We had the good fortune of connecting with Daria Yushkova and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Daria, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
As a famous saying goes, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” That totally reflects my life philosophy!
It has always been in my nature to take risks and go out of my comfort zone. My first serious risk taking was moving to the other side of the world (from Saint-Petersburg, Russia, to Sydney, Australia) at 21 and starting anew. Due to my college degree in linguistics and educational management I was able to land my first serious job in a global on-line gaming company as a client relationship advisor. That was a steppingstone for cultivating my interpersonal skills and ability to connect with people.
The next time I had to choose between stability and unknown was after my daughter Evelyn was born and I went on maternity leave. When you become a parent for the first time, sometimes you use this break to take a step back from your professional involvement, stop and think what you really want. For me it was, without a doubt, wedding photography, which has always been my passion.
I started wedding photography working for a friend of mine who was running a wedding photography company, and later on these skills became essential for opening my own studio. I learned how to pose a couple, give them clear directions during a photo shoot, make them laugh, relax and feel comfortable in front of the camera. I also had a chance of working with groups and, as stressful as it was at the beginning, it proved to be invaluable for my for my photography career. Also, the difference in sceneries and lighting/weather conditions helped me to develop technical skills necessary for my future wedding projects. At the end of the day, wedding photography is all about time management and performing well under stress and if a person is not stress resilient or well prepared, they will simply fail.
After this invaluable experience I decided to go on my own and founded a photography studio. Gradually Rare Perspective Photography became a successful company and the risk was worthwhile.
In 2015 our family moved to Los Angeles, United States, due to my ex-husband’s getting a once-in-a-lifetime job opportunity. By doing this I had to give up my thriving business and start fresh, creating new business relationships and hustling a lot in a new market. Yet, despite choosing family, my marriage, unfortunately, didn’t last and ended in divorce.
That, in itself, became incentive to work even harder since now I was on my own in a new country without any support and means. I put all my effort into growing and expanding my business by constant networking, surrounding myself with the right people and relentlessly educating myself about photography and business in general. My client base expanded, I photographed around 150 clients per year (families, couples and individuals) and that number grew exponentially beyond my expectations. Our studio won several awards in the industry, participated in wedding expos and was named “wedding photographer of the year” in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
One my strengths as an entrepreneur is being able to adapt and, while the world’s landscape is changing around us, so am I. I can’t wait to embark on the next chapter of my life and start my new projects, related to women’s role in business and sharing my knowledge and personal journey to inspire others.
When you push yourself despite risks and fears life rewards you. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I feel like I’ve shared a lot about my career in the previous paragraph. I would like to share more about my personal life and how to I was balancing both.
I am a proud parent of an 8-year-old. She’s my biggest joy and inspiration. I was a single mom for four years and it brought additional challenges, especially when you juggle full time work/being a business owner with being a good parent. It’s ironical how what I considered to be my parental downfall like working a lot and having multiple hobbies on the side turned out to be beneficial for her upbringing. She watched me hustling and networking, as well as pursuing my passion in dancing and fitness, participating in Mrs. Russian America 2020 beauty contest and later on told me how proud of her mom she was and how inspirational my journey to her is. I see her copying me by dancing in front of a mirror to popular songs, performing salsa moves and being very athletic and active in general and recognize myself in her.
On a personal note, when I’ve finally met the man of my dreams who treats me with utter respect and adoration, it became a good example for my daughter of how a woman should be treated. I hope it will help her to make the right choices when she grows up. As Jim Henson once said, “Kids don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are”.
I am a strong believer that the most important factor in every success journey (besides grit and perseverance) is taking pleasure of what you do. When work is not a chore but rather passion that you pursue every day, success comes easy.
Balancing work with personal life and hobbies is very important too. I know a lot of successful business owners who dedicate all their time to work at expense of family or hobbies, and that can make life dull and monotonous and lead to burnout.
Go out, travel, explore new passions, spend time with your loved ones and never stop learning – we were born to enjoy life; that and the ability to overcome challenges makes it all worthwhile.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love Beverly Hills for its charm and elegance, dining options, history, architectural gems and overall vibe of luxury and success. Abbot Kinney has lots of hidden and not so hidden gems, coffee spots, businesses and is definitely one of my favorite places! My all times favorite on summer days is Orange County and Malibu. Both have plenty of picturesque locations for photo shoots such as Victoria Beach, El Matador and Laguna Beach naming the few.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have always perceived success as a personal journey that would not be possible without support of family and close friends. It takes a village, as they say. However, not only am I forever grateful for the people who believed in me and were always by my side, but also for adversaries and even haters – at times they were driving force behind my professional and personal growth. And of course, I am proud of my teammates in Rare Perspective Photography – these guys are talented individuals who share my passion for weddings, love stories and art creation.
Facebook: Rare Perspective Photography
images credit – Rare Perspective Photography