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Meet Trailblazer Alaxandra Rutella

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alaxandra Rutella.

Alaxandra, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
The first time I picked up a camera, it was thanks to a dear friend who is a very talented wedding photographer. I had endlessly told her how much I admired her work, and the next time I saw her she showed up with an old canon rebel for me to play with. She showed me a few basics in the middle of a dark club during a friends birthday. She taught me about the depth of field using soda cans. This was back in 2013. Next thing I knew, the world was full of endless photo opportunities and I craved to learn the best way to capture everything I saw.

At the time, I was managing at an upscale boutique in NY and as a means to help market and advertise I began using my camera as a tool to drive sales. I came up with a concept called ‘Runway to Reality’ and would feature a local teenager or woman each week. I would style and photograph them in our clothing. The driving motivation behind this concept was to take ladies of all ages and show them and everyone else that the “beauty norms” didn’t have to fit a specific mold. I wanted EVERYONE to feel like a model and I wanted “every day” females feel worthy regardless of what they look like. I especially honed into an age group that, from my personal experience, is very impressionable with mainstream media. From here, the same friend who handed me that camera told me I should try doing a few boudoir shoots because my fashion eye might enjoy that niche. She was correct. I fell in love with making women feel like a million bucks. That same theme of photographing women and boosting their confidence was the thread the began my Boudoir business. I wanted to give women an experience they could FEEL. Coming from my own background of depression, anxiety disorders & eating disorders, I felt that my purpose was to share in rejoicing over those demons. I crave to show women what they are capable of, that they are stronger than they know, and that they are more beautiful than they see themselves to be.

Somewhere in that time frame, I made a huge leap and quit the boutique to dive deeper into my photography journey. I worked seven days a week at a wedding photography studio and soaked every bit of information in like a sponge. I started my own wedding photography business called The Wild Authentic. From there, I quickly made the leap from New York after I landed a photography job & an apartment in San Diego while on vacation. I was to become a lead Wedding Photographer for a top wedding photography company. Within a month, I packed my 28 years of life and moved across the country to continue my dream journey, all while building my Boudoir photography business on the side. I now have traveled to various cities to capture boldly beautiful women of all shapes and sizes. My goal is to reach more and more women who are looking to find their divine femininity deep within. I know how easy it is to lose ourselves in the everyday hustle of life that we forget to love ourselves deeply. These experience I am blessed to have with other women, are deeply touching and profound for me as well as the person in front of my camera. There is no deeper fulfillment for me.

Has it been a smooth road?
Phew!!! Not smooth at all. I have had challenges with my self-worth. I think to some degree we all struggle in that area. For me, this showed up in how I priced and marketed my talent. I wanted to be hired by everyone! But sadly, I’m not for everyone… so I had to learn that I needed to respect the amount of time, energy & passion that was going into my work. I realize now that I had to hone into my ideal market and that meant often getting inquiries with no bookings, or the “wrong client” comparing my prices and work to other photographers. I had to fully accept that there is no way to market to everyone and that the people who truly know what I’m about and love my work will come. I also had to overcome my debilitating perfectionism. A lot of times [actually almost always], I have had to throw myself into action and just DO. If I pondered, I often would psych myself out and procrastinate for fear of not being good enough. Totally counterproductive.

The biggest lesson through this journey: trust the process. You have no idea how many times I have cried for hours, days & weeks, wasting time worrying about if the clients were ever going to come knocking, or if there was any money in this for me. I had a limiting belief system that I carried my whole life. My belief was… everyone else is going to be successful, but there isn’t enough for me. I had to cut that right out. Every day, I meditate and pray on the idea that there IS enough for me, and you! Just because someone else is rocking at something, doesn’t make me a failure. The process is going to ebb and flow… as is life. Finding peace in that reality has taken time and serious perseverance. Just keep going regardless of the results. Social media marketing is your best friend-stay consistent. It WILL pay off.

We’d love to hear more about The Wild She Boudoir.
I specialize in Boudoir photography for women and couples (The Wild She). I also have a separate brand for my wedding and portrait photography (The Wild Authentic).

I am most proud of my ability to get real and show the innermost parts of myself to people. When people meet me, I don’t think they expect me to be down-to-earth, silly & empathetic all at once. And on that note… anyone who knows me well knows that I am an empath to the core. For Photography, I feel this helps me greatly as I can easily relate to people and “feel” them. I also think this helps me to create a feeling in my images. As a whole, I am proud of the woman I have become and grateful for the intense obstacles I have had to overcome to get to where I’m standing. And that’s what I know sets me apart… not so much the obstacles (because we all have those), but the person those painful things have turned me into. At some point, we all have a choice… we can fall deeper into whatever hole we find ourselves in, or we can find our way to lightness and peace. I hope to show my souls depth in my work and my authenticity in my interactions with everyone I meet.

Do you recommend any apps, books or podcasts that have been helpful to you?
Yes! So many…

Books: The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho (any book from him is amazing) but this one changed my life back in 2007. The Artists Way by Julia Cameron. The Passion Test by Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood. The Gifts Of Imperfection Brené Brown. I could go on and on. I’m sure I have forgotten an important one.

Facebook Groups: lookslikefilm, lookslikefilmlearn, Boudoir exposed, Jennifer Rozenbaum group

Pricing:

  • Boudoir Experience Session Fee (includes beautiful studio location, hair, makeup & 2 hours total time) $299
  • Products & Digitals package: minimum purchase $700
  • For more detailed information www.thewildshe.com/guide-pricing

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Lindsey Cole Photography

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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