We had the good fortune of connecting with Suzanne Lanza and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Suzanne, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk taking has played a huge role in my life, both personally and professionally. I know it sounds cliche but I think you have to take risks in order to grow. You have to challenge yourself. I moved to Paris by myself a week to the day after graduating high school. I didn’t speak French and had never travelled outside the US. It was both terrifying and exhilarating. Anything could have happened. Fortunately, it was a risk that paid off. Within a few months I had landed my first magazine cover, was working regularly for Elle and Marie Claire magazines and walking the runway for fashion houses including Chanel, Kenzo, and Comme des Garcon.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
When my daughter was born, I decided to take some time off work so I could concentrate on motherhood. For sure, raising her is my proudest accomplishment but…get back to me since I’m not finished yet! Anyway, by the time she started kindergarten, I was sort of itching to get back to work. I did a few TV commercials and some modeling assignments, which I still do, but I also wanted to try something new, and I sort of stumbled into social media. At first I started doing it for friends with businesses, then I sort of lucked into working with some James Beard Award-winning chefs and restaurants, and things really started to take off. While I work with all social media platforms, Instagram is my favorite because it’s so visual. I think of social media as a kind of visual storytelling which allows me to experiment, to be creative and to have fun playing with the different images. I also really enjoy being the photographer, which is something new for me as I haven’t often been behind the camera professionally (as a mom, yes!). While at first my clients would provide all the images, I now do a lot of the photography which has been a fun challenge. Recent photo clients include the Hollywood Bowl which is surreal. I mean: Pinch me. And I’ve been fortunate enough to have my photos appear in numerous publications including LA Weekly and The Robb Report. As a result, I’m starting to get hired as a photographer which is exciting and fulfilling!
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 am going to pretend this visit is in normal times and we can go anywhere freely. We would definitely go to the beach, most likely by bike! I like going near the Annenberg Beach House. The beach there is nice and my family likes the restaurant there Back on the Beach. It’s really pretty at sunset. I also love Chez Jay, it’s a classic old school bar. We’d have to have breakfast at Superba in Venice. And lunch at Sunny Blue for some omusubi We love the Culver City location because they have lots of outdoor seating. We have been going since my daughter was about 2. I love visiting farmer’s markets. My favorites are the Wednesday market in Santa Monica, that’s the one all the chef’s go to. I have gotten to know some of the farmers there a bit through the restaurants and chefs I work with. I also like the Mar Vista market on Sunday. Great fruits and veggies plus The Arepa Stand and The Rice Man! We would have to go to a.o.c for either brunch or dinner. Or maybe both! They have one of the sexist patios in town. And The Broad and the Underground Museum for some art. Then maybe jazz and cocktails at LACMA or a concert at the Hollywood Bowl. We might have to go to Little Fatty too. The food is amazing!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to my sisters. I have three sisters and I literally don’t know what I would do without them. I feel so fortunate that we have such a close family and that we all actually like each other. Their support and encouragement throughout the years has meant everything to me. EVERYTHING! They have always been behind me 100% and knowing they had my back gave me to the confidence to take risks in both my life and career.
Other: @blueladybugstudio on Instagram
Black slip dress photo by @dianalragland
All other by Suzanne Lanza