Q & A // Personal // Seattle, WA by Alejandra Aguirre

A month and a half late but I'm finally getting to this damn Q&A. Why am I the worst at blogging / avoid it like the plague when I know my it's like, necessary in this industry? I do not know but oh well- I still like me! 
Enough self-love... ANYWAYS. 
You guys submitted a pretty solid collection of questions ranging from personal to professional to even a little weird, and I'm into it. 
Without further ado, let's get into this ish. 


Q: How did you get into wedding photography? 
A: I sort of fell into the wedding world by accident. I used to tote my camera around daily and would constantly snap photos of the lovely people in my life. 
Eventually a friend asked if I would shoot their wedding, and being so green to the whole thing, I blindly said yes- with no apprehension or fear (it's not like I'm solely responsible for capturing memories of the most important day in most people's lives or whatever). But it worked out and was such an invigorating experience, I immediately knew I'd stumbled upon something big and haven't looked back since. 

**Was that an interesting response?? (my inner monologue is kicking in already)
I'm already exhausted talking about myself and this is only the first question. Why did I do this?

Q: Crunchy or soft tacos? 
A: Hell yes. A question I can get behind- soft tacos for life! 
But like, if a plate of crunchy ones showed up right now, I would inhale. 

Q: I love your hair!! How do you take care of your curls?
A: Honest answer: I don't. I've bleached the hell out of it, barely wash it, and ran out of curl cream weeks ago and haven't bought more. I like to believe that my frizzy, disheveled locks add to my free-spirited, ~artistic~ vibe.
A girl can pretend, right? (Code for: lie to me.)

Q: Very favorite lighting method or situation? 
A: Seattle's notoriously dreary weather, though depressing as hell, is an actual dream to photograph in. Nature's soft box... it doesn't get much better.  
However, when I'm not able to shoot in such consistent light, I do love me some golden hour. Having to make quick decisions due to the nature of the transitioning light is so much fun, and the results are always dynamic, warm and wonderful. 


Q: What are elements of a couple's session that leave you feeling inspired and loving what you do? 
A:  Not a lot feels better than when you're able to skip the small talk and instead, facilitate a space where your clients feel safe enough to drop their guards; to be their truest, most intimate selves. Breaking down barriers and getting to the core of a couple is such an unbeatable feeling. 
I prefer documenting big belly laughs, messy make out sessions, or even normal day-to-day activities that might otherwise go unnoticed vs. anything traditional, posed or forced. 
And when I see my couples react so positively to seeing their real selves shine through in their images... that's what it's all about. Honesty is fucking beautiful. I aim to reveal that to my clients because it's important lesson for them to realize, as well as for myself. 

Q: How do you take your coffee?
A: Typically I go for a pour-over, americano or a doppio. So I guess delicious, black and strong?There's a joke with innuendo here that I'm not going to make. 

Q: I want to move to Seattle but am scared to take the plunge. Thoughts or advice? 
A: Do it! Life's too short. If your gut is telling you to move, save your pennies, make a plan and take the plunge. Do know that the city is mad expensive and housing is competitive, but the landscape is absolutely beautiful and lush, the city is fairly walkable/public transit isn't the worst, there's good food everywhere and the community is incredible (it's seriously what makes it worth it for me). Also know that nothing is permanent, so why not do the thing your heart desires. When you've grown as much as you can and gotten what you wanted out of the experience, move the heck on! And if you need a friend or guide, hit me up!


Q: How did you get the ball rolling (and continue to do so) when bringing in wedding clients?
A: Though I've been in Seattle for almost two years now (what is time?), I still feel super new here, especially since I've only established myself as a "full-time" photographer just a few months ago. I have a lot to learn, but one thing that have served me well this far is unapologetically being myself. When I allow my authentic voice to come through, I attract clients who are genuinely attracted to not just my work, but who I am. And it's that kind of working relationship that not only makes the product better, but something you can be truly proud of. Plus sometimes you make some legit friends out of it.
Another thing is be kind to yourself! Your inner voice may have a tendency to be pretty nasty at times, but comparing yourself to other artists or wishing you were better, more successful or whatever doesn't do anything but leave you feeling depleted and depressed. Use that energy for making the art you want to make, not because you want to beat out your competition or be featured on some instagram account, but because this is a thing you legit love to do! Remember how fortunate you are to have a calling that your passionate about, so try and lose the ego and create often and for the fun of it. It's not about being perfect, there are no winner's here. It's about consistency and personal growth... at the end of the day, that's what will attract those clients and keep em coming. At least that's what I keep tellin' myself, ayyeeee. ;)

Alright folks, that's it for my first go-around of Questions and Answers. If I didn't get to yours this time around, so sorry! I'll be sure to include it in the next one. It was honestly a major challenge to write about myself for this long so I left quite a few out in an effort to spare ya'll (maybe I'll do a part ii soon). I hope this was enjoyable to read! Thanks so much for being a part of this conversation and process... I appreciate you very much. 

Cheers angels, till next time. 
(Also, sidebar: All photo credit goes to the unbelievably talented Lynnsey of Lion Lady Photo. Follow her/book her/tell her she's lovely.)

A Leap of Faith: On Going Full-Time with Photography // Personal by Alejandra Aguirre

Guys. I officially put in my notice. The title says it all, but even as I read it, I can't believe it. 
Some of you may or may not know, but during my past year and a half in Seattle I have been busting my butt working two full-time jobs- one being establishing and running my photography business, and the other being a barista at Google. It's been a struggle balancing the two, but it wouldn't be right if I didn't pay my respect to this weird ass corporate day-job that ended up being one of the best things to ever happen to me. Seriously.

Let me explain.

Having a steady source of income + benefits and working for a place that went above and beyond in their endless support of my photo career afforded me the opportunity to slow down and reevaluate my relationship to photography and my business. I didn't need to shoot to survive any more. I was for the first time able to say NO when a client or situation wasn't right, and instead, only take on work that was fulfilling and fueled my creativity. I was able to grow, gain a real point of view (where I was totally lost before), refine my style and reignite my passion. This is not to say that I have my shit figured out, or that I am by any means done growing (oh hell naw), but it is important to acknowledge that without this security, I may have never learned that I am crazy about intimate engagement sessions, weddings + elopements, have never gotten over my fear of conceptual studio shoots, or felt confident enough to expand my business and plan something as ambitious as Babely. Though the idea of leaving stability IS TOTALLY GOD DAMN TERRIFYING, something in my gut tells me there is no other way. I need to give it up and lean in. I need to do things on my own time, in my own way, to see what I'm made of. 
I'm not scared to be scrappy, to hustle, to get creative or even to 'fail'. It's all a part of learning and I feel a fire in my belly like no other. I'm ready for a challenge and I am not shy of hard work. All I know is that this is right right now and I owe it to myself. Time to get to really get to living, learning and growing

My story is not unique. There are so many of us grinding and working damn hard... pushing through tough transitions as we move toward a more fulfilling future. I can only hope that sharing this little bit of real talk from my heart gives you a boost of encouragement and confidence. Keep going, following your intuition and fighting for your dream. We got this. 

"The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward."

-Amelia Earhart