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WNC Business

Keeping Business Momentum By Working In Your Passion

Sep 01, 2022 04:15PM ● By André Daugherty

Ever since I was a kid, I've loved movies. I love the stories that they tell, from the hero’s journey to the mistakes along the way to the happy ending. This is why I love telling stories with photography and videography. 

My background in video and live production began years ago as a media director for my church. It had an incredible impact on my life, both personally and professionally. In 2011, I started my very own business - a photography and videography company called Pro 16 Productions.

My clients are my heroes. Most of them are entrepreneurs that had a dream of creating something better than their current situation, a dream of themselves becoming the hero of their own stories. It is my privilege and pleasure to help them tell it using digital media as their platform.

The ability to combine my work and my passion means being invited to tell someone’s story while remembering that that story has a purpose and goal. It's not enough to produce a video that is visually stimulating and entertaining if it doesn’t match my clients’ goals. I see my work as way more than completing a project, but as an opportunity to use my passion to deliver the message that my client is looking to deliver.  

My business philosophy is centered around listening, learning, and growing. While I believe I have talent in this field, talent only gets me so far. It is from listening and learning about each clients’ goals and desires, and growing stronger in these skills, that make each project better than the last. That is my goal every time. If I am blessed to work with a client a second time, my goal is to deliver a product that is even better than the last one. I always strive to exceed, never to regress.

Creating a career centered around my passion is a huge part of why my business is able to flourish. I also credit a very supportive community that encourages small businesses in this region to succeed. I am but one of the many amazing creatives in WNC, and we all support each other in this space. There is room for us all if we work together.

Since starting my business, I have seen growth in both the number of clients and size of their projects. I also know that there is room for Pro 16 Productions to grow even further. My future goals include operating a studio, hiring passionate employees, and mentoring youth in this field. The mentoring goes back to my church roots. I love it when young people get excited about technology. It's wonderful to watch.

Born and raised in Asheville and Swannanoa, I believe that the strength of our Western North Carolina community is amazing, and I am proud to be a part of it. The natural beauty of the area is also astounding. If you have never seen the sun come up in our beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, you aren’t just missing a sunrise. You are missing a blessing! Many people pay a lot of money to come from miles around just to experience the beauty and wonder that we can see every day. It is incredibly therapeutic - the fresh air, beautiful sunshine, mountain blues, and of course, taking lots of pictures!

This balance of building my business while experiencing the outdoors in our beautiful WNC mountains truly helps to keep my momentum going. I can’t express just how necessary it is for my mental health and creative drive. I’ll say it again - if you take even 5-10 mins outside, preferably on the Blue Ridge Parkway, it will be worth every minute.

The best advice that I can give someone experiencing any level of career burnout is to spend some time on your days off asking yourself several things. What am I looking for in life? What are my goals? What are my values? Most importantly, Is my career or job helping me achieve those things, or holding me back?

While most of us need a consistent income, there is often an opportunity to make money in a different way if we are willing to learn, grow, and recognize the type of person that we really want to be. I have always believed that making money is easy. If you look around, you’ll find that so many people are hiring. The important consideration, however, is - are you working to live, or living to work? If it is the latter, it may be time to evaluate a new path. If you are willing to go for it, it's out there. I hope you find that path and never leave it.

André Daugherty is the owner, photographer, and videographer at Pro 16 Productions. 

It is a privilege to be a storyteller, and one that I take very seriously. I enjoy collaborating with my clients to present their business in a whole new light for the world to see, for them to be the hero of their own story. 

My favorite part of the job is the look on the faces of my clients when they see their vision come to fruition. I help them take another step on their journey toward their goals.