The Triumphs and Trials of an Entrepreneur Turned Photographer
In the Spring of 2005 I was a Sr. Student Program Advisor for the University of New Mexico in charge of covering Valencia County for our program.
One afternoon, I was standing in the conference room at the Youth Development, Inc. (YDI) offices in Los Lunas, NM, when I was asked by a visiting community partner how much I was going to charge her to shoot the upcoming Fame and Shame Awards - a red carpet gala for youth like the Academy Awards but instead of handing out Oscar's, they gave out "Shame-ies", a shameful award of sorts given to youth actor-imitators who cast tobacco use in a positive light. The Shame-ie was truly a yucky sight to behold: a popcorn box adorned with cigarette butts flowing like golden kernels from the top!
For a second I was sort of frozen without a word to say......nobody had ever offered to pay me to use my camera to do work for them. Before the pause got awkward, I coolly replied that I would have to check my Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to see how much I charged for 4.5 hours of event photography, even though one didn't exist. And just like that, I landed my first paid assignment! Eleven years later and with a couple of hundred of events under my belt, I have never forgotten how special and serendipitous it was to enter the world of "professional" photography quite that way.
Welcome to RaymondMares.com!
YES! I'm getting back into writing and I'm very motivated to share my humble thoughts on photography, fatherhood, faith, entrepreneurship and just trying to get by and provide for my family in this CRAZY world. I don't re-enter the world of writing lightly - it's long overdue and I believe that there is so much content to share. Whether it's with my family who will follow this blog, with prospective clients, casual passer-by's, or complete strangers, I will be creating content that will give at least a little glimpse into our world.
My mission in keeping up this website and blog is to create a place of refuge for my thoughts, dreams, aspirations, failures, and accomplishments. We are entering our 11th year as a business, and our fourth since going full-time, so Savannah and I have unique perspectives on parenting and home-schooling our four beautiful children in a small but lovely home in Downtown Albuquerque as well as running a successful photography business in a very competitive environment.
We thank you for stopping by and we'll try to make sure that our content is always good as it will most definitely be coming from the heart.
Ray, Savannah, Mateo, Mariely, Elias, and JeanaMarie Mares,
Ray Mares Photography
Uniquely me since 1974!