Why Community is Important in Photography
I have known Allyssa for quite a long time now. She is a phenomenal local boudoir photographer here in Salt Lake City and when I started to write this, I actually had to reach out to her to ask when the first time we "met" was because I honestly could not remember. (I told her "You've just always been there, there was no beginning you were just MY FRIEND". But it was when she booked me for a Christmas Family Session at a tree farm years ago.) On the 1 year anniversary of me doing boudoir photography she came and had a session with me, and no lie, those photos are still some of my favorite images.
Allyssa and I talk almost daily - whether it's about photography related things, ideas that are still bubbling in the brain, family stuff, or silly memes we find on the internet. I so appreciate her for this. She understands what it is like to do what I'm doing because she is also doing it. There are times I've had problems come up that I've never faced but she has and was able to give beyond helpful advice. And vice versa. There are times I can write her and tell her that I'm feeling bored with my work and we start brainstorming ideas. We have planned and done creative shoots so many times together and it doesn't feel competitive because we are honestly hanging out just creating art in our own way.
To say that Allyssa is part of the reason I am where I am at would be a gross understatement of the significance her friendship has played in my growth as a photographer and a human. Having someone who you can plan shoot outs with, who you can message with, trouble shoot business problems with, who is local and understands local culture is priceless. But beyond that, having someone that I trust that can step in last minute if needed (which by the way has happened twice now - once due to a death in the family and another recently when I lacerated and broke my foot in the middle of a session) is a different sort of community.
As photographers/artists we sometimes think that we need to be loners, that everyone who does what we do is our competition. As if we could truly take on every person in the world as our client. Especially in the boudoir industry it becomes very cutthroat which is sad. I have learned so much from Allyssa, I have grown as a photographer, and she is the reason I was able to get my studio space. If I had seen her as a competitor or worse, a threat, I KNOW I would not be where I am right now. Am I saying to go make friends with every human in your industry? No. But I am saying make sure you have people who understand and can help you grow.
It's always an honor when Allyssa comes and steps in front of my lens because of all of this. We always have fun and laugh, but I also am always like, "Damn Mama!" It's my favorite thing about any session, but it's just extra special when it's a special friend. I hope you enjoy this session we did together. And if you are wanting to book your own session be sure to contact me and get the process started!