Today we’d like to introduce you to Alexey Koyfman.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My fascination with photography started when I was a child. I remember developing photographs in the dark room with my dad when I was five. The red lamp, the chemicals and the appearance of the image were magical to me. As a teenager, I got a simple Kodak film camera as a gift and I was happy to snap pictures everywhere I went.
I realized that I loved microscopy when I was a graduate student in California. At the time, I was designing materials for nanotechnology and looking at their nanoscale characteristics using a tool called, Atomic Force Microscopy. This type of microscopy scans a needle over a surface much like a music record. It takes a few minutes to get an image on the computer screen. The appearance of the image on the screen reminded me of the image appearing on the photographic paper when I was a child.
I bought my first digital SLR in graduate school and was using it every chance I had. As a graduate student, I was working on figures describing my research results for publications. In order to make exceptional figures for the papers, I was using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Years of working on figures and presenting my results dramatically improved my image processing skills. These skills help me with graphic design, website design and post-processing photographs to this day. The best microscope images I obtained during graduate school were published as three magazine covers and a book cover.
I moved to Houston to investigate cryo-electron microscopy at the Baylor College of Medicine. This microscopy uses electrons to investigate the three-dimensional shape of small molecules and viruses. Three investigators in cryo-electron microscopy won a Nobel Prize in 2017. At Baylor College of Medicine, I further confirmed my realization that I really enjoy creating figures and movies.
To improve my confidence as well as presentation and leadership skills, I joined Toastmasters International. Later, I realized that the Toastmasters journey would also make me a better salesman. Interacting with different kinds of people and sales skills are essential for photographers. I am eternally grateful to Toastmasters organization to help me discover my extrovert side. Today, I am the official District Photographer for Houston’s Toastmaster Organization, which includes over 200 Toastmaster Clubs in the greater Houston area.
I sold my first photographs at the Baylor College of Medicine annual art show. I started selling only prints because I did not want to make an investment into costly frames. I quickly realized that people are interested to buy a shiny finished product to hang on the wall rather than a print they are likely to misplace. Therefore, I started investing money and time to make beautiful framed pieces. This was well worth my effort. Lesson well learned.
Today, I am taking photographs and videos of customers around Houston and Galveston area. I also sell beautiful framed prints.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I had to learn hard lessons about sales and marketing when I got started. Here are some lessons that I learned.
Every person who is starting a business has to be good at sales. One of the best formulas to keep moving forward in sales is:
(SW)(SW) + WC? = MO!
Which stands for: Some Will Care, Some Won’t + Who Cares? = Move On!
It is well to remember this valuable acronym when sales do not go as well as expected: FOCUS, which means Follow One Course Until Successful.
Success is NOT reserved for the lucky. Rather, it is the domain of leaders who have the vision, guts, disciple and devotion to use opportunities in order to make spectacular things happen!
Word of mouth advertisement goes a long way in photography. That is why it is very important for me to do an excellent job during the photo shoot regardless of the size of the assignment involved.
Along with my entrepreneurial journey, I realized that people hire you to take a photograph they cannot take with their iPhone.
Every time a customer asks me for a photo, they have a pretty good idea of what they want on the image but they need my technical expertise to capture and process the image or video they have envisioned. My goal is to execute their vision to my best ability. It is also my mission to educate my customers how creative lighting and different perspectives can give an image an enhanced, new element they did not expect.
I also learned that I have to price my time and my work in such a manner that everyone thinks they are getting a great deal. If I think that I am compensated well for my time, and the client thinks that he or she is getting the best pictures for the price, everyone in the transaction is happy.
Competing on price in photography is futile. Most people have an iPhone now and a good portion of iPhonographers think they are good photographers. You also have people with entry-level SLR cameras who shoot with an auto mode.
These amateurs are likely to undercut us on a price. But you will get what you paid for. Please remember that good Photography isn’t cheap and cheap Photography isn’t good.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Koyfman Photo – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Koyfman Photography (#koyfmanphoto) provides a variety of photographic and video services. We photograph from individual portraits to large corporate events. The ages of the subject we photograph ranges from newborns to retirees. Our clients are primarily located in the Houston and Galveston areas.
Our photographic interests and passions include sports and action photography. Freezing the transitory moment (#transitorymoment) of the athlete in a photograph is a look that sets Koyfman Photography apart from others.
Koyfman Photography is devoted to ensuring a great experience and high-quality images for our clients. We love to create high contrast, intense and saturated look in our photographs that will vividly show the emotions of the subject.
Where do you see your industry going over the next 5-10 years? Any big shifts, changes, trends, etc?
Each time a new camera comes out on the market, the resolution and file size increase. Also, it is much easier to take pictures and videos in low light situations. This creates opportunities to shoot at low light with minimal extra lighting and flash. These advances will result in new innovative avenues for photographers to express their creative vision. Three-dimensional virtual reality is a next big thing. It will start off with video games and then photographic and video technology will catch up. In the foreseeable future, that day will come when people will be using a big screen (TV), a small screen (phone) and a virtual reality screen (VR) to track a wearer’s motion in space.
- Website: koyfmanphoto.com
- Phone: (805) 570-6217
- Email: email@example.com