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Everardo Keeme, Photographer and owner of Photo Fusion Studio is a guest on the Why Can’t You? podcast

Everardo Keeme Photography Everardo Keeme, Photographer and owner of Photo Fusion Studio is a guest on the Why Can’t You? podcast

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Listen to this episode at https://davidbryson7.com/everardo-keeme-photographer-and-owner-of-photo-fusion-studio-is-why-cant-you-podcast-guest-this-week/


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Everardo Keeme is my Why Can’t You? guest this week.  Everardo is a Phoenix based corporate/event photographer with over 10 years in the business.  If you’ve seen any pictures of the Waste Management Phoenix Open in the last 10 years quite possibly he took them.  He is also an accomplished entrepreneur having made the leap from corporate to follow his dream.  Please listen in as he talks about how we sets himself up for success on a daily basis, time management is a big part of it.


Announcer:
Thanks for joining us and welcome to the Why Can’t You? podcast hosted by David Bryson. David asks the question, “Why can’t you achieve your dreams and be all you were called to be?” And now, here’s your host, David Bryson.

David Bryson:
Welcome to Why Can’t You? I am David Bryson. I want to thank my sponsor Ines Piquet from and Ines Piquet Images here in Scottsdale, Arizona. If you want to get some great portrait photography done, go to her website, I-N-E-S-P-I-Q-U-E-T dot com, InesPiquet.com. I think she’s running some specials for the month of January and February. Give her a call, check out her stuff, and I’m very excited to have another photographer on my show, a friend of myself. His name is Everardo Keeme. Everardo, how are you?

Everardo Keeme:
I’m doing great, David. How are you today?

David Bryson:
I am so good. Thank you for being on. I truly appreciate it.

Everardo Keeme:
Thanks for having me. I really appreciate it. It’s a fun opportunity and I guess this is that moment where I say long-time listener, first-time caller?

David Bryson:
There you go. That’s it. That’s it, Everardo. I like that. I like that. So, tell me what kind of photography you do and sort of what makes you unique in your field.

Everardo Keeme:
So, I’m mainly a corporate photographer. I spent about 20 years in the corporate world, 15 years with one company. And photography just kind of started off as a side gig that I was doing for fun on the side. When I was invited to leave by my last company, then I just kind of took the opportunity to take photography full-time. And since I already kind of was in that realm and had a lot of experience and by then I’d already had a couple of national clients at that point, corporate work and commercial work just kind of fell into the wheelhouse. My main specialties are corporate headshots or corporate-style type headshots, more to use for branding imagery or things like that. And then events, trade shows, conferences. For about 10 years or close to a decade, I was the official photographer for the Waste Management Phoenix Open. It’s a small event here in town.

Everardo Keeme Photography Everardo Keeme, Photographer and owner of Photo Fusion Studio is a guest on the Why Can’t You? podcast
Everardo Keeme, Official Photographer for the Phoenix Open for nearly 10 years

David Bryson:
A small event. Are you still doing that?

Everardo Keeme:
No. So after 10 years, it kind of seemed like the next step was to move on. And I’m actually okay with it. I did it long enough where I was able to enjoy it and grow from it and make some great contacts from it. Great experience in doing it. But after 10 years of something, it’s time to kind of move on and branch out. And that philosophy of, you need to clear things off of your plate before you put more things on, it really rings true in that sense.

David Bryson:
Absolutely. I imagine though, that there are, like you said, probably some great networking opportunities to meet some of these professional golfers. And did it help you sort of elevate your professional game to a different level?

Everardo Keeme:
It did. I mean, it’s fantastic for relationships and contacts at that point, as much as you can within a 16-hour workday though. So, there was plenty of opportunities for it when there was time for it. But then there’s some other days where it’s just jam pack and it’s work, work, work. And I mean, you get to see people or say hi to someone in passing, but to really have a genuine relationship or some sort of contact or conversation out there is often very, very difficult. So, what I found through all these years, it was really the conversation that happened afterwards or beforehand, but really is what solidified and created some great relationships.

