We had the good fortune of connecting with Juliann Cheryl and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Juliann, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I think there are few truly important factors that work together:
It’s knowing that failure will happen, and having the perspective that failure produces growth, and growth is what helps drives success.
It’s the people around you — the people that hype you up, the people that constantly believe in you and your work, the people that value you, the people that tell you that you can even when you’re weary and feel like you can’t. Run with those people, and keep them around. They are your backbone.
I’ve always believed that success is like constructing a jigsaw puzzle: You don’t wake up one morning and the whole puzzle is perfectly in place and done. It’s more like a gradual build–sometimes fun, sometimes exhausting, and many times challenging. Sometimes the pieces fit effortlessly into place, and sometimes they don’t and you have to try again. Sometimes the progress is excruciatingly slow, and sometimes it’s unexpectedly rapid. You have to trust in the timing of it all. You have to be able to envision the end game and to trust in the process.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I love telling stories: strategically, visually in stills and also through words. There’s something truly sweet about helping stories, concepts, and visions come alive to impact people. Every person, every brand, every project has a story waiting to be shared—my passion is being a part of that, whether in a photographic or tactical fashion and sometimes both! In plain speak: I click buttons on a fancy camera. I’m great at third-wheeling. I speak fluent hashtags. And I’ve perfected the art of working on Trello boards and providing insight to brands’ IG squares. In professional speak: I’m a photographer, a content creator, and a creative marketer. My forte is in portrait/wedding/engagement photography, commercial photography, social media marketing, digital marketing consultation, and marketing strategies.
Some of the most exciting things of this journey for me are seeing wedding and engagement features circulating to millions of viewers across the globe in some of my dream wedding publications including: Green Weddings Shoes, June Bug Weddings, You and Your Wedding, The Knot, and Brides. It’s walking into a food restaurant and seeing my work plastered on walls and windows and billboards and knowing they are also up in hundreds of other locations. It’s seeing marketing strategies being executed, new product campaigns running, and knowing that you’ve poured hours of brain power, thought, strategy, and creativity into those projects in order for them to come alive.
I’ve had the utmost opportunities partnering with amazing food & beverage (The Coffee Bean Tea + Leaf, Johnnie Walker, PizzaRev, Ike’s Love & Sandwiches, Abuelo’s), travel & hospitality (Intrepid, Omni Hotels & Resorts, Washington Park Hotel South Beach, 24 North Hotel Florida Keys), and fashion (Pura Vida Bracelets, Herschel Supply Co./Parkland Mfg., Viscata Barcelona, ectuLA) brands in both photo and social/digital marketing scopes. Some of these projects include(d) traveling to places all around the world. In my journey, I’ve gotten stranded in plenty of destinations, soaked up a lot of sun, and have been served with heaping platters of experience along the way. That’s what makes it adventurous, right? … Which is what this all has been thus far.
Ten years ago, I never would have envisioned my life to be what it is and what I’m doing now in my professional life. But, it’s been a wild ride, with lots of bumpy roads — there have been doubts, there have been moments where I had wondered if this was truly the intended path for me. But I have allowed myself the grace to struggle and make mistakes, to learn and grow from them. When times are tough (because they will be) it’s important to have your hype team. The people around me have also helped when things don’t seem to go accordingly to plan by giving me the confidence to be myself and the resolve to continually strive.
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?
Wow, this is such a loaded question and also very subjective so I’ll say what I would want to do:
Malibu – I’d spend some time in Malibu: Morning caffeine at Le Cafe De La Plage, hike La Tuna Canyon, brunch at Geoffrey’s, then go to the Getty Villa to soak in some culture with breathtaking views, maybe stop by Malibu Seafood Fresh Fish Market & Patio Cafe for a snack, sip on a drink beachside during sunset at Paradise Cove, and end with dinner at Duke’s or Nobu. If there was time for another day in Malibu, I would go on a Malibu Wine Safari… because, wine. Obviously, lunch and a tasting at Malibu Wine would be in the schedule, as would an afternoon sunbathing at Zuma. I would end the night dining at Broad Street Oyster Company, because fresh oysters… am I right or am I right?
