Today’s interview is with photographer, Braulio Negreira. We first met him as a follower of our blog on Tumblr a couple of months back. He’s slowly turned into a pretty good friend and is even a photographer that our company uses. Now here’s the kicker….he’s only 16! I feel like he has a real bright future ahead of him and it’s a joy to know him and help him grow as an entrepreneur.
- What’s the name of your micro business and where is it located?
Braxen Photography is located in Fremont, California USA.
- How long have you been in business?
I’ve enjoyed photography as a hobby for about two to three years, but as an official micro business I’ve been around since March 2012.
- What does your micro business do?
I use my passion and photography skills with Braxen Photography to provide automotive event coverage, photo shoots, and product photos for companies like Vip’d Out and Habermann & Sons.
(Me: this product photo shoot came about after he purchased some shirts for us and asked if we would post his work if he took pictures of our stuff on our blog. I didn’t high expectations (because I didn’t know of his photography skills at the time) for the pics but my jaw literally dropped when I saw them. That’s when we knew we had to work with him)
- Why did you decide to start your micro business?
I decided to start my micro business as a way to display my passion in a form so that many others could enjoy it. I also had the tendency to scatter my work on various blogs and pages, so by putting everything under the Braxen Photography name, a hub was created so all my photos could be in one place. This would also allow others to communicate with me which is really important to me.
- Who else is a part of your team? What are their roles?
Braxen Photography is my brain child and I’m the only photographer but I do collaborate with many other companies for publishing purposes so I’d say that they’re a part of my team.
- What are some memorable moments that you’ve had in your micro business?
I’d have to say some memorable moments would be getting my first products to shoot and getting sign on to the Vip’d Out team to cover events for them. This milestone has also grown the client list available to me to shoot which will definitely help grow my business.
- What are some moments that you’d rather forget?
I’d rather forget getting blown off by a few people even though they said they’d love to have me on board but I guess that happens to everyone.
(Me: Yeah, it unfortunately does happen to everyone. Even though someone may promise you something, nothing is set in stone until it is actually happening. Don’t let these things discourage you. Keep on going and you’ll eventually find someone who would really love to work with you.)
- What’s something that you know now that you wish you would have known when you first started out?
I wish I would have known that an email or a single image could make such a drastic difference and that being approachable pays off.
(Me: I’ve experienced the same thing with the Micro Business Kid. There are some posts that get hundreds of views and there are some that don’t even get 10. It’s really hit or miss but the more you do something, the better idea you get of what people want to see more of. Being available is really important. I’ve learned that you don’t really know who looks at your work until you really get to know them. These people may know someone “important” or may have some pull in their social circles.)
- If you could give advice to those just starting out, it would be:
Don’t be afraid to dive into the deeper end from the start but be ready to paddle to shallower waters if the need arises; you can always swim deeper but you can’t always come back from going under.
(Me: Don’t be afraid to actually get started!)
- What do you think is a key trait that you possess that has led you to have a successful micro business? Why is it important?
A key trait which I possess that helped me with my micro business is being social. Now that may sound very broad, but we can narrow this down to two distinguishable interactions. The first is be open. Since most of my business involves event coverage, you always have to be able to work with and around people. Always keep a decent face (you don’t have to smile ear to ear like a maniac) and look approachable. The second part is all up to you. Go on website, forums, blogs, anything that allows you to communicate with others. Make your own pages, send emails, and start talking with other people. It may feel slow at first, but after a little while, you’ll see the rewards of speaking with other.
(Me: Couldn’t have said it better!)
- What do you think is most important to have while first starting a micro business; a business degree, connections, determination, etc.? Why?
I think the most important thing to have in mind when starting your micro business is to have set goals for yourself and your product. Start simple and work your way up. Also, having someone who supports you as a person following their dream is nice, even if they sometimes don’t support your product. Lucky me, I have 100% support.
- Looking forward to the next 6 months or so, what new ideas or goals do you have for your micro business?
- Continue to go to various meets/events.
- Continue to shoot for Vip’d Out.
- Get more practice in and learn new techniques
- Shoot for Carsxhype
- Continue to have fun with what I do while gaining more support for the public
- What are some “myths” of starting a business that you’ve found to be absolutely false?
In the business aspect of it, I feel a definite myth that was broken for me was that you need a physical place to display your work, which is totally false. In the photographic aspect of it, a myth that I broke was that it’s hard to get noticed for your work as a photographer.
- Is there anything else you’d like to share or address? If so, what?
Well there’s only one thing I’d really like to say. As with everything, including life, there will be ups and downs. Don’t let the downs deter you from your goal and don’t forget that you won’t always be on a “high.”
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That wraps things up with Braulio. As you can see, he’s a photography boy-genius. A down-to-earth kid, he’s pretty grown up for a 16 year-old so if you need a quality product shoot, don’t let his age deter you. He does great work and is a real professional. Check out his Tumblr, Facebook, and his Flickr to get in touch with him and check out his portfolio.