Entrepreneur Spotlight: Anthony Camera


Anthony Camera owns a long-standing photography business, Anthony Camera Photography, but he recently came to an impasse in his career that forced him to start thinking about what was next after 25+ years in the industry as one of Denver’s premier editorial and commercial photographers.

Anthony fell in love with photography at young age; he was in a camera club in elementary school and really enjoyed the process of capturing a moment, transitioning film, and creating something that people found value in. From that point on, he never stopped using his camera; the fact that his last name happens to be Camera is a sheer coincidence! Anthony started his business in 1996 after leaving a career in the nonprofit sector. He has since built a very impressive portfolio that when he started was unconventional, which likely helped land him deals with Westword Magazine and other local publications as their go-to editorial photographer. Most of his early work was focused on editorial and commercial advertising photography, something he did well at and turned into a profitable career throughout the 90s.

In the mid 2000s, Anthony started to pick up on subtle changes in the industry due to economic transitions, advancements in technology, and just the general shift that happens naturally in creative fields. Two of the major changes were tied to growth and pay. For example, a magazine would pay $500-$700 in the early 90s for an editorial shot, but that price never went up with time. “Now days someone can shoot the same editorial cover and might walk away with $50 -$70 or do it for free just to build their portfolio.” All of that said, finding new clients wasn’t easy and getting paid a fair rate was becoming challenging.

In 2018, Anthony joined RMMFI’s Business Launch Boot Camp as part of Class #20. His initial motivation to join was to support his girlfriend who was also in the program, but it wasn’t until he enrolled in the inaugural Thrive Business Accelerator (TBA) program three seasons later that he realized the importance of understanding market trends. “TBA helped me realize the reality of where the photography market is now and gave me some realistic direction, something I hadn’t had in the last 10 years.”

After completing TBA this past June, Anthony continues to run his photography business, primarily working with his long-standing clients, and has pivoted to shooting more headshots — something he’s found to be worth the time for the pay earned. His biggest pivot, though, is a shock-value coffee brand that he started with his brothers just before the pandemic, which, to his surprise, has proven to be quite lucrative. The coffee brand started as a satirical joke mocking third-wave specialty coffee brands and has been selling out so quickly that Anthony and his brothers can’t keep up with demand. As Anthony tells it, “Not everyone wants to taste the light fruit-forward notes in a cup of coffee; some of us just want a simple bold cup!”