The Lounge Q+A: Doche Adonis, Photographer
I was looking for something and that's how I discovered PocketSuite.
I had experience doing photography, trying other CRMs, and I needed something different. I needed something that was more connected and not messaging clients on one app and then being on a different app.
PocketSuite Photographer Pro
Photography Pro, Doche Adonis, is a photographer in Georgia. Starting out with wedding photography, Doche’s broad studio experience across portraits, brand and fashion makes him a great asset to our PocketSuite Pro community. Scott talks to CEO, Chinwe Onyeagoro, about the importance of consistency, the power of social media and living a limitless life.
Hey! We’re really excited to share your story. We’re huge fans of your work. You make everything look beautiful.
Thank you. Thank you so much.
So, let’s start with – can you just tell us your story? How did you get your start? Where did you get your start? And then, we’ll go from there.
Awesome. Yeah, my name is Doche Adonis. I’m from Orlando, Florida. I recently just moved to Atlanta, Georgia. I started photography honestly, five years ago, but after about two years or so, I gave up. I don’t know, I just lost the drive, lost the confidence and everything, and it wasn’t until last June, I started getting back. I had experience doing photography, trying other CRMs, and I needed something different. I needed something that was more connected and not messaging clients on one app and then being on a different app. So I was looking for something and that’s how I discovered PocketSuite.
We love that story. Just let me know if this is difficult, but can you share with us? Because oftentimes we don’t talk about the valleys on our road to success. Can you talk a little bit about what you were going through when you said, “This isn’t clicking.” And then, how you got back into this space where you’re really thriving.
Yeah. So honestly, basically I had started off, it was challenging because I didn’t have the funds. I wasn’t sure what type of photography I wanted to do. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do portraits, weddings, or studio. I just was not sure, so I tried everything and I eventually ended up with wedding photography, which I hated.
And it was while shooting weddings, I hated it so much. It was so stressful.
Why? Why did you hate weddings? They’re a beautiful time. Tell us why you hate weddings.
Just one magical phrase, bridezillas.
I just couldn’t do it. It was just not for me. It’s for maybe somebody else. It just wasn’t for me. And that’s pretty much it. And that was it. It was just too challenging. And I literally just gave up on myself at that point, went back to working a nine to five. And it wasn’t until last year I felt like I was just living in a loop, every year, living in a loop. And I was like, “Yeah, I had to get out of it.”
And what did you do differently this time that really made the difference that had you make the breakthrough?
What I would do with my wife is, I would just do a lot of studio sessions with her and practice with her to help me build my confidence. And it wasn’t until I started building my confidence and posting my work, people started wanting to book me and I was like, “Oh, okay. I think I’m catching my groove here.” And yeah, that’s how I got back into it pretty much.
So what are your specialties? What do you want people to think of when they think about you and what you can do for them?
I realize my specialty is definitely brand, mainly studio. Just any type of portrait sessions, but definitely brands, businesses, creative fashion. So that’s pretty much me – just portraits, brands and fashion. That’s all me.
Sounds exciting. And Atlanta is the place to be for all of that, right?
Oh, yeah. Definitely the biggest investment by far is moving here. The biggest investment. And I’ve got my return on investment 10 fold already. So yeah, it’s definitely been a game changer being here.
Wow. So what do you say to people who are online right now, who are like, “Am I a brand?” What’s the telltale sign as to whether they’re a brand? Can you have a business but not have a brand? And can you be somebody who’s big on social media and as an individual and be a brand? What qualifies as a brand for you?
What qualifies as a brand to me is just how you present yourself. And when you’re presenting yourself, you want to be consistent in every way, meaning consistently posting, consistently sharing and also consistent in your art and how you create. Everyone’s going to start looking at you as this, and so if the next thing you know, you drop something completely different – it’s confusing. So you want to be very consistent. That’s what’s going to create your brand. That’s what’s going to help you build an audience that you can actually sustain. So that’s the biggest thing for me, consistency.
So it’s interesting because we’ve talked to a number of photographers and we often get this feedback, which is that you can be consistent by channel. You don’t have to be consistent on every channel. Does that make sense?
So I noticed when I went to your Instagram page, I saw mostly these amazing model folks, portraits of people. And so, how do you think about that? What brand do you want to promote on Instagram versus on Facebook versus on TikTok. And how do you make the decision around what part of your brand to emphasize on each platform?
Honestly, in my experience, it’s really based on what audience you want for every platform. So obviously for my photography page, I want people who are interested in building their brands, people who are serious about the arts, serious about fashion, I want them. So it’s really based on what kind of audience you really want. And once you realize, and you narrow focus on what audience you want, then you can really, truly be consistent and build. So I think you have to really take time out, just give yourself time to breathe, stop looking at other people’s pages, getting distracted, doing the comparison game, and really take a look at yourself and say, “What type of audience do I want to attract?”
That makes total sense. So, whenever I talked to folks who were like, “Hey, we have so many photographers on the platform.” They’re like, “People who are making real money from photography?” I’m like, “Yeah.” So they’re glamorized. They’re like, “I can’t even imagine being able to do photography every day, all day.” So how much of your work is in the studio, on the shoot, taking photographs, processing them, getting them ready? And how much of it is marketing and all this other stuff that’s the stuff you never hear about when you talk about running a business?
For me currently, it’s definitely like 50/50, because 50% of it is a lot of bookings. A lot of bookings back to back. And then the other 50% is marketing for me because I invest a lot into that, whether it’s learning, whether it’s promoting, whether it’s networking, whether it’s traveling to connect with other brands and businesses. And also gear, definitely gear. So it’s definitely 50/50 for me now. I think eventually the goal once I get to a place where I want to be, then I can start focusing more on just sustaining what I have. But right now I’m definitely in the building stages. And I’ll probably be in the building stages until, I don’t know. I ain’t going to stop until, I don’t know.
