The Life of a Freelance Photographer Janette Pellegrini

The Life of a Professional Freelance Photographer Janette Pellegrini

Janette Pellegrini

Janette Pellegrini’s photography went from passion to career!

Connect with Janette Pellegrini’s

janettepellegrini.com

facebook.com/janettepellegrini

As a little girl living in New York, Janette Pellegrini was sad when she found out that her play camera didn’t take real photos. Going through school she always had a camera on her, and was highly involved with her school’s newspaper. It was then, that her mom suggested that she take up a career in photography. Janette Pellegrini decided to take her up on it, and headed over to college to learn to become a professional photographer.

Even while in college, Janette Pellegrini had a part time job working at a 30 minute photo store. Though once she got out of college, she found that working a normal 9-5 desk job / photographer was not the life for her. On the first day of her brand new full time job as a photographer, she got a phone call to go do a photo shoot for one of her favorite bands. She decided to ditch work to go do the unpaid shoot, and never looked back. Within a week she had removed herself from the strings of a full-time position to freelance permanently.

Along the way she has had to deal with many of the pitfalls of freelancing. Included in that is a steady pay check and scheduling issues with friends and family. Another issue that Janette Pellegrini had to deal with was the fact that she was not well equipped for the digital era that was just getting started as she exited college. So, being behind the eight ball, she had to learn most of what it takes to survive in the digital age on her own, and she feels she is made better for it. By knowing the analog process of photos, she understands photography at it’s core, but admits a class on digital photography at the very least would have been nice.

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Episode 34

Transcription

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play what I’m enjoying the just the
insight of what actually goes into an

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interview is I think for correct
prepared that what uh what they all do

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every who he between w today and
everything else Wow lot goes into these

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interviews this is the dreamers podcast
where dreamers shared their stories to

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inspire you

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now join host Joe Pardo as he interviews
a dreamer who was living their dreams

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welcome to the dreamers podcast I’m your
host Joe Pardo and today I’m

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interviewing to net Pellegrini who was
living hurry through photography welcome

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the show Jeanette Hey Joe thanks for
having me thank you for coming on i

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really appreciate it when we get started
by giving some background about yourself

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okay well I currently live in long
island new york a 40 minute drive away

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from one of the greatest cities in the
world currently work as a freelance

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photographer pretty much divide my time
up between you know photographing events

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parties my do portraits of kids with the
sports photos like know the little

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league baseball cards but predominantly
the thing that I love doing the most

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where my big passion lines is in
entertainment photography photographing

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concerts live bands i love doing theater
Broadway pretty much anything that

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involves the stage i’m happiest in front
of the stage with camera in hand

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capturing whatever is transpiring on it
in front of my eyes

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yeah like I do freelance so I shoot for
a bunch of different companies pretty

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much anybody that will hire me to take
photos I’m i am there

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his money is always good one of the
places i shoot for getty images which is

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an online stock photo agency i do a lot
of the entertainment stuff for them

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which is great because they’ll call me
out there something else to do concerts

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and shows and you know like i said the
fact that i live 40 minutes away from

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New York City is a blessing and pretty
much one of the entertainment capital of

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the world and cover all the events
that’s currently where I’m at at the

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moment so what would you say inspires
you

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probably the biggest inspiration is
seeing other people living their dreams

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other people who have a passionate about
something and found a way to do this

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dream no matter what obstacle they had
over called they they are doing what

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they love

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so basically pretty much what you’re
trying to do with the show right here

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listening to other stories of people
doing what they love to do i think it’s

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it’s more impressive uh to find somebody
who

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doing a career of something that they
are passionate about as opposed to them

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you know working on Wall Street making a
six-figure salary and having all this

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money i looked to me that’s not
impressive the artist in the basements

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run on his guitar making his way through
the bad you know the whole concert

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circuit that’s way more impressive to me
then somebody who’s making tons of money

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you know it’s very difficult to live
your passion and you have to usually

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make great sacrifices i appreciate your
thoughts on the show and what I’m trying

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to accomplish here i’m sure that you’ve
had to make sacrifices to live your art

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and your dream and we’ll get into that
was gonna say you ain’t kiddin

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so let’s go back to how your dream came
about okay well pretty much since i was

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a kid i have loved photography

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I mean I could trace back to be four
years old and my neighbor across the

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street who had the little toy

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fisher-price 110 camera and her telling
me that her camera took real pictures

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and me going home crying to my parents
how come my camera doesn’t take real

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photos from there like I’ve always have
I always had an interest in photography

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and I guess somewhere around fifth grade
my mom got my first camera for my

