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.

What a difference a couple years make, huh?


What a difference a couple years make, huh?

100518 PICZ - PORTRAITS-7426.JPG

…From tough love to true love…


When I first started working with Dave Vitalli, the last place I’d ever imagine that I would see him is in a daycare center, giving a little kid a fist bump.

I mean, we have plenty of experience working with children, but, the circumstances were far, far different than what this picture depicts.

You see, Dave and I go back over 11 years from our time spent working together on Maury, where we shot some crazy television segments in glamorous places such as highway underpasses, prisons, funeral homes and homeless shelters.

Generally speaking, most of those segments involved him playing the tough love, bad cop role by scaring the shit out of people in order to knock some sense into them.

Needless to say, we’ve experienced some moments together.

Now, Dave is working on a completely different venture - he is leveraging his two decades worth of experience as a high-level, security expert to ensure the safety and security of children nationwide through his company, AngelWatch.

To summarize, Angelwatch provides daycare and early childhood centers the technology for parents to monitor their children once they are dropped off. Angelwatch also trains daycare center staff in all of the critical areas of care, from CPR to evacuation strategies in case of an emergency.

All of this came to him the moment his son was born.

He realized the need for this type of service after having toured several daycare facilities for him, and saw how vulnerable these centers actually were. That’s when he sprung into action.

As a way to help promote his business and elevate his status as the authority in this space - a space that is, quite frankly, not addressed - we collaborated on a series of branded lifestyle portraits of him in one of the childcare centers in the Angelwatch family.

But before we went off and did that, Dave asked for me to shoot a couple headshots that he can leverage on his website and social platforms.

I’ve been telling him for years that we needed to update his image content portfolio - and FINALLY, I got the call.

I was actually really excited to stick something other than a video camera in his face, for once, :)

During the pre-session strategy call, Dave talked to me about capturing two types of headshots - one that would be used in for promotional opportunities - press/media spots, speaking gigs, etc.-  and a couple casual images that could be leveraged for social media.

Regardless of the type of headshot, the objective and approach is always the same - illustrate authentic aspects of the subject’s personality by inspiring unique expressions through the movement of the eyes, eyebrows and mouth.

This will produce an image that projects confidence, approachability and likability to those who view it...and I believe that’s exactly what we captured in this set of images:

Once we snapped the headshots, it was time to head over to the daycare center to create some magical images.

Originally, the agenda was simply to capture photos of him talking to the center staff, but, the moment I walked in the place, my eyes lit up at all the color and cuteness surrounding me, so, I immediately grabbed for the camera and went to town shooting various details throughout the space:

Once I had my fix of colorful details, I walked into the room that Dave was conducting the meeting with the center staff.

Normally, when I shoot these consultation-type photos for clients, they’re usually faking it for the camera, but, in this case, there was a real conversation going on, so, I tried to avoid getting in anyone’s way, which is hard when your camera is as big as some of the children in this center, :)

Once the conversation was over, Dave popped in to a couple of the rooms where the kiddos were participating in their typical, playtime activities.

Dave has mentioned on several occasions that he really enjoys playing with the kids, and, it’s pretty obvious the moment he walks into one of the playrooms.

Although he’s a big dude, his heart is even bigger - he’s quite the mushball, :)

Before we left, I wanted to capture some more juicy goodness for Dave’s image content portfolio, and was told that there was a group of other kids playing in the outdoor space, so, I moseyed on out there to see what I could capture:

All in all, it was a wonderful day capturing a wide variety of images that Dave can now leverage to promote his brand - a brand that is in the business of saving lives.

It also gives him the visual assets he needs to get himself in front of more people in order to spread his message of safety and security on behalf of those who cannot protect themselves.

An image content portfolio like this this truly visually punctuates the sentiment of who he is, who he serves and why he does what he does.

And, I already look forward to the next round, :)

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, :)