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Daily Inspiration: Meet Diana Sciacca

Today we’d like to introduce you to Diana Sciacca.

Hi Diana, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I’ve always loved photography since I was a little girl. I got my first real camera for Christmas when I was in the eighth grade, and I cried tears of joy. I became inseparable with that Nikon D40. I just always loved taking photos. My love for photography really unraveled later when I was introduced to film photography my freshman year of college at the University of San Diego. I was able to learn how to work a camera manually, develop my own images, and work in the darkroom. It became my favorite pastime. I knew photography was something special to me because of the butterflies I felt every time I’d get my film back or when I was in the process of taking photos. It was challenging yet so incredibly rewarding. It felt like magic.

Fast forward to post-grad, photography was always there as my hobby. I never really imagined being able to turn my art into my professional career, let alone have it pay my bills. So, I tried out working in social media/marketing for two years. I actually began photographing for the companies I did social media for, and then I started to realize that I may just be able to make this my career. Working in social media became exhausting and, unfortunately, unfulfilling. So I quit. And the literal next day, I dove into creating my own photography business, Diana Rose Photography.

From there, I took on any and all projects that came my way. This is when I really got into portraiture photography. I took countless portraits for graduates the first month I started my business. I was then lucky enough to become a part of the Hale Productions team for two years, where I learned and grew immensely as a photographer with the support of an incredible team.

In December 2019, I was at a point in my business where I felt confident with my client load and decided to fully transition back into just working for myself. Today, I continue to photograph portraits for business owners, bloggers, life coaches. You name it! I also have enjoyed moving into the lifestyle/brand/product photography realm. I love being able to bring a client’s vision to life through my images.

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It hasn’t been a smooth road. Definitely a bumpy road – haha! I started off with zero clients, which many people say to absolutely not do. “Don’t leave your full-time job until you have a good client base. Don’t leave your full-time job until you have enough money saved!” But I did it anyway. I felt strongly that making photography my career was happening and nothing was getting in my way. And I think because I had that mindset, I was able to take the bumpy road and not give up. Like every small business, there, of course, are challenges.

In the beginning, for me, it was not getting consistent work. I would get gigs here and there, but I wanted and needed something more stable. So instead of giving up, I problem-solved. I started reaching out to local San Diego photographers to work as their second shooters, assistants, etc. And that’s when I found Hale Productions. Truly a serendipitous moment. The owner, Kirk, was also from Detroit, Michigan and we instantly connected. He invited me on set a few times to see if it was a good match, and luckily, they liked me! This connection saved my business because it allowed me to not only pay my bills and continue to work as a photographer, but it really allowed me to grow into the photographer I am now. I learned a lot. I struggled a lot. Finding your photography style isn’t easy, but the only way to move through it is to keep shooting. Every day. Different types of people, brands, products. You find what you like, and more struggles come, but you learn from them, and you become better.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I used to pride myself on being a photographer that shot everything. Events, portraits, food, products, lifestyle. I did it all, and I can still do it all, but it’s a recipe for burnout, in my opinion. The type of photography I want to move more solely into is lifestyle/brand photography. It’s a broad category, but I love working with brands and making their vision come to life. I love helping my clients create lifestyle scenes that either highlight themselves or their product. Living in San Diego, we have an array of beautiful locations to choose from. It’s a lot of fun creating a sunset bonfire scene at the beach or a fitness-inspired shoot at the Convention Center steps.

I also feel proud that I get the majority of my business from client referrals. This is so, so important to me because I do everything in my power to make people feel comfortable in front of the camera. I know how hard and scary it can be. I want them to have a good time. I want to make them laugh and feel GOOD, and maybe even dance a little bit. So, I feel proud that I can help people get out of their comfort zones and truly feel beautiful, comfortable and confident in their own skin.

I also have a lot of clients come to me because they love my editing style. I tend to edit my photos in a very light and bright way. I hear that very often. Whether they find me on Instagram or my website, most people comment on the look and feel of my photos.

What does success mean to you?
I used to truly think success meant making a lot of money. After being in business for nearly four years now, I have learned that money isn’t everything. Success to me is sending a gallery of photos back to a client and getting messages like “Thank you for giving us photos that we will cherish forever and ever.” “Diana, you have truly found your calling in life. You were meant to be a photographer.” “I can’t thank you enough for capturing these memories for us. I’m in tears.” Success, to me, is a feeling of fulfillment, happiness, and contentment in my work and in my life.

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