David Bryson:
Very nice. And for those of you listening at home, if it would be a goal of theirs to be sort of an event photographer for maybe a golf event in their city, how did you go about landing that gig?

Everardo Keeme:
Purely by accident.

David Bryson:
Okay.

Everardo Keeme:
And unfortunately, it was a sad accident. So, one of the main staff photographers that had been doing it for years and years unfortunately lost his battle to cancer. Through with that, there was an opportunity to go in and join the team. And it’s interesting because when I interviewed for the position, I didn’t have any golf photos in my portfolio and I had never been to the tournament. Now, I had been a golf fan. I used to write articles for a golf website. I was a certified club fitter and ran a part-time business fitting people to custom-built clubs. I traveled to other tournaments around the U.S. I was a golf addict myself, got a single handicap. So I knew the ins and outs of the games. It was just funny that when they interviewed, there was no golf in my portfolio and I had never been to the tournament. So, that was a couple of fun points of conversation in that interview.

David Bryson:
Oh, that’s hysterical. And how did you overcome that, out of curiosity? Did they make note of that or did you even bring it up? Or just be like, “Hey, here’s the portfolio I have and let’s move on.”

Everardo Keeme:
Oh, they definitely pointed it out and there was a couple of good laugh moments. And so when it came to the portfolio side of not having any imagery… So golf is actually one of the most difficult sports that there is to photograph. I mean, a lot of sports are because of the action and catching things, but golf, not only do you have to catch the action in a split second, the light is ever-changing so that the golfer could be in the sun or out of the sun. They’re all wearing hats, which makes for horrific shadows on their faces. The direction of the course and what angle they might be playing, what you might have in the background. It’s a very, very difficult sport. And then on top of it, you need to be silent. You can’t have the shutter or flash going off while there’s play going on.

Everardo Keeme:
So, the way I kind of handled that situation was, I had already done a lot of other pro sports. I had done baseball for a little bit and professional cycling is actually where I got my start. So I was able to show, in that example, two sports that also have a variety of angles and lighting and shadows and backgrounds. So it kind of fit well in that sense, at least when it came to that. And then addressing the issue that I had never been to the tournament. I’m a bit of an introvert. I mean, I can definitely network and be social and be personal, but I actually recharge my batteries when I’m by myself. And going to the largest-attended sporting event, at least when it comes to golf, it just kind of gets overwhelming in that sense.

Everardo Keeme:
But there again, knowing my role, knowing the sport, where I was supposed to be and not be in the type of shots that they were looking for, I was kind of able to overcome that. And really at the end, I just kind of said, “Hey, look, give me a gamble. I’ve showed that I had some acumen in the professional world coming from a corporate background.” And having some professionalism, I was able to show professional work. So it wasn’t too much of a gamble in that sense, I would say. And sure enough, it turned into nearly a decade of work right after that.

David Bryson:
Very nice. And as you alluded to, sometimes to move on to new things, you have to let other things go. So I imagine, like you just said, the intricacies of learning how to photograph golf over the past 10 years will serve you in whatever endeavor comes up next.

Everardo Keeme:
Yeah, it’s been amazing. I mean, from photographing conferences and trade shows where there are speakers onstage and not wanting to disrupt the actual attendance of the convention or trade show or whatever’s going on, that actually became very, very valuable in that sense. Also, the changing of lighting conditions, sometimes going from indoors to outdoors, sometimes in going between one room to another with that the lighting conditions are different. So it really did give me a good breadth of experience to go off of.

David Bryson:
It’s so funny you mentioned that, Everardo. Sometimes I do public speaking. And you’ll be on stage and there was the photographer they’ll have for the event. They’ll just walk right up and sort of start taking pictures and you’d like to think as a professional, “Ah, nothing fazes me.” But sometimes, when they just sort of start walking down in the middle of the hallway, it almost pauses you to stutter in your brain for a second because you get self-conscious. And as a speaker you’re like, “Oh, is this my good side? This is my bad.” You know what I mean? It can throw you just a little bit. So, what a great thing to think about being conscious of how the speaker is reacting as well.

