We had the good fortune of connecting with Holly Castillo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Holly, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Is it weird to say that I didn’t have one? I kind of ended up with my own business without really ever making a definite decision of “I am now going to start this!” I had been doing photography as a hobby and something I loved since I was 12, and it never crossed my mind to use it to make a living. I was studying music in college because I also loved it, but I could never quite figure out a career that I would be pursuing after the degree. I actually dropped out of college and got married at 21,fully intending to go back to college at some point, but people started offering to pay me to take family photos, and then a family friend asked me to photograph her son’s wedding, and it took off from there. It was like all of the sudden I was a professional photographer before I even had the time to think about it.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The thing that has been both the hardest, and most rewarding as a creative is finding that balance between art, and selling a service. There’s definitely a level of artistry in wedding photography, at least for me, but at the end of the day I’m still delivering incredibly important images to a client, and I want them to be happy. There’s a level of give and take regarding doing my own thing, and also honoring the wishes and desires of the couple I’m working with. There’s still a lot of challenges I face regarding being my own creative versus going with what’s popular and trendy in the wedding industry.
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 actually live in a suburb about 30 minutes outside of Los Angeles, so as far as I’m concerned I’m still a tourist more than a local. Some of my favorite touristy things to do with my family are visit the Los Angeles Zoo, the Griffith Observatory, and we’ve attended several shows at the Greek Theater. So a lot of that area! I also love the Santa Monica Promenade (Bruxie is a favorite restaurant there), and the fun and hype of the pier (when it’s not closed of course due to Covid). Other places that are always favorites are Descanso Gardens, the LA Arboretum, the Museum of Neon Art, and the Norton Simon Museum, a lot of Pasadena/ Glendale!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Oh 100% my husband. While I was still figuring out what I wanted to be doing and working odd jobs, he was already in a stable 9-5 while we were newlyweds at 22. He never once made me feel like I “should” be doing a certain thing, he only ever wanted me to find something that I was passionate about and made me feel good about myself.
Other: Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/hollycastillophotography