Alex Kleyner, at the age of 45, has established himself as a preeminent force in the realm of real estate photography and architectural enthusiasm. Based in the vibrant cities of Miami, Florida, and New York City, Alex has forged a distinctive path with Alex Kleyner Photography & Design, merging his educational foundation from a renowned Miami art school with a deep-seated passion for the structural narrative. Renowned for capturing the intrinsic beauty of edifices, Alex’s photography transcends the conventional, spotlighting the character and soul of his subjects. His keen eye for detail and masterful composition skills are complemented by his proficiency in natural and artificial lighting, creating captivating images that are featured in leading real estate listings and prestigious art galleries. Alex’s love for architecture extends beyond the lens; he actively contributes to architectural forums and explores cities to satiate his fascination with design. Through his lens, Alex doesn’t just photograph buildings; he crafts a bridge between art and architecture, inviting observers to see beyond the facade and into the heart of the urban landscape.
How did you get started in this business?
My journey into this business began with a passion for photography and architecture, which led me to pursue a formal education in these fields. I realized early on that there was a niche for a photographer who could not only capture spaces but also tell the story of their design and function. Leveraging my degree and my unique vision, I launched Alex Kleyner Photography & Design to provide specialized real estate and architectural photography services that stand out in a crowded market.
How do you make money?
My revenue streams are diverse within the niche of architectural photography. From working with real estate agents who need high-quality images for listings to collaborating with architects and designers for portfolio showcases, my business thrives on capturing the essence of each space. I also monetize my expertise by selling prints and conducting photography workshops for enthusiasts.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
It was about two years before I saw a significant profit margin. During that time, I focused on building a robust portfolio that accurately reflected my skills and style. I also invested time in networking within the industry, which eventually led to more consistent and lucrative projects, marking the turning point for my business’s profitability.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
Yes, there were times of doubt, particularly when the market was slow, and clients were sparse. During those periods, I doubled down on marketing efforts, refining my portfolio, and reaching out to new potential markets. I maintained faith in my unique value proposition, which kept me motivated through challenging times.
How did you get your first customer?
My first customer came through a combination of networking and showcasing my work at local art and real estate events. I made it a point to connect with professionals in related fields, and eventually, one introduction led to my first commissioned project. That initial client was key to gaining further referrals.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
Beyond referrals, a potent marketing strategy for me has been establishing a strong online presence, particularly through a well-curated Instagram account. By sharing my projects and engaging with my audience, I’ve been able to attract new clients who appreciate the aesthetic and narrative quality of my work.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
One of the toughest decisions I’ve faced recently was to turn down a project that didn’t align with my brand’s direction. It was financially tempting, but I’ve learned the importance of staying true to my niche and maintaining the integrity of my portfolio.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I believe my success stems from a combination of my passion for architecture and my dedication to my craft. It’s not just about taking pictures; it’s about capturing the emotion and story behind each structure. My attention to detail and commitment to quality resonate with clients and make my work stand out.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
The most satisfying moment in my business was when I completed a series of photographs for a historic building restoration project. Seeing my images used to convey the importance of preserving architectural heritage was incredibly fulfilling, as it merged my love for photography with a cause I deeply care about.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
The future of my business is bright, with expansion into new markets and exploring innovative photographic techniques. I’m most excited about upcoming collaborations with renowned architects and designers that will challenge my creativity and push the boundaries of architectural photography.
What business books have inspired you?
“Start With Why” by Simon Sinek has been particularly inspiring for me. It’s encouraged me to stay focused on the ‘why’ behind my work, which has strengthened my business approach and client relationships.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
To my younger self, I’d advise taking risks and not being afraid to carve out a unique path. The road less traveled often leads to the most rewarding destinations both personally and professionally.
Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?
I am open to mentorship opportunities. Individuals interested can reach out via my Instagram handle, Alex_Kleyner, where we can begin a conversation about their goals and how I might help guide them in their journey.