Everardo Keeme:
Yeah. And I think that also comes from experience too, is I’ve been on both sides of the fence and, and I know exactly what you mean. A lot of times you’re in stage, those lights are pointed at you, so you really don’t get a clear thing. But yeah, you do see movement of someone moving around and it just needs to distract you for a split second. And maybe that was right when you’re going to deliver your punchline to your keynote or something else like that, so. Hey, you got to be cognizant of what’s going on there.

David Bryson:
Absolutely. So, let’s talk about… So you sort of went from the corporate world and so were you sort of moonlighting? You and I talk about it from the entrepreneurial side a lot. It’s a big deal for everybody to say, “Oh, I want to leave corporate, hang out my own shingle,” and pursue their passion. But it’s another thing in reality to do it because most people, they don’t have any customers when they start. And even if you’re semi-proficient at something, where do you start? How did you start gathering clients at the beginning?

Everardo Keeme:
Yeah, so it all became word of mouth and referrals. Everything, because photography was a side project. It was just something that started by pure accident, there again. I seem to have a lot of accidents that happened in my life that turned out to be good things. But I went on vacation and a camera broke. It wasn’t a great camera. And this is the age of when everyone had a Blackberry. So you didn’t really think of your phone as a camera tool, per se.

David Bryson:
Right.

Everardo Keeme:
So, here I am in Greece and I have no pictures from that trip. Because the camera broke down. We didn’t have a tour guide or anyone to follow us. And that was really sad. So the next year, going to Italy, I thought, “Okay, I at least need to get a decent camera.” And I didn’t really want to spend the investment on buying a camera. So I just rented one. And through that is what kind of brought me into photography. It was like, “Oh, well, I kind of like this and I’m not too bad at it, I guess.” And then reaching out to friends who were photographers and professionals and seeking their advice. And again, I just purely chose like, “Oh, this might be fun.” But even then, I really wasn’t thinking that it was going to be a hobby that would actually take off into something. And turn up slowly and little by little it would pick up from there and people would ask if I could photograph different things.

Everardo Keeme:
And I think a big pivotal point for me was, I reached out to a friend who had been a professional photographer her whole entire life. I mean, she’s the one that has that romantic story of growing up with a camera in her hands and always wanted to take pictures. So, after photographing a couple of cycling races, I sent her some photos and I said, “Hey, can I get some advice from you or just give me some pinpoints? I’m not going to go get a degree in photography or take classes. I just, some quick advice from a friend.” And so for a month, I was photographing these cycling races, sending her pictures, and then not getting any feedback. So I kind of reached out and I said, “Hey, just anything? Just some words? She says, “This whole time, I’ve been trying to figure out if you’re lucky or you’re good. And you’re good.”

Everardo Keeme Photography Everardo Keeme, Photographer and owner of Photo Fusion Studio is a guest on the Why Can’t You? podcast
Everardo Keeme spent nearly 20 years as a amateur cyclist

David Bryson:
Oh, that’s funny.

Everardo Keeme:
And so after that, I was like, “Okay, well, maybe I’ll brush up on this skill or I’m…” Here I am, having a pro telling me that I’m good. And I didn’t want the ego to go to my head and then still had that corporate job that was paying the bills. So, it definitely took a lot of the pressure off learning at that point too.

David Bryson:
Absolutely. And so, here’s another thing you and I find in entrepreneurial life too, is that just because I have a passion for something, just because I might be good at something, how do you turn that into profit? Because you and I probably know a lot of artistic people in different walks of life, but being good and passionate doesn’t mean you can equate it to a business, a sustainable business.

Everardo Keeme:
Yeah, exactly that. I mean, my family owns restaurants and I grew up in the restaurant industry. You didn’t get a choice, you just worked at the restaurant. From the time that you could stand, you just worked there. My family wanted me to go into culinary arts and go to school. And I said no because I didn’t want it to suck the fun out of it. So photography was just kind of something that happened, fun on the side, and I was making a few extra bucks here and there. And then it turned into a little bit more. So, it’s one of those things where I didn’t want to leave the corporate world. I was safe, I was comfortable, I had a 401k, I had a matching 401k. I just, it wasn’t my dream job, but it was a good adult job at that point that I was going to retire with.

