I was recently interviewed by Voyage LA Magazine, about my photography career. We chatted about a lot, including how my career got started, some of the challenges I faced along the way, and what I'm most proud of, regarding Operation Candids.
They thought it was awesome enough to publish (Yippee!) so...
The article was originally posted at this link on the Voyage LA website, but you can also read a copy of it below:
Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today. You can include as little or as much detail as you’d like.
Photography has always been a part of me. Moreso, as a hobby, at a young age, inspired by my father who was a photographer/videographer. Of course, I needed my own camera to keep up with my father, so my mother bought me a digital camera for Christmas one year. Thereafter, I was snapping away at anything and everything. I also tinkered with photo editing - basic retouching to photo manipulation.
But photography was eventually put on the back burner while I carried on with life - work, school, motherhood, etc. It wasn’t until a co-worker asked me - “What is your passion? What do you enjoy doing?” I told him “Photography”. He responded, “Then what are you doing here?”. From there on, the wheels were spinning. I quit my job and moved out of state, to take a job as an event photographer in Las Vegas.
After about two years, I bought my own DSLR camera, stepped out as a freelance photographer, and moved back to California. It took some time to gain clients, but receiving inquiries for event photography and portrait sessions is now an often occurrence.
Has it been a smooth road? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
When I took the leap of becoming a photographer in Las Vegas, I had only captured photos with a point and shoot camera. I did not know about ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed, etc. So the challenge I faced was learning on the spot - tinkering with the settings and hoping I got it right.
Actually, I have two cases that stick in my mind to this day. I know I did my best with the knowledge I had at the time, but the quality of the images fell regrettably short. In both cases, I’m eternally grateful that they didn’t crush my spirit. They actually praised me for my effort, which encouraged me to work harder at getting it right for future shoots.
Tell us about your business/company. What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of as a company? What sets you apart from others?
I am the owner and photographer at Operation Candids. I specialize in portraiture photography, involving families, children, babies, engagements, pets, etc.
And, over the past few years, I have had the chance to understand what really make my work unique.
Photography is art, an expression of oneself - so I’ve learned that my style is playful, creative and vibrant. From clients I have worked with, or peers I’ve work alongside of, I’m often told that I see things that others do not. While editing images, I like to add or manipulate elements that compliment the subject. I may add falling leaves to an autumn scene, I may change the color of an object, I may change the entire background. I just let my creative mind go wild. But most importantly, I make sure the client is satisfied with the final results.
Overall, I am most proud of how Operation Candids has taken shape. I occasionally review old images - I take note of changes that could be made and I’m in awe of the growth in each image, over time. It gives me the confidence boost that success is inevitable, as long as I continue to express my vision in photography.
What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
First, making sure the client is in awe, after viewing their images is a necessity. I want the client to be happy and excited to work with me, again and again.
Second, I’m consistently soaking up knowledge. So I’m always checking out new photography or photo editing books. I’m learning from YouTube, Skillshare, Pinterest, etc. I’m always looking for visual inspiration and researching trends from galleries, magazines and social media.
Making sure I’m up-to-date and delivering great results are imperative to the success of Operation Candids.
I’d like to add - The best advise I could give for photography success - Don’t expect everything to come at once. Don’t ever fall into the trap of comparing your art. Your style will emerge and you never regret how your journey unfolds.