FRANCHISING STARS: 10 Minutes with Viva Photography’s Vittorio Natoli

Posted on by Mark Fernandez

In this installment of FRANCHISING STARS, we interview the hugely successful Viva Photography’s Director and Founder – Vittorio Natoli.



Tell us about how Viva Photography was conceived:

After many years practicing as a wedding and portrait photographer, the concept occurred to me that there were so many facets and areas of learning required. I realised this is a very niche business and it would be difficult for anyone who has not worked in the industry to understand it’s dynamic and achieve a worthwhile result. And to that end, I realised that the whole way of doing business could be systemised, broken down and trained to create a consistent and viable photography franchise.

What is unique about Viva Photography and a key driver in attracting stakeholders?

Viva Photography is the only wedding and portrait photography brand in Australia that works in this space and delivers this unique business model. Because of how unique the business model is, stakeholders who thought that it would be an impossible business to run, can easily see through the systems and training that it is very achievable. Our key driver is to attract stakeholders interested in a lifestyle, people oriented, profitable and sustainable business with Viva Photography.

What is the biggest challenge right in your particular business and the sector you trade in?

The digital revolution and photography explosion has meant that many budding photographers and amateurs consider that they themselves could take similar images than those with professional studios.

What is going to be the focus for Viva Photography in the next year?

The focus is going to be to grow the brand, by rolling out more studios primarily in Victoria and Sydney.

What qualities do you look for in a prospective franchisee and how does that tie in with the Viva Photography brand?

We are looking for business owners who are focused on people, families and value our client’s life stories and also value the work of their team members. We aim to find driven, passionate and motivated individuals who want to make a difference to the lives of their clients, staff and themselves.

How do you benchmark franchisee success?

We have key performance indicators on all facets of the business including sales, lead generation, profit, staff performance, training and photography. We also benchmark studios against each other on our leader board and have bi-monthly and annual awards that recognise individual and team successes.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Watching franchisees grow and develop and finding themselves in a challenging, rewarding and fast paced business that satisfies their personal and financial goals.

In regards to working with your family, how have the family dynamics assisted or restricted your ambitions?

I believe in a work life balance and the support of your spouse and family is a key driver and requirement to be able to run a successful business. I have had many family members work through the business and that process has also been rewarding, however, it has come with its own set of challenges, as not all family members are well suited for each position in your business.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date and why?

My Father. Who believed that I had the opportunity of creating something of substance and worth. He taught me lots about people and their value. To respect and treat all people as well as you possibly can and to see the best in them.

What/who has been your favourite event/subject in your photographic career?

People. I love photographing people and making them feel good and seeing the good in our clients and exploring their individuality and uniqueness. This has led to the development of the whole business model and this love is shared by our franchisees and team members.

About Vittorio Natoli & Viva Photography:

He took his first picture at 10, started his own business and almost four decades later has created a system to franchise studios to encourage new blood in the industry.

Vittorio founded Viva Life Photography in January 1991 with humble beginnings. Viva is primarily about capturing images of people in all aspects of life. Vittorio is very passionate about people pictures and has dedicated his professional life to that end. Viva Life Photographers now embody Vittorio’s vision with every assignment capturing each element of the journey of life from pregnancy, new born babies, children, young adults, romances engagements, weddings and all other precious moments in life.

This was the foundation vision of Vittorio and now it is the vision of the Viva! Life Photography group

Vittorio is an artisan and business man who is not only dynamic but has a passion for doing things properly and leaves no stone unturned in his quest to succeed.

The Viva! positioning statement “Your Life in Pictures” encapsulates the entire objective of the business. Vittorio wishes to now share this vision with other likeminded and passionate individuals.

Vittorio Natoli believes in the power of a photo and his ability to capture the essence of a subject. It’s one of the foundations on which his business, Viva Photography, stands on. A photographer for almost four decades, Vittorio continues to love the challenge of capturing just the right image of a person.

Twenty four years ago he set up Viva Photography in Fremantle. As the company grew Vittorio decided there had to be a way to streamline the business side of the process and make it super efficient and easier to run. It would also allow someone with photographic aptitude to be guided in business principals and free them up to be creative. “This business is about people and being creative. It’s about making them feel good and understood by giving them something meaningful. Creativity wins awards which are great to have but you also have to get your commercial flow right to make enough money to keep running”.

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