For some, a career comes from years of soul searching, experimentation at various jobs, hours upon hours of researching and studying options, but for Lucas Scarfone, it all happened in a flash – the flash from his camera. For over 10 years, Lucas has been a professional photographer capturing some of the world’s most exclusive vehicles, homes, private jets, and of course their owners – some of Canada’s richest individuals. Hamilton Economic Development speaks with a former Small Business Enterprise Centre client, and great ambassador for Hamilton entrepreneurship, Lucas of Scarfone Photography.
Ever since I was a kid I’ve always been drawn to cars. I’d ride my bike to the convenience store to buy the latest car magazines and my walls were barely visible behind all the glossy posters. My parents used to drive me to all the local car dealerships so I could take photos and dream about getting behind the wheel one day. I don’t know what it is, but something about all these beautiful machines gets my blood pumping. From a photography standpoint the lines and details are such a pleasure to capture, especially some of the vintage cars. Designers and craftsman have spent countless hours designing every last nuance of the car and I really enjoy exploring that through my lens.
What is your advice to other business owners?
Focus on the relationship. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet so many incredible people over the course of my career and I truly value their business and friendship. When making decisions I try to focus on how it will affect the future relationship with the client as opposed to just the transaction at hand. It’s amazing how doing something a little extra or different can go such a long way. One example of this is when I send out my Christmas cards every year. I customize most of the cards with a photo of the subject’s actual vehicle with a Santa hat on top and a hand written message inside. The entire process takes about a month and a half to complete 1,100 cards, but all the positive feedback is more than worth it! Taking a few extra minutes to make someone feel special really helps solidify and maintain your business and personal relationships.
Where do you hang out in your spare time?
I love spending my spare time outdoors hiking on our local trails. It’s incredible how many beautiful places there are to explore in our City and we’re lucky to have access to the escarpment and Bruce Trail in our own backyards. A few of my favourite trails include the Smokey Hollow, Red Hill Valley and Dundas Valley Trails. Another one of my passions is food, I think I would marry pasta if it was possible. I’ve been eating at Paninoteca on Upper James since high school and it has hands down the best veal sandwich I have ever had, trust me, I’ve done more than my share of market research! Chances are very high that you’ll find me there for lunch on most days ending in Y.
Interview as told to Michael Marini as part of the 3 Big Questions, 1 Small Business series. Marini is the Coordinator of Marketing for the City of Hamilton’s Economic Development Office. He can be reached at @hamiltonecdev and @marinitweet.