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

Hi Victoria, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
It honestly just kind of happened. I’ve been using various cameras on and off since the age of 5. My friends and family started asking me if I would do photos for them. At that point I had only had a DSLR for about a year. Most of my photography experience is actually in Polaroids and film. Once I started doing photography for them, they started telling their friends and they started asking me to do photos. I began attempting to build a business. Now at that point my prices were extremely low and I worked with a family that had told me that I should start building my business and setting my prices to reflect the work I was producing. I started working with a friend of the family and she taught me pretty much all I know about DSLRs. At this point I started sharing photos that I was taking on social media, I created a Facebook page and a basic website. Later I had someone ask if I had ever shot weddings before and was completely upfront that I had not but I was interested in doing it. After shooting her wedding, I fell in love with it. It was a love-hate relationship at first, but it became a subject that I highly value. I started focusing solely on doing wedding photography about 2 1/2 years ago and started adding engagement Photography and Boudoir to my list of services advertised, thus building my business into what it is today.

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.
Being a photographer in a world filled with cameras has been quite challenging. I struggled when I first started to find my identity. I was shooting concerts and families and models and weddings and it became extremely difficult to find my passion because I was shooting so many different subjects. I didn’t know my style, my focus, my target clientele. I’m sure a lot of photographers struggled to find their passion and their main focus when they first started. Everyone has a camera. Everyone can be a photographer. What I feel set me a part was what I’m offering to my clients. Once I selected a focus, which is weddings , couples and engagements, I began building my brand. I designed a brand new logo, I took down my old website, I designed a service magazine to send to my clients. I began building gift boxes for my brides and grooms. I began researching other artists that I could use to build those boxes into add product to them. My services are all encompassing. I have pre-built packages that I have tested with clients over the last few years. I offer boudoir, engagement, weddings and bridal session experiences. I don’t wanna just offer a service, I wanna offer an experience. I wanna be an asset to my client if they are looking for other pieces for their wedding. This could be bouquets, make up artists, venues, caterers and other experts that are in the wedding field. My goal was not only to find clients for myself, but build relationships with other professionals and help bring them business as well. Being an artist is so difficult. It can get a little bit better and easier when you have other people that can show your value to their clients. And that’s what I present to my clients. I present to them that if they have an issue that I am more than willing to assist. They have an issue with a make up artist, I’ll help them find a new one. They want to help bring me business by recommending me, I want to reward them and show my appreciation for how they’ve helped me. I want to build lasting relationships with my clients and help capture every moment of their life that I physically can. While weddings and engagements are my main focus, I do offer more than that. I’ve done lifestyle infant photography , boudoir, family portraits, event photography, product photography and best friend photo shoots. I work with models to help build their portfolio and get their name out there. I build concept projects and bring in these models to help expressed my idea and stories. And it’s the same thing for my couples. I want to photograph their stories and share it. I want their love story to be captured every step of the way leading up to the wedding and hopefully after.

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?
I am from Illinois. Everyone hears about Chicago and anyone can go to Chicago, but I’m gonna show you what my area is like out towards DeKalb. I’m gonna take you to sycamore speedway. I’m gonna take you to some amazing breweries. I’m gonna take you to an art show if you’re here the first Friday of the month in downtown Aurora. I’m gonna take you to downtown Geneva where we can visit Cocoa Bean, The Little Traveler and The All Chocolate Kitchen. I’m gonna take you to Kuiper’s Pumpkin Farm if you come in the fall. There are so many cute spots out by me that are hidden gems. And if they are up for a drive, I’m going to take them to Galena, Illinois which is two hours up the road.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
This is a tough one! There are so many people I would love to recognize. Vizo Arts in Aurora, Devan the Artist, Michelle Mustard Photography, model Joe Rosing, my amazing parter/photographer friend Emily Rock, Photography by Angel, my makeup artist Alex Georgiades, band When the Sun Sets, Mermaid Aycayia and all the models who have helped me build my portfolio and business.

Instagram: @Lunacek_photography

Facebook: Facebook.com/LunacekPhotography

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.