Small Business Week: Q & A with Sacramento Photographer Nicholas Wray

If you’ve noticed the slick new Concerts in the Park photos littering the DSP facebook page, then you are already familiar with the work of Nicholas Wray. Nick opened his photography studio, and his new collaborative work space Sacramento Space in Downtown on 10th street just this year.   Nicholas Wray Photography and Studio does not focus strictly on weddings or portraits: “I shoot food, industrial products, clothing, fashion, portraits, weddings, etc.” We found his artistic eye to be particularly great at capturing the fun and fury of events as well, which is why when we were looking for someone to really capture the essence of CIP in still photography, Nick was our go to guy.

As a young entrepreneur,  running a small service-based, creative business we were anxious to hear Nick’s perspective on being a small business owner in downtown Sacramento:

What made you decide to take the plunge and open your own business?
I was given the opportunity to change my life forever through a series of personal life changing events and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Why did you decide to open your business in Downtown Sacramento?
I’ve always been a proponent of revitalization of the urban core, in any city.  I wasn’t really in the market to open a studio but I was in the right place at the right time.  A lot of blood, sweat, and tears later and here I am (mostly tears as I’ve been told).

What is the most challenging thing about being a small business owner?
I would say the most challenging thing is not having that paycheck signed by your “boss” every two weeks.  Once you start signing your own paychecks it gets real.

What do you love the most about owning your own business?
I love the freedom to do whatever I want.  Working for someone else – if you don’t like what they tell you to do – you still have to do it.  In this world, if I don’t like what someone asks me to do, I don’t do it.  I won’t get paid, but I’d rather spend that time doing something for myself than working for someone who doesn’t want to pay me or doesn’t really get my style.

What is the most unusual thing you sell/create?
To me, everything I do is normal.  I guess it’s up to the public to decide if it’s unusual or not.

Other than your own business, name one of your favorite Downtown spots to enjoy.
Broadacre Coffee, I should have bought part of the business when I moved in across the street.

What is the best thing about your customers/clients?
My clients are just like me, people only come to me if they really like what I do and appreciate my style.

Describe your brand/business in 3 words.
Simple. Clean. Urban.

What inspires you?
Good or bad, I don’t really know what trends are happening right now because I’m too busy doing my own thing.  I’m inspired by everything around me, I pick up a magazine and I’m looking at the light in the photos – I watch a movie and I’m trying to figure out how they shot it – I see people walking down the sidewalk and I wonder where they are going and what their story is.  Sacramento inspires me, I see so much talent and creativity here combined with a ton of culture and I could literally shoot people and tell stories all day if I didn’t need to get paid somehow.

What’s your photography philosophy?
I just keep it simple, I don’t manipulate my stuff very much.  I’m telling stories most of the time.  I want people to look at my photos 50 years from now and not know they were taken in 2012 because of how they were edited but rather because of what story is there.  I’m really just catching light and preserving for later.

What to expect from a customer experience?
Expect to make a new friend named Nicholas.

Finally, share with us one of the best compliments your business has ever received.
“That’s the best photo that I’ve ever seen of myself.”

Catch Nicholas Wray in Cesar Chavez Plaza again this Friday night for DSP’s Concerts in the Park. If you stop him and say hi, you’ll not only make a new friend, you’ll get a cool photo out of the deal as well. See his previous Concerts in the Park photos on his Nicholas Wray Facebook Page. Here’s a little taste:

DSP Marketing Manager Megan Emmerling (left) & Communications Director Jayme Ghisletta (right)

The Downtown Lowdown , ,

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Downtown Sacramento Partnership
980 9th Street, Suite 400
Sacramento, CA 95814
P: (916) 442-8575
F (916) 442-2053
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