We had the good fortune of connecting with Edner Emmanuel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Edner, what do you attribute your success to?
Hello Everyone. My name is Edner Emmanuel The Founder/CEO of Photo NationX and I am a Marketing/Content Creator, creatively evolving and innovating ideas to reality.
There are 2 factors that drives my success and brand to what it is today.
When the love of photography grew on me, I dived into learning my trade for over a year. To be honest, I’m still learning new things. I used every Youtube video, Skill Share, and Udemy course while I was working Pro Bono to get the skills needed to build my portfolio; leading to the 2nd reason my success grew from photography to Marketing/Content Creator.
2. Risk taking.
Like I mentioned before… I have always had a passion in capturing occasional moments in my teenage years. Every party and dance show, my friends and family had to partake in, I was there to capture every moment; every vacation, bucket-list trip and more, my camera was at my hip. Seeing the joy on their faces, even the tears in their eyes, and the praise from so many…… of course I was like “I’m going pro!”. With all this being said and such a touching story, you’d think I started off very successful… Nope! It was so hard in the beginning. No one wanted to hire me.
I had to start off with Pro Bono work. I’ve done so much pro bono work, my friends called me Mr. Pro Bono.(they don’t call me that no more LOL!!)
I spent maybe 3 years working for free just to build my portfolio. What was even harder was the lack of support from my other photographer friends. I had to pay them from my own pockets just to be the second photographer for a wedding that I finally got paid for but since the bride and groom took a risk on me for not having a portfolio, they hired me for only $500.00. Yes, a whole day for that little and it was a 200 person guest list and 2 different wedding venues. I did it, just so, I can beat the competitors that bid for that wedding. Since I needed the content, I had to take it and the money went to pay the second photographer, then the next event went to paying the videographer while I didn’t get paid for the edits for both video and photos. See risk taking requires vision and Tenacity. “Persist without exception”. Something I learned from Andy Andrews book The Seven Decisions. My situation was embarrassing at first. Over time, with word of mouth spreading and some marketing ideas, I took risk on, there was so much work that I had to turn down and I would triple book a session at once and rotate clients in the same session.
The good problems – I was known everywhere for the quality of my work and my efficiency in turn around times after developing & editing the photos.
I would have 3,000 to 5,000 pictures developed with the video of the wedding edited while the couple was on their honeymoon. Again, it pays to educate yourself with as much knowledge in your field; and taking risk at first may seems like the stupidest thing to do and people will remind you how stupid your ideas are and how you are going about it. Hold on, because in time, they will want you over for dinner so you can share your success.
I really love what I do because I get to bring to life the ideas of everyone I encounter and it makes me want to innovate what i do even more. I also get to connect with amazing individuals that become great friends.
The Journey is worth it!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Please tell us more about your art.
So imagine this kid following his friends around with a camera like a paparazzi cause it was so cool to annoyed my brothers and Sisters catching them off guard and developing the film… CLASSIC!! Lol I was asked to take photos for parties and birthdays and special events which others would praise the work, so my eyes was open in going pro. I then discovered the beauty of portraits. Nothing like it.
We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about.
Honestly is my only policy.
To have such integrity in a city that 1 out of 10 are photographers. Consistency in my character was must important to me; quality in my work, and efficiency in my turn around time.
How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy?
Take nothing personal and never give up. because its not easy at all!
If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way.
1 BIG lesson I’ve learned and I beg of you not to do is, partner with anyone because you are or feel you desperately need a partner or you will miss out on an opportunity. Please be very careful who you partner with and who you chose to represent your company or brand. This mistake I made almost ruined me and I almost gave up what I love to do. Please hesitate, ask 5 thousand more questions, get to know very well, do many trail runs to see their work ethics, their character, and their intentions. It took a while to forgive and to bounce back. It was a lesson that actually helped me from a would be partnership that would have been crazier than the first. I saw all the flags that made it easy to say “thank you for your interest but your are not the fit we are looking for for this company.”
What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
We have recently started to edit, color, and sound enginner featured films.
Please check out my website @:
Follow me on
Facebook: Photo Nationx
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My friend will need a Vacation from this vacation. Lol.
First trip is to Red Rocks at first light and to take as much pictures as possible, walk the trail and then eat at Tamale Kitchen in Lakewood.
Next day we will go to Meow Wolf and then head to In&Out then to Cherry Creek park eating in&out Burgers and them shakes.
Then that next day is a chill day at the zoo or museum just to walk around and head to 5points to check out the small mom&pop stores/restaurants to shop then eat.
The follow day we will drive all the way down to Colorado Springs to tour Garden of the Gods and take some more pictures and and videos and end up eating at Tucanos Brazilian Grill buffet.
Then i will end the trip driving to Vail, CO to check out the beautiful spots that are breathe taking and afterwards take a trip to BeauJo’s for the best pizza i have eaten ever. They call it the Colorado Mountain Pie for a reason.
Last day will be drinks and sleep. LOL!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Special Thanks God for the gift He has giving me. To My future wife Monica for her support and love like no other. To my Mom Leonne for all she had to go through raising me. To Makayla for the opportunity to share my story. To my brothers Ronel, Johnny, and Sonel for never giving up on me.
And all my amazing models that still to this day have my back and supports me. You know who you are. I can not thank you enough!
Credit to my Models Kendelyn, Fanfan, Kat, Kelly.