I grew up in an Latin-Filipino immigrant household so while the arts where entertained and encouraged, they were never portrayed as a viable job option. I quickly adopted the belief that “you need to pick a stable job” because “artist’s don’t make any money.” When it was time to pick classes, I chose AP Chemistry over AP Art and went on to pursue a B.S. degree in Biochemistry in college.
What really sparked my journey into photography was a two month trip to India during college that changed my life. India is an extreme on all your senses — sight, sound, smell. It’s everything all at once. With my Canon T3i, I learned that I could use photography as a means to tell stories and truly connect with people in a meaningful way. That changed everything for me. After that trip, I spent a significant amount of time crafting my own styled shoots to tell the different stories I had in my head.
At that time, I was a junior in College, halfway through my biochemistry degree, with the wild idea to quit everything go to art school and become a full-time photographer. My parents didn’t support that decision so I went to complete my degree, an accomplishment I am really proud of to this day (science is cool, okay!?). But through my last two years of college I worked on weekends and in my spare time, to start building my portfolio and gaining small client jobs here and there.
By the time I graduated in 2018, I decided to give this “photographer” thing a try. I was charging around $200-300 for one shoot back then and had about a 2-3 consistent clients.
I spend the next two years (2018-2020) building my portfolio, posting my work on Instagram, shooting a lot of weddings and small brand work in Florida. I was able to travel all over the world to Ethiopia, Indonesia, Paraguay shooting for brands.
I wanted to move to LA in 2020 but the pandemic hit, what I thought was a setback was actually the biggest opportunity to focus on my business. I had the opportunity to be mentored by one of the best Photography Agencies in LA. While the world closed down, my business doubled it’s revenue that year.
The next year (2021) I moved to LA, invested in a business coach and hit six figures in revenue that year.
Flashforward to now, September 2022, and I have already hit six figures in revenue, having easy $20-10k months and working with my DREAM clients.
So much of what I accomplished was driven by passion, the willingness to persevere even when no one else believed in me, and the drive to prove what a young Latina-Filipina can do to transform representation in the industry.
I attribute a lot of my success to my work ethic, having clarity around my desired outcomes, and knowing when to invest in outside support from coaches and mentors.
My timeline to success could have been cut in half if I didn’t spend those first 4 years trying to piecemeal knowledge from Youtube and everyone’s free content. I am so thankful I didn’t do this alone and you don’t have to either.
The Sunroom School exists to give you the opportunity to deeply transform your creative journey from Starving Artist to Creative CEO.
I am so happy you are here. If you want to see more of my Photography work you can here.
If you want to read more about the Sunroom School’s Mission, you can here.
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