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

Hi Emily, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I am from Newbury Park, California! I grew up in a household where my father was a Los Angeles Sheriff Deputy for over 30 years, and my mother has been in Education. Where I grew up, there was beautiful rolling hills surrounding our town, and we would always go hiking around the horse property in Dos Vientos. I began photography in high school, and focused on Western photography due to my passion for animals and the rich history our area has. This brought my family more into the equestrian lifestyle, where my sister began riding and owning horses. She is now a barrel racer, and helps with many of my shoots and ideas!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am actually a teacher full-time, but through teaching I have found that I am constantly preaching to my students that they can be anything they want to be in life. Something that has always stuck with me through my best and worst days has been my love for photography and capturing the beauty in everyone around me. It has been challenging to be a female photographer in the western world since it is mostly male dominated, but I have made amazing and supportive friends along the way. I’ve learned that it is so important to believe in yourself, and never sell yourself short because you never know the amazing opportunities that might present themselves.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If I had someone visiting from out of state or the area, I would definitely take them to the beautiful beaches that our area has to offer. I would take them to the many beautiful hiking trails in our area. We would definitely go see Hollywood , since it is a staple when you come to California, and it is so rich in history and a wonderful experience! Also, we would go to many Mexican restaurants because we all know Southern California has some of the best Mexican food around, and of course, In-N-Out!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am grateful for my photography teachers at Newbury Park High School, Mr. Menkin and Mr. Lindroth, for helping me find and fuel my passions. I am grateful for the consistent support from my family, who never fails to cheer me on daily. I am thankful for all my friends and colleagues in the western community, and for the beautiful animals I get to photograph!

Website: Visualvaquera.com

Instagram: @visualvaquera

Facebook: Visual Vaquera

Other: Tiktok: VisualVaquera

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.