Young Money: Shay Frey, CEO

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As the economy continues on its dizzying downward spiral, competition among college students to secure a job after graduation steadily increases. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, enrollment in colleges and universities has increased 38 percent between 1999 and 2009. This swell in enrollment indicates that more people are graduating, which in turn means that more people are looking for jobs in an already dismal job market. How can you avoid all of this unnecessary stress? By starting your own business, of course.

Shay Frey, a sophomore at Syracuse University, couldn’t wait until after graduation to take advantage of her flair for photography. She founded Freytography, a business that specializes in events photography and portraiture, when she was 17

“My first party, I was nervous because I had never shot a party before,” Frey says. “I wore a white shirt and a vest, and ended up matching all of the waitresses.”

Three years and hundreds of parties later, Frey maintains the humility that she began her business with. Besides taking a quality photograph, connecting with clients on a deeper level and forming relationships with them is one of the most important aspects of her job, she says.

“Photos say a lot about the person, but that’s what they’re supposed to do. You work with people who…are always willing to try things, and then you work with people who are too nervous to try anything,” Frey says. “It comes out in the pictures. Photos capture the very essence of a person.”

Freytography loves chatterbox clients. Though, she advertises for her business locally, Frey finds that most new clients contact her after speaking with former ones, who boast of her talent and professionalism. Even some of the DJs she has befriended recommend her business to their own clients. 

As the only member of a one-woman staff, Frey acts as the business manager, advertising director and photographer, while reaping the benefits of all three. She points out that the business runs on a low budget, so its profits outweigh expenses.

“As far as I’m concerned, people get the same high quality photos as professional photography businesses, but for a better price,” Frey says.

After college, she hopes to freelance photograph, as well as transition Freytography into her own fashion photography studio.

Sophomore > Magazine Journalism > Syracuse

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