Ryan G Photo, AMA Tampa Bay’s photography sponsor, is a branding company specialized in photos, video production, and web design.
If you’ve attended an AMA Tampa Bay event, you’ve probably been asked to smile for the camera or you’ve seen the post-event slide show on our Facebook page. It’s the photographer’s job to tell the story of these events. It looks easy enough, but there’s much more to shooting images than meets the eye. For this week’s sponsor spotlight we sat down with Ryan Gautier, founder of Ryan G Photo, to learn more about the man behind the lens and to learn what goes into producing a top-quality photo. It’s so much more than lighting and angle!
General George Patton said, “Success is not determined by what you do while you’re on top, but by how high you bounce when you hit the bottom.” Every good business needs a resilient leader and Ryan Gautier embodies resilience. This very trait is the foundation on which Ryan G Photo was built.
Ryan fought his way through challenging obstacles before becoming a photographer. He used to be a professional volleyball player, but his volleyball dreams were shattered after being seriously injured in a car accident. “It was very tough for me,” Ryan admitted. “My life revolved around volleyball. Then, suddenly it all changed.”
While juggling multiple injuries, several surgeries, and the loss of his career, Ryan found a new career path as a network engineer. Then, another challenge reared its head when Ryan suddenly lost his job. “I and 20 of my colleagues showed up at work and found out that the company had closed without telling us. We were all unemployed.” Concerned for his livelihood and needing to earn money, Ryan became a full-time photographer. “I had already started photography as a hobby after quitting volleyball and I became good at it very quickly. I was fortunate to have that to fall back on after losing my job.” Since becoming a full-time photographer, Ryan hasn’t looked back!
Connecting with Customers
Aside from having a resilient leader, Ryan G Photo has other assets that make it unique among photography and videography companies. One asset is a customer-centric culture, which involves much more than just serving clients. Photography has a strong psychological
component to it and requires keen social skills, Ryan insists. “You have to connect with customers and be able to converse with them about anything that interests them.” According to Ryan, a photographer also must be able to read people as well as sense their likes and dislikes, points of insecurity, points of confidence, and points of interest. When this level of connection is established, the subjects feel comfortable, they can be themselves, and their individual personalities and/or brand personalities will definitely show in photos. “If you don’t establish this level of connection, your photos will be mediocre.” Ryan admitted, “My team does this [all of the above] very well.”
Ryan and his team also connect with clients via professionalism. Ryan said, “We photograph professionals, so we conduct ourselves in the same way: professionally. We have a professional demeanor, dress code, and way of doing business. We’re not going to show up in cargo shorts and T-shirts to photograph people who wear business suits to work.”
Customer-Guided Photo Shoots
Ryan G Photo also allows clients to guide their own photo shoots. Clients are encouraged to view and critique every few photos. Photographers will repeatedly alter the way they photograph based on clients’ feedback. The goal is to give customers the best photographs they have ever seen of themselves or give them their money back.
Since photography is Ryan’s passion and doesn’t feel like work, he does plenty of pro-bono shoots in his free time: 100 hours per year, to be exact! He also serves on the boards of two charities (Charity Polo Classic and Children’s Cancer Center) and is on the nomination committee for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Man and Woman of the Year. Ryan is also a Big Brother with Big Brothers & Big Sisters, and donates his time photographing their events.
Ryan says it best: “I like to serve charities run by people who are passionate about their causes, have a personal connection to their causes, and don’t just do the work for a paycheck.” What attracts Ryan to AMA Tampa Bay? He said this: “AMA seems full of people who want to be doing what they’re doing. They seem excited to attend the events, to learn, and to help others achieve their career goals.”
The Magic Potion
With a combination of skill, resilience, customer centricity, and passion, Ryan G. found the magic potion necessary for his business to excel. Ryan G Photo serves all industries and has served clients as big as Catalina Marketing and PNC Bank. However, he has no intention of stopping there and we doubt he will!
About the Author
Chiara is Digital Content Creator and Blog Manager for AMA Tampa Bay. She is Co-founder and Director of Winning the Fight, a non-profit organization specializing in neurodegenerative disease research. Chiara is also a freelance digital marketer for small businesses and is finishing up her MBA with a specialty in marketing from the University of South Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Chiara lived in Washington, DC. She earned her BA in International Studies from American University’s School of International Services in 2007 and worked for Booz Allen Hamilton and the Department of Defense thereafter. Her hobbies include obstacle racing, running, swimming, kayaking, SCUBA diving, and opera/classical singing. She also loves country music and chocolate!
Email: Chiara at [email protected]
Social Media: LinkedIn