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birthday one year and just pretty much
was always taking pictures ever since

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then in high school I was very involved
with the yearbook and the school

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newspaper i always had the camera on me
and pretty much knew this was always

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something I loved and I just remember
one day my mom saying to me hey why

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don’t you were thinking about becoming a
photographer and I was like you know

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what such a bad idea

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so when it came time for a college
pretty much i had a one-track mind i was

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gonna go for photography and ultimately
went to hofstra university where i got a

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degree bachelors of arts majoring in
fine arts with a specialization in

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photography

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I’m one of the lucky people who knew
what they wanted to do from an early age

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and

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and did whatever I could to do that it
was never an option of doing anything

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else it was photography was it that’s
what i need to do that’s what I have to

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be doing and I’m quite frankly I’m
miserable if I’m not doing it

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that’s really good to hear that your mom
was so supportive what about the rest of

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your family or maybe even friends were
they as supportive it might my family

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has been very very supportive they knew
this is what I wanted to do and we’re

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always there backing me up as far as
friends go

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some have been very supportive others I
don’t think necessarily understood what

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I’m doing because it’s definitely as a
freelancer you definitely have a

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different work schedule than everybody
else

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my work schedule I don’t work you know
monday to friday 925 I work seasonal you

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know winter there’s not a whole lot
going on spring is crazy summers nuts

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fall with dies down winters dead and
there are days where I’m working like

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literally like 20 hours where I’m going
from one shoot into the next you know

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running my own amazing race marathon all
over Long Island in New York City and

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that’s definitely something that I had
issues with with friends who you know

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going out to a bar on a friday night and
they’re ready to party but meantime I

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have to be on a soccer field at 7am to
take photos of you know little kids

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holding soccer balls you know on the
flipside ok on a tuesday night i have to

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work wednesday morning I can go out
tuesday night and they all i gotta get

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up early i have to be to work five
minutes from my house at 9am like really

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so I mean that part has been a struggle
but through it all my I do have great

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friends that you support me and you
understand and you know right there

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behind me another thing that’s also
difficult in the the freelance is the

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fact that I don’t necessarily know what
my schedule is and there have been so

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many times where I’m a plant you know go
out to dinner with a friend or something

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and then I get a phone call

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hey can you shoot this event and it’s
like I gotta take the job I need the

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money I’m sorry we’re going to have to
reschedule for another

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time so it’s definitely a lot of pros
and cons to it

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yeah I could definitely be tough i could
see where it would strain friendships

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and or family relationships so what
steps did you take to get started making

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it go from a hobby in high school too

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let’s go to college for this well pretty
much age-wise probably was in college

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and probably the worst possible time
because i went to college and pretty

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much when I was in school was just
around when the internet and email and

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all that was started and man do i sound
old but pretty much I went to school and

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learned all about the darkroom and
developing film and inhaling chemicals i

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always joke that with the amount of
chemicals i inhaled my kids are gonna

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have like five heads so after four years
worth of inhaling that stuff but yeah

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basically i learned how to do all that
in the darkroom and then I pretty much

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graduated got out in the real world and
then the digital camera came out i knew

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nothing about digital or any of that
stuff so basically i had to relearn and

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teach myself I mean learning the film
was great because i did get a nice basis

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for photography and understanding the
basic concepts of it but digital

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computers it’s a whole nother world you
know pretty much how to teach myself as

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much as I could

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whether it be taking continuing at
classes or just talking to other

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photographers or you know just having
people just help me out with what I can

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and I mean even still to this day it is
frustrating because i feel like i did

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miss out on some of you know photography
101 digital class right from the start

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that had I known that right from the
get-go things would have made a little

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bit more sense now but you know i’m i’m
doing good for myself I’m puttin along

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so what steps did you take to get
started going for jumping from college

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to a career pretty much working all
throughout college you know the part

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time job i actually worked at a
30-minute photo so I mean pretty much

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going way back every job I’ve had has
one way shape or form been really

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did to photography right after college I
started shooting for one of the local

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newspapers and which pretty much gave me
the exposure and confidence and

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understanding about what photographic in
the real world is all about you know

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when you’re dealing with news and events
and stuff like that

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I also learned that it’s not so much
about the camera and knowing photography

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skills you also have to have a lot of
people skills and understand where you

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can go where you can’t go who you need
to talk to that goes into photography as

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well so but yeah pretty much i started
out with a local newspaper then from

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there i interviewed with the sports
photography job I still currently work

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for pretty much early on i do remember
they’re there really was a kind of

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turning decisive . like i had mentioned
before I love photography but my

