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Meet Lynnae Maki

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lynnae Maki.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Lynnae. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I never imagined falling in love with photography like I did. Drawing had always been my passion as a child. However, the moment I did my first photography project in college I was hooked. I am so thankful for my teachers who pushed me to think outside the box, and who offered me constructive criticism when they knew I could do better. I started off shooting senior portraits in college, and eventually booked my first wedding for a friend. I hardly made any money, but I knew I had to be willing to work from the ground up if this was something I wanted to do for a living. After shooting several more weddings and portrait sessions I started to gain confidence and I began charging more for sessions. I learned how to manage the business side of things. Now I work as a wedding photographer and fine art photographer. I’m not sure what the future holds, but as long as I’m behind a camera, I’m excited to see where the road leads.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has definitely been an uphill battle trying to find my niche in the creative world. I have had many different jobs since moving to LA, from office managing to working at an after school program. I even signed up to be a dog walker for a hot second. However, no matter what jobs I’ve had to pay the bills, whenever people ask me “what do you do?” I always answer with “I’m a photographer.” It’s what drives me, what keeps me moving forward. I don’t think your label as an individual has anything to do with who sends you a paycheck every month. Who you are is constantly shifting and changing, but it is your passions that really define who you are as a person. I am passionate about people. I am passionate about telling their stories through art. It has taken a lot of work to get where I am today. However, looking back at the road I’ve taken to get here, detours and all, I am so thankful for everything I’ve learned along the way.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Lynnae Maki Photography – what should we know?
As a photographer I try to create images in a way that captures the imagination. When shooting portraiture I try to tell a small moment in a story or convey an emotion. I think my background in fine art has allowed me to look at photography as the creation of an art piece, rather than a technical skill. At the end of the day I care more about the final image than the settings on my camera. I will often be switching back and forth between three different editing programs to get the final product I have envisioned. In my opinion, there is no “wrong” way to create an image. I have had models do crazy weird things because I know at the end of the day it will create the image I want. As a photographer I want to think like a child. I don’t want to do something just because it’s the way it’s always been done. Kids do not have a fear of creating art “incorrectly”. As creatives we owe it to ourselves and our clients to make choices without the fear of being wrong. Our minds are amazing places. We will never run out of creativity or inspiration if we are willing to look for it. My best work happens not because I need a paycheck, but because I am passionate about what I am creating.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I am so thankful for the people in my life who have allowed me to find my own way without questioning why I didn’t choose a “normal” career. My family has been so supportive and has always been my biggest cheerleader whenever I’ve make leaps forward. They’ve also been encouraging and loving whenever I’ve felt like giving up. I’m also thankful for my friends who have called me out when I haven’t been taking care of myself well or been too hard on myself. Honestly, friends are also the best business partners when it comes to telling other people about your work and advocating for the talents they see in you. Sometimes it takes a friend who is excited about your work to remind you to keep moving forward. I want those I love to be proud of me and my work and that is a huge motivator in my life.

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