Alumni Stories

Franklin Castillo

Digital Photography

Founder and Photographer of FEC Photo
The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale

The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale alumni Franklin Castillo

[I'm proud to] transition my passion for photography into a profession, and in turn, I am able to do what I love each and every day. Franklin Castillo , Founder and Photographer of FEC Photo Associate of Science in Photography, 2013 , The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale

Franklin Castillo is the founder and photographer of FEC Photo, a commercial photography service provider and online print store in Aventura, Florida. He started his company in July 2015 and specializes in product, jewelry, food, beverage, and architecture photography. Franklin also offers acrylic prints from several cities, which are available for purchase online.

Franklin’s education proved especially valuable as he prepared to launch his own company. Like any new business owner, Franklin was faced with unfamiliar business and legal issues. He found knowledge and support in the Career Services team at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. “My education prepared me for the technical aspects and broadened my understanding for the business and legal aspects that go into managing a business. The support I [received] from Career Services played a pivotal role in the launch of my business. I continue to work with many clients that were referred [to me] through my Career Services Advisor.”

Franklin is responsible for his company’s marketing, financial, business, and photography. He says that a typical day involves working with a variety of clients, from individuals to corporations. “The process for a photo shoot includes preparing equipment, assembling the set, staging products, fine-tuning lighting, ensuring accuracy of the image exposure, and a final check [on styling].” After the photography session is completed, he retouches the photos to ensure that the final product aligns with the client’s expectations.

He does add that photography is a very competitive industry. “You have to be passionate in order to succeed. You have to embrace your passion and dedicate time every day to perfect your craft.”

Franklin, who in 2013 earned an Associate of Science in Photography from The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, says that his company is seeing fast growth. He was recently hired for his third photo shoot for BurgerFi, a restaurant chain with 75 locations nationwide. “They were so happy with the results of our previous project that they asked me to shoot their entire menu. My photos are going to go on all the menu boards and marketing materials,” he says.

For the past two years, he’s also been the photographer for King Jewelers, a 100-year old, privately held jewelry business. “Through my work with King Jewelers, I have had the opportunity to photograph and interact with first-class brands, many with multi-million dollar price tags.” These include Breitling, Breguet, Cartier, Chanel, Harry Winston, Mont Blanc, Rolex, and Zenith. His photos have been published on websites and billboards—as well as “New York Magazine,” “Aventura Magazine,” “The Miami Herald,” “DuPont Registry Magazine,” “Indulge Magazine,” “Weston Magazine,” and King Jewelers Magazine.” He also counts Atlántico Rum, Christian Liaigre, Ya Mastiha Liqueur, L'Chaim Kosher Vodka, Lola James, and Neiman Marcus as clients.

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