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Life and Work with Betsi Ewing

Today we’d like to introduce you to Betsi Ewing.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Betsi. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My interest and obsession with photography started decades ago. Our family kept meticulously organized photo albums from each year, I have spent a lifetime looking through these photos and hearing the stories behind them over and over. Images evoke memories, understanding, and senses, even from life events that happened long before I was in the world. Our stories are important and photography is an incredible gift to illustrate our memories and our history.

This interest led me down a path towards photojournalism. Around age 15, I started shooting for my high school newspaper (shout out to the famous Reflector News of Jackson, Michigan!) and my high school portfolio landed me at a coveted art school, the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara. After a year of intense courses and a small fortune worth of student loan debt, I was ready to “get to the point” and moved x-country to New York City to follow my dreams of being a working photographer.

I landed in Williamsburg, Brooklyn at the height of the hipster renaissance, back before this little corner of the world was overwhelmed with high priced condos and Whole Foods. What was going on in Brooklyn at that time, around 2003, was truly magic! In my imagination it was like the stories you hear about Studio 54 and Woodstock, a “had to be there” kind of time and place. You could live in NYC AND be an artist! We all had a handful of odd jobs at all times and a hundred roommates but we were living the dream!

A handful of years and jobs later, I had finished my Bachelor Art’s degree and went on to complete a year of graduate school in Art’s Education. I was back on the job search and through an agency, I landed a gig with fashion photography duo Inez and Vinoodh. I had loved their work and admired their collaboration for years, being a part of their day to day world was truly life-changing. I traveled the world and saw first hand the behind the scenes balance of photography, art, business and family.

On the side, I was shooting all kinds of things and trying to hone in on my own direction. I was inspired by fashion but not necessarily interested in photographing it, I always preferred the journalism and “real life, real people” to the hair, makeup, models and set life. I started shooting weddings on the weekends with a photographer upstate (Jac Pfef!) and really fell in love with wedding photography, truly. I enjoyed the documentary nature of weddings with the added opportunity for styling, elements of fashion and beauty and all the beautiful details. This felt like storytelling at its finest, capturing the most beautiful day of someone’s life, photos that would become a part of their own stories and family trees, I loved that, it was full filling. I launched my own wedding photography company and by the next year 2010, I was a fully booked as a full-time photographer.

I stayed on the NYC grind for four more years and started craving a change of scenery and some additional square footage in my life, so I moved to Los Angeles in 2014. I have become a bi-coastal business and human ever since, adding in a lot of stops to the third coast of Michigan to spend time with my own family. I am always trying to strike the perfect work and life balance. has anyone figured that out yet?

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has NOT been a smooth road! I have wanted to be a photographer since I was 15, it took me twelve years of pounding the pavement and hustling hard to make that my “full time” job. When younger women reach out to me, I am happy to share any wisdom and insight I have gained along my own path, I wish I had felt more comfortable asking for some guidance myself along the way. Being intentional is also key, my business and life all pulled together in much better alignment once I decided exactly what I wanted versus “trying out” a lot of different things. That is universal for everyone on any path, creative or not.

Please tell us about Betsi Ewing Studio.
Betsi Ewing Studio covers weddings and events from LA to NYC and around the world! I have a small team of highly-talented photographers and videographers and with this exceptional back-up from artists who support my style, I can accommodate weddings and events with a guest list from fifty to several thousand.

Our client list includes; Burberry, HBO, American Express, Oprah, Bonobos, Maybelline, Cartier, Black Flower Agency, FMG Media, SXSW, CES and many more. My work has been featured in The New York Times, Huffington Post, Martha Stewart Weddings, BRIDES, Style Me Pretty, The Knot and many more!

Were there people and/or experiences you had in your childhood that you feel laid the foundation for your success?
My family and closest friends have been a great support. Both of my parents were business owners and had an entrepreneurial spirit. They were fearless and confident, being scared or playing it safe in life was not really a part of my vocabulary. My programming was – go for it, reach for the stars, follow your dreams. My mom has told me time and time again to keep putting one foot in front of the other. My dearly departed grandparents Bernie and Louise have also been a great support. They were the most open minded and supportive people you could ever meet. My grandma Louise was artist, she painted nature and wildlife scenes. I’m sure my visual creativity comes directly from her influence. Coincidently her first job was hand painting black and white photographs so that really ties the bow on my own story, making things feel full circle.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
the profile photo of ME was taken by Eric Berry @theartoferic

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