We had the good fortune of connecting with Sheri Angeles and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sheri, what is the most important factor behind your success?
For me, I honestly can say working for free. Shocking right!? When I say free, I don’t mean I am taking on every shoot I do free of charge, absolutely not (I would not have a successful career that would survive on that). When I do free work, trades, collaborations, I am very strategic on what I choose to do/work on that I feel would be worth my time in the long run. When deciding if I should do something for free, my brain goes to the final outcome of what could potentially come from this shoot/opportunity/exposure, I always see the end from the beginning and work backwards. Many photographers you ask or even creatives give others a hard time about doing free stuff, but from my experience the free shoots I have worked on, have been some of my best work AND I have received some of the most incredible PAID gigs that I would never have received if I didn’t say “yes” to that free shoot. So if you are ever in the position of doing something for free, ask yourself if doing this shoot, trade, collaboration gets you closer to your end goal of what you are pursuing and if your answer is yes, go for it! Don’t let others make you feel bad for doing something you feel in your heart could be pretty incredible for your career.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am finally at a place in my career that I have been tirelessly working/praying into for 17 years and I still have a long way to go with huge goals and dreams. So many people think things happen over night or that things are quickly falling into place for me, but that is not the case AT ALL. People see what they want to see, they see what I put out there for the world, but they don’t see all the late night editing sessions (literally up editing until 4 am many nights), all the early mornings, they don’t see all the behind the scenes that take place between emails, building relationships, all the prayers, free shoots to build my book to where I want it, I mean there is just so much. I have had people over the years, ask when I am going to just give up because things aren’t working yet and for me, I love what I do so much that even if I never made another penny from photography, I would still do it. This is my passion.
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 an amazing question as my friends and family joke around that I need to open my own personal tour company called “Angeles Tours” haha. I LOVE being a tour guide in my city and have curated a few tours for my guests depending on their interests and if they have been to LA before. I have my Hollywood tour for first time guests where we start in Hollywood at the Hollywood Sign, then we walk the Hollywood Reservoir, head to Hollywood Blvd, Greystone Mansion, Beverly Hills and then we end at LACMA. We have a beach day where we do Venice and Santa Monica where we ride bikes along, take photos and then we drive the PCH up through Malibu to watch the Sunset. Other days, we might do a desert trip to Palm Springs and hit up Joshua Tree, Salvation Mountain, Salton Sea, and Sand dunes. I even do a stars home tour and have little facts about places all over LA, so if anyone is interested in my “Angeles Tours” hit me up hahaha
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are two people that immediately come to my mind, my grandparents and my friend Jessica (guess that is three people ha). I owe my love for photography and even videography to my grandma who was the photographer of the family and my grandpa who was the videographer of the family. Every year for my birthday since I was 5, I would get a new camera from my grandma and we would go take photos of her plants, cats or even the family during our family gatherings. My grandma and grandpa are truly the people who cultivated my passion for photography and at 16 my friend Jessica got me my first wedding. This happened randomly because her best friends, older sister was getting married and their photographer had a death in the family and needed someone to step in, well their photographer let me use his camera (I truly didn’t even know what manual, shutter or aperture even meant ha). Here I am 16 years old marching into that wedding like I knew what I was doing, thankfully they loved their photos and that is what jump started my photography career.
Brooklyn Bridge: Ida Lundgren Stylist: Taylor Richardson MUA: Jay Covington Black and white photo in white: Kendall Lorenz Stylist: Taylor Richardson Grooming: Jay Covington NYC Skyline: Amanda Summerr Stylist: Taylor Richardson MUA: Jay Covington Ladder: Model & Stylist: Taylor Richardson Girl close up: Caelynn Miller Keyes Stylist: Simona Sacchitella MUA: Cait Butler Black and white photo guy with tie: Charles Melton Plastic hole: Jon Herrmann Stylist: Marcus Butler Orange Dress: Haleey Amaya Stylist: Taylor Richardson MUA: Tanya Tello All photos by me: Sheri Angeles