The company Jasen Delgado started as a young teen has blossomed into a nearly full-time photography business for him in college.
Delgado, who taught himself photography at 13, was a winner in the Business Plan Challenge High School Track as a sophomore at John A. Ferguson High School in 2010 for his growing business that focused on exotic cars.
His concept was that a Lamborghini owner would cherish a portrait of his car, and that luxury automobile sellers would buy custom portraits of their offerings for sales materials. Delgado was right, and he soon got into photographing yachts and private planes, too.
By age 15, Delgado already had a roster of paying clients, and he learned how to structure and expand his business as part of the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship program at Ferguson. NFTE helps young people like Delgado create their own jobs and not become a statistic: In a recent Brooking study, Miami ranked 89th out of the 100 largest metropolitan areas for its low teen employment.
Today you can Google “event photographer in Miami” and JasenDelgado.com comes up high on the first page. Delgado has shot events for Billboard, BET Networks, Jim Beam, Wella Hair (owned by P&G), Southern Wine and Spirits, University of Phoenix, Tanduray Rum, The Glenlivet and many more. Last month he photographed celebrity chefs in action at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival for a client in California.
“My business model has always been to provide clients with awesome pictures … Nowadays I do everything including studio product photography for audio electronic companies, models for the look books of fashion designers, events, weddings and of course car photography,” said Delgado, who says his original car clients joke his name is Jasen “Never Available” Delgado.
Now a sophomore at Florida International University, Delgado wants to major in digital media, which includes communications, production and business instruction, and he admits running a nearly full-time business while a full-time student is challenging. Continuing and growing his photo business is definitely in the plans after he graduates, he says. Delgado and his business will be featured in NFTE’s Shark Incubator expo at eMerge Americas Techweek in May.
Delgado has never lost his interest in exotic automobiles, however. He has photographed about 15 of the luxury cars on Hertzdreamcars.com.
Always learning, he has also expanded into car cinematography, producing creative short films for the wheel company K3 Projekt Wheels showing how custom wheels complete the package.
“All of us at NFTE are beyond proud of Jasen, and he has become our go-to photographer for NFTE events,” said Alice Horn, executive director of NFTE South Florida. “Jasen and his business will also be featured in NFTE’s Shark Incubator expo at eMerge Americas Techweek May 5 and 6 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.”
Editor’s note: We follow our Business Plan Challenge winners and finalists for years to come. Watch Business Monday for more updates on past winners. Students in grades 8-12 are invited to enter the Business Plan Challenge High School Track; the deadline is April 5. More info: MiamiHerald.com/challenge