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Meet Patrick Bertolino

Today we’d like to introduce you to Patrick Bertolino.

Patrick, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’m a native Houstonian. I started my passion in photography the hard way: photo processing labs. My first big break was with Evin Thayer Studios where I worked, shot and learned for eight years. Once I went on my own in 2005, I took every job I could: weddings, events, portraits, jewelry, and food – the ultimate “yes” man. Eventually, I landed a shoot with Heritage Texas Properties shooting real estate and I was hooked. It was only a matter of time until I completely specialized in Real Estate and Architectural Photography. I slowly stopped doing all other types of photos, and life became easier and more profitable! Now I have been upgrading my knowledge, equipment and drive for my niche and life couldn’t be better. My greatest achievement is meeting my fiancée, business partner and fellow photographer, Sonya Sofranko. Our careers, relationship and passion all share the same address!

Has it been a smooth road?
Of course not! I have had to educate myself along the way, coming into the industry without formal training. I have learned so many lessons the hard way. It took me two years to learn how to run a business, from taxes, client relations, scheduling, etc. The photography came much easier. There are times I have felt on top of the world and other times, I feel like a complete hack. In this business, there is not a guaranteed income. I stay confident using the sales numbers I have diligently kept over the years to make projections.

We’d love to hear more about your business.

I’m an architectural photographer specializing in Real Estate. I pretty much shoot any home, building or community. On Instagram, I am @thehoustonguy, because I found a way to pair my passion with the city that has nurtured it. Houston is beautiful and I intend to showcase that. I am very proud of the steady improvement in the quality of my images through education. I never stop learning. Be it business lunches, specialized workshops or teaching classes myself. I don’t compete with other photographers – I collaborate. There is plenty of business out there for everyone. I want to raise the bar of quality together.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Have a look at our downtown skyline. It’s one of the most beautiful in the world. I’ve been shooting it for years. Whenever I find myself with free time, I like to assign myself a shoot of some of Houston’s landmarks. One of the things I tell young photographers is that when business slows down, don’t freak out: Keep shooting! Houston is a wonderful muse.

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