Tuesday, July 10, 2018

My Capitures Photography

By: Nicole Babauta
CNMI SBDC DIrector/Business Advisor

My name is Myla Capilitan. My parents first arrived in Saipan in the early '90s as missionaries and my sister and I got here in '96. Since then, Saipan has been my home. Today, I share my life with Matthew Deets and son, Javon Gersonde.

 I wanted to do something that I was excited about and found fulfilling. I was always envious of people who had careers and were passionate about their job. I had to stop and think to myself, "What is something that I could do and be passionate about at the same time?" The love for photography kicked in when I got my first Samsung smartphone. From then, I was amused at how such a small device can take such detailed photos that look better than how you normally see it with a naked eye. I then started to learn about photography equipment and technology. I wasn't sure if I could be good at it but I always had an appreciation for good photos. As it turns out, I am in love with the art of photography, getting to know each client and being able to capture their story through photography.
My first experience with photography occurred when I worked for the Seventh-Day Adventist School. I was asked to take photos for the school yearbook and school events. This peaked my interest in photography and I dove in with my very little experience, but I was committed to learning everything since day one. I am currently attending the New York Institute of Photography (NYIP) while working on my certification as a Professional Photographer of America. My mentors include Adam Waltner and George Delgado, who are both high profile photographers in the mainland.

I first learned about the CNMI SDC when Nicole conducted a "How to Start a Business" training for the Marianas Young Professionals (MYPros). Not long after, I met with her for a one-on-one counseling session. The CNMI SBDC continues to provide information necessary to help me expand my business. After having dreams about working on a big photography project, I knew that I had to start my business. While working for SDA school, I knew that the school photography business needed improvement and better services so I figured I should start my business from there. I started using funds from a loan I received through Bank of Guam.

When I decided to get into this industry, I knew I had to be well educated about copyright and photography. My biggest challenge now and maybe for as long as I'm in the industry is trying to protect my work, especially in this generation where digital copies are easily downloaded and shared.
The most memorable triumph in the startup process is being awarded First Place in the Photography Category for the Bridge Capital's 8th Annual Art Competition at this year's Flame Tree Art Festival.

My short-term goal is to keep the business running at a profitable level. My long-term goal includes having a fully functioning studio and covering all sorts of photography from events to passport photos. I'd also like to expand my services to our sister islands, Tinian, Rota, and Guam.

Firstly, network, network, and network. Reach out to people you already know and ask them if they could help you out in whatever profession you choose to pursue. Use your contacts. Secondly, and probably the hardest, be really organized. This is one of the best things you could do for yourself. Lastly, set goals. Once you set your goals you'll be able to prioritize and tackle them. Be prepared for anything and don't forget to set time for yourself to decompress from the daily challenges of being a business owner.