Today we’d like to introduce you to Emilene Orozco.
Emilene, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
You might not believe me but, I have had a camera around since I was eight years old. Yes, a real film camera! Cellphones have made capturing moments easier these days, but back in the 90’s we called on a camera to get the job done. My mom would constantly be capturing little moments in the lives of her three young children. I remember mimicking her and would hold my camera just as she would. She noticed and eventually bought me my own camera.
Later, at the age of 10, my aunt also gave me a camera as a Christmas present. It happened once more, at the age of 15, where I was gifted another camera for my birthday except this time, it was digital with its own memory card slot and everything! *Gasp*
Cameras have always been around in my life. Growing up, I was the photographer friend. I loved taking portraits of my friends and would take my camera everywhere with me. Naturally, I pursued my passion for photography in college.
In 2015, I took my very first photo class & something clicked. No pun intended! After seven long years, my dreams came true this past June. I graduated & obtained my Associate of Arts Degree in Photography. My specialty is in portraiture and event photography. I found the perfect blend of the two to be Wedding Photography. I absolutely fell in love with it & this is currently my primary type of work.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Although I loved photography, it was always just a hobby.
After I graduated high school, I was undecided on what career path to take. I had so many interests in the art realm but I just could not figure it out. I was going to school part-time, finishing general ed classes, while working a part-time job as a security guard. This job was able to fund my first my very first DSLR camera. It was around this time that I had created an Instagram page solely dedicated to my photography. After receiving positive feedback from friends and family on my photos, I decided to enroll in my very first photography class.
After finishing my first photo course, I was addicted. I wanted to take another class, and then two more after that. I decided to stick it out and finish the two years photo program but, it was in no way easy. Photography is so much more than a pretty picture. It’s conceptual and requires skill. You have to know about design elements, various types of printing processes, what sort of film to use for certain occasions. You have to know what lens does what, lighting techniques, and know Adobe Photoshop/Lightroom and make your picture come to life.
Photography is certainly not cheap! I had to work really hard to be able to afford the tools needed. Full-frame cameras, fast lenses, & flash units among many other little things, all took lots of shifts to earn. But mastering photography and buying the necessary tools is only part of the challenge.
Running a business is no joke. You have to wear many different hats. You are your own accountant, sales & customer service representative, and a social media manager. Sometimes, you are also expected to know a thing or two about video. I’m actually crying as I’m typing this because it has been such a wonderful but also, extremely difficult journey. Los Angeles is a great city but it’s so easy to get overlooked. I’m always worried when business gets slow and I haven’t found my next client but, then I remember that these things take time. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but above all passion for your craft. The support from my family, friends, classmates and even strangers are the only reason I have kept going.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Emilene Photography story. Tell us more about the business.
I am the owner and lead photographer of Emilene Photography which is an Engagement & Wedding Photography professional service, based in Los Angeles, California.
I would describe my photography style as colorful, creative, and passionate. I love capturing portraits with dramatic lighting, fit for a movie cover. Photography isn’t just my passion; it’s my life. I take my job very seriously because it is! I get to freeze time and capture incredible milestones in the lives of my clients that will never be replicated. My promise is to create beautiful & meaningful photographs that will last a lifetime while making it a fun, memorable, but above all a comfortable experience. I truly feel that this is what sets me apart from others.
What I am the most proud of as a business, is that when you work with me, you are really getting a one-on-one collaboration. You think you are looking for a photographer but what you’ll find instead is a friend that you can trust on for the most important day of your life. I’m all about making my clients feel at ease knowing that I’ve got their back every step of the way.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I have had my fair share of both good and bad luck. Twice, I have had memory cards fail on me where all files simply decided to crash! Right after two very important shoots, my files just decided to erase. GONE! Just like that…
A while ago, I ordered a very expensive full-frame camera that somehow got “lost in transit.” After two years, USPS still claims they simply “can’t find it.” Just recently, I dropped a very pricey lens while on a shoot that cost a fortune to repair. I have also worked with some people that most certainly taught me very important lessons to set my foot down and not allow myself to be taken advantage of.
But with all of this, I have also had some good luck as well. I have had the chance of having my work displayed at the student art exhibition at the Vincent Price Art Museum in 2017. I have also won some bidding wars on eBay and got great deals on really expensive gear. But above all, I have had the pleasure of having Mr. Tsai as my photography professor. Mike Tsai teaches various photo courses at East Los Angeles College. He has a deep passion and knowledge in his field, has excellent preparation in his lesson plans, and above all, instilled confidence in his students to pursue photography as a business. He was a major reason why I kept taking photography courses and I feel extremely honored to have had him as a professor.
But to be honest, luck sounds like an understatement. I truly feel like God has blessed me throughout my entire journey. Whether I have had good or bad experiences, at the end of the day, they are just lessons I had to learn. God has also blessed me with such a supportive group of loved ones. My family is so proud of me, even on my off days. To my mother, Sandra, thank you for introducing me to the beautiful world of Photography and for having my best interest in mind, and for all your love. To my father, I said, thank you for being a prime example that it is possible to make a living as a freelancer. To my sister Elia, thank you for your constant support. To my younger sister, Evelyn, thank you for always being my model when I needed one, for being my assistant on very important shoots, for giving me suggestions on what to post next on Instagram and being a shoulder to cry on when things have gotten hard. To the love of my life…Isa, thank you for showing me undying love and support always, for pushing me to quit my day job and focusing on my business instead, and for always extending your hand out when I needed one.
With every atom in my heart, I love you all so much and I will always be eternally grateful to God for having such loving and supportive souls in my life!
- Wedding Collections start at $1999
- Engagement Sessions start at $499
- Website: https://www.emilenephotography.com
- Phone: 323-891-3379
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/emilenephotography/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/emilenephotography/
- Other: https://www.theknot.com/marketplace/emilene-photography-los-angeles-ca-2009497
Personal Photo: Isamar Zamora.