We had the good fortune of connecting with Vanessa Solis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vanessa, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I decided at a young age that I wanted to be a photographer without having too much knowledge in it. I took photographer for most of high school. During this time, other career interests would pop up, but I always went back to photography. I went to community college before transferring to a private art school. Once I transferred, I starting doubting if this was something I wanted to keep doing. I had made it that far and I still had a love for photography, so I kept going. I love art and I love the career I have chosen. Listening to my gut is what has brought me to where I am at. It makes me happy to know that I am part of a community of creatives.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I wouldn’t necessarily say it has been easy. I was fortunate to have gotten an in-house photographer job not long after graduating college during a time where a lot of college graduates were having a hard time obtaining jobs in their field of study. I learned a lot from that job, but I was very unhappy. I felt under appreciated, under paid. I wasn’t getting the help/support I needed and was in a very male driven environment to put it nicely. When I transitioned to freelance, I wasn’t fully ready for it, but I knew it was the direction I needed to go in. I suffer from depression and my depression got really bad the first year of freelancing. It was a struggle, but I got through it. That’s not to say, I still do not deal with depression because I do. I’ve just had to reset the way my mind thinks like not defining my success with someone else’s success. Imposter syndrome happens to everyone. It doesn’t just happen to one person. Know that there are people out there that like the work you do and are willing to pay you for that work.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout goes to my favorite band, Duran Duran. Anyone that knows me, knows how much I have loved this band. I had the opportunity to photograph two of their concerts as their social media photographer. This happened right as I was about to transition from full-time employee to freelance, unbeknownst to me. It was always a dream of mine to photograph them and it actually happened. I hope it’s something that will happen again in the future. I also would love to give a shoutout to Chase Jarvis and his book, “Creative Calling”. He has helped out the photography community so much, as well as other creatives. He is so inspiring and “Creative Calling” is a must have for anyone.