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

Hi Ioana, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I didn’t really have a thought process when starting my photography business. Honestly, I stumbled into it – as if my photography business found me. I originally moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting, but I couldn’t see myself waiting tables in the meantime and decided to step behind the camera instead. Since a lot of my contacts in Hollywood were working actors, headshot photography was a great starting point. But today, there isn’t much that I don’t photograph. Over the years I’ve grown from shooting headshots to lifestyle, brand photography, boudoir, influencers/social media content, weddings – you name it and I’ve photographed it! However, my specialty lies in portraiture. I have a thing for the human soul and I love connecting with people and capturing something real and honest about them. Ultimately, I ended up falling in love with being on the other side of the camera and realizing that I had much more creative power in this field. As I developed my skills, I was able to utilize my background in theatre and my imagination to set the scene, create interesting lighting, and capture the moods of my subjects. Some may be surprised to learn that I am actually self-taught. But I love the freedom that gives me in terms of risk-taking, breaking rules when you don’t know the rules. It’s become a very natural thing to do organically, and has helped me to create some of the most exciting work I’ve been able to achieve. Let’s just say, I never say no to a challenge.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I consider myself to be somewhat of an empath. I really enjoy the process of getting to know each new subject. Every person has their own story, their own background and authenticity. It’s paramount for me to create a comfortable atmosphere that’s lighthearted and fun. IT HAS TO BE ENJOYABLE. Which, I guess became my niche, as the feedback I receive is always that I’m really able to ‘capture the essence’ of a person, highlighting their personality rather than just delivering a photocopy of them. I am in my 17th year of a hard-working practice. With shooting and learning light came growth and expansion, year by year. But I don’t believe too many careers come easy; it’s forever developing. There’s always that challenge when you’re entering a new field and wondering what can I create that’s different from what the next person is creating or what can I offer that is special, ya know? I believe that one of the greatest challenges is getting to the point in your career where you realize that there isn’t much you can’t create or deliver, and understanding your unique contribution without comparing yourself to anyone else. With so much competition out there, doubt comes creeping in about how good your art really is. So, getting to that level of comfort in yourself is really where you can sit back and say ‘I have arrived’. That’s not to say that there won’t be constant growth, but you accept whatever gets thrown your way and think yeah, I can deliver on this. I’m am slo super excited about a second company I’ve been working on with my partner that will be launching in about a month called LA LUX PICNICS, specializing in curated luxury picnic events, offering professional photography packages. So look out for that as we are coming in HOT!

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?
This question is so easy and so hard all at the same time because there are so many wonderful things to be a part of when living in Los Angeles. It’s such an artistic city with beautiful beaches, amazing restaurants, shops and entertainment. But if I could narrow them down and had a friend in town, I would most likely take them to Nobu in Malibu for dinner. I love the atmosphere and the food is absolutely incredible with the most breathtaking view surrounding you. Then I might head down the PCH a little further into Matador Beach, which is an iconic beach for photo shoots galore. The canyons are simply stunning and it’s got unobstructed views and that quintessential beach vibe. Then later on in the evening, I would head over to Hollywood and hit up one of my favorite places, Black Rabbit Rose, for some of the most incredible musicians you’ve EVER heard. You can dine or have drinks while immersing yourself into the most INSANE artistry. The musicians they feature are out of this world. Last but not least, we’d go to the top of Mulholland Dr late night to check out sweeping views of the entire city from multiple viewpoints. We Californians live on vacation – don’t be jelly!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Actually, many years ago, a dear friend of mine by the name of Katherine Blair, who’s also a SAG/AFTRA actress in Los Angeles, came to me in need of a headshot update to submit to her agents after dying her hair. So, we played around with lighting, composition, and I took a few photos that she really loved. I believe she used those headshots for quite a while. Katherine suggested I give it a go professionally, which really propelled my entire career. I would also have to give a Shout Out to all of my incredible DIE HARD friends/clients who have worked with me time and again, supporting and growing with me. They all continue to inspire me today as I forge ahead.

Website: https://www.ionescuphotography.com

Instagram: @ionescuphotography

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IonescuPhotography

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