Everardo Keeme:
So, when I was invited to leave, a.k.a. got laid off, really, that was kind of a shove out the door that said, “Well, you’re going to do this.” And at the time, photography was the only thing that was actually making any kind of money. So at the time, I can’t remember what my billables were that year. I want to say maybe around 30 grand or something like that. So, certainly nothing to live off of. But when that happened I was like, well this is the only thing that actually is bringing in money. And I’ve clearly done it by referrals or just taking little jobs here and there. So, God, what would happen if I actually put some work into it and gave it a shot? And then that’s just how it kind of evolved. It was one of those situations where again, you’re pushed off the cliff and you just build a parachute on the way down.

David Bryson:
Very well said. Very, very well said. So, when you started building a photography business, it becomes more of a hobby, what have been some good avenues of growth for you? I mean, we’re inundated in the age as everybody says you should be doing Facebook ads or Instagram or this or that. What have you found to sort of be good referral sources for yourself to help you grow a sustainable business? And how many years ago was it that you got asked to leave corporate?

Everardo Keeme:
Oh, so it’s been about six years now. Five, I guess. And at the time, because of friends or being networked or part of my other job that I was doing in the corporate world, I had to be involved in some sort of trade organizations or networking a little bit then, but a different mindset when it’s not your business or your company at that point. So I already knew about chambers of commerce. And growing up in this area and being here my whole life, I knew well about the chambers of commerce. As I asked other friends, I said, “Okay, well, not that I need to reinvent the wheel or not that this is necessarily broken, but is there anything better?” And so, a friend introduced me to this organization called BNI, business networking international. And through that, I mean, their whole primary focus is building a business or growing something through referrals. And at the time, I was like, “Well, yeah, I work off of referrals and…”

Everardo Keeme BNI Profile

Everardo Keeme:
But it’s nice, coming from a corporate background or a little bit of my background and structure is, I am more of a kind of a structured type person, and learning more about BNI and how they organize their businesses and how they organize their chapters. The thing that really appealed to me was, they really took this concept of taking a referral and really structuring it and building it so that it could be the best that it can be. And when you go to these chapters, whether it’s in Phoenix, Arizona, in my hometown, or whether you go to Seattle, Washington or you go to Mumbai, the chapters are all run the same way in the same format. And having that kind of built instructor really take the pressure off of actually being in the meeting, and allowed me to just kind of develop the relationships with different people. I mean, I just learned that from my grandmother running her restaurant and watching my parents worked and how they operated. At the end of the day, it’s…

Everardo Keeme:
And I even thought about myself, like when I got my corporate jobs. It’s not because I had a college degree or I had experience. It’s because of who I knew. I mean, when I landed that one corporate job that I stayed at for 15 years, I wasn’t really well qualified for it. I didn’t have probably the experience that they needed or wanted. But I had a friend within the organization that was able to say, “Hey, out of this sea of resumes, why don’t you look at this guy first?” And through good interview skills and good relationship skills, that’s how I got the job, I think. Because as I looked at some of the other candidates or heard about them, I wasn’t qualified for that.

David Bryson:
Yeah. And you and I met through BNI. I think you hit on the key thing that makes BNI a unique networking organization as opposed to sometimes some other chambers or different groups is, sort of like you said, the structure and the accountability. And some people find it to be too much. But I’m with you is that if you don’t have any, you have sometimes in a group 30 to 60 entrepreneurs who are all alpha types who are going to be pulling their own way. So, sort of anything can happen. So I agree with you, the structure and the accountability, I think benefits everyone.

