We had the good fortune of connecting with Kelsey Fugere and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kelsey, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I would say the most important factor behind my personal success is being passionate about what I’m doing and having a strong work ethic. Like every human, I have days where I question my purpose and I have moments when I really do not feel like working. When it becomes hard to find motivation, I simply remind myself that I have such a great job and I love what I do! The freedom of my schedule drives some of my passion and also, I’m a voracious aesthetician and enjoy the endless pursuit of finding and creating beauty. I believe that success is largely driven by committing to both the passion and the work itself. Over the years, I’ve found that my creativity comes second to the actual art of being a business-person (which at first, was a hard reality as an artist). I’ve come to realize that when you are passionate about what you do, it comes through and people want to work with you and things flow in a natural direction towards success. Like any successful artist, I’m always looking for new ways to alter my craft and business practice to grow, shift, and adapt with current world circumstances. When we stop reviewing our efforts, we stop growing. I will continue to seek beauty, passion and growth and I think those things will lead me in the right direction.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve always been very creative and my creative path started when I was very young and photography started to make sense to me in high school. I would orchestrate photoshoots amongst my close friends; I’d do their hair and makeup and then photograph them in fun clothing. Looking back, it’s no surprise that I am where I am today. I think the only thing that most surprises me still is that I get to make a living out of doing what I love. Long story short, I went to Loyola Marymount University and studied photo there. It’s a liberal arts education, which at age 18 I was very attracted to because I was able to learn about other topics as well and I think that has made me a better artist. I graduated from LMU with a BA in Fine Arts and Minor in Art History. After graduating I struggled for the first year figuring what I would do with my education and as luck had it, I eventually ended up being hired as the “Marketing Photographer” at an e-commerce skincare/beauty company where I shot products and models. Working corporate was what really launched my career and the best thing thing for me at the time. I learned to take direction, create and deliver on a schedule– essential ingredients to being a successful artist. After working corporate for two years, I got really brave and decided to go freelance. It was a huge risk, but I followed my gut and I’m forever pleased that I did. Here I am, 6 years later… living proof of the power of intuition. I can confidently say that I am running a successful business shooting primarily products and models and without my corporate experience, I don’t think I ever would’ve landed in this sector of photography.
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 is such a great question! When friends come and visit me in LA I would probably start the day with a hike in my neighborhood (Altadena) followed by breakfast at Millie’s Pasadena (I love that they have a vegan breakfast menu!). If we weren’t in the middle of COVID, I would then take them to MOCA or the Broad. After the museum, we’d walk around downtown and then land on a rooftop bar for sunset cocktails followed by a dinner at Hinterhof Vegan German Kitchen in Highland Park. Our final stop for the day would be Donut Friend for the best donut dessert.
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 would not be where I am today without the love and support of my family, friends, colleagues and loving clients. I am so grateful for community and I think it’s an imperative piece to my success story. I have always been encouraged to embrace my creativity from a young age and both of my parents have always fostered growth in that direction. All of my friends embrace their creativity and are feelers of the world in one way or another so it’s such a gift to be surrounded by community focussed humans with souls seeking a unique human experience. The feelers of the world find each other and I’m grateful to have such heart-centered beings fueling me.
Image on Aqua backdrop was taken for Banila Co Image with 5 models was taken for Alleyoop