We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexandra Stav and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alexandra, alright, let’s jump in with a deep one – what’s you’re definition for success?
To me success means I’ve earned the freedom to do what I want when I want. I don’t think success means freeing myself from all responsibilities, but that I have created a life where I “clock in” and “clock out” on my own schedule and have the freedom to determine what my personal and work life look like. It’s a lot easier to complete mundane but necessary tasks, like responding to emails or filing taxes, when I get to do them on my own terms.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
In the early days, I found myself constantly finding the flaws in my own work or comparing my portfolio to those of more established photographers. However, I found this to be exhausting and not at all motivational! It took a major mindset shift for me to realize that other photographers’ successes were not my failures. There are so many great photographers out there so its been super important to cultivate my own unique style. I would describe my photographs as modern, vibrant and authentic. A big part of my sessions involves how I make my clients feel. I try to meet clients where they are, by addressing their emotional needs before snapping away. I know many people feel they are not photogenic or have had bad experiences with photographers in the past, so making people feel comfortable is my mission. Sometimes this means cracking a joke to put them at ease or giving them directions on what to do with their hands. I try to capture clients as they are, without too much posing or editing. I encourage my clients to be adventurous and have fun so their photographs feel natural and carefree. When its all said and done, I want my clients to look back at their images and be reminded of the adventure we shared.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
You can’t explore LA without planning to visit some key spots, but I think the best way to experience the heart of the city is to just wander and explore. On my days off, my favorite thing to do with my fiance is to set off walking with no general plan in mind, stopping in any shops or restaurants that catch our attention. So I’d suggest visitors plan to hit a few must-see attractions each day, but leave room to wander the area around these spots to discover lesser known shops, restaurants and attractions… Often, this is more enjoyable than a 45 minute wait for a table at the “it” restaurant of the week. There are truly SO many hidden gems! That being said, here are a few of my favorites: -Griffith Observatory -Hike to the Holywood sign -Lunch break at Escuela Taqueria for the best chicken tinga burrito of your life -Roam the shops on Fairfax and (if its a Sunday) check out Melrose Trading Post -La Brea Tar Pits/LACMA -Malibu’s pristine beaches -No Name for drinks and live jazz music -Porto’s for coffee and, well, everything else -Universal Studios (make sure to grab a butterbeer from the Wizarding World and do the studio tour)
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My grandpa taught me my first lessons in photography and, although he’s no longer here today, I think about his lessons all the time when I’m on the job. I don’t think either of us expected I’d grow up to be so passionate about photography, but I cherish those memories now more than ever.