I am so proud to introduce my new partner in crime for the blog, Rachel Willie from Lively Creative Co. as we continue the Rose City Style Guide’s First Anniversary Series. This cute as a button photographer has helped me reach new heights with her inspiration, talent and dedication (Even when I’m asking for everything last-minute)
Here is her Story…
What was your first job out of college and how did you land it?
My first job out of University was a job at a Manufacturing plant – I was their illustrator
and designer for instruction manuals. Pretty glamorous, I must say! I was given the
opportunity because of a friend in the graphic design business. Parallel to this, I kept my
job as an office assistant at Manifesto Photography, which I landed through an internship
program at the University of Windsor. I also kept my other job as a cashier at the grocery
store that I still work at. Busy little bee that I was, I continued to work 3 part-time jobs for
about 2 years before things changed.
How did you transition from that position to where you are
today? Take us on a brief career bio.
I just started doing a lot of photography work on the side. I was SO passionate about it that I would work two of my jobs in one day and come home and do a shoot or finish editing something. It was exhausting and thrilling. Honestly, not a ton has changed. I’m down to two part-time jobs and my business now, which is growing all the time. I know this is probably the part of my photography career that I’m not supposed to talk about, but it’s real life! If you want to financially support yourself and be a photographer or
anything in a creative field, get ready to juggle some jobs for a while. I would love to be
a full-time photographer one day, and I believe that I’ll get there. But I also know that it
takes time. Let me mention this too- I’m young. So I know I have lots of time 🙂
When did you first become interested in photography? Did you
ever have any formal training?
I was 9 years old the first time I said the words “I want to be a wedding photographer”. I
think I became interested in weddings before I was interested in photography. My
wedding obsession became a Manifesto Photography obsession, which resulted in me
reaching out to see if they would take me as an intern. That eventually evolved into an
amazing hired gig, and I became more fascinated with the photography world. I also went
to school for Visual Arts, so I actually took black and white film photography (dark room
and all!). It gave me a solid background in understanding how a camera works and
manipulating natural light sources. It also gave me a total soft spot for black and white
images! Beyond that, my training was all workshops and a lot of practice.
What was it like to take that leap and start your own business?
Scary, exciting, fun, challenging! I’m learning all the time.
What is a typical day like for you?
Normally when I know I have a lot of editing to do, my day will pretty much consist of
me sitting in my office and singing (loudly) along to my iTunes. If I need a break from
editing, I’ll walk to my kitchen, grab a snack or make a tea, come back to the computer
and maybe research something to do with my business or answer some emails. Then it’s
back to editing. Lists for me are essential to getting anything done. I try to call it quits by
5 or 6pm so I can get out of the house and not burn out!Best moment of your career so far?
I’ve had a few exciting moments so far, but I loved being featured on Home Outfitter’s
blog with Rose City Style Guide. So fun to see your images somewhere you never
thought they would be!
What inspires you?
On a shoot: light, details, style, relationships, and the push to do better. I guide people
into poses and then something goes off in my head signaling to me when to take the shot,
kind of like an instinct. I’m addicted to that feeling. When I’m at home editing…
definitely my office space! Decorating my space so that it was functional and inspiring
was really important to me.What is your photography style?
Natural, bright, happy, true!
What do you like best about your job?
Knowing the possibilities are endless, and my success depends solely on how hard I’m
willing to work. Oh, and working in my pajamas is a pretty cool bonus too 🙂
Where are your go to spots to shoot in Windsor Essex?
I try my best to change it up, so I love it when clients pick their location. I believe that
even a small piece of wall can become something really special. That’s the fun of
photography! I’ve shot at a lot of really great local locations though- Jackson Park,
Lacasse Park, Ambassador Golf Club, Hiram Walker, Riverside Drive, Dillon Hall, and
even inside Casino Windsor!
Your favourite Saturday afternoon activity in Windsor-Essex?
When it’s nice out, I definitely love going to Stop 26 on Riverside Drive for some
chocolate ice cream. YUM! Since it’s currently not ice cream weather, you could catch
me eating some stir fry at Simply Thai, a chicken caesar at Wrap Shack, or grabbing a
coffee at Second Cup. Yes, I love food.
Who would play you in a movie?
Why is this such a difficult question?!! Maybe Aubrey Plaza, I like her sass.