Snap Happy Lisa.
May 23, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Jenny L’voe: When I met you, you were a stay-at-home-mom of two with a strong desire to do photography. What got you interested in photography in the first place?
It’s true when we met I was doing the “mom thing” full time and I’d put my career aspirations on hold. I had been a marketing manager for a couple of really great companies and by the time we met I’d had my fill of the corporate rat-race. In my role in various marketing management positions, it was my job to manage the production of the advertising and marketing material, so I was working with photographers and other creatives. That is when I got the bug many years ago. I’d always been interested in art and I’d always leaned toward the arts but I just couldn’t figure out a way to be artistic full time that wouldn’t leave me penniless and homeless.
JL: The next thing I knew, you were photo happy taking classes at a community college. All of our readers are dying to know, what was the catalyst that took you from dreaming to be a photographer taking the first steps towards becoming one?
LS: Well, I’m all about education and life-long learning. When we met I had already done a lot with photography including: lab work, assisting, large/medium format film camera work, some commercial stuff, but digital had completely taken over. I needed to go back to school to learn more about the digital aspects of the industry. In any profession you need to keep up with the current trends. I try to get to some advanced workshops taught by other photographers, whenever I can. Catalyst . . . hmm . . . I think at some point I just thought, I’m done doing what I like and now I want to do what I love.
JL: And somehow you went from being a student to doing free gigs to build your portfolio. How did you find your niche and get yourself established?
LS: Am I established? I don’t feel established. LOL I’m in a good place, let’s put it that way. I still do free gigs to build my portfolio but mostly it’s pro bono work for charities. Why not turn learning into a benefit to others right? I think part of my getting established has just been the flow of things . . . the road I’ve travelled. I was a career girl and I did some commercial work back then. I became a mom and started really “seeing” children and so a lot of what I do now is portraiture involving families and children. I shoot where I’m “at” and what’s important to me.
JL: Your Fur du Jour makes my day. What gave you such a passion for doggies?
LS: I have been an animal maniac since as far back as I can remember. I never, ever thought of merging photography with pets though. It sort of happened by accident. My vet, Dr. Paula Terifaj, who heads up a group called Roverlution, asked me to photograph an event called the Luv-a-Bullly march in 2007. It was something I loved doing and it was a way for me to lend my talent to a good cause. I got some really amazing shots of dogs and their people. From that “good deed” came some business and then some more and “thousands of licks and clicks later” I guess I’ve carved out a niche.
JL: It’s been almost 3 years since you started this adventure. You’ve gone from using the Master Suite of your house to getting the keys for a studio space come June. How has your family adjusted to these changes in the past few years?
LS: The adventure started long ago . . . but I got really determined about 4-5 years ago. And yes, I am moving into my first REAL studio space in a couple of weeks. It’s gonna be soooooo much fun to have so much more room to work with. I think the best thing about running my own business is that I can get the kids involved. They learn from what I’m doing. When I hadn’t officially gotten my business license for Lisa Scarsi Photography I was volunteering full time for an animal rescue called United Hope for animals and the kids enjoyed helping me with lots of aspects of helping the organization. In fact, one of our dogs was a foster from UHA but that’s another story. With the photography business in full swing we now, have to juggle shooting and client meetings with baseball games and kids’ theater practices but we get ‘er done. I think it helps to bring us together. I often rely on the kids for help. They are great with my clients.
JL: Lastly, you’ve done what a of people dream of doing their whole lives: living out their creative business dreams. Is there any advice you can give to those who are longing to do the same?
Keep looking for ways to fit your dream into your life . . . part time, volunteer, whatever. If you can just keep it alive and continue to make time for it, you’re a success. It doesn’t have to feed your family all the time. just your soul. I’ve found my way is a merging of a couple of my passions infused with a strong desire to do good and give back. It would not have worked in another time in my life, but it works now.
“Like” Lisa Scarsi Photography on Facebook to enjoy Fur du Jour and other picture updates. Lisa is also available for family, children, and pet portraits, events, commercial, editorial, and more in the So Cal area. Message her on FB or call her directly. Be sure to check out her website and her amazing-eye-candy blog at Lisa Scarsi Photography. And keep creating!