Everardo Keeme:
And for me, the big turning point of that or when I talk to people, now I’ve become an ambassador through BNI and helping other people join chapters or find chapters that might be beneficial to them. And one of my biggest selling points that I can think of is, and this isn’t a knock against any other organization because they all have their strengths. But for me, there was one day that I was able to do my presentation through this group. And this wasn’t part of BNI. And so that normal group usually had about 40, 45 people in that group. But there was no set attendance policy or no requirement in that sense. So here I am, the day that I’m supposed to give my presentation, and I’m excited about it and I’ve done my prep and printed out some photos and large scales that I could display them at, and only about 20 people or something showed up that day. I think it kind of fell on maybe a smaller holiday is what it was.

David Bryson:
Right.

Everardo Keeme:
And that was a little disappointing, right? Well, since then, when I do my presentation in BNI, I’m pretty much guaranteed close to 100% of attendance that all my fellow members will be there. So, they get to hear my commercial, they get to hear and learn more about me and my background or see my work. And I mean, that’s invaluable right there. So, I know a lot of people get nervous or poo-poo about the attendance policy. But when it’s your day to shine and give your presentation and you want people to learn more about you, well then, you definitely want that room full.

David Bryson:
Yeah. I’m still a little late. Very well said. So, I know when you and I have met sort of in person, I think how you’ve set up your photography studio is a little different than how most people run theirs. Would you care to touch on that a little?

Everardo Keeme:
Yeah. So big thing for me was… And I’m such a foodie. I just, because again, I grew up in a family-owned restaurant and I revolve my life around food. I mean, I always kind of think about it in this sense, like one chef cannot do the best of everything. I mean, they can execute some things very, very well, but you’re never going to find the chef that does the best Italian food and the best Chinese food and the best Indian food all in one spot. And photographers are very much the same way. I mean, there’s photographers that take phenomenal headshots or portraits of people and because they can relate to people, they can talk, they’re personable. And then you have others that are not personable, they’re a little bit shy or they’re a little more introverted, but they’re fantastic at product photography or real estate photography.

Everardo Keeme:
So, one of the goals with Photo Fusion Studio was, let’s get photographers that are the best at what they do, or at least allow them to do that, but not have to worry about the other aspects of their business. Most photographers are creative by nature and they hate bookkeeping, or they hate business networking, or they hate scheduling or invoicing. So, that’s one of the draws of the studio, what it’s evolving into is, let’s take that kind of grunt work off of their plate, let them shine, and let them succeed in their areas of expertise. Also, since they’re not trying to build their whole entire business by doing anything and everything just to make the almighty dollar, well, now again, they can just kind of focus on the things that they like to do and that they’re better at. And then some of that other pressure and stress goes away.

David Bryson:
And I think you hit the nail on the head and I’ve long subscribed to, it’s a cliche, but it’s true, is that niches lead to riches. And so, you’re right. If you can enable and empower people to do sort of what they’re good at and not be a jack of all trades, master of none, it really does help their game and their life.

Everardo Keeme:
And it’s not that they have to give anything up. I mean, I’m still one of those people that I’m a jack of all trades, but just because I have so many interests in life, from photography to studying as a sommelier, to being an amateur chef. I still have other interests and likes, but now it gives my photography in the areas that I really like and that I’m good at, to allow those to shine.

David Bryson:
Absolutely. I guess I didn’t know so much about the cheffing part and now I’m hurt. I’ve never been over for a gourmet dinner, man.

Everardo Keeme:
There’s going to be some secret underground dinners that’ll be coming up soon, so we’ll definitely keep you posted on that one.

Everardo Keeme Photography Everardo Keeme, Photographer and owner of Photo Fusion Studio is a guest on the Why Can’t You? podcast
Everardo Keeme – Certified Professional Photographer, Certified Sommelier, amateur chef

David Bryson:
All right. One of the things that we’re sort of touching on too is the founder of BNI is a doctor named Dr. Ivan Misner. One of the things he always says is, do six things a thousand times rather than a thousand things six times. And I think that’s to your point, is that, you’re right. A lot of entrepreneurs, we all have varying interests, but when it sort of comes to professionally, there’s only so much stuff we can be good at and there’s only so much bandwidth and hours we have in a day.

