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.

The 5-Year Plan Do-Over...


The 5 Year Plan Do-Over...


That way, I won’t get caught off guard when asked about it ever again, :)


Recently, I was having a deeply engaging chat with John Vagueiro on his Above Average Driven Millennials Podcast.  We were discussing a wide variety of topics related to productivity, running a business, and photography - naturally.

Towards the end of the interview, he threw me a curve ball that I wasn’t quite ready to answer.

John wanted to know what I thought my life will look like in five years. And, I gave an answer that basically suggested that i haven't really thought it out.

Wanna know why?

It’s because I hadn't thought it out.

Now, I do have a logical explanation for this.

For the past couple years, I’ve been framing my goals in terms of 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month and 6 month chunks. I’ve purposely been keeping everything contained in a short amount of time in order to manage my progress more closely.

Although in the back of my mind I’ve had a semblance of my long-range goals since all this work now is geared towards building my future, I’ve never assembled them together and cemented them down in one place.

I’m not sure why this is the case, but, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s due in some part to my self-defeating, primitive, monkey brain working it’s devilish spell over me to stay protected and safe and not attempt to grow out my cocoon of safety and attempt to do big things and shoot for the stars.

Who knows.

Regardless, my conversation with John inspired an evening of self-reflection and thought into where I truly see myself in 5 years - what I want to do with my time, and what does it look like...

So, what better time than now to go over all that fun stuff, right?

Screw it, let's do it:

In 5 years, i want to be at a place with my business to shoot whatever I want, whenever I want. I want to be able to take on projects that are less about money, and more about my passion for being an artist.

Fly to a cigar tobacco field in Central America, South America and the Caribbean, and create a photo book project just cause I love cigars and cigar culture - yup, that works.

Or, I can skip the plane and opt for trains as I scale down my gear and goals to one lens, one camera, and New York City. I want to walk around, observe and shoot what I see.  You know, that’s how this crazy photographer life started, and I look forward to going back to it, cause that's happening in five years time.

In 5 years, I see my portrait business developing into a select group of high-level speakers, authors and coaches that I shoot year round as they travel the world spreading their thought leadership.

As I serve these folks, I will still share the how’s and the why’s of what’s working for them with speakers, authors and coaches champing at the bit to elevate themselves up to that level, so that they can serve a much larger community of those who need them most.

I see myself producing workshops, seminars, keynotes and a book or two on the subject.

In 5 years, I will have earned the attention of the professional photographer community worldwide and, thus, will be seen as an integral resource to help them to create a memorable and referable business that allows then to show up in the world exactly the way they want.

Much like the added work that I will be inspired to create from collaborating with my private, thought leader clients, I will be on stage talking about it, offering workshops and seminars, writing books, as well as continuing to provide specialized attention through the photography community platform, Screw The Metadata, that I created alongside my partner, Maurice Jager, in 2018.

In 5 years time, Screw The Metadata will be acknowledged as not just a community to educate and support photographers as they learn how to present themselves powerfully in their content, but it transform into a movement that is looked upon as a turning point in the way photographers, in general, market their businesses.

On a personal level, within 5 years time, I will learn a very important lesson in being able to comfortably take my foot off the gas from time-to-time…

...incorporate more wellness and self-care practice into my life…

...add a couple hobbies to the agenda...

...take random vacations whenever I want and sip on sugary drinks to my heart’s content….

...and, oh yeah, have my own family to raise and support!

Although this would’ve been better to declare during the podcast conversation with John when I was asked about it, I guess it’s better late than never to declare where you want to go with your life, right?

Now I turn to you…

What are your goals in five years time? Where do you see yourself? What does the future look like for you? Please share some ideas in the comments section below.

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, :)