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Meet Ella DeGea of Ella DeGea Photography

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ella DeGea.

Ella, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
The real reason why I started photography is because I grew up horseback riding. I remember being 15 going out with a point and shoot camera and taking photos at horseback riding competitions. Once I really started getting into it more, my parents got me my first DSLR and a couple lenses. It changed my world. I don’t think I spent many days without my camera with me at the barn! This all led to me taking portraits of my friends and their horses, then friends of friends for family portraits and I think that’s when I realized I’d love to do it for a living. I first went to photography school in my hometown Victoria British Columbia, Canada. I realized I wanted to keep learning so I made the move to Ventura, California in 2014 to attend Brooks Institute of Photography for a Bachelor’s degree. Brooks Institute at the time was known as one of the best photography schools in North America, specializing in commercial photography. I then moved to Los Angeles about a year and half ago to finish my degree and start freelancing within the photo industry here. It’s been quite the experience but it also has been one of the best moves I’ve made to kick start my career.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Yes and no! Overall I’ve had a pretty smooth road but there’s definitely been some bumps along the way. I think the hardest thing about choosing to have a career in the arts is that you have to be incredibly passionate about it to be successful at all. Determining whether photography was a passion or a hobby for me was my first big obstacle. Following that was when Brooks Institute closed two year ago when many of my friends and I weren’t finished school yet. It left all of us not really knowing where to go or what to do. It forced me to make decisions I probably wouldn’t have made otherwise and make the move to Los Angeles. Lastly, an ongoing challenge is pushing yourself to get to where you want to be especially as a freelancer. Sometimes you have to take jobs to make money but they’re not what you ultimately want to do long term and that can start to take a toll on your creativity/inspiration. Fortunately, there are so many opportunities out there that make it easier to have a good balance of both. Learning to make the best of any situation has been the most important thing I have done to overcome those challenges. If you are good at what you do, are humble and you put in as much effort as you can, you’re set.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Ella DeGea Photography – what should we know?
I’m a freelance photographer currently specializing in both editorial and commercial portraits, fashion, lifestyle and just about anything horse related. I’m more or less known for my work being clean/ethereal especially when it comes to portraits. I’ve also been referred to as the horse girl, but that’s kind of obvious! I think what I’m most proud of would have to be the ability to work with just about anyone, thanks to my cultural and educational background. Growing up in France and Canada, I had to adapt to two very different cultures and once again moving to the US. I’m pretty thankful for that. My educational background, especially at Brooks Institute, taught me how to work in a variety of photography environments I don’t think I’d know how to handle otherwise. I’d say that all ties in with what sets me apart from others too.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Where to start! If I were to name everybody it would be too long of a list. First and foremost definitely my family. They gave me the ability to follow my dreams and be the best that I can be. Some of my really close friends (both in photography and not) have also played a huge role in getting me to where I am today. We’ve all helped each other out in one way or another and those are the people who I usually get my inspiration from. A few of my photography teachers and mentors who have pushed me to constantly learn and expand my portfolio. People within the industry, especially during my time interning at CBS Photo, helped me realize where the bar currently stands and what I need to do to get there. Lastly, everyone that I’ve worked with from TGS Collective. I’ve created some of my best work with these people and the opportunities have been endless. Being successful in this industry takes a lot of self-work but surrounding yourself with people who want to help definitely plays a huge part. I’ve been fortunate enough to have some awesome people in my life who have always been by my side.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Photo of Me – Daniel Brittain
Photos by Me – Model Daniella Newberry, Model Christy Soeder, Model Jamie Paige Sheranian, Model Alex Morehouse, Model Alex Flores, Model Julana Dizon

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