We had the good fortune of connecting with Lou Columbus and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lou, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
After spending 20 years in the military, my thought was to begin a second career doing something for myself, that I had always been interested in. I didn’t want to go back to punching a clock, working under someone else’s terms.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
From a young age I was interested in film and photography. After initially starting a video production business, I eventually pivoted into still photography. While I love all genres of photography, my personal favorite is portrait photography. In my portraits I attempt to create a connection with my subjects, with the goal of having their photos display as much personality as possible. My focus is always their eyes, I want them to convey something of who they are as a person, be that mischievous, sad, joyful, or whatever their dominant trait is. It’s taken me over 5 years to get to a point where I feel confidant every time I go to a photo session. I’m proud that I’ve learned most of my technical skills on my own, through online courses and all the free content out there as well. Along the way I’ve learned to avoid the trap of constantly comparing your work to others. This is especially true when you’re first starting out, because you will make mistakes and you need to allow yourself to do that. The work is also the teacher, it will show you where you need to improve. When you look back on past projects, you may cringe, but you should also be proud, because it got you to where you are.

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?
I’d start in my neighborhood of Historic St. Andrews, because it’s quaint and not over developed like some areas of Panama City, FL are. We have some of the best restaurants, so we’d have to go to lunch at Uncle Ernie’s and enjoy great food while overlooking the bay. After lunch we’d take a walk through Oaks By The Bay park, and burn off some of the calories. Then we could drive to Historic Downtown Panama City, enjoying the beautiful homes and water front along Beach Drive. I’d definitely take them to History Class Brewing Company for some tasty craft beer, while enjoying all of the Panama City history lining the walls. We could end the day at the Destination Panama City visitors center, enjoying a beautiful sunset.

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?
I am thankful to several friends who have encouraged me along the way. In the beginning my friends Allan Branch, and Eric Darnell hired me to assist them with several projects, providing valuable insights and knowledge. My good friend, author Michael Lister, invited me to collaborate with him in creating promotional materials for his books. His enthusiasm and work ethic was (and still is) inspirational. Finally, my dear friend Karen Smith, who hired me to produce content for her company Beachy Beach Real Estate. Her support and kind words have always kept me going. These are the friends who helped me get started, but there have been many more along the way, people like Jason Hedden, who not only supports, but also sets an example of how it’s done.

Website: www.lou1492.com

Instagram: @lou1492

Image Credits
Louis Columbus Photography

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