She is a gorgeous (inside and out) 15 year old with dreams of one day becoming a professional photographer. I had the privilege of meeting her after befriending her extraordinary mother Lily. I photographed Lily and her amazing baby product Padalily for a magazine. Then she asked my son to be her product model. Talk about a dream photo shoot for me! After I finished shooting Joaquín, I then took a couple of photos of Anna for her social media accounts. You can follow her on Instagram and Youtube.
This past week I received an email from Anna,”Hi Ms. Andi, I loved the pictures you took for mom this summer and the ones you took of me! You are an amazing photographer! I am writing a research paper for school on a career choice and I chose to do photography. I was wondering if you would be willing to answer these questions for me.” I was so beyond touched that she chose me to interview. Her mom even wrote to tell me that, “She adores you and wants to be you some day!” You know what, I have a feeling Anna is going to be better than me some day. . .
- How did you become interested in photography?
When I was younger I would look at my baby albums in awe and think how incredible it is be able to capture a moment in time. Then as I got older I always volunteered to take photos on family vacations or gatherings. Everyone would compliment me on my shots and that inspired me to turn photography into a hobby and later into a career.
- Do you need formal training to be a photographer?
Nope! I did not have any formal training and I am not embarrassed to admit that. First and foremost, you have to have a natural talent. From there you need to practice, practice, and practice some more. Then you need to teach yourself how to shoot in manual mode. I did the latter through reading books and blogs.
- Among the gadgets you own, is there something you wish you hadn’t bought? Why?
An expensive flash. I have never used it once! I think shooting in natural light is the prettiest form of photography.
- What is one thing you wish you had known when you first started taking photos?
That you should edit while taking the shot and not have to rely on Photoshop later on.
- What motivates you to take pictures?
Of course, it is always great when a client is elated with the photos, but at the end of the day I take pictures, because it brings me so much pride and joy. It makes my soul happy!
- How did you get from being an aspiring photographer to actually doing it as a job?
Clients, brands, and magazines would find my work on my blog or through word of mouth and in the beginning I was “faking it till you make it.” After about a year, I decided to create my photography business and it just blossomed from there.
- How do you find people who will pay you to travel in return for pictures?
As previously mentioned, they find me through my blog or word of mouth. Or they are repeat clients. I worked very hard and still do on my blog and social media accounts. People pay attention to that! It is also very important to have an impressive Media Kit that highlights your work and resume.
- What would you say is more important in photography, being technical, or being artistic?
Without a doubt being artistic! You cannot learn to have “a photographer’s eye.” It is instinctual. You can learn how to take a better photo, but everyone can do that. Not everyone sees life through a lens; like a true photographer does.