We had the good fortune of connecting with Aimee Lewis and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Aimee, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I think pursuing a career in an art field has forced me to redefine what success means to me. Growing up I would have emphasized financial success, and while that remains an important aspect of any business, it’s no longer my main focus. I think it’s the connections with my clients I analyze to gauge my success. The wedding photography industry is insanely saturated with incredibly talented artists. Anyone can deliver a beautiful gallery, so in order to feel fulfilled through my work I spotlight how I’m able to serve my clients in a novel way and grow a meaningful relationship with them that makes their photography experience that much more impactful. Some of my best friends were my clients first, and more often than not I stay in touch with people who have booked with me. If I’m able to create genuine connections with people as well as document one of their most important days in an artistic way, then I consider my business a success.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have always been interested in photography. When I was a kid, I carried my little waterproof point-and-shoot digital camera around with me religiously. I was 16 when I bought my first DSLR – a Canon Rebel T3i – and started doing free sessions with friends and the occasional paid gig. I took the year off after high school to travel around the world doing miscellaneous work, camera in hand. As I sat in Cambodia applying to college, I knew photography was becoming more of a passion than a hobby and decided to pursue the art of storytelling.

While I was working on my journalism degree in college, I began shooting weddings because it paid well and didn’t interfere with my class schedule. I quickly saw how my love for storytelling tied in with my weekend job; I was able to tell people’s stories with my camera, not just my words. I graduated during the pandemic and couldn’t land a journalism job, which I was not too upset with honestly because working in the news industry never appealed to me. I kept shooting weddings, this time under my own name and not through the company I had been working for, and nannying part time. One day, my aunt and uncle here in LA reached out to see if I was interested in moving and nannying for them for the upcoming year. Since I have a lot of family already living out here, I said yes immediately. The first thing I did was find another wedding photographer on Instagram and message asking if I can second shoot with her. I shot two weddings my first month living in LA and it hasn’t stopped since.

Now I’m finished nannying and have decided to continue my photography business here full time. Having spent the last year shooting alongside multiple photographers, I’ve been able to refine and redefine my approach to wedding photography. LA is full of talented people who create beautiful images, so I challenged myself to find what part of the already saturated wedding industry wasn’t being tapped into. What could I offer that isn’t already out there? I realized, after working with tons of couples who each have their own quirky stories, that my background in journalism equips me to capture their stories not only through images, but through words as well. My journalistic approach to weddings offers people an organic, artistic representation of how their wedding day unfolded through images and my writing records the touching events, conversations and moments that led them to that day.

Starting my own business here in LA is terrifying. What has helped me through the challenges and moments of self-doubt has been the support of other creatives I’ve formed relationships with here and my family of course. I’m incredibly blessed to have the support system I do, and I try to remind myself of that often. For this upcoming year I’m stoked to see where this job takes me and who I’ll have the honor of photographing.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I have a few favorite spots in LA to bring my friends when they visit. My most favorite is Shatto 39 Lanes bowling alley. I’ve spent many hours knocking down pins there – it’s pretty affordable, great drinks and parking is easy [always a bonus in my book]! A restaurant I frequent is Plancha Tacos on 3rd St. They’re open 8am to 12am [1 am on weekends] and have the most delicious burritos. My go to order is the Con Todo Burrito with steak. Of course I take my friends Pan Pacific park where my dog loves to run around chasing squirrels while my friends and I enjoy our lunches we picked up at the Farmer’s Market. The Farmer’s Market hosts all sorts of food options, which is great if you’re all in the mood for something different. I also love hiking, so a drive out to Malibu to one of the many hiking trails out there is usually on the itinerary when people visit. Other than that I enjoy getting coffee at Comoncy and walking through my neighborhood!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I can confidently say I wouldn’t be a wedding photographer in LA without the mentorship and opportunities given to me by May Iosotaluno and Melissa Gustafson. When I moved to LA from Oklahoma last year, May let me jump in and start second shooting with her literally a week after I’d arrived. I learned so much from her – anything from gear and equipment to how she directs a wedding day. She later connected me with Melissa, who was her mentor when she started out. Melissa has been incredible encouraging and reminding me that I am capable of great work. She’s also always pointing me in the direction of things that will benefit my business be it a link to an affordable flash or a discount code for quickbooks. Both May and Melissa have shared tips, advice, encouragement and support – their friendships are truly invaluable.

Website: https://www.aimeedianne.photography/

Instagram: @aimeedianne.photography

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/aimee-lewis-photojournalism-wedding-photographer

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