Inspire Speakers: Ashley and Rich Pizzuti

In this series of blog posts we are introducing people who are speaking at Inspire 2015 and having them write a blog post so you can get to know them. Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley and Rich Pizzuti who will be leading a session called Business Plans - A Map to Making Money Pizzuti-Inspire-blog-02

THE FAMILY BUSINESS

When we started this business in 2007 it was a means to an end. Basically it was a “have camera, need money” type of situation. We had just finished up school and internships; our heads were spinning trying to find work as photographers. Our passion was in photojournalism, but the job market didn’t have a lot of opportunities. One day Ashley turns to me and says, “Why don’t we start a wedding and family photography company?”

Ashley is the optimist. Me, not so much, so my first question back to her was, “can we just do that?” “Why not?”, she said. At that point I had photographed exactly 1 wedding and although it was fun I never thought of pursuing it as focus. Ashley, who claims to have held only one other job other than a photographer (... if you consider ‘rave promoter’ a job), had photographed weddings and families throughout high school and college so she knew the ins and outs and felt confident we could do it. And she was right.

In the last 7 years, we’ve grown our business, got married and started a family. The business has developed stability and now that we have a 3 year old daughter we are realizing that this business is not just about us, it’s about our family. What started as a means to an end has steadily turned into a means for the future.

We have the opportunity to continue to build something we can give to our daughter in 30 years. I’m reminded of those old time family businesses with “... & Sons” in the name. Of course times have changed and I’m seeing less and less of those, but sometimes I dream of hanging a “Pizzuti & Daughter” sign outside of a storefront. How cool would that be?

Like most children of photographers, Evie’s life has been photographed since the second the doctor pulled her out. Evie got her first camera for Christmas last year and already has shown an interest in photography. Sure, she’s only 3 but it sure does make mom and dad proud to see her posing her stuff animals and putting her face to the camera.

Whether Evie wants to pursue photography when she’s older will be completely up to her, but the idea our business as a “family business” really makes us both smile. We love what we do and we work hard at it and hopefully she’s going to see that and it inspires her to pursue whatever it is she loves. Our clients who follow us online, know about our life and family and when we bring Evie to a shoot they usually act like they know her. She’s our intern, spokesperson and general manager all in one. The work we do isn’t for us, it’s for our family and our family’s future.

In that sense, Pizzuti Photography is already “Pizzuti & Daughter.” Now all we need is the sign.

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