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.

So, what's the story here?


Don’t simply shoot photos to have cool photos...

NYC Branded Lifestyle Portrait Dr. Brian Lima in gym thinking to himself

...make sure they compliment the stories you share with your audience.


Whenever I’m brainstorming potential lifestyle scenarios to photograph with my clients, the first question that comes up is, “what’s the story you’re visually punctuating with these images?”

If we cannot come up with relevant and compelling ideas for these images, we don’t shoot them - we brainstorm something else that makes more sense for their business and brand.

Other than satisfying your vanity needs, there’s no point in taking up space in your image content portfolio with images you’ll never use.

Focus on creating image content that compliments and enhances the stories you want to share, so that you’re truly leveraging the power of the written word and visual combination.

During my session with Dr. Brian Lima, this “what’s the story?” question popped up several times.

In addition to being a heart surgeon, Brian wrote a book that focuses on creating a positive and focused mindset and is preparing to speak on stages and spread his particular expertise.

While we captured a variety of images at the hospital during his first session, we set up shop for the second round exclusively in his home.

Fortunately, his house has a lot of magical nooks and crannies - a cool, winding staircase, gym and pool table -  and we wanted to leverage as much of them as we could in the images…

...provided that he has the stories that these images would visually punctuate, of course, :)

As we put our heads together and brainstormed during the second, pre-session strategy call, it became clear that lifestyle portraits involving these areas of his home would visually punctuate a wide variety of informative and inspiring stories that he plans to share with those he serves.


I’m a big fan of winding staircases - I mean, not when there’s a fire or some other crazy shit is going down and a quick getaway is a high-priority - but aesthetically, they really look cool and interesting.

Cool and interesting on its doesn’t leave very much meat on that bone.

But, once Brian and I talked aloud about how images of him walking up and down the staircase could serve to visually punctuate stories he can share about working through the long, winding path to growth and achieving goals that he shares in his book, NOW, we were onto something.

As a result, I repositioned him several times standing on the staircase and captured him from a couple angles so that he had visual variety from photo-to-photo.

He mentioned that he could share dozens of stories that play on the “path to growth” theme in his book, so, that’s why we decided to capture a nice chunk of image content here.

And since Brian is a huge proponent of the quote post, I made sure to leave a lot of negative space in the images so he can add text and his website there to enhance the value of the images.


Next on our list of lifestyle portraits to capture was him playing some 8-ball on his pool table.

I had never photographed someone playing pool, so selfishly, I wanted to make sure we worked that into the session…

after we figured out the stories that these images would visually punctuate, of course, :)

At first, Brian was skeptical in terms of how these images could represent anything more than vanity-driven portraits where he looks like a badass pool hustler working the room.

But, once I mentioned during our second call how pool is about focus and strategy, he mentioned “working the angles” and “staying on track” and a ton of other empowering and motivating language that lives in his book.

We were sold - although I didn’t need much motivation anyway, :)

Again, I kept his desire to create quote posts in mind when capturing these images, so there is a lot of Brian either living on the left or right side of the image.  


The last nook and cranny we explored was his home gym.

This was the easiest of the three lifestyle scenarios for Brian to be able to generate relevant, valuable and inspiring content to those he serves because exercise and health not only is a huge component to his book, but the fact that he’s a heart surgeon affords him a ton of creative latitude with which to speak.

In addition, these candid lifestyle photos of him working out illustrates how he practices what he preaches, which adds instant credibility to the posts.

That’s the good news.

The bad news?

All the equipment in the room made for a pretty tight space for me to maneuver and it was floor-to-ceiling mirrored walls, which meant I had to figure out how to avoid capturing my reflection and the light in every single shot.

Screw the potential shooting landmines, we made it work, :)

When you invest in a branded lifestyle portrait session, don’t simply aim for pretty pictures.

Aim for capturing candid portraits that visually punctuate the sentiments of the stories you want to share while also revealing who you are and what’s important to you.

Take advantage of your space and surroundings, and that will create an added layer of authenticity to the photos you create, which will ultimately resonate more deeply with those you serve…

...a magical byproduct of your effort, :)

Turning to you…

Do you have a couple interesting nooks and crannies in your home that could translate into stunning image content that would visually punctuate the informative and inspiring sentiments of the stories you share with your audience?

How about we talk about it?

Set up a call with me to see if we’re a fit to work together.

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, :)