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Meet Paula Neves of Through The Lens in Valley Village

Today we’d like to introduce you to Paula Neves.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I arrived in LA in 2015 to do a 1-year program in Film. During the program, I developed a photography project called Through The Lens. I’ve been taking photos since the age of 14, but always just for fun.

The idea of the project was to interview people, get to know them, and understand their fears and insecurities. And through a photoshoot entirely based on the understanding of the subject, create a safe space to help them initiate the process of overcoming that fear or insecurity previously discussed.

The main goal was always creating a free-judgment space where you would see your self through the lens of someone else’s eye.

The project had to be put on hold due to school deadlines. And photography kept being just a hobby. It was only in 2017, when I was so unhappy doing my work as a Film Editor, that I used photography as a gate away to express my creativity. And “Through The Lens” came back as an Instagram account (@ttlens).

The 2.0 version of the project didn’t carry the therapeutic goal as the original version did, but it had the same effect for me. And I think that allowed me to be as honest and creative as I could, cause I was doing all the photoshoots for myself, for my own healing and creative process. That helped me grow as an artist.

Now, the Instagram account has a bit over 4k followers, I got two publications in magazines (Picton Man and Vogue Italia – online), one gallery exhibit and I’ve fully transitioned from an editor to a photographer.

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?
Honestly, I’ve always been hesitant to have photography as my career. I was always afraid it was going to ruin it. That I would stop loving it once I had the stress of treating it as a job. But when I accepted photography in my life, and I wanted to leave editing for good, my financial situation stopped me from doing so, for a very long time. Because let’s be honest, being a freelancer is not easy, but being a freelance photographer in LA is like competing with everyone who owns a camera. And that’s a lot of people…

We’d love to hear more about your work.
Through the Lens or ttlens for short, is a photography business known for its conceptual editorials and movie-like photos. However, as a photographer, a lot of product photo shoots and headshots needs to be done to keep me alive and with money to buy the weird props I use for the conceptual shoots.

I am most proud of the magazine publications. One for Picton Man, March 2019 edition. And the most recent one where I got accepted and had my photo published on Vogue Italia PhotoVogue selection. That was an amazing conquer for me.

What were you like growing up?
I’ve always been really involved with the arts. I used to draw a lot, and a few times I tried learning guitar and piano. I used to be the leader of every game and the decision maker of everything assignment. I’ve always like to have control over what I was doing and creating.

I got my first professional camera at the age of 14 and I would create photoshoot at home with my friends. From outfit and makeup to taking the photos and editing them, I would do it all. I’ve always had a big interest in film and that’s why I went to college to film. I never really expected to be able to live with photography only.

Pricing:

  • For personal conceptual shoots – $250 for 2hrs + any extra cost.
  • For brand shoots – $500+
  • For headshots – $300 for 3 outfits.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Bianca Wiles, Emily Pearse, Charlie Patton and Jen Francine, Mairanne Lu, Evonique and Charlie Mckee, Elio Mardini, Marianne Lu, Charlie Patton and Jen Francine

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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