Well, let’s talk about that because I think there are a lot of people who get started, and think, ”Once I get started and I reach this point, I’m going to be good.” And then something changes once they get to that point and they’re like, “No, no. Now it’s this point. No, now it’s this point.” The goal just keeps moving. How do you decide what you want to achieve? And then, when do you know when to set a different goal?
To me, it’s not until I get there. I’m a person where I have a mentality of living a limitless life. I live a limitless life. The only limit that is on my life is the limit I place on myself.
And so that’s pretty much it. It’s really, once I get there, let’s say my goal currently is to make this much money. And then once I reach it, I’m like, “Oh, okay, I get that. What’s next?” I was that kid in school where if the teacher isn’t teaching something, or even if the teacher is slightly on the phone for half a second, I find something to do. I get bored whether it’s playing around in class, misbehaving, I was that kid where I always had to be doing something or it’s a problem. Yeah. That’s pretty much me.
High energy. I love it. So for people who are just getting started, they admire what you’re up to. And they’re like, “Gosh, I want to go down this path.” What are the top three things you think they should do, invest in, in order to get prepared?
Invest in YouTube university. It’s a great college. And that is one of the top schools I’ve ever attended. Free tuition, as long as you pay your internet bill every month.
As long as you pay your wi-fi, right?
Yeah, just pay that internet bill, $70 a month or whatever it is in your area. Pay that internet bill. That’s the best. What I can say second is, definitely go out and practice. Find that one friend who’s definitely confident in themselves and practice with them. Go out and practice, practice, practice. Do those shoots, try everything. Do not limit yourself. Try everything until you are in a niche you like. Try everything with that friend. And yeah, that’s the biggest thing. Be consistent, and not only be consistent, don’t be afraid to let your art out. I know you may not like it. You may think, compared to this person, it’s nothing compared to this artist. It’s not all that. Put your work out. Someone is willing to pay you. You may not think you’re worth it, but I promise you, someone else thinks your work is definitely worth it.
Put it out there. So yeah, that’s the biggest thing I can say.
Well, that’s awesome. And let me just double-click on the, “you may not think you’re worth it.” At the end of the day, it’s like beauty. It is in the eye of the beholder, right? So you put it out there and you don’t know what’s happening on someone else’s side where you’ve captured their imagination. So that’s really powerful. Let me ask you this – one of the scariest things folks say about going into business and running a business is like, “How do I get those first three clients?” Right? Because that’s when my confidence starts to build, someone did pay, and another person paid, and another person. Now I think I can do this. So what advice do you have for just getting those first three clients?
I definitely just say, be consistent. The biggest group of clients you are going to have at first is the people around you. You want to make sure first, you as a person, you bring value to the people around you, just in your own personal life. I remember when I first started, the second that people knew I was doing photography, everybody wanted to work with me. I barely had any photos, barely had any work, but it was just because they knew who I was as a person. They knew I wouldn’t do them wrong. I wouldn’t mess them up in any form or fashion. So I think first, just focus on you as a person, and if you have the character and everyone around you love who you are first, that’s the biggest thing. Your circle is going to book you first in anything.
Okay. So, final question before we go into the lightning round. If you were to think about looking ahead, let’s just say two to three years from now. What do you see?
Two, three years from now, my prices are going to be more.
I love it. Prices are going to be higher.
Two to three years from now, my goal is to definitely be trying to make $50-60K a month, two to three years from now. My Instagram page, I need at least a hundred thousand followers. I don’t need fake followers. I need consistent people who love my work.And I definitely just want to be traveling more. I love traveling, but right now, obviously I’m more focused, but definitely want to be traveling more.
Traveling and working. Working while you travel?
Oh yeah. Bringing my baby, my camera with me.
Love it. I heard that, bring my baby. I know. I know.
Yep, that’s my little baby.
Okay. We’re going to go into lightning round because we want to learn a little bit more about just you personally. What do you love? Where can we find you? So first and foremost, what are you currently streaming on Netflix or Amazon? What kind of shows are you watching? What’s your favorite show?
I just finished Manifest. It was kind of crazy.
I heard that. I heard it’s been crazy, but you can’t look away.
Yeah, you can’t look away. Now I’m questioning if I should get on another flight or not in a few weeks. Definitely that and right now, currently LA’s Finest.
Nice. All right, love it. Okay. And then what’s your favorite place to vacation when you do travel?
Oh, right now I’ll definitely give it to Puerto Rico and Barbados.
Nice. All right. Both tropical, nice.
Yes. I need that vibe.
Okay. And then what are your words to live by? Favorite quote or something that just motivates you?
My favorite thing is, I wake up reminding myself every day that I live a limitless life. And the only limit there is to my life is the limit I place on myself.
As an entrepreneur, that kind of quote, just like “sky’s the limit”, for sure. Where can people find you? Where can people celebrate your next big thing?
You can find me on my Instagram, @shotbykingj. You can follow me there. I’m hoping to post more on TikTok. I’m thinking about it. I’m trying to get there.
Not quite there yet. If you have a new dance move, that’s usually what we see on TikTok.
Yeah. I’m trying to get to the photography side of it, but that’s really it. But yeah, definitely @shotbykingj. My Instagram.
It’s been awesome talking to you, Doche. We are super excited about all the growth we’re seeing on our side with PocketSuite on your Shot by King J business. We’re going to be rooting for you. We’re going to send this out far and wide. Excited for you.
All right. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.
Thank you! Have a good weekend.