John DeMato - NYC Branded Lifestyle Portrait Photographer

NYC Branded Lifestyle Photographer - Blog

NYC Branded Lifestyle Portrait Photography Blog | Hi, I'm John DeMato, and I collaborate with thought leaders to create powerful, purposeful and authentic images. This is my blog where I talk all about the magic behind the portraits we create.

Fakin' it til the day I die, :)


Resourcefully creating portrait images.

My resourceful muscle has been developed over many years.

During my days as a Field Producer for Maury, we would occasionally shoot dramatic re-enactment footage that would visually supplement the guest interviews that appeared on the show.

Some of these stories would absolutely blow your mind based on the insanity described.

We’re talking sexual assault, violence, torture, kidnapping, death…

Let’s just say that I’ve shot a lot of weird shit in my day, :)


We would use actors for these shoots.

On occasion, a story would require 4-5 actors, but, due to budget restrictions, the producing team would only be able to book 1 or 2 actors, which meant that it was up to me - yay, lucky me - to figure out how the hell to make this work.

The best part?

Since we were often short-handed, we would have to use a female actor to also play a man, and vice versa. I’ve also lost count at how many times we’ve had to fake ethnicity and age, as well.

With a carefully concocted mixture of wardrobe changes, camera angles, and very generous and cool actors, we always made it work - but boy, was it a pain in the ass!

I thought that unique skill set I built up over the years would be relegated to the dustball section of my mind forever.

...that is, until I had to rummage around my mental attic to find it in a pile of shit and then fire it up again!

As I often do with my clients, I capture candid portrait images of them engaging clients in a one-on-one consultation, and recently, one of my clients, Carolyn, was in need of those types of images based on the type of coaching she does with female entrepreneurs.

Here is one of the selected portrait images from that scene:

Here is a selfie portrait I took with Carolyn and her “female entrepreneur” after we finished this scene:

We were lucky that Michael, her hair/makeup artist and stylist, was awesome enough to play along. In fact, it was his idea to wrap his head in a scarf, and that’s ultimately what made it work.

(BTW, this is a photo of Michael using a Q-tip to carefully wipe off the tears of LAUGHTER streaming from Carolyn’s eyes, who got a huge kick out of the whole process.)

So, why go through the aggravation?

It’s important that, as a thought leader, you present yourself as the expert you are in your portrait images, working and thriving in your element, providing your tribe an inside glimpse into how you create your magic.

Carolyn does a lot of one-on-one meetings, and these types of candid, portrait images provide her the visual punctuations to stories that revolve around this part of her business and brand.

So, one way or another, we needed to create these branded portraits for her high-volume, image library — fortunately, I still got it when it comes to fakin' it in front of the camera, :)

Have you ever come across this type of situation during one of your portrait sessions? I’d love to hear about it!


PS - Are you planning on investing in a session and are in need of some direction with the types of image content that you need?
Want help when selecting your final portraits?  

Schedule a call with me here and let’s see if we’re a good fit to work together.

PPS - For those of you who aren’t in the know, I mail out these blogs 3x a week, and lemme tell you, they’re a real party, so, if you’d like to get in on this, sign up for it here and I’ll throw in a free gift for you...because I care, :)