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Meet Amy Salessi of Amy Salessi Photography in La Verne

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amy Salessi.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I have had a passion for photography for years, and I photographed my children every chance I could get. In March of 2010, I decided to take my love for photography and grow it into a business, so I could work around our family’s demanding schedule and be home with our children as much as possible. I now photograph a few hundred families a year, teach beginner workshops, mentor more advanced photographers and have an online class coming out in December. Family photography sessions take up most of my schedule, but I do book high school and college seniors, maternity sessions and Fresh 48 hospital newborn sessions as I can. I believe this is the job I was born to have, and I love every part of running my own business. Every time I am invited into a client’s home or to the hospital to meet their brand new baby, I realize just what an honor it is to be a part of their story, and I feel lucky to be able to capture their most important days.

Has it been a smooth road?
I think every small business has its struggles as it grows. In the early years, I wasn’t prepared for the demand, and I overworked myself by not saying no to anyone. I booked every kind of session that came my way, and I tried to learn too much, too fast. I decided to focus on what I loved the most- family photography- and my work improved drastically. I have also had to learn how to balance work and home. I have to set myself clear work hours so I am not distracted by other things that need my attention when I have a full workload. I have learned to take time off as needed, too.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
When I started taking clients, I knew I would meet a lot of new families. What I didn’t know was just how important these families would become to me. They have celebrated my successes with me over the years and supported me in ways that go beyond the client/photographer relationship. In turn, I want to do whatever I can to make my clients happy. My goal is for their family photo sessions to feel like fun. I don’t want them to stress out or dread getting pictures taken. I love being able to see the same families year after year.

My favorite thing ever is being greeted with a hug by their children and getting to hear all about what is new in their life. When I meet a new client, I often hear that they were surprised at how easy and fun our session was! I love walking away from a session knowing I have made new friends in the process.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
There is definitely no shortage of photographers in our area! There are so many others I know that have the same story I do. They wanted to stay home with their kids, and photography can seem like an easy way to bring in an income. It definitely can be done, but to be successful you have to set yourself apart from the competition, be prepared to put in the work and create what YOU love. I work just as many hours, if not more, than I did working a full time corporate job. The possibilities are endless, though. I love looking back at how far I have come, but even more than that I dream about one day where I will be!

Contact Info:

Image Credit for Amy’s photo under headline: Lara Jenkins Photography

Getting in touch: VoyageLA 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.

1 Comment

  1. Casey

    September 5, 2017 at 18:59

    Awesome write up, Amy! Loved learning more about you and seeing your gorgeous client images. So well deserved! Xo

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