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

Hi Lisa, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I started my own business because I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I’m pretty sure that was passed down from generations before who also had entrepreneurial spirits. My grandfather had a commercial advertising business in Los Angeles that he started in the 1940s. My mom also had a side hustle in the 90’s making and selling jewelry. I’ve also been extremely blessed to see other men and women who are successful operating their own businesses. Talk about generational blessings!

Truly, I started my own business because I was passionate about what I do and felt I was talented enough to create my own business. For a period of ten years, I would book jobs while maintaining a full time job which was challenging at times. I’d go to my full time job during the day and in the evening or on the weekends, I’d be storyboarding, shooting, retouching, etc. It was exhausting working so hard at a 9 to 5 and coming home to do what I truly loved but I did it because I loved it and it provided me with some creative satisfaction. After a while, I began to think that I would go above and beyond for these jobs that didn’t truly value me, my work ethic, or my hustle. It wasn’t until I faced an extremely challenging and disappointing situation with an employer that I worked for for 5 and 1/2 years, that I decided that I had enough. If I could go above and beyond for someone else, why wouldn’t I do that for myself? So I left that job, and have been doing photography and film full time and I love it! I’ve learned so much about business, communication, boundaries, and so much more. It has pushed me in so many ways to work smarter and invest in myself but most importantly it’s taught me about faith. I took a leap of faith and with every step, God has made the road rise to meet me. I’m not perfect. I struggle with trusting that things will work out especially when the road isn’t 100% clear but even in the uncertainty, I’ve experienced more blessings than I can count.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As a photographer, I love photographing anything with people. Lately I’ve been focusing on bringing out the beauty in a subject that they may not always see in themselves. It can be challenging for them because it can be uncomfortable for them. It can be challenging for me because I want to try something new and different with each client. I think we can get caught up in what’s trending or what others think is beautiful or even ugly. The truth is we are all beautiful and I hope we can accept ourselves as we are. I hope my creativity encourages and reminds the subject, the viewer and myself to truly love yourself unconditionally with the good, the bad and the ugly.

As a cinematographer, I love story-telling. I’ve always loved a good story even as a child. To bring a story to life is challenging in and of itself. I find it interesting discovering the best way to tell a story without revealing too much until the appropriate time. Every time I shoot is an opportunity to learn and as much as I try not to make mistakes, those mistakes teach me some valuable lessons.

As an artist, I want the world to see beauty in every form and fashion. I want them to take away something positive that causes them to think or learn something they may not have always known. I want them to love who they are without succumbing to the trends or limitations that society puts on us collectively and individually.

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.
If my best friend were coming to LA for a visit, I think I’d take her a number of places: Leimert Park, downtown, Santa Monica/Venice, Palos Verdes, Westwood, etc. I would take her to the the Hot and Cool Cafe in Leimert Park for some amazing vegan food and find out about any live artists playing in the area. I’d take her downtown the Rhythm Lounge for some live jazz music and play pool or card games. I’d also put the beach on the agenda because what’s LA without the beach??? Then in Westwood, there’s this cookie spot called Diddy Riese. They’ve been there since the 80’s and their prices are amazing. I’d also take her to Taqueria Los Anaya. The food is amazing! An art gallery on two would definitely be on the list, specifically, Band of Vices Art Gallery. They feature a lot people of color and their works. For a good workout, I’d take her to a dance class taught by Team 3XT, Ferly Prado Mason and Alex Kaye. They’ve both danced for some of the biggest artists and they keep their classes fun while providing a great workout!

A lot of the places I like are mom and pop businesses and I definitely like to show my support when I can.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Oh man, where to begin? There’s so many people I can thank. First, not to be cliche, but I’d like to honor God. I wouldn’t be here without Him. It’s His grace and mercy that has truly gotten me where I am and will get me where I’m going!

I’d like to also thank three dance mentors who taught me so much during my time dancing with them: Dennon and Sayhber Rawles and my sister, Wendi Baity. They truly laid a foundation for the real world by teaching me about commitment, staying ready, second winds, not giving up, and believing in yourself. You all truly invested in me and I appreciate you all for that.

I’d like to also shout out the circle of men and women that I am privileged and honored to call family and friends. There’s so many who have influenced, challenged, encouraged, and inspired me. I don’t want to miss anyone so I won’t name them but you know who you are!

Website: www.lisaflory.com and www.tworebelsandagun.com

Instagram: @lisa__flory and @tworebelsandagun

Linkedin: Lisa Flory

Youtube: Lisa Flory

Image Credit:
Adrian White

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