Local Spotlight - Interview with photographer Jason Domingues

Jason Domingues hive workshops photography kansas city

Local Spotlight

Shining light on small business owners in our community. Check out this candid and transparent interview of Kansas City photographer and small business owner, Jason Domingues.

Jason Domingues began shooting photography at 15-years-old. As a teenager in Rhode Island, Domingues was gifted his first camera from his stepfather. “Most of my photography career has been by accident,” said Domingues. “My step-father gave me his father’s camera, which was an old 35mm film camera, and I was really intrigued with it. I blew through a ton of rolls of film figuring it out, and taught myself that way.”

Domingues started out working as a photographer for a local magazine in Rhode Island. After high school, he joined the U.S. military, where he served for three years. Although he joined the Army as a part of the artillery, his commanding officer soon discovered his talent with a camera, and tapped him as a photographer. “He wanted a nice, personal journey of his military trip, so he made me his driver,” said Domingues. “I drove and took pictures for the rest of my military career. It was a pretty nice job!”

http://jasondomingues.com/

http://jasondomingues.com/

His time in the military moved Domingues from the East Coast to the Midwest, first to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and then to Fort Riley, Kansas, where he met his wife of 18 years, Allison. Now they run their photography business together, with Jason focusing on the photography and Allison handling the business side of things. “She’s taken more of a role in the last five years. It’s really neat how we do it,” said Domingues. “I can focus on photography, editing and relations with our clients, while she handles 100% of the business side. When clients contact us, she is the one to respond and get all their information. It allows both of us to do what we’re really good at. And I am not good at emails and phone calls! So we work really well as a team.”

Jason and Allison have two children, and the photography business has grown with their family. “Our daughter was almost 1-year-old when we decided to go for it and do photography as a full time business,” said Domingues. “I had other photography jobs in the past, but it’s been about 12 years since we started the wedding side of the business.”

Domingues says that almost every part of his photography career has happened by accident, and transitioning to wedding photography was no exception. He was asked by a friend to shoot photos for his wedding, but Domingues was wary. At the time, he felt wedding photography would be too much work and drama, and he didn’t feel like it was a creative endeavour. “Twelve years ago, wedding photography isn’t like what it is today,” said Domingues. “I had heard a lot of stereotypes about what wedding photography was like, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to go there.”

But his friend persisted, and eventually Domingues agreed to shoot the wedding. He says that wedding changed everything for him. “I came home that day and told my wife, ‘this is what I want to do.’”

While wedding photography has changed since Domingues started his business, he says that the people who make it in this industry are the ones that are flexible and open to this change. “The ones that make it learn to adjust their game accordingly,” said Domingues. “I love my own wedding album, even though it’s very traditional. In fact, that’s what we are shooting these days, more of a hybrid of traditional and photojournalism.”

Domingues says that photographers have to be willing to look at their work critically and break out of their own mold. When photographers get stuck in their particular style, and refuse to change, they can become outdated. “They are wondering 10 or 12 years down the road why they aren’t getting any business. But photography as a business is changing. If you can push a button, make an image, slap a bunch of filters on it, and create a website... then you’re a wedding photographer! What makes the difference is everything in between.”

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Jason will be teaching an upcoming {hive-workshop} on April 9th 2015, called "Get Your LIFE Back - the one day workflow for photographers".  Along with talking about post-processing, he wants to highlight these differences that make a photographer stand out from the ever-growing crowd. “How do you change the game? How do you stay ahead of people? What makes you stand out? That’s what we need to be talking about,” said Domingues.

Read all about his {hive-workshop} and sign-up on the link right over there......

 

 

Jason is a big fan of Kansas City and the Midwest in general. He says that while he loves where he is from on the East Coast, it is very stressful and fast-paced. While he still loves being near the water and the great food from Rhode Island, he didn’t like the “go-go-go” culture.

“I call Kansas City home now, because it IS my home,” said Domingues. “The people are incredible. The food is incredible. I fell in love with everything about the Midwest. I can’t see myself living anywhere else. There is so much opportunity here.”

Another passion of Domingues’ is music. His photography business is shaped around both the local KC wedding and music scene. He shoots weddings and portraits during wedding season, and then spends the late Fall, Winter and early Spring touring and shooting bands.  If you are interested in having Jason photograph your band you can contact him through his website:  http://www.913816live.com/

“I don’t tour as much as I used to, due to having a family now.” said Domingues. “What I love to do is go online and find a local band who doesn’t have good photography, and I’ll just call them up and say, ‘when are you performing next, because I’d love to come shoot your band.’ I show up and do some promo shots and then hand them over and tell the band to just share who did them and pass my name on.”

The number one advice Domingues would pass on to new and upcoming photographers is a simple one: Be yourself and don’t worry about what others think.

“My work changed about five years ago, when I just didn’t care anymore what people thought,” said Domingues. “Who cares what other people think about your photography? Who cares about what you’re doing with your photography? When you’re at a photo session, don’t worry about ‘Is this gonna look good on my blog?’ or ‘Am I gonna be judged for this photo I want to take?’ Just take it! Don’t listen to all that hype, just do it your way.

Connect with Jason through his creative endeavors ....

 

 

 

Interview by:  {hive-workshops} blogger Megan Peters.  Check out more of Megan's awesomeness on her BLOG Crazy Bananas and read her last {hive-blog} post entitles:  Comparison is the Thief of Joy - here.

 

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