Today we’d like to introduce you to Lexus Gallegos.
Hi Lexus, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I am a commercial/event photographer and content creator for brands. I picked up photography in high school…mostly because I thought the class would be easy 🙂 My photo teacher, Mr. Harris, encouraged me to pursue photography after school, and we both felt that Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara was a perfect fit considering how technical it was (and it definitely was!). The rigor of the photo curriculum at Brooks gave me the experience of being creative and executing shoots under pressure. I was surprised to find that I actually thrived in this kind of environment, and I craved the energy that productions provided. The real learning curve came after graduation when I moved to Los Angeles. Being a freelance photographer requires a thick skin, passion, and grit.
I had almost a year of dipping my toes in freelance work and pushing myself out of my comfort zone before my “Ah Ha” moment. I realized that 1) An imperfect launch into freelance was better than a non-existent one and 2) It’s my responsibility that potential clients know who I am. I spent a day collecting the info of 30 potential clients and cold emailed all of them with a graphic of my “Content Photography Holiday Special”. The first business to respond was Glow Skincare, and over three years later, Glow Skincare is still one of my main clients. I also started working with Scott Clark of Clark Studio, and he essentially became my mentor, especially in the space of event photography. This experience allowed me to take on my own clients in the events space, and I quickly fell in love with the chaotic nature of events. This part of my work gained a lot of momentum right up until the pandemic when event productions came to a halt. Like many photographers in my position, I had to pivot my business to cater to clients in a safe way. The majority of my work nowadays is building content libraries for brands. I shoot and style products on my own, or we produce small shoots with just me and the client. Luckily, there has been a shift in a need for content, and things are picking up a bit more now!
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Nope! But I don’t know a single photographer who has had a smooth journey. What freelance photography lacks in certainty, it makes up for in adventure. As someone who likes to “figure things out”, the road I’ve been on has been fulfilling, with all the bumps and big ole’ potholes. Starting the journey and making the jump is always one of the hardest parts. The pandemic has also completely shifted my work. Event work made up a huge portion of my income, and the majority of my connections and leads came from this industry. For the first time in a long, I had to market myself and my work. I had to confront were I judging my worth as a photographer based on the amount of work I got. There have been many moments where I thought that taking on a full-time job would make more sense. I’ve been through many periods of doubt, feeling like I wasn’t good enough, dealing with imposter syndrome, and even worrying that I lost my passion for photography. I understand that this strange time in the world has given me a beautiful opportunity to experience myself as resilient. I’ve learned to dig deep for creativity and reconnect with my passion when I feel like they are lost. There is also power in just continuing to show up.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am a commercial photographer and content creator, specializing in events and building content libraries for brands. I am known for photographing events in the entertainment industry (including getting bomb images of the guests!) and helping business owners grow their brands. During the pandemic, I started designing/illustrating stickers for brands, which has been a fun addition to my work! Most recently, I am known on TikTok for doodling monsters on @lexgallegos. For whatever reason, people love the Bob Ross style of taking an audience through a drawing! I am most proud of being able to support myself doing work that I love and sticking with it no matter what life throws at me. What sets me apart is that my #1 goal is to make the work fun for everyone involved and that I genuinely love connecting with the people I work with. I believe this work should be enjoyable for my clients at every step.
Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
Yes! I’d first create a portfolio of work, no matter where you are starting from. If you are requesting time with someone you look up to, it’s important that you are self-sufficient and already pursuing the work. My biggest piece of advice is to respect and understand that any knowledge given to you had to be worked for. No one owes anyone their time or experience, but many professionals are happy to give it on to someone who is serious about the work they are pursuing. Once you have somebody of work, email potential mentors with a personal email, and link your work in that email. Expect to email a few! As for networking, keeping it professional and being kind is key. Business is about being honest, prompt, and respectful while acknowledging that the person you are speaking to is still a human and not just some stepping stone to get to where you want to be.
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: lexusgallegos.com
- Instagram: @lexgallegos
- Other: TikTok @lexgallegos