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.

Collaborator in your success.


A Great photographer isn’t someone who simply takes great pictures…


...they are a collaboration partner who works to present you powerfully, purposefully and authentically.


Recently, I was contacted by a speaker that I’ve photographed at several speaking engagements, and she was looking to update her website.

She reached out to me to get my opinion on the types of images she should leverage for her homepage, and asked that we review some of the candid photos that I’ve taken of her, and choose the best three.

Truth be told, the three that she chose were fine - each of them presented her confidently and comfortably while speaking from the stage.

However, since I’ve gotten to know her over the past, couple months, I felt that there was a piece of her personality missing from the cluster of images she initially presented. Specifically, I wanted her to inject more warmth and joy into this cluster of images, especially since this if for her homepage, which is the first thing that people see when they visit her site.

I asked her to show me the other shots that she was considering and, by and large, there was more of the same with those images…

...but, the last one she opened was a photo of her striding across the stage, smiling while making direct eye contact with the audience.

Boom - that’s the missing piece!

As excited as I was about the image, she wasn’t sold on it for two reasons; one, her body posture and hand gesture wasn’t as commanding as the others, and two, that shot didn’t quite fit the copy that it would be attached to on the homepage.

And I agreed with that assessment.

So we played a game of mix and match - remove the other two images from their copy, and move all of the photos around to see which ones visually punctuates each piece of copy the best.

After a couple minutes, I brought up the smile photo again.

I suggested that if she leverage that photo with the homepage copy that addresses the need to make a good impression within 7 seconds, that warm and inviting, smiling image visually punctuates that sentiment to a T.

She agreed, and that one decision locked in the other two images, and she was very happy with the re-organization.

I am very grateful that my clients invite me into making their decision-making processes because once the photos are delivered, my interest in how they leverage the images is EXTREMELY high.

I never saw myself as just a person who sits behind a camera and pushes a button - that’s just not going to cut it with the speakers, authors and coaches that I serve.

This type of after-the-shoot work taps into my television producer brain and excites me beyond the work behind the camera, and adds a hefty layer of value that I provide clients - work that is necessary for them gain the most value out of their sessions with me.

When you qualify photographers for your next round of branded lifestyle portraits, make sure you are hiring someone who is a willing participant in the decisions that have to be made beyond the process of capturing the photos.   

Take note as to the types of questions they ask you during that initial call and ask yourself:

  • Are they looking to get to know me beyond my LinkedIn Bio and About section on my site?

  • Are they curious to know how I plan to leverage these photos?

  • Do they have experience working with someone in my particular space?

  • Do they have the bandwidth or interest in working with me to pick the best photos for specific uses?


Because it will not only help shape the way the photos are captured in the first place, but also, the guidance and hand holding that you are afforded after the session will go a long way to ensuring that you present yourself in the best and most authentic light possible.

At the end of the day, the financial, time and emotional investment you make when committing to a portrait session needs to be worth it, so taking the time to find the right people who help move you forward will ensure a successful outcome.

Are you in the market for new photos and are looking at options as we speak?

Well, perhaps a phone call between you and I is in order, don’t you think?

Set up a call with me and let’s see if I’m the right person for you, :)

PS - 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, :)