Season 3 – epiBLOG: 2
I’m so excited about today’s blog! I’ve taken the opportunity to get to know and interview the awesome and wonderful one and only Maria Pablo of Maria Pablo Photography!
She is the “real deal,” as they say, because she is out making great things happen! She is an artist who worked her way into finding a way to make a living doing what she loves! I love that! There are so many spectacular qualities about her, but making a living doing what she loves is definitely an accomplishment that should be celebrated.
I met her back in July of last year through a business networking group that I joined through the Greater San Diego Business Association. She and I have met for coffee, she’s invited my fiancé and I out with her to attend a local play at the LGBT Diversionary Theater in San Diego towards the end of last year, and I’ve come to learn more about her and her business through how she conducts herself in the networking group. Maria was actually hired as a photographer for the play The Mysteries of Love and Sex the night she invited us to the Diversionary Theater. She’s great at reaching out and connecting with people.
So, please allow me to introduce today’s topic as my interview with Maria Pablo…
Nitara O: When did you first realize that your passion is with photography? Describe that experience, that moment.
Maria P: I was 12 years old and Dad gave me an underwater camera. It was a point and shoot film camera. And I was super curious. I was wowed! The camera allowed me an experience of creative freedom. I was already sewing my own clothes as an expression of being an artist. Photography took it to another level.
Nitara O: How so?
Maria P: I converted my bedroom into a photo studio, dressed my sister and friends, and I began photographing them as models. They modeled the clothes that I had sewn. It was not an “a-ha” moment until I realized I am gifted with an “eye.” I learned that when I was living in Italy and going to Fashion Design School.
Nitara O: Wow – “Fashion Designer” turned “Photographer.” And Italy. That must have been such a rewarding experience, especially since you love to travel. Aren’t you going to Greece later on this year?
Maria P: I am, actually. In May and June of this year I’m going to be teaching Portrait & Travel Photography over there.
Nitara O: That’s awesome! You lead such an exciting life. And I know you love giving back to others, so it makes sense that you would be sharing your expertise with others as a teacher.
Maria P: Photography is a talent and I love sharing it with the world. Photography is a means for me to connect with clients and to listen to what’s really important to them. When I’m grounded in my faith, I make it about my clients’ needs, and not about my own.
Nitara O: That’s great. Was there a huge turning point in your photography career that you clearly know took you to a whole new level?
Maria P: In 2015 when I became a born-again Christian, I had a Christian coach. She asked me, “why photography?” Truth is, I love making and creating beautiful artwork. How I make beautiful artwork is by being relatable to people, and NOT by creating in my head how I think they should look. I let the Holy Spirit guide me.
Nitara O: I see that your faith is important to you. With that in mind, what advice would you give some up and coming photographer (and other artists) who want to have the life that you lead?
Maria P: Listen to your heart. Human beings all make mistakes and that’s where we grow. Listening to God (your intuition) is a great starting place, the only starting place. Be comfortable in your own skin and trust that you are being guided by something bigger than you. Practice the art of listening from “within” is crucial.
Nitara O: Why is it important to be a business owner?
Maria P: Freedom to succeed. Freedom to fail. Freedom to learn what works and what doesn’t. I’m still learning.
Nitara O: Tell me about it – aren’t we all? When did you first start your own photography business and how long did it take you before you were able to fully support yourself financially from your business?
Maria P: I started seriously getting into photography in 2008. I was very unhappy at the 9 to 5 job that I was in. The money was consistent, I had insurance… it was safe. But my heart was not into it. I was pretending for many years, thinking I was happy. I was only fooling myself. I had a conversation with an old beau and he mentioned to me that I have an “eye” and that I always have… that he’s seen it in my photography. I started taking clients part time while I was still working, learning, and getting mentored by Tony Corbell. In 2012, I quit my job and went full time.
Nitara O: You’re such an amazing person! I wish that we could have gotten through all of my questions, but we have to somewhat limit our word count when it comes to blogs. Thank you so much for sharing who you are with us.
Maria P: Thank you so much for interviewing me for your blog. It was fun answering the questions.
Nitara O: My pleasure. Now you mentioned that you had a few announcements, right?
Maria P: Well, you already let everyone know about me teaching in Greece. I will be teaching Portrait & Travel Photography in Athens and Santorini, Greece in May/June 2017. I will be speaking at America’s B.E.S.T on January 28th and I will be speaking at the School of Oriental Medicine in February. And I’m so excited about leading a Retreat on Beauty & Photography in March.
Nitara O: You are one busy lady! I don’t know how you do it all. Thank you for sharing once again!
Today’s LESSON is to pull on the knowledge and experience of others to move you forward.
FUN ASSIGNMENT: Research potential mentors within your field, or area of expertise. Remember, Maria was mentored by Tony Corbell. Mentors are great guides that help lead you along your journey. Create a list of about 3-5 people. Contact them via email or phone to see if they are willing to meet with you. You need a list so that you can have more options to choose from in case they decline your invitation. Offer to buy them a cup of coffee or tea. Or ask if they are willing to sit down with you within their own place of business. The worst that you can hear is “no.” However, there is no harm in asking for help so that you can learn and grow as an artist. I sat down with an entrepreneur last week all because I was willing to go out and meet some business owners a month ago. You would be surprised at how many people are willing to help you if you just ask.
MARIA PABLO’S SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
Contact Maria D. Pablo @ maluphotography