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Meet Alexandra Malek and Justin Laundre of Dandy Lions Media in San Francisco

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alex and Justin.

Let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
We met at a low-key gathering at a friend’s house February of 2016. Within an hour of meeting, we were naked in the hot tub declaring our love for one another and a couple weeks later, the friend who introduced us invited us both to join his photo booth company. We jumped on board, offering varying levels of amateur experience coupled with an idiotic level of enthusiasm. We started by taking free photos at all our friends’ parties and it became apparent that we had a collective eye for fun and an effortless workflow. A couple months down the road our friend got excited about a different creative project and in turn offered the company to us. Things progressed rapidly – we spent summer 2016 on the road honing our skills at festivals and returned to discover our friends were willing to pay us to photograph more of their parties. We spent the year of 2017 adding portraits and video to our roster. And now we’re honing the vibe. When we first started out, we said yes to everything that was thrown at us, now we’re discovering the ride we want to take ourselves on. Current projects include a music video, a short documentary and various portrait collaborations.

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?
Business-wise, it all flows fairly easily. Sometimes, Alex gets anxious about business not moving quickly enough and then the next day, we’ll get an email from someone offering or referring work to us. We both learned photography as we’ve gone and it’s been incredible to watch the quality of our work progress, but we’ve also made plenty of rookie mistakes. There was also a period where we were stretched too thin trying to learn and overwhelmed by too many things at once. It took a while for us to hone in on our individual and collective strengths. We still have a long ways to go – the thing about this field is there’s an endless store of things to learn.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Dandy Lions Media – what should we know?
We do event video and photography, artistic portraiture and entering the world of music video and documentary work.

What sets us apart, other than being a couple, is that we work together democratically. We have a pretty solid ebb and flow of leading/assisting each other, plus we’re super fun to work with. Photographers/videographers always get the best out of their subjects when they can help put them at ease and I think, that’s something we’re getting better at.

We’ve been doing event photography the longest, so that’s what we’re most known for at the moment, but we’re hoping to make that more about videography and creative portraiture. Lately, we’ve been setting up a ministudio in Justin’s bedroom and playing with colored gels and it’s been a blast.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Keep it as fun and relaxed as possible. Stress is a creativity killer. Also, frequent repetition is a smart way to learn something in order to focus on your creative process rather than get stuck having to figure it out.

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