Everardo Keeme:
Yeah, exactly that. I wish I can remember the book on it, but it was the logic of, we all have bank accounts, of course, so we know how to treat money. When we see that we start the day with $1,000, then we can mow and make different choices of what to withdraw or what to deposit at that point. But if you treat your time the same way, then it really kind of helps you focus and narrow it down. I only have this many minutes in the day or this many hours in the day, where do I want to invest those? Or what do I want to put those? Because at the end of the day, I don’t get them back. I don’t get to deposit more time. It’s strictly withdrawal. So, it’s really helped me because I am that kind of person that wants to do so many things or try different things.

Everardo Keeme:
But yeah, at the end of the day, how much time do I have to sleep or eat or learn to play the piano or drink wine or whatever the case may be? So, it’s helped me kind of refocus my priorities as if saying, “Okay, this is the stuff that’s important to me or this is the stuff that I want to do.” And then on the business side, I mean, for the longest time, I ran everything on my own and I failed gloriously, just like other people, of trying to run my own business. And now since re-adopting that policy and looking at it and kind of in that timeframe of like, “Okay, wait, I don’t have to do everything in the business” or “these 10 things that I think are important on my to-do list really are not, and they can wait until later.” So, it’s definitely a mind shift in that sense but it’s helped a lot.

David Bryson:
I think so many entrepreneurs touch on something you just said. So you’ve got your to-do list. And you said, “Okay, maybe these are important, these aren’t.” How did you start prioritizing what is of importance and what isn’t?

Everardo Keeme:
So I hired a time coach. And it’s interesting because I always found myself to be a very [inaudible 00:23:45] skilled person, but I’m realizing that I was starting to fail. I was trying to figure out like in the corporate world and when I was in sales, out of the four years I was eligible, I made president’s club. I’m like, how could I be so successful on that side but fail so admirably on my own side? And it’s because I was trying to do everything. So this time coach really gave me a quick system. And he says, “Look, we’re just going to divide yourself in four.” Every major company has a CEO or that someone is kind of responsible for the vision and the direction and the brand of what’s going to happen with this company.

Everardo Keeme:
And then there’s the CFO, of course, that manages the money aspects and the financials and managing that side of it. You have a people or a team that are involved in sales and marketing and growing the business and reaching out. And then you have the team of people or the individuals that are in charge of the operations of actually making the business run. So in an eight-hour workday, take two hours for each person. And some days, you might do four hours of CEO work and the next day, you might do four hours of CFO work. But to kind of divide your workday and your workweek in that manner, really helped me organize and kind of clear the things out of like, “Okay, I do need to still devote time to bookkeeping,” which I hate and so I either hire someone else to do it or I have to divide that time out to do it myself. And when you kind of block your calendar out in that sense, it kind of pre-plans your day, in essence.

Everardo Keeme:
And I provide my clients with a link to my calendar to set their own appointments. What’s beautiful is they don’t see why I’m busy. They just see that that time is taken, and so they’ll just take the next available time slot that they see. And in that sense, then I don’t have to be the bad guy and say no to them. It does kind of help in the sense of, it makes me look busy sometimes. But more importantly, if I’m only taking in jobs of client work, but I’m not devoting the time to edit the photos afterwards, then I’m going to get behind in my work, right? And if I’m only taking the time to do the jobs or do the editing, but I don’t ever set aside time to do the bookkeeping or the invoicing, well then, I’ll never get paid.

Everardo Keeme:
So, having it done in that sense, at least for me… And I’m a visual person, so on my calendar, everything’s colored coded. Quickly, at a glance, I can see one particular color and go, “Okay. Then I’m kind of at my limit for what I need to do for that week on that side. I’m low in these other areas.” And that for, at least, me personally, has been a huge help.

