Matthew David Parker - Professional Photographer

Challenges are just for a moment and can be overcome.

Matthew David Parker is a professional photographer born and raised in New York. He has amassed a rapid following for his striking photographs that emphasize the story and history of one of the most famous cities in the world.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

The idea to run my own photography business just happened on its own. It really started out as a hobby, and I was lucky enough to gain recognition as my name got passed around.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I’m not a morning person. I probably lay in bed for a good few minutes after waking up to check my social media. After getting up, I have breakfast while watching the news. Then it’s off to answer any emails. The rest of the day will depend on the type of work I have ahead of me. If my client wants candid shots at Central Park, that’s where I’ll go. I spend most of my day walking about and taking shots. Before I head home, I usually try to head to a gym. Once I’m home, it’s time to check emails again and work on any photo editing. It’s a time consuming process so I work on that for hours before and after dinner. That’s pretty much my typical day.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I think I don’t necessarily bring ideas to life. They’re alive all around me. I just need to notice them. There’s constant movement in the city, but there are small windows of opportunities that I look for so I can stop and observe. I really try to feel connected to my environment to find the next shot.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I’m really excited about virtual reality. Not just for gaming purposes, but also for photography. I hope once more advancements are made, virtual reality will become another way to browse a gallery of photographs. It should be a new immersive experience.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur

One habit that I believe has made me more productive is adhering to a general time table. When you’re your own boss, it is easy to slack off actually. I struggled with that temptation when I started off. I knew I had to get serious though if I wanted to keep making this work. When it comes to photo editing, I make sure I’m putting in four or more hours.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Advice I would give my younger self would be to just be you. I was always comparing myself to others back then. I believe I would’ve benefited if I had focused more on my individuality.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?

That’s a tough question. I think maybe it would have to be that Star Wars isn’t that great. People get so offended when I mention I’m not into it. I guess I’m more of a Trekkie.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

One thing I have to constantly keep in mind is to have confidence. If you’ve lost confidence in yourself, it’ll show through to the client. No one wants to entrust their time and money with someone who isn’t confident to meet their expectations.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

Making connections is important for any business. I believe maintaining a pleasant connection is just as important. People will gravitate toward others who are genuinely amiable. I think having that in mind when I deal with clients has helped foster strong business relationships.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

One failure I experienced happened early on in my business endeavors. I was accepting any client left and right. For one of them, they told me what they were looking for and we agreed on a price. The next few days I took the shots, edited, and emailed off the files. I waited on my payment and it never came. From then on, I’ve made sure to handle it differently.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Someone should start designing a high quality photography app for virtual reality. There’s none so far that I’m aware of, and it would be really great to see someday.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Best $100 I’ve spent recently might be a new tripod. I needed one compact but still built sturdy.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

It has to be Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. Those software programs are really essential for any needed photo retouching or color correcting.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

I would recommend “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. It’s a really eye opening book. His approach toward self healing isn’t so out there like other books of its kind. I still utilize some of what I learned to help me get through any adversities.

What is your favorite quote?

My favorite quote is, “Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.”

Key Learnings

  • There are new opportunities all around us. Keep your eyes open to them.
  • Conduct yourself professionally with confidence.
  • Challenges are just for a moment and can be overcome.