We had the good fortune of connecting with Calvin Pennick JR and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Calvin, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
For as long as I can remember, or at least since my early twenties, I wanted to make a living doing something I loved. I can remember vividly the first time after high school that I had to work a 8 hour shift at a job I actually hated. I was horrified. It just wasn’t for me and I knew at that moment that I was going to have to find another way. I have had many fits and start on my journey to finally finding some moderate success with the business I am in now.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Calvin Pennick JR Photography specializes in professional headshot, portrait, and beauty photography and serves Houston and surrounding areas. It is one of Houston’s top professional photography studios and is quickly becoming one of the most sought after. The thing that sets my studio apart from others is how easy it is to work with. I make sure that you can find me online quickly and that my website is transparent and easy to navigate. People want information fast so I make sure mines is available. One of the things I am most proud of is the studio’s reviews. I work very hard at making sure each of my clients knows that I appreciate them and that I wouldn’t be in business with out them. I take it very seriously that they trust me with their images and I feel vested in their success. My path hasn’t been conventional to say the least. I struggled with personally and financial issues the whole way. My biggest challenge first was always money. I did not want to borrow money to start this business so I was always on a shoe string budget. I acquired things over a long period off time until I had everything I needed to start. It probably wasn’t the best way and I wouldn’t suggest it if you are in a hurry but It worked for me. I had a lot of maturing and learning to do so the time was warranted. I actually started out as a graphic designer. I think this gives me a unique eye for what I do. You have to look at images from a business perspective because they are an integral part of a person or business branding. They are a means to an end and you can never forget that as a photographer. I think the biggest thing I had to learn is that you are a business person first and a creative second. A successful photographer has to come to the realization that you are a business that sells photography as a product. If you don’t sell product, you can’t stay in business. That’s a hard lesson to learn as a creative. You can’t get lost in the art because you will starve. That doesn’t mean you forget about the art. You have to be good at what you do but you have to be a better business person or you won’t get a chance to do it. At least not for money. I would like people to know that Calvin Pennick JR Photography believes in forming partnerships with it’s clients. I want my images to be a part of their success. What good would my images be on a business level if they didn’t help my clients succeed? They would be useless from a business perspective.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is a hard question for me. I am older now so I don’t do a lot of going out and I work a lot. However, Houston is definitely a foodie town. There are so many places to go and honestly I would have to explore with them. I would like to take them to Breakfast Club near the Third Ward and try the Chicken and Waffles. I hear they are good. The Reggae Hut at 4814 Almeda has excellent Caribbean food. As far as places to shop, I would take them to Tunnels downtown. Most Houstonians don’t know that downtown has a whole system of tunnels that run from the Theatre District to just past Main Street and it is lined with different shops and eateries. It’s a good way to stay out of the sun in the summer see a part of this town that most people don’t know about. I am absolutely in love with our Museum District. When I was younger I would catch the bus to the Museum of Modern Art all the time. That have even built some new things that I haven’t had the chance to see. I can’t forget the Galleria in the Uptown District. I your guest is a shopper, they would be at home there. I personally love the Grand Lux Cafe across from the Galleria. The food is good and affordable. As far as the night life, I leave that to the youngsters. I don’t know what’s poppin now lol.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My first shoutout would definitely have to be to God and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I absolutely would not be where I am today if it was for His love and grace that has kept me in the midst of what sometimes seemed madness. I owe everything to Him. I also thank my wife. She is the most awesome and supportive partner I could have ever hoped for. Her patience through the lean times and the way she literally carried us was an invaluable part of my success. She makes me better in everyway.