David Bryson:
And I agree. I think time management, it’s interesting. I didn’t know there were time coaches. But I think my issue as an entrepreneur, and one of the ones I talked to other people about is, as an entrepreneur, it’s so easy to go down the rabbit hole of time, is that someone calls me, you pick up the phone, chit chat a couple of minutes, get down to business, but then 20 minutes of that two-hour time block is gone or whatever it is, and you’re like, “Ah, I’m not getting that time back.” And that was my revenue-generating time or whatever it was. So, I agree with you, time management is huge.

Everardo Keeme:
It is, and I got away from it for a while. I mean, I did what probably any entrepreneur does at some point in time or multiple times in their career is, “Oh my gosh, well, I have to answer it.” And I’m not working in the pipeline that I’m not going to have leads three months from now. I kind of got myself into doing that. And that was at the sacrifice of my personal relationships, of professional relationships, and even my own well-being. And so, it’s funny now that I’ve had friends that have comment saying, “Hey, you used to always answer your phone and now you’re very hard to get hold of.” And that’s when I have to tell them, I’m like, “Yeah, because when I’m working on certain things, I’ll turn off my phone.” When it’s time for me to work on bookkeeping, because I hate it so much, I’ll let anything distract me. And so, at that point, I need to turn off the phone, and I need to get away from Facebook or Instagram or something else like that because I will purposely look for any interruption just to avoid it.

Everardo Keeme:
But if I can turn everything off for a while, and there’s a couple of Internet tools that have been helpful for that. I mean, with the phone, it’s easy. You can actually just turn it off or put it in airplane mode, but then there’s a couple of tools that you can get for your computer that will kind of help you not use certain Internet sites. It’ll block it off for a certain time. And so you’re like, “Okay, fine. I just got to get this work done and then I can get back to it.” And I did, I failed miserably at doing that but it costs me, again, professional relationships and personal relationships. And when you kind of look back and focus on what’s important and then we just put my big-boy pants on and get my work done, then I can go play. Then it started to come back to center again.

David Bryson:
Yeah, very, very well said. I mean, yeah, you’ve given a tutorial on what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur. And how is Photo Fusion Studio doing? What’s sort of the future of Photo Fusion? Has it been what you envisioned in having sort of specialists do things or where do you see it going in the next couple of years too?

Everardo Keeme:
So it started off as a co-op environment. It was a much smaller space in our first location. And it was purely just a place that you could rent to have a professional meeting space, a small amount of working space there. Then we moved to another location, after so many years, kept the co-working environment. But again, everything was kind of run independently. And now, this new concept of having one studio kind of run it all has just barely started to take off. And so far, the feedback from working with other photographers had been good. Most of them are pretty happy with that standpoint of, “Oh my gosh, so I don’t have to do networking?” Or “I don’t have to be extroverted and actually talk to people? Someone else would do that for me?” So, that idea is starting to take off and I’ve been getting some good feedback on that and that’s helpful.

Everardo Keeme:
And then as I’ve talked to different clients and asking them about their perception, I mean, they love that idea. They’re thinking, “It’d be great to have one point of contact to deal with different things, but knowing that I’m going to get the best service or the best product for what I’m asking for.” So it is a little bit slower to start and newer concept in that sense from shifting from co-op to this all-in-one kind of package. But so far, the reception in the conversations that I’ve had and the work that we’ve done so far on some of our clients has been well received.

Everardo Keeme:
So, I think a thing I’m learning there is, I don’t have to do everything all at once. I don’t have to bite off more than I can chew. I need to take the time to kind of build it right and smaller, but do it right this time. Too many times, because of necessity or emergency, I tried to rush into too much and it might’ve succeeded for a little bit but in the end, it came back to bite me. So this time, I’m taking more of a methodical approach on it and building it right.

David Bryson:
And it sounds like in your off time, you enjoy cooking and bike riding. Do you still get a chance to do those?

Everardo Keeme:
Maybe not as much bike riding as more. I still keep the mountain bike, but I used to have 10 bicycles at one point, now I’m down to three. So that addiction is going down a little bit. But it is easily replaced by wine. So, the past couple of years, I’ve been studying to be a sommelier, passing certifications to work on that. Also, food has always been something as my life. I kind of joke that I navigate like a fat person. When I give people directions, I may not always be able to tell them what street to turn on but I can usually tell them if there’s a donut shop or a good burger joint nearby.

Everardo Keeme:
And then with photography, it’s funny, I would always cook and take photos on your phone and share with friends and like, “This is kind of stupid and silly. I’m a photographer with a studio that has a plethora of equipment and I’m not taking better pictures of these things.” And so, over the past month or so, I’ve been elevating my cooking skills, which is better. The plating and presentation has become better. And then now, because of taking better photos with it, it’s kind of accidentally allowed all of my worlds to collide now. Friends would always ask like, “Why are you studying to be a sommelier?” I’m like, “I don’t know. I just like wine.” Well, now through that and taking the culinary school that I grew up with and taking photography, it’s nice because now, this world is starting to collide a little bit.

David Bryson:
Very nice, very nice. Maybe you’ll get into the wine photography business.

Everardo Keeme:
Perhaps. I mean, if that works, then I get to really do two things that I love at the same time. So it’s been really fun in that aspect. And just to do that, and again, it’s still another creative outlet. The thing with food is, you’ll never go hungry at least. So there’s always that fun part of it.

David Bryson:
Absolutely. So, Everardo, how can people get ahold of you? How can people find out about Photo Fusion Studio?

Everardo Keeme:
So, the website is now being redone because of the change from the co-op environment to the others. But we should have that pretty much done within the first quarter of this year. But it’s Photo Fusion Studio, so just P-H-O-T-O-F-U-S-I-O-N studio.com. The great thing about Google is you can probably misspell that and it’ll still find it for you. And then we use the same handles for Instagram, Facebook, to try to keep everything simple. Everything is linked to each other. We do have a studio in central Phoenix. And then we also have travel, the clients too as well.

Link to Photo Fusion Studio

Everardo Keeme:
Again, it’s that methodology of sometimes, we service our clients better on location and sometimes, we service our clients better by having them come to us. So, being able to offer both, in a day and age when so many photographers are running away from a studio environment, a lot of my corporate clients are still coming back saying, “You know what? It’s so nice that we can just send people to you because our offices are busy this week.” Or “we just don’t have the room to have you come in and take the photos.” So, we’re trying to service the clients. And it’s weird because so many times, you try to have that model of, “Well, we’re going to do everything for everybody.” And that’s usually what ends up failing. But I think the approach that we’re taking out at here by trying to do everything for everybody but with a team of multiple people, is really what’s going to help pay it off. But yeah, we’re all the social channels and the websites are all tied into each other and we should have that new site up any day now.

David Bryson:
I know how those things go. So, Everardo, I always give my guests the last word to my Why Can’t You? listeners. If someone is sitting at home and saying, “Why can’t I be a photographer?” Or “why can’t I pursue my dream?” What would you say to them?

Everardo Keeme:
You just got to do it. I mean, I’m that personality that is kind of a perfectionist, and would sit there and obsess about, “Well, I can’t do this because this isn’t done. I can’t do this because this graphic isn’t perfect. I can’t do this because…” And at the end of the day, you just kind of have to slap yourself in the back of the head and say, “Shut up and just do it.” And that’s it. There is no reason why you can’t do it. It’s just, you just have to get doing it.

David Bryson:
You’re right. I think so many people, I’m not one of them, but a lot of people I talk to, they get analysis paralysis. You’re right. Everything has to be perfect before they can sort of put the product out. And sometimes, I’m just like, “Well, we’ll put it out as it is and we’re going to learn something along the way and maybe I should have waited, but I feel like going.”

Everardo Keeme:
Yeah. And I don’t know if it’s… I guess it got made famous from the movie Tombstone, but it’s either get busy living or get busy dying. So, pick one.

David Bryson:
That’s right. Well, Everardo, I cannot thank you enough for being on Why Can’t You? I truly appreciate your time. And if you like Everardo, the other great guests I have, please go to iTunes, subscribe, rate and review, and we’ll see you next week on Why Can’t You?

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