I started my business in 2008. I was a dog groomer before that.
I did study photography in college but ultimately got my BA in Cultural Anthropology.
I always loved photography. My dad was a photographer so I have fond memories of helping him set up lights but it took me a long time to believe I could actually make a living doing it.
I have been specialized in boudoir and fashion inspired portraiture for the last four years. When I first started I would photograph anything and everything and over time I realized what I enjoyed and what I was good at. I love boudoir because more than any other type of portraiture I believe that it holds this power to transform the relationship people have to their own body. I see a portrait session as a ritual. The whole purpose of a ritual is to transform and I think the power of a portrait is that it allows someone to see themselves from a perspective they are not used to. It also gives them the power to control how they want to be seen. This transformation shifts how one views themselves, their body and how they relate to it and the outside world. Powerful stuff!!!
If you knew someone who wanted to be a photographer, and could give them one piece of important advice, what would that be?
Know your worth and don’t undervalue what you do.
Have you ever done a boudoir session yourself, if you are a female (sorry guys 🙂 ? Do you think it’s something that is important for female boudoir photographers to do?
Yes, I was so hesitant but I finally did one in 2016 and then in that one year stepped in front of ten different photographer’s cameras. I think it’s so important for us because besides having a better understanding of what are clients experience which allows us to relate to them more it also is a huge opportunity to learn. I have become a better photographer by stepping on the other side. Also, by me sharing my own boudoir photos I have earned the trust and respect of my ideal clients because I walk the walk. People respond to authenticity and there I was telling people to love their body and not wait to experience a boudoir session yet I wasn’t doing the same. As soon as I did my bookings skyrocketed because I gained their trust and they truly believed me when I told them to embrace their body. It was no longer just a line but something I believe and live now.
How do you feel about the male / female debate regarding boudoir photographers?
The reality is clients will be attracted to you and your personality for their own reasons. You just be the best you can and the right clients will find you regardless of your gender.
What do you do to avoid burn-out? Is there ever a time when you just want to throw your camera out the window?
I do yoga and meditation everyday now which helps me me to stay fresh on the daily basis. I also unplug from all social media one day a week. And to avoid creative burnout I make sure I shoot personal projects with one of my muses on the regular. This is when I push myself creatively and shoot with no agenda or expectations. I think it’s so important to give myself that space to create just to create.
What do you love about the business?
Helping people to fall in love with themselves and rediscover themselves.
What do you hate about the business?
The numbers…. again, that’s what accountants are for.
Are you a member of any professional photo organizations like PPA, WPPI? What benefit do you feel you get by being a member?
PPA, WPPI, DMWL and AIBP. I get different things from each of them but to be honest I know I am not utilizing any to their full potential. There is just not enough time.
Do you compete and do you have any opinions on it? AIBP runs contests regularly. Do you participate? If not, is there a reason you don’t?
I have entered AIBP contests which are always fun. I don’t take it too seriously but it’s nice to win now and then especially with such a talented pool of photographers.
SOME FUN MORE PERSONAL STUFF:
Tacos, cause there are just so many combos, styles and options. I could eat tacos for breakfast, lunch and dinner and never get bored cause of all the variety. It also helps that I live in Taco county. No matter what anyone else says San Antonio has the BEST tacos around.
One guilty pleasure in life?
Ignoring everything and binge watching a tv series. I don’t do it often but every few months I will neglect everything and plant myself on the couch for the day of getting lost in a show.
What is your favorite piece of clothing?
Sunglasses, I guess that is not clothing but it’s something I can’t live without.
What’s one song on your playlist?
Wave of Mutilation by the Pixies.
What’s your favorite movie genre? Example?
Comedy…. Couple’s Retreat cracks me up every time. Encouragement, yes! Boom!
Favorite shoes to wear?
I like to be barefoot but when I have to wear shoes it’s usually Converse or sandals.
What are you currently reading?
Meditations from the Mat, Full Catastrophe Living, The Yoga Sutras, The Good Girl’s Guide to Bad Girl Sex, The Yamas and Niyamas, and the Psychology of Human Sexuality. Yes, I really am reading them all at once. I am currently working on my 300 hour certification in Adaptive and Therapeutic Yoga and my certification to become a Sex Coach so I read and study A LOT right now. If I am not working I am reading and studying.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would that be?
Italy because I lived there for four years as a kid and I have always wanted to return.
If you could go back and do over anything in your life, what would that be?
Relive my twenties but this time I wouldn’t be shy and scared to be who I wanted.
If you could meet and photograph someone famous, who would that be and why?
Willie Nelson. Just cause I want to hang with him, get high and philosophize about life.
What do you struggle with the most in life? (not photo related)
Anxiety. It’s something that I have dealt with my whole life. I hide it well and look like I have it together but in my head there is a daily battle to fight the anxiety.
Are you married, single, have kids, husband? Is life a juggling act for you?
Married, no kids, one dog and three cats. Life is a juggling act for any entrepreneur I think.
Who inspires you the most in life? Work?
My parents inspire me. They have been married for 45 years and are still very much in love. The respect they have for one another is so beautiful. They have set a wonderful example of what a loving relationship can be. They have always believed in me even when I did not believe in myself and I can never thank them enough for the beautiful life they have given me. In work my clients inspire me. Every story they share becomes a part of me and I will forever carry them in my heart and soul.
If you could provide one single piece of advice to influence a young person’s direction in life, what would that be
You cannot always control what happens to you life but you can always control how you react. Always choose love, light and positivity even in the face of darkness.