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specific passion has always been
entertainment photography concerts

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theatres any of that and I had been
working part-time at the sports portrait

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place and the position had opened up for
full time so I was like okay you know

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what maybe i should do take this full
time you know might be nice to have a

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steady paycheck is that that is another
downside of freelancing money is not

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study by any stretch of the imagination

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it’s feast or famine winters dead spring
is crazy and living paycheck-to-paycheck

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I thought you know this might be a good
idea to take a job where to get a

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regular paycheck

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well first day I was supposed to start
working at this job I end up getting a

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call

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literally for my dream shoot one of my
favorite bands at the time was looking

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for photography assistance and it was
non-paying but it was still the

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opportunity to photograph one of my
favorite bands and I was left with the

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decision do I take the dream job or do I
take the Argo my first day of the 925

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steady job well I made the decision I
followed my heart and I went with the

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band shoot and i’ll tell you i am so
happy I did

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and I made that decision because by
photographing that band that opened up

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so many doors for me I got to meet so
many ppl photograph other bands and

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going back to the sports job

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uh yeah I lasted I think less than a
week in the full-time position I was

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miserable i I can’t do office work i am
too much of a independent free spirit

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who needs to come and go as she pleases
and not be told you need to sit in an

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office so it was definitely a very good
learning experience about myself and

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basically come boils right down to just
follow your heart

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things have a way of working themselves
out so could you talk about some of the

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roadblocks that you’ve hit over the
course of your time as a photographer

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probably the biggest one as a freelance
photographer is lack of money i am

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certainly not rolling in the dough by
any stretch of the imagination

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it’s definitely a compromise and
something about doing anything in the

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arts there’s not a whole lot of money
there so I definitely have to balance my

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work schedule out in terms of doing the
jobs that fulfill me as a photographer

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and artist vs the jobs that pay the
bills you know like it or not I gotta

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pay that visa bill everybody huh that’s
definitely been a challenge and

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scheduling things like i was saying
before it is very seasonal and like this

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this time of year spring early summer
june it’s it’s crazy right now between

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your graduation dance recitals and
concerts and everything and I mean there

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are days where I just go on marathon
where I’m i’m lucky if i get like a

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four-hour nap from like 1am so like 5am
but yeah it’s definitely physically

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exhausting and like I said driving from
one place to the next running and racing

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and it’s my own personal amazing race i
think another problem that i’m

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definitely overcoming right now i’m sure
a lot of people are sort of in the same

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boat as an artist is the fact this day
and age with computers and how programs

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and things like photoshop or cameras
digital cameras

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they’re so accessible to the general
public especially with photography it’s

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so difficult because everybody standing
behind me with the cellphone hovering

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over my head trying to take the same
pictures i am yeah so in this day and

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age with everybody having a cell phone
you know camera phone and you know

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covering over my shoulder with a
cellphone it basically it feels like I

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told we devalue izes what I do as a
photographer trying to understand that I

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[00:14:27],309 –> [00:14:30],249
love what I do but this is also
something that I make a living out of

184
[00:14:30],249 –> [00:14:35],649
and I do need to get paid for what I do
so I mean that’s definitely been a

185
[00:14:35],649 –> [00:14:40],779
struggle it very hard but I mean it’s
something that I’m trying to learn to

186
[00:14:40],779 –> [00:14:45],40
overcome but it’s definitely a challenge
so what are some of the ways that you

187
[00:14:45],40 –> [00:14:52],509
tried to overcome these roblox like
scheduling money and everybody being a

188
[00:14:52],509 –> [00:14:53],589
photographer

189
[00:14:53],589 –> [00:14:58],540
well pretty much as far as the
scheduling goes i have learned to just

190
[00:14:58],540 –> [00:15:04],660
suck it up but just keep on going and
you know eventually I’ll get it a data

191
[00:15:04],660 –> [00:15:06],399
catch up on sleep

192
[00:15:06],399 –> [00:15:10],480
yeah money it’s definitely been a
challenge you know i am very lucky that

193
[00:15:10],480 –> [00:15:14],860
i do have a very supportive family and
you know they helped me out when

194
[00:15:14],860 –> [00:15:20],980
financially things get a little low but
I’ve just been doing it for so long i

195
[00:15:20],980 –> [00:15:24],189
always find a way to do it i always say
where there’s a will there’s a way

196
[00:15:24],189 –> [00:15:30],219
and as far as overcoming cellphones
hovering over my head I’m still working

197
[00:15:30],220 –> [00:15:31],449
on that one

198
[00:15:31],449 –> [00:15:36],550
it’s very very frustrating people need
to understand if there’s more than one

