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

Hi Kaitlyn, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my life. It’s who I am. It’s what motivates my every day. I tried working conventional office jobs, and quickly learned that I could never do a job that doesn’t feed my soul and creativity.

To make something out of nothing is one of the coolest parts of what I do. In a manufactured world, producing something no one has seen before is rare and makes the work worth while.

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.
While I maintain my own freelance photography service, I also work as the photo editor of the Daily Sundial. My life has become photography all day, everyday.

As a photographer, I haven’t found my own “distinct style” because I do so many different types of photography. Between strange artistic photoshoots, photo illustrations, portraits, sports, weddings, and photojournalism I have never been able to decide on a single style.

I would get bored if I did the same thing every day. One of my favorite parts of the job is never knowing what my next assignment will be. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Having your picture taken is a very vulnerable situation. No matter what kind of photography style I do, the one thing that I take into each job is giving the subject a sense of comfort and trust. My transparency and vulnerability with my subject are what sets me apart in my field and makes photoshoots with me a unique experience.

It has been a long and challenging journey to be where I am at in my career. I had to do a lot of unpaid jobs before getting to this place in life. Unfortunately, that is a common experience for creative freelancers.

It was discouraging for years, but even though the jobs were unpaid I learned how to interact with subjects, hone in my skills with the camera, and open my eyes to see the world in a unique way. People began to see my work improving day by day. When I finally charged for my work I never settled for less again.

One of the hardest things was accepting the fact that my work was worth the price I put on it. As an artist, the self critic internally limited my value and it took a lot to overcome that mindset. A lot of us were raised to believe that creativity isn’t a real job, but it is! Creative industry projects require a lot of time and work..

The advice I would give to young creatives looking to make money from their art is to always remember, no one can do it the way you can. Don’t be afraid to ask for the price you deserve. It is your time and energy! Even if you enjoy what you do it is still work and work deserves pay.

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.
There is so much to do! If I were to escort a friend through the area, the agenda would look something like this…

First I would bring them for brunch at the Modern Tea Room, a hidden gem in Lancaster. They have the best tea and freshest food. I have never had anything I didn’t like from there. It’s a small business and they support local artists by putting their work on the walls around the dining area.

Then as we make our way back to the city we could take a detour to Vasquez Rocks. A lot of movies and tv shows were filmed there and you can’t beat the view from the top of the rocks.

For the night life scene, I would take my friend to No Vacancy and Good Time at Davey Waynes. Two of my favorite speakeasy style bars in Hollywood! Both have great atmosphere and delicious drinks.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to shout out the Daily Sundial and the CSUN journalism department! These organizations gave me the mentorship and resources to build my career path. I would never have gotten this far in my career without the help of this amazing team. I am lucky to be a part of this incredibly talented organization.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lavo_photography/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kait-lavo-6182a520b/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LavoPhotography

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lavo-Photography-1022261051158705

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/lavo-photography-santa-clarita?osq=lavo+photography

Other: https://sundial.csun.edu/staff_name/kaitlyn-lavo/ This is a link to some of my work at the Daily Sundial.

Image Credits
In order of the files uploaded: Environmental portrait of Kathi Million, author of “Support Your Girlfriend with MS.” Freeze frame from a women’s volleyball game between CSUN and CSUF. A shot from the “Let them Drink Wine” photo series. Modeled by Samantha Raskin. “Witch of the Water” for the 2021 Halloween series. Modeled by JD Gibson. Portrait of 2021 Pulitzer Prize winning photographers Julio Cortez and Ringo Chiu. Self portrait. COVID-19 rapid test photo illustration. A portrait of Kaila Moore-Jones. All images were photographed by Kaitlyn (Kait) Lavo.

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