by Kirby Lindsay, posted 11 July 2012
When recently talking with Kim Porto about Cornicello Photography, she admitted, “I do think he’s an outrageously talented photographer.” She spoke about her husband, John Cornicello.
She’s not likely to find argument in Fremont, where Cornicello – and Porto – are well-known, well-liked, involved members of the community. Now, Porto observed, “John’s work is becoming more and more recognized nationally,” and she has chosen to put her effort into expanding that recognition, and creating more photography work. “I think it’s our time,” she explained, as she described her new job – doing sales, and marketing, for Cornicello Photography.
From Financial Planning To Photography
Her decision, to put the skills she has into promoting the work of her husband – and a photographer she admires – may sound unusual when considering where her career path once led.
For 15 years, Porto worked for the Financial Planning Association, doing educational programs for financial planners around the country. “I loved it so much,” she said, that, “I decided to become a financial planner.”
To become a financial planner, Porto went back to school and then served an apprenticeship as a para-planner for three years (at Ramsey & Associates.) She officially graduated as a full planner…in September 2008. “I believe in the profession,” and wanted to open her own practice, she explained, “but who would hire someone new?” As the economy sank, people needed the good advice but she knew clients would only want planners with experience and proven track records.
“It was a pivotal moment,” as she described it. She’d trained for this moment, and it wasn’t the right one. Fortunately, Porto hadn’t wrapped her ego up in being a financial planner. Instead she sat down and made a new three-year plan, to challenge herself in other ways. Today she admits that she wanted to exert control over her life, and “not let the economy, or other outside sources decide,” what she could or couldn’t do.
So, she set some goals – and accomplished them. In 2009 she ran a marathon, in 2010 she climbed Mount Rainier, and in 2011 she went to Mt. Everest…at age 54.
Come Full Circle
After Everest, Porto returned to her home and her husband, and took stock. She suggested to Cornicello that she take on yet another new challenge – building the business that he had worked at alone, and often on-the-side, for many years (in addition to holding down a full-time job, that he enjoys, at Adobe Software, for 17 years.)
Cornicello did start as a full-time photographer, in 1985, with a studio in New York. Now, “he’s coming full circle,” Porto explained. She’s seen his reputation, and a call for his talent, building. His recent work with Creative Live, an on-line teaching site, has also increased his exposure – as a lighting expert, a photographer, and a teacher.
Porto has shown her own photos professionally, and she understands the craft, which helps her in understanding, and appreciating, what Cornicello does. However, she also brings skills both common and unusual in the photography business to bear on the business. “I do see things differently than John, and other photographers,” Porto said of her approach to building the business, “I bring that to the table.”
Bring It To The Table
As a financial planner, Porto well understands the importance of a solid administration, and bookkeeping, for the business. She knows how to give effective presentations, and make the case for having professional headshots taken. In the past, she’s also worked in marketing and, as she began selling the services of Cornicello Photography, she remembered, “I know how to do this.”
Cornicello can take action shots (he works as one of the three official photographers for Moisture Festival,) and he has a great store of Fremont scene photos he’s taken over the years. Yet, his primary work remains portraiture. He takes headshots and portfolio photos for use professionally, on everything from business cards and mailers to social media and websites.
In his portrait work, Porto explains, Cornicello, “builds relationships with people so easily,” she explained, and then, “he quietly snaps that picture.” He can take stock headshots, and story-telling shots that share indicators of the subjects personality.
Also from her past work experience, Porto can speak directly about the importance of having varied professional photos, for use in a variety of ways, based on the target market. She wants to, “heighten awareness of the correlation between the market and image,” she explained.
Have A Blast
“We have the best marriage ever,” she said, when asked about working with Cornicello. The couple have been together for nine years (after meeting in St. Louis at a seminar on scripting websites,) and according to Porto, “it’s been a completely comfortable and natural transition,” to start working together. “We admire each other in so many ways,” she observed, while also, “we don’t threaten each other in any way.”
To learn more about Cornicello Photography, and getting professional grade portrait shots, contact Porto at firstname.lastname@example.org – or visit the website. If nothing else, talk to Porto when you see her on the sidewalks in Fremont, out increasing the awareness of the business. “I’m having a blast,” she stated brightly, “and we’re thrilled to be doing this.” Talk to her, and you hear that enthusiasm in every word.
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©2012 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.