199
[00:15:36],550 –> [00:15:40],359
camera your subject is going to be
looking everywhere but at the camera

200
[00:15:40],360 –> [00:15:43],660
that’s the most important that you need
to document for the event it’s

201
[00:15:43],660 –> [00:15:47],439
definitely been a struggle and
especially online to you know people

202
[00:15:47],439 –> [00:15:52],389
just right click Save right-click save
you no copyright means absolutely

203
[00:15:52],389 –> [00:15:56],410
nothing but you know I’m realizing it’s
just it’s not just photography it’s all

204
[00:15:56],410 –> [00:16:02],709
all items in the artistic field whether
it be music or video or you know

205
[00:16:02],709 –> [00:16:06],878
whatever it’s sort of a free-for-all
definitely something i am still working

206
[00:16:06],879 –> [00:16:11],799
on so is any parts of your photography
dream that haven’t quite worked out

207
[00:16:11],799 –> [00:16:14],870
yeah I mean pretty much what i had just
that about everybody else

208
[00:16:14],870 –> [00:16:20],630
bring a camera jobs are sometimes a
little bit more scarce losing a job to

209
[00:16:20],630 –> [00:16:26],180
just bought a iphone so i don’t need you
to take the pictures you know or my

210
[00:16:26],180 –> [00:16:31],910
camera’s a300 megapixel camera which
really means nothing if you don’t know

211
[00:16:31],910 –> [00:16:33],170
how to use it

212
[00:16:33],170 –> [00:16:37],400
I’m so chugging along and trying to make
the most of what I got

213
[00:16:37],970 –> [00:16:41],330
so if you were stranded on a deserted on
with your family

214
[00:16:41],330 –> [00:16:44],510
what three things would you want to have
with you

215
[00:16:44],510 –> [00:16:49],40
well depending on what members of the
family i’m with a shotgun might be one

216
[00:16:49],40 –> [00:16:54],500
of the items i need but uh yeah i was on
a deserted island

217
[00:16:55],339 –> [00:16:59],510
the obvious answer probably for me would
be my camera because I need to have my

218
[00:16:59],510 –> [00:17:06],470
camera and wander and explore and take
photos so I’m with my family as well so

219
[00:17:06],470 –> [00:17:15],650
yeah shotgun camera and yeah that’s
about it

220
[00:17:16],819 –> [00:17:21],139
I thought the only two items i need well
for anybody curious what kind of camera

221
[00:17:21],140 –> [00:17:26],240
do you use I currently i’m shooting with
the canon 7d you know which is a great

222
[00:17:26],240 –> [00:17:30],679
camera i’m i’m pretty much all can and i
love my my canon camera and lenses

223
[00:17:30],679 –> [00:17:34],880
course there’s a couple of other cameras
i’m drooling over but i don’t quite have

224
[00:17:34],880 –> [00:17:38],510
four thousand dollars at the moment to
spend on a camera but you know we’re

225
[00:17:38],510 –> [00:17:40],10
getting there

226
[00:17:40],10 –> [00:17:45],20
so what are your dreams for the future
looks like pretty much to be able to

227
[00:17:45],20 –> [00:17:50],960
continue to do what I’m doing I would
love to be a little bit more financially

228
[00:17:50],960 –> [00:17:55],370
stable i mean i understand this is the
career path that I chose but it would be

229
[00:17:55],370 –> [00:18:00],830
nice to have money from time to time I
mean I think my ultimate dream right now

230
[00:18:00],830 –> [00:18:07],428
is a i would love to basically be able
to be paid to travel somewhere to take

231
[00:18:07],429 –> [00:18:11],300
photos whether it’s like going on tour
with a band being their tour

232
[00:18:11],300 –> [00:18:17],960
photographer you know i’m a huge disney
fan are being able to photograph one of

233
[00:18:17],960 –> [00:18:21],950
the disney parks that have my photos be
used in their promotional material or

234
[00:18:21],950 –> [00:18:28],200
four maps or programs or whatnot same
thing as far as Broadway goes

235
[00:18:28],200 –> [00:18:34],620
my dream job is to be the one
photographing the skills of the shows

236
[00:18:34],620 –> [00:18:39],000
that my pictures are used in all the
promotional material but right now

237
[00:18:39],000 –> [00:18:42],59
there’s actually just really one person
on Broadway that’s doing it unless

238
[00:18:42],59 –> [00:18:46],230
something happens to her I don’t see
that position opening up anytime soon so

239
[00:18:46],230 –> [00:18:50],669
real quick because you’re such a disney
fan and and that’s how i know you

