Today we’d like to introduce you to Crisanta Mecate.
Hi Crisanta, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I had so many albums full of polaroids of my Barbie dolls and Cabbage Patch Kids because I had been interested in photography for as long as I can remember. I’d like to think that my photography career started when I was 15 years old and bought my first SLR camera using all my money I had saved from childhood. I started shooting weddings professionally more than 15 years ago after years of photography classes
I was trained in the old-school way in which I assisted a wedding photographer for a year before I even got to hold a camera. In that time, I mostly carried equipment around and loaded film backs for the camera. But I also learned so much of customer service, how to run a business, and how to use my talent to the fullest.
I turned my focus to newborn photography when the last of my four children was born. I used that time in my life to be home with my children while also taking photography workshops to learn more about my craft.
I opened my first studio in Brea, CA in 2016. At that time, I was shooting nearly 30 weddings a year, along with maternity, newborns, and family. In 2018, I decided to shift my business to work mostly with newborns and families so that I could spend more time with my family on the weekends instead of shooting weddings. That year I also moved my studio location to Fullerton California, right in the heart of downtown Fullerton.
I moved into my current studio in Brea, CA in 2021 and I’m so proud of it. It’s full of all of the props and accessories that I would need for a newborn session. I have a fast client closet full of maternity gowns and children’s clothing for my clients to wear during photo shoots. There’s an area for parents to rest and watch TV while I work with their newborn babies for their newborn photo shoot. It really is a dream come true of mine to be a small business owner providing an awesome customer experience and products that will last for generations.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It hasn’t always been a smooth road, but any obstacles that I faced have made me a better photographer and businesswoman. I would say that the biggest struggle was trying to find a work/life balance. I was a mother of four children while also trying to run a business. Not only that, I love photography and my work so it was hard for me to take a break from it when needed. I don’t think I’ve found the perfect balance by any means, but I’m definitely more cognizant of how I spend my time.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I mainly specialize in maternity, newborn, and family photography. Many of my clients actually came to me as engaged couples and I get to document their journey in becoming a family. There honestly is no greater joy for me as a photographer than to see a family grow. I take great pride in my ability to build relationships and provide amazing service for so many families. You can see examples of this throughout my website https://freebirdstudios.net.
What were you like growing up?
I was an only child growing up (siblings came much later) so I was definitely spoiled and had a lot of attention. I was interested in photography very early in life. My grandmother got me a Polaroid camera around four years old because I showed such an interest in taking pictures. Being an only child and attending a private school throughout elementary, I was a pretty shy kid but definitely liked to step out of the box. As I got older, I found an appreciation for getting to know people and their stories and documenting it. I loved going to events and meeting new people, which really helped as a photographer.
- Website: https://freebirdstudios.net
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/freebird.studios/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OCfreebirdstudios
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/freebird-studios-brea?osq=freebird+studios
- Other: https://freebirdstudios.net/newborn-photography-orange-county/