We had the good fortune of connecting with Lila Seeley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lila, how do you think about risk?
Taking risks has been scary for me, but looking back I see that all of my “leaps ahead,” accomplishments and most cherished memories come from taking risks, jumping without looking, and trusting my intuition. For anyone freelancing, we take risks every day. It was a risk to leave my job working for a growing start-up (without much savings to live on) and no real plan to follow. My intuition told me to, so I jumped. It took risks of failure and embarrassment to reach out to potential clients and seek advice from more seasoned professionals. Yet, each time fear came crawling into my ear, my intuition pushed me forwards and I was rewarded with a lesson learned (“failures” are arguably equally as helpful as the successes) or a new job to plug excitedly into my calendar. Risks are scary, yes – but with each risk I take, I prove to myself that I am capable and with that, I strengthen my trust in taking the one laying ahead.
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’ve always loved street photography and documentary work. I like capturing real life. Yet, with this, I’ve also loved film, storytelling, and the energy of the entertainment industry. I was ecstatic when I discovered there was a job that combined both – Behind-the-Scenes Photography. It’s a hard industry to break into and to be honest, I’m still trying. Each job I get reinforces my passion for the career which fuels the next few weeks (or months) of seeking out the next production. The more I explored this world, the more opportunities I discovered outside of film sets. I started doing concert photography in my downtime between gigs. It energized me and still had a taste of my combined passions. Allowing myself to be versatile within a discipline has made the challenging norm of this career much easier to bear. I’ve also learned how important real human connections are to building this career. It’s the meaningful friendships I’ve cultivated on sets or with those around me that have led me towards most of my gigs. Forget shallow networking. Build relationships that last. Plus, it’s also a HUGE plus if you enjoy those you work with. I love capturing behind-the-scenes footage because it’s the magic that those in the theaters or on their couches don’t get to see. It’s the building of a story and the passion of those behind each project that inspires me. It’s such an honor to be in the room of such storytelling. It’s truly something I love to do and am so grateful for each opportunity.
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.
I love hosting friends in LA because it pushes me to cherish this city I call home. Since I’m in the Silver Lake area…I’d spend a few days eating breakfast at Tartine, smoothies from NatureWell, lunch from Forage, and dinner at Speranza or my favorite All Time (good for any meal really). Coffee from really anywhere. Stories for books, Barnsdall Park for sunset views. The beach, of course, in Malibu only. Museums and Vista Theater for art. Griffith Park for nature and Arts District for brews.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am beyond grateful for every single one of my clients and friends who took a risk in hiring me, trusting me with their projects and representations. I am also very grateful for Michael Kovac who introduced me to Getty Images. In this industry, where we are today is very much thanks to the community around us, those eager to help us succeed and cheer us on – and of course, along with our own hard work and perseverance.