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Meet Angela Peterman of Angela Peterman Photo in West Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Angela Peterman.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Angela. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My first introduction to photography was in high school, through shooting film. My favorite part of the process was working in the darkroom. I’d often spend my lunch hour developing film and creating prints; I was obsessed! I developed such a passion for photography that I joined the yearbook class so I could spend more time learning with the photo teacher, Mr. Brian Carnett. When he allowed Brooks Institute of Photography to come in to do a presentation about their school, I was so impressed and inspired that I decided immediately that I would attend college there. Two months after high school graduation, I moved to Santa Barbara and started their Advertising Photography program.

After college, I was fortunate enough to be able to intern for and assist celebrity photographers. Soon after, I found a full-time job shooting jewelry for companies such as Pearl Paradise, Little H, and Pearl Collective, to name a few. This experience led to wonderful freelance opportunities with the Today Show, Cuyana, Brian Lichtenberg, and other brands. After more than four years of moonlighting with a full-time job, I felt like I had gained enough experience and confidence to finally start my freelance career. Despite the hard times, I have been very blessed to meet amazing clients and friends along the way. I’m proud to say that my client list now includes but is not limited to:

Billboard, Teen Vogue, Schön! Magazine, The Zoe Report, O, The Oprah Magazine, The Daily Front Row, Elle Magazine,, InStyle, and W Magazine.

Re/Done, Marc Beauty, Sandro Paris, G-Star RAW, Aritzia, Sorel
Footwear, bareMinerals, Goldfaden MD, Babor, L’Oreal, American Heart
Association, Macy’s, and more.

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?
I’ve definitely had my share of struggles. Though I’m aware that I’ve been fortunate on this journey, I still had a bit of a rough start. My parents had cosigned student loans for me as much as possible, but they didn’t have the funds or credit to get me through the last eight months of school. I had even received multiple scholarships, which were a huge help, but in the end, they weren’t enough, either. Heartbroken about not being able to finish with my classmates, I had to move back in with my parents, leaving my education, my then boyfriend, and all my friends behind. This huge setback affected me deeply, but I was determined to still accomplish my goals and dreams. I vowed that not finishing college wouldn’t be a hindrance to my impending career. It was difficult for me to do, but I put my pride aside, slept on the couch in the living room, and went back to my high school job at a family Italian restaurant in San Diego. I worked full time for six months, saving every penny until I could afford a down payment and first month’s rent in LA. The restaurant agreed to transfer me to their Glendale location, and I worked there as a shift lead for six months, while looking for any job related to photography. I humbled myself and took small, low-paying freelance jobs and continued assisting and interning for photographers such as John Russo and Jim Jordan.

Finally, I had a major breakthrough! While working at the restaurant, a customer came in and the kitchen got his order completely wrong. As the acting manager on duty, I did everything I could to keep this customer happy. The restaurant location was quickly going out of business, and every customer was crucial to our staying open. The customer was very satisfied in the end, and on his way out, he gave me his business card and asked if I’d like to come work for him in the office. I recognized his name: Mark Robert Halper, a celebrity photographer in the Silverlake, CA area! He was looking for an office assistant to do phone outreach. I had seen his work from researching potential photographers I could work for. It was fate! I met with him the next week and was hired on the spot to not only do office work but also be a full-time photo assistant! I worked with him for about six months, until Pearl Paradise hired me as a full-time photographer.

Please tell us about Angela Peterman Photo.
I pride myself on having built a photography business in which I specialize in many sought-after services that my clients typically are not able to find with other photographers. I not only cover basic photography needs but also can provide video, gifs, and large or small production. Having a photographer that can produce the team and create the schedule for the client is a major bonus. I shoot still life and lifestyle, and I am also highly technically skilled and certified by Adobe, which enables me to confidently offer such coveted services as Photoshop and InDesign. In addition to my being a reliable, knowledgeable professional, I often hear from clients that I am fun and easy to work with! It’s always my goal to make sure my clients get more than their money’s worth and enjoy the process when working with me.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I have two! When I was young, my older sister would write skits for my little brother and me to perform. They always had to end with a positive lesson or message (e.g., treat others the way you want to be treated). We would call our parents into the living room saying, “The performance is about to begin!” My dad would record them on his hand-held video camera. My brother and I would act and improvise. My dad would sometimes create really cool movies out of them.

My second is watching my mom paint. She would sit in her office for hours, creating fictional characters. I remember, specifically, her creating a warrior princess. My mom explained to me that this woman was tough and beautiful, and she could do anything she put her mind to, just like us.

These were the creative seeds that molded me into who I am today. I believe that engaging in the creative process regularly as a family was a major catalyst for my subsequent enjoyment in doing creative team projects. Being on set brings back that feeling of working together to create something meaningful and special, where everyone plays an important role in a finished product that is inspirational and valuable.

My mom was my childhood role model, and it was so influential to see her create a powerful woman on paper. In that day and time, it was mostly the men who were regarded as heroes. I had never seen a woman portrayed so brave and so strong. I was seven or eight years old, asking my mom 100 questions about the woman on the paper. I wanted to know her story, who she was, where she came from, how she became a hero. Her paintings and the conversations we had about them fueled my imagination and my love for picture art. My daily goal is for my work to speak that way to my clients and their viewers.

You will notice in my work that women are portrayed as powerful and never weak. My mom made fictitious women powerful on paper with her painting skills, and with my photography talents, I make real-life women powerful through the lens.

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