240
[00:18:50],669 –> [00:18:54],809
something I’ve been asking more recently
to the people that I know where Disney

241
[00:18:54],809 –> [00:19:01],49
fans is what got you into disney pretty
much I grew up with it I tease my

242
[00:19:01],49 –> [00:19:06],000
parents all the time they made the
mistake of taking me there when I was

243
[00:19:06],000 –> [00:19:12],630
two years old and I’ve never stopped
obsessing about going there my life

244
[00:19:12],630 –> [00:19:17],370
pretty much consisted growing up and
still does of planning for disney world

245
[00:19:17],370 –> [00:19:22],260
going to Disneyworld coming home and
plotting and planning the next trip but

246
[00:19:22],260 –> [00:19:27],539
now that I’m older I and I am lucky
enough to be an indication club member

247
[00:19:27],539 –> [00:19:31],529
and an annual passholder it is now
gotten to the point of I just came back

248
[00:19:31],529 –> [00:19:35],850
from a trip and I already have two more
trips blocks and when i get stuff in the

249
[00:19:35],850 –> [00:19:41],70
mail I’m not entirely sure whatever I
got that it goes with so going to Disney

250
[00:19:41],70 –> [00:19:47],39
all the time and I pretty much grew up
watching disney movie so between that

251
[00:19:47],39 –> [00:19:52],110
and go into the parks i’m pretty much
disney obsessed so it only lists all to

252
[00:19:52],110 –> [00:19:53],70
look to share

253
[00:19:53],70 –> [00:19:58],860
yeah pretty much I’m you know very
blessed to be able to be doing what I do

254
[00:19:58],860 –> [00:20:05],428
and I mean any advice I can give to
anybody out there is pretty much find

255
[00:20:05],429 –> [00:20:10],590
what that passion is and figure out a
way to do it because life is just way

256
[00:20:10],590 –> [00:20:16],289
too short to be stuck behind a desk at
some job that you can’t stand when

257
[00:20:16],289 –> [00:20:21],779
economy is so unpredictable it could all
could be over you know real quick

258
[00:20:21],779 –> [00:20:26],429
you just need to be doing what you love
to do and that makes you happy and trust

259
[00:20:26],429 –> [00:20:28],470
me where there’s a will there’s a way

260
[00:20:28],470 –> [00:20:32],580
if you want something bad enough you
will find a way to do it no matter

261
[00:20:32],580 –> [00:20:37],199
what’s our prices that you need to make
just know that that’s ultimately worth

262
[00:20:37],200 –> [00:20:40],760
it in the long run that’s a pretty solid
final thought there

263
[00:20:40],760 –> [00:20:43],790
do what you love to do before it’s all
over

264
[00:20:43],790 –> [00:20:48],409
so is there any Facebook websites
twitter handles you’d like to share

265
[00:20:48],410 –> [00:20:53],960
yeah find me at my website . Pellegrini
dot-com and i’m on facebook at

266
[00:20:53],960 –> [00:20:58],670
facebook.com / Gannett Pellegrini well
thank you for coming on the show John I

267
[00:20:58],670 –> [00:21:02],360
really appreciate and I’d love to have
you back on and six months a year and

268
[00:21:02],360 –> [00:21:04],729
talk about how you come along since then

269
[00:21:04],730 –> [00:21:08],60
oh thanks so i definitely would love to
come back on again thanks again for

270
[00:21:08],60 –> [00:21:09],320
having me this was a lot of fun

271
[00:21:09],320 –> [00:21:12],710
well not a problem i really appreciate
you coming on and it was a lot of fun

272
[00:21:13],670 –> [00:21:20],630
ok see you later i do you out yo take
her

273
[00:21:22],10 –> [00:21:26],900
ok bye Joe thanks again thank you for
joining us for this episode of the

274
[00:21:26],900 –> [00:21:34],430
dreamers podcast follow us on twitter
and dreamers podcast join us on facebook

275
[00:21:34],430 –> [00:21:37],940
at facebook.com slash dreamers podcast

276
[00:21:38],840 –> [00:21:43],40
if you or someone you know would like to
be a guest on the dreamers podcast

277
[00:21:43],40 –> [00:21:51],50
please send an email to j and j parr .
comb this podcast is copyright 2014 by j

278
[00:21:51],50 –> [00:21:54],50
parr . cone

279
[00:22:00],360 –> [00:22:03],90
yeah

Super Joe Pardo
Super Joe Pardo
A sixth-generation award-winning business coach who works with owners to help them build their business for their lifestyle. Click here to learn more about my story!

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