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.

Surprise,'s magical, :)


My service to the NSA NYC community is not to win awards…


…but it’s pretty magical when it happens, :)


It’s not everyday that I find myself surprised, but I definitely was caught completely off guard by this one, I have to say.

I was excited to attend the annual NSA NYC chapter Luncheon to capture the magic of celebrating a very successful year for the chapter, the installation of a new President and board, as well as an awards ceremony for members who have done outstanding work during the previous year.

This was the second annual Luncheon I’ve attended, so I knew what to expect when taking pictures of the event.

The awards section of the festivities is my favorite part because that’s when I get to take candid photos of members genuinely reacting to winning - and usually, that means some type of emotion is going to be plastered all over their faces which makes for some awesome images.

I did capture some tear wipes, which is always a bonus, :)

As past president, Sylvie DiGiusto, was going through the list of awards, she then introduced the Dottie Berman award for service to the chapter.

As she started that presentation, I was looking around the audience to see if I can capture the exact moment when that person realized it was them.

I noticed that a friend and one of the speakers in the chapter, Jill Schiefelbein, was shooting Sylvie’s talk from the corner of the room right next to me. I thought to myself, “why is she so far away when she could get a better shot from where she was sitting…”

Eh, no matter, I kept my search out for the award recipient.

I also noticed that another member, Irina Leoni, a fellow photographer, had her camera strap slung over her shoulder. I’d never seen her bring her camera to a chapter meeting before, so, I thought that was a bit odd, but again, paid it no mind.

But then, a funny thing happened.

Sylvie mentioned something about “…being on his knees for most of the meetings…”

And that’s when I realized she was talking about me…

...oh shit, I’m getting an award …

I spent the next minute or so wrestling between smiling like a crazy idiot and becoming emotional for being recognized for my service and the way that Sylvie was talking about me in the lead up to the presentation.

It was completely unexpected, humbling and beautiful all at the same time.

And thanks to Jill, Irina and several other members who sent me video clips and still photos of the moment, I have it captured forever…

...especially the very moment that I realized she was awarding it to me, which is priceless!

Want to check it out? Here’s the video (unfortunately, it’s low resolution, but, the audio is solid):

It was a very magical moment and I’m extremely grateful for it…:)

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, :)