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Meet Karina Mendoza of Karimelly Photography in San Fernando Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karina Mendoza.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was born in Mexico City. I’m the fourth of nine siblings raised by a single mother who like many others left everything behind and migrated to the US seeking a better future for her children. I was eleven years old when I came to the US. Things were difficult and scary in a new Country, trying to adjust to an unknown world, not knowing the language and lacking income. My older siblings had to work to help my mother pay the bills. At the age of fourteen, I started working at the local swap meet.

I was a teen mom, being pregnant at seventeen as you can imagine was very difficult, but despite my situation and the many challenges and struggles I faced, nothing ever stopped me from believing I could achieve anything I put my heart and soul into. My Son only brought joy to my life and the strength I needed to keep going.

My passion for photography started at a very young age. Ever since I can remember the ability to capture a moment in time always fascinated me. As a child, I remember being mesmerized by some beautiful old photographs my grandfather had in his house. I got my first film camera when I was in middle school and I would spend my days taking photographs of my sisters and friends. I used to save all my pennies to buy film for my camera and would run to the photo lab down the street as soon as my roll of film was full and ready to be developed. As I rode the school bus through middle school and high school years I remember fondly, during the ride back home, daydreaming about how my photographs would turn out.

At that time you had to wait an entire week for your images to be ready, on the days my prints were developed and ready for pick up, I would run straight to the photo lab to pick up my prints after being dropped off by the school bus at my home school, instead of going home. This would be something my mother wasn’t too fond of. My school binder was more of a photo album filled with meaningful moments captured of family & friends. I was the girl wearing a photo locket necklace, not as a fashion statement, but rather a precious keepsake. I would spend my nights going through my photographs, those images had the power, even for a split second to take me back to that specific moment in time, the feeling was amazing.

After my children were born my passion for photography grew significantly. I became obsessed with capturing and preserving all the precious moments that sometimes we overlook. Capturing every moment I possibly could of their childhood was always very important to me. When my children became a little older and I felt I had a little more time for myself, I started taking photography classes at my community college, attending workshops and reading photography books, the more I learned about photography, the more fascinated I became.

I was always taking photos of my children, family, and friends. I started getting requests from friends, friends of friends & from my children’s friends parents who wanted me to capture their children, it was then that I decided to turn my passion into my career. I can’t think of any other career that would bring me so much joy and personal satisfaction than doing what I love the most. I have been blessed with the most amazing Husband, Children, family, friends, and clients, they all play a very important role in my success, their support has been beyond amazing throughout the years. I would not be where I am today without their continuous love and support. My Clients continue to come back to me to document all the special moments in their life and they continue to recommend me to their family and friends.

In January 2019, after many years of shooting and a lot of hard work and dedication I was able to fulfill one of my biggest career goals. I had the opportunity to put up my first OBGYN display at Dr. Sean Kossari’s Mission Hills CA office and shortly after that, in May 2019 I had the opportunity to put up my second, third and fourth OBGYN displays at Perinatal Diagnostic Center at Dr. Jadali’s three offices in Thousand Oaks CA, West Hills CA and Ventura CA. I am eternally grateful to Dr. Kossari and Dr. Jadali for the amazing opportunity to display my work in their offices. I have worked very hard for this dream for many years and it is so rewarding to see your work paying off. You can now see my newborn, baby and maternity work adorning the walls of Dr. Sean Kossari’s office in Mission Hills CA and at Dr. Daryoush Jadali’s three offices in Thousand Oaks CA, West Hills CA and Ventura CA.

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?
Not at all, I have faced many challenges and struggles along the way. Photography is a very competitive and saturated industry, there are so many talented photographers out there, it has been very challenging to stand out from the crowd. There were times when I doubt myself and thought about giving up, but instead, I kept working harder to improve my craft and achieve my goals. Focusing only on improving my craft and not comparing myself to others has been key to my success. There isn’t a shortcut to a successful photography career, it takes a lot of passion, perseverance, determination and a lot of hard work. I am a wife and mother of four, balancing family and a photography business is not easy, but it’s definitely worth it.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Karimelly Photography Studio is a photography studio located in The San Fernando Valley Area.

I am a Professional Photographer, specializing in maternity, newborn, baby, and family photography. I’m known for my emotion evoking and timeless photography work. What I’m most proud of as a company is the relationship I have developed over the years with my clients while creating beautiful images for their families. I think what sets me apart from others is my energy, passion, personality, and creativity. I have a tremendous passion for what I do and I think it shows through the images I create. I pour my heart and soul into every session and my clients cannot only see that but most importantly they can feel it.

What were you like growing up?
I was a daring, outgoing, funny, friendly, loving, oversensitive little girl. I enjoyed dancing, listening to music, singing, writing poems, making people laugh. I was the entertainer of the family. I also enjoyed climbing on trees, running barefoot in the rain, I was your typical carefree child and a big dreamer.

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