:

Rich Roll - Ultra Endurance Athlete and Vegan

Lewis Howes - The School of Greatness

Pat Flynn

John Lee Dumas -Entrepreneur on Fire


The half-ironman triathlon that I competed in 70.3 miles, 5hr :35min in 2013


My first time being interviewed for a podcast, where I thought I completely bombed it, but further sparked my interest in the medium.



Feel free to comment below and let me know your thoughts on this project and even throw out some names of photographers you’d like to hear from. Is there someone who’s just killin’ it and you want to know how they go there?! You put it out there, and I’ll do some homework…  Surprisingly enough, not everyone I’ve reached out to wants to be interviewed.  But in order for this show to reach the full spectrum, I will need some introverts to come out of their shell.  If that’s you, and you past my “criteria” to be on the show, step a little out of your comfort zone and email me to be on the show!