What do the words "Creative Community" bring to mind for you? How do you feel is the best way to utilize members in a Creative Community?
What first comes to mind is my friend group. I have a few close friends who are also photographers (as well as my editors, work therapists and competitors) but many of my friends are painters, designers, writers, musicians and stylists. What most inspires me about this group is their motivation and dedication to their craft. Having them to talk through the freelance life and running your own business is vital to me and keeps me going. Photography can at once be a solitary job - one where you could never work or interact with other photographers on a daily basis - but at the same time it's also incredibly collaborative. The type of work I do isn't possible without the incredible team who contributes to each shoot. The other place that my creative community comes from is my magazine Tidal. Having the magazine has broadened my network enormously and strengthened my relationships with so many people in my industry. In such a highly competitive industry, anything you can do to get your name out in front of people and to network is super important.
How did you discover your creativity?
On accident! It was sort of by figuring out what I wasn't into that lead me to photography. I wasn't overly academic in high school. And while I've always loved reading and writing, nothing else really grabbed my attention.
Name the biggest challenge you have had in growing your business. How did you solve it?
Wow, there are so many challenges that's a hard question to answer. But ultimately I think the hardest challenge has been overcoming that voice in my head that is self-effacing. It's something I've always battled with - and for years I would talk myself out of things, tell myself that I couldn't do something... or that a particular client would never hire me. Those thoughts are pointless and completely not helpful. It took me a long time to recognize that voice and to push it aside. But that was the first step. Now whenever it comes up I just roll my eyes and try not to let it stop me from doing something.
What was your first “Big Break” in your profession?
It was sort of a combo between shooting for Domino Magazine and Urban Outfitters. Domino got me out of waiting tables, and between that and assisting, gave me a steady (enough) income. And then I got an Urban Outfitters catalog. I made enough money on that 11 day shoot to sustain my life for another 6 months (yes - my overhead was INCREDIBLY low). So I turned down all assisting jobs and armed with a new "Urban Outfitters" promo, did as many meetings to show my book as possible. And while it was a slow crawl, that time period was really my transition into becoming a professional photographer.
What's in your backpack/handbag/tote right now?
Wallet, makeup, vitamins, The New Yorker, cell phone, sunglasses and good old Naratriptan for my migraines.
Top 3 Tips you would give someone starting out in your creative profession:
1. Work really hard
2. Don't give up even when it feels hopeless
3. Surround yourself with people who encourage, support and believe in you
4. Be nice to yourself!
Who are you following right now on Instagram for inspiration and why?
Instagram overwhelms me... But on Twitter I'm following all of my local politicians and The NY Times!
What is your MOTTO in life?
Don't have one.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Latin pop music.
If you were on an island and could only bring three things, what would you bring?
My husband Mike, my dog Bass and a gigantic bottle of Naratripan.
What do your parents think you do?
Haha this is the best question I've ever been asked in an interview!! My mom thinks I'm fly on airplanes for a living and my dad thinks I own a small business. They are both right!
What would be your Networking Do's & Dont's.:
Do network with people that you genuinely like and enjoy spending time with. Don't network with people who make you feel shitty. You will have a miserable life.
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