Third Street/Santa Monica – While in the Westside, a stop at Tartine Bakery for Banana Cream Tart has to happen. It was pie love at first bite when I first had it in San Francisco years ago, which I still frequent. But I’m so happy they have a location in LA now. Third Street Promenade and the Santa Monica Pier are one of those places you see in the movies and you just have to visit, if for a little bit, if even once. A little shopping, a little walking, and if the timing is right, then I’d catch a show at Harvelle’s because who doesn’t love live music? Oh and also. Sidecar Doughnuts – Huckleberry, please.
Westside/Little Sawtelle – I’m just going to list some of my normal go-to eating spots in this area because this is the place for it: Ramen/Udon at Marugame, Tsujita, or Ramen-ya. Breakfast burritos at Tu Madre. Tea at Percolate. Dessert at B Sweet. Pie at Winston’s. There are plenty more, but these are my top.
Beverly Hills – Brunch at the Waldorf would be a great start to the day. Wander around Rodeo Drive since it’s an iconic must, snap a pic with the Beverly Hills sign in the now expanded Beverly Gardens Park, then get a caffeine pick me up at Alfred’s Coffee and a Sprinkles Cupcake. Greystone Mansion is also a fun visit, and finishing the day off dinner at Lawry’s, Fogo de Chao, or The Stinking Rose are my recommendations.
Downtown LA – There are a million things to do in Downtown, and there’s no way I will get to list them all here. But here’s a typical day might entail: Early morning visit to the LA Flower District is a good kickoff, then coffee at Maru, brunch/lunch at Bottega Louie as well as a box of delicious and prettily packed French Macarons. Then, it’s over to the Arts District to walk around and snap some photos with the awesome wall art before heading across the way to Little Tokyo for some Uni Udon at Marugame Monzo and some street Japanese street food at Takoyaki Tanota in the Japanese Village Plaza. If it’s the last Friday of the month, I love going sample sale-ing at the California Market Center. I also enjoy walking around Fashion District, going to Grand Central for pupusas, and going to the top of City Hall to get a view of the whole city. Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Broad Museum, and the Bradbury Building are the top must-sees, in my opinion. Oh and after a few at my favorite whiskey bar, Seven Grand? Two words. Taco. Truck. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I love this question, because it truly takes a village of support:
First and foremost — God. I could write the longest novel about how my faith and God’s grace has led me to where I am now. But I’ll just keep it simple and say that without God, nothing right now would be what it is.
My family — through thick and thin, through sickness (literally) and health, has been there. They have seen the journey and the process, sometimes ugly, sometimes fun, sometimes questionable. They’ve seen it all.
My life would not be what or where it is without Jess Penner (@theejesspenner) and Andrea Hamilton-Binley (@hopefulandrea), two unbelievable, powerhouse, talented music artists, but even more extraordinary friends for almost 15 years now. They have been the guiding lights, the tellers of truths, the catchers of tears, and everything in between since day one.
Friends — A very particular group I’ve grown up with and known for over half my life and some longer. We dream together. We do life together. We laugh together. We eat together. We cry together. They are the reason everything is well in the world, even when it’s not.
“Industry friends” — because I think that’s how I met them… But more like real-life friends for more years than I can count. They are the people who have witnessed all my highs and lows and heard all the stories of failures and successes. They are a part of the backbone, the listening ears, and the wisdom whisperers (which usually happens over caffeine and food or spontaneous drives.) PS. They are also incredible artists, inspirations, and world-changers themselves:
Susanna Cervantes (@susannacerv_music)
Emmanuel “EMAN” Cervantes (@drumawayeman)
Moses Sun (@mosessunmusic)
Stephanie Martinez (@steph.martinez)
Whitney Wood (@whitneywoodmusic)
For the last several of years, I’ve had the wonderful honor of working on teams and various projects with Leslie Wilson-Lopez and Renae Scott, both who have remarkably deep histories in the food and restaurant industry (Dunkin Brands, Carl’s Jr., Togo’s Eateries, PizzaRev, Ike’s Love & Sandwiches). They have been my professional sounding boards, the people who have repeatedly vouched for me, and the ones who have provided avenues for me to grow professionally.
And of course, my clients — from personal portrait sessions, to weddings, to social media marketing, to copywriting, to brand voice development, to digital marketing consulting. They have continually put their trust in me, teach me new things all the time, and I’m grateful and value each of them.
Other: TikTok: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMeDyuanH/