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Meet Michaela Estrada

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michaela Estrada.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I’ve always been super creative and I like to refer to my life as one big art project. I realized pretty early on that I had a passion for photography –there’s nothing like capturing the essence of a subject and being able to see and feel it for years to come. I started out doing a lot of landscape photography in high school and never thought I would be so passionate about photographing couples. My first camera was my dad’s Canon Powers hot, I had no clue that I didn’t have to shoot in auto, ISO was a foreign concept and if someone was talking about aperture or exposure, they might as well have been speaking a different language. I took some pretty decent photos on that camera up until it broke in early 2014; photography soon faded in my mind as my dad’s health took a turn for the worse and I took on the responsibility of caring for him while my mom worked. He passed away late last year and I began to feel an urgency to pick up my old camera again — unfortunately, it was long gone. My mom bought me a new DSLR for my birthday and I started diving into everything I could possibly learn about photography. Still, landscapes weren’t as fulfilling as people. I’m super relational and I always seek to serve my friends in any way I can. When I started getting inquiries asking if I would shoot engagements, I was beyond excited! The interaction between couples is so unique and I love being invited into their intimate moments. Having the opportunity to capture so many different emotions during a session has been one of the most epic experiences of my life.

Please tell us about your art.
I am a wedding and engagement photographer based in San Diego County. I strive to capture the story behind each couple and what makes them unique. Usually, it’s the little things that differ one couple from the next; the way he holds her hand or spins her around while they’re dancing, her laugh when he’s whispering a silly joke in her ear etc…

I hope to convey laughter and fun in my photos as well as keeping the intimate moments real and authentic. My goal for each session is to serve every couple and give them not only good photos but also a good experience. Client satisfaction is everything to me and I really try to go above and beyond every time I shoot.

My art was birthed out of a desire to get out of my nine to five job and actually do something I not only enjoy, but that can bring value to the people around me. I remember being a little girl and looking through my grandparent’s wedding photos; I would show them to my grandma and she would get this soft smile on her face as she remembered the day her and my grandpa got married. As time goes on, you can sometimes forget the emotion behind the moments you carry in your mind but looking at a picture always reminds you of both. That’s what I desire for my couples — that they will be eighty years old looking through their old photo albums, laughing and remembering the love they share together.

Choosing a creative or artistic path comes with many financial challenges. Any advice for those struggling to focus on their artwork due to financial concerns?
As someone who recently got married, I can tell you first-hand how hard it is to: one, start a business and two, financially struggle. Art is so subjective and your work isn’t going to float everyone’s boat, but I think it’s really important to know your “why”. Why do you do what you do? What’s the goal? Who are you creating for? Your identity should rest in who you are, not your likes on Instagram or how many clients you book in your first year. When I feel like I’m drowning in the waters of self-doubt or I’m stressed because I’m not hitting my financial goals, I try to take a step back and remember my own “why”. I started this endeavor out of passion regardless of a paycheck, so why would that change now?

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
You can find me on Instagram at Michaela. Estrada photography
or you can find me on my website: https://captivategracephoto.wixsite.com/michaelaestrada.
 

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
All photos taken are owned by Michaela Estrada Photography.

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