We had the good fortune of connecting with Launa Penza and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Launa, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” I’m not sure I agree with that quote completely, LOL!!! Photography is my love and passion, however owning and running your own business DEFINITELY takes a lot of work. But I can say one thing, when I’m burning the midnight oil I have a smile on my face and joy in my heart. I’ve been in business for four and a half years. Prior to photography I worked in the entertainment industry as a Model and Actor, an NFL Cheerleader for the Los Angeles Raiders, a Corporate Speaker, Real Estate Agent and Interior Designer. Looking back, everything I’ve done in the past has helped me do what I do now. For as long as I can remember I’ve driven my family and friends crazy, haha, with taking photos! A few years ago I started hearing my friends say “why don’t you turn your photography into a business?” About five years ago I started thinking about it seriously and made the decision to go for it! I knew I loved capturing memories, I had experience in front of the camera( which would be helpful to my clients), and I always loved clothes and style! Collectively my past experiences became an asset to my business. I also had a friend who recently started up her own photography business and was willing to share her expertise with me. This was an amazing and generous gift! I took countless notes and her advise and put them all to work! Next came the process of elimination. I knew I couldn’t be the master of all genres, so I needed to narrow down what type of photography I was going to pursue. I especially loved the outdoors and natural light. After much consideration I chose to specialize in Natural Light Lifestyle Photography for Family and Modern Creative Senior Portraits. This allows me the joy of capturing memories for families and the creative outlet to design and stylize high school senior sessions, including building a Senior Model Team each year. My team consists of 6-10 high school seniors and includes multiple fashion-inspired, editorial-style shoots. I love coaching the girls and helping them build confidence, poise, and self-esteem while having fun, making new friends, and having an experience of a lifetime! I am a full-service studio. This means I am hands on before, during and after your shoot. My sessions include a Pre-Session Consultation, to help clients with wardrobe ideas and selecting the perfect location, and an In-Person Premier Viewing Session to select their images and products. I invest my heart into each session. My main focus is on Family and Senior Portraits, however when approached to photograph aBoutique Wedding, Engagement Session or Newborn photos, I am always thrilled at the opportunity!!! I leave you with a thought…when you support a small business you support a dream! Dare to Dream!!!!!
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.
I specialize in Modern Creative Natural Light Photography for Family and High School Senior Portraits. I focus on telling your story through emotions, playfulness, connection, raw and candid moments. My business is definitely my love and passion. Thank you to friends and family who believed in my art and encouraged me to pursue my dreams. The toughest part about being a creative is accepting all the OTHER less desirable responsibilities and tasks that it takes to have a successful business. Dare to follow your dreams. Know it will take a lot of hard work and some sleepless nights. There will be setbacks, but that’s all they are. Don’t get complacent. Stay humble and always work hard to perfect your craft. I will invest my heart in your day and deliver images that make you FEEL the emotions of those memories over and over again.
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?
Some of my favorite places in Cali: Eat and drink: Cliff’s Edge and Bowery Bungalow in Silverlake, Skaf’s Lebanese Cuisine and Mila’s Rooftop in Glendale Visit: local walks through old town Montrose, Descanso Gardens, The Americana on Brand, Malibu. A perfect weekend would start in Malibu with a drive up our beautiful coast to one of my favorite spots up north, Pacific Grove. I’d recommend staying at Sunset Inn. The beach is a five minute walk and old town is filled with restaurants and cute shops fifteen minutes away. From there we’d take a day and drive to Carmel for food and libations at Portobello’s and Vesuvios and hike Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. I’m an avid hiker, so once we’re back in LA, I’d recommend hiking Echo Mountain via the Merrill Trail to a historical landmark at the top of the mountain. Another favorite activity during the holidays, is driving through Hastings Ranch in Pasadena, where blocks and blocks of homes are decorated and each street shares a common theme. This beautiful tradition started in 1952.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Stacy Jacob Photography
Other: Google: https://www.google.com/search?q=launa+penza+photography&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us&client=safari https://issuu.com/launapenzaphotography/docs/2021_senior_guide_model_program https://issuu.com/launapenzaphotography/docs/2020-family_guide
Photo credit for my profile photo: Upashana Sherchan