I lay here in bed at 4:45 am wondering how I got to this point in my life. Not too many people know this, but I have been in the process of opening a new business. It has been exciting/stressful/scary/amazing all at the same time. First and foremost I am a photographer but I also have a passion for design. In the last years, I have secretly been designing t-shirts and tank tops! YUP, you heard that correctly. ¨Let's take it back seven years and recap how it all started.
In 2010, I graduated from the Langara College Photo-Imaging Program. Along with photography, we had to take courses in math, business, and marketing. In one marketing class, we had to create a business, develop a business plan, and present it to the rest of our class. I worked with three other talented photographers - Jamie Mann, Tori Reid and Jill Schweber - and together we came up with a business that combined our photography and clothing. The concept was that people would send in their photos and we would make clothing designs from them. It was one of the funniest things I have ever worked on. We even filmed a hilarious, little (now embarrassing) commercial for the business. (Video Attached) After presenting and getting a great mark on this project, it kinda just died. But it has been in the back of my mind since then.
After my graduation, I bought the "Kurent" business name and planned on developing the business, but life took me in a different direction. Instead, I ended up working in Vancouver for a school photography company as a crew chief for four years. And although I liked working for the company, I felt stuck in life. My photography wasnt improving, and in my personal life, I made a huge mistake that I immediately regretted. This resulted in some trouble with the law, but I quickly learned from my mistake and decided to make a big change. I knew I needed to get out of Vancouver.
So, at the age of 29, I packed a suitcase and took off for Sydney, Australia by myself. WHOOOOAAAAA! What have I done?! I started to question myself: Is this the right decision? Should I be here? What if this doesn’t work out? But I took a deep breath, gathered myself and the job hunt was on.
I prayed nonstop that I would find a job that I liked and that allowed me to stay in the creative/photography world. Soon, my prayers were answered. My landlord told me about his friend who worked at a studio. The studio wasn’t hiring at the time, but his friend said he would teach me the ins and outs of what studios in Sydney looked for in a photographer. Felipe Molina taught me posing, lighting, and styling in a span of a few hours and soon I had a studio portfolio ready.This led me to be hired as a caller at Studio 504 the same studio he was working for. I was happy to be in the industry I wanted, and I knew it was a stepping stone to where I wanted to end up.
Along with the job as a caller, I was also being trained in sales. The plan wasn't to do any shooting for the company right away. But, one day when I came into work my boss said that someone called in sick and I had to shoot. Wait! What? Right now? I wasn’t prepared for this type of photoshoot. I was more of an on-location shooter and had not done a lot of studio work. But I was up for the challenge. I grabbed my camera and did the work. I was very happy with the results. So were the clients and so was my boss. And this is how I went from calls to becoming Photographer of the Year in 2016.
I loved Sydney a lot, and I wanted to become a permanent resident, but things were not working out that way at 504. And then one day, my prayers were answered (again), and I got a job with another photography company in Sydney that sponsored. Knowing that this was my end goal, I had to leave 504 and bring my talents to Verve. It was a different type of company to work for, but again Felipe had put in a good word for me and I was excited to meet new people and grow with a new company. After working there for only five weeks, I was let go for reasons I still don’t understand. Little did I know, it was a blessing in disguise. I felt God telling me to finally pursue the passion that I've had in my heart for the last seven years.
There is more to this story... to be continued...