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Meet Lily Tapia

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lily Tapia.

Lily, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve had a passion for photography ever since I was a small child.

I learned the value of a single photograph growing up in Mexico and coming to the United States because we left with a limited number of my family’s images.

In high school, I was introduced to film photography techniques and learned about the art world. Thanks to The Olsen Twins, I also had a passion for fashion and everything Tres Chic. For a moment in time, I wanted to move to New York and work in Vogue! haha

Guys, I fell in love with the art and fashion world!

In college, I continued my passion for fashion, I started doing shoots all around DTLA, and anywhere I felt inspired! Architecture, colors, famous photographers, and my Hispanic culture inspired my photography style!

My wedding photography journey started when my cousin, a wedding photographer, asked to assist her at a wedding. It was something I had never done before, but I was up for an adventure.

From the moment I shot my first wedding, I knew I had found my calling. With the help of a coworker, I used his equipment to shoot my first weddings. Everything I would make at weddings would put back into my savings to buy my own equipment.

In 2015, I started my own business here in Southern California. I began photographing families, and after a year, I finally got to shoot my first wedding!!!

It’s going to be five years since I started my business. Since then, it has been awarded The Knots Best of Wedding for three years consecutively and awarded Wedding Wire’s Couple’s Choice Award for four years. I’ve also had the honor of traveling to different parts of the world to document special moments.

I can’t help but smile every single time I shoot a wedding because I know nothing in the world I would rather be doing. Life is amazing!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Where to even begin! Shall I start with 2020… just joking

There have definitely been some bumps on the road. It can’t all be smooth sailing, or it wouldn’t be worthwhile!

Being your own boss may seem like all fun and glamorous, I’ve had to sacrifice significant time with family and loved ones to get me to where I am now.

The biggest struggle of running a small business is not having a lot of hands to help. I’ve had to learn how to market the business. Ensure everything financially is doing well, figure out health insurance, taxis, better ways to impose my technique, and create a stronger relationship with my clients. This is not even talking about daily things like editing, blogging, and emails (this list could go on, so I’ll save ya’ the time, haha.

I should definitely give a big shout out to Google and YouTube for all the help! They have never let me down whenever I have a question.

As women, we tend to be harder on ourselves. I feel like I always have to meet some crazy standards that I’ve created for myself. It’s a constant push and pulls of “I can do it” and “What am I doing?” or “am I worthy?” Talking to other women in the industry always helps me reassure that I am doing well.

All of the struggles and lessons have only fueled my “Ganas” and perseverance to push my business forward. It honestly requires a lot of self-belief! I always think to myself, if Beyonce can do it, so can I!

I’ve taken on every opportunity and investment I’ve had to make to make the business successful, like workshops, to improve my skills and assist different photographers. Besides, each quarter I like to evaluate the company and see how I can improve to get to the next level. It hasn’t been an overnight success story, but I value every step I’ve taken to be where I am now.

Alright – so let’s talk business. What else should we know about you and your career so far?
I am a quirky wedding and lifestyle photographer for the fun and chic couples in love! I currently live in the City of LA, but I am passport ready to shoot weddings anywhere in the world!

To me, photography is my soul, and I believe the camera can unveil my heart and what I see as beauty. Le vie est belle!

My obsession with art and fashion inspires me to approach each wedding in a fresh, fun, and natural way. Painters like Monet and Jean-Honoré Fragonard inspired my colors of editing. They are very new, colorful, and romantic.

Beyond snapping my couples’ unique love story, I build relationships with all my clients and keep things REAL, light, and always fun. I am a storyteller, and to tell a great love story, I need to make sure I know who my clients are from where they met, their love story, to learning their favorite food and favorite music. With this, I am able to create a relaxed, confident, and joyous experience for my couples and therefore create one of a kind gorgeous photos!

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I don’t think I would have done anything differently. Everything that has happened in my business has shaped it to where it is now. I’m a firm believer that life happens for you, not to you.

The only thing I would adjust is to believe more in myself and have the confidence to show the world what sets me apart from other photographers.

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