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Meet Yaresly Santana

Today we’d like to introduce you to Yaresly Santana.

Yaresly, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My business was born a little over three years ago in February 2014. I am a mother of three. Valentine’s day happens to be my youngest daughter’s birthday! I decided to take some photos of her for the special occasion. I used a chalkboard wall the kids had in their playroom and hung a couple of heart garlands that I made. I set up a couple extra props for decoration and was having so much fun coming up with new ideas to photograph her! My daughter was turning two. Yes, the terrible twos. After a short while she grew tired of being in front of the camera. Realizing how much fun I was having, I didn’t want it to end! On what felt like a whim at the time I went on social media and offered my friends and family Valentine mini sessions for their kids.

I booked five clients! I was ecstatic!

Booking those five clients, setting up the backdrop, capturing the memories, editing and finally delivering the photos filled my life with so much joy! I was “working” and yet, it didn’t feel like work at all!!! I discovered my passion!

Not long after this newfound passion, I received the very unexpected news that the company I was working for at the time would be closing. I was going to be laid off. There were so many questions going through my mind. My husband and I had three kids to raise and a home we recently purchased but the thought of finding another job just to help do my part filled me with dread. With the unwavering support of my husband, we decided that this was my chance to let my passion flourish.

I immersed myself every single day and night with everything photography related. I read my camera’s manual. My husband would wake up at 2, 3 o’clock in the morning to find me wide awake reading and testing things out on my camera. My three kids were the best models to practice on and my biggest inspirations.

Friends and family who were watching my business evolve truly helped me grow. With their encouragement, support and referrals I have made it to where I am today.

I wholeheartedly enjoy what I do.

I am a wedding and portrait photographer that specializes in engagements, family and maternity. These are the stories I photograph that truly resonate with my heart and soul.

Has it been a smooth road?
As a mother and a small business owner, finding a balance between the two has been my biggest challenge. Doing it all can feel very overwhelming at times! For a while, I was in a constant state of feeling as if there are never enough hours in the day to do everything I felt I needed to do. For my business and for my kids it felt as if the daily to do list was always impossible to complete. Forget any idea of me having time for myself.

Thankfully, I have an amazing husband who is even an more amazing hands on father. He’s definitely been the biggest help in me overcoming this struggle by stepping in when I need him the most, even if this means after a long shift at work.

With the kids now old enough to all go to school, this balance has become easier to manage. I make it a point to get as much work done while they are there so I can spend some much needed quality time with them when they get home.

Setting myself up on a schedule has been the best thing for business, my family and ultimately myself. This schedule allows me to even squeeze in some time for self-care. I’ve lost over 20 lbs.!

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Yaresly Santana – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I am a wedding and portrait photographer that specializes in engagements, family and maternity. I am known for timeless, light and airy photographs.

I am most proud of the beautiful memories that I photograph for my clients and the connections I make with everyone who I have the pleasure of meeting. Seeing my clients on the beautiful journey from engagement to married or expecting a new baby to parents is the most rewarding experience. My clients are one of the biggest reasons why I love what I do so much. They keep me on an endless cycle of love that keeps me going. They choose me to be a small part of their happiest moments in life and truly every new client I meet and every returning client I see is one of the happiest moments in my life too.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I absolutely love being based out of Los Angeles! There is so much diversity here and we’re close to many different lovely settings for photography sessions! We have parks, trails, beautiful architecture, the beach and plenty of freeways for clients to travel from neighboring cities to meet me.

I am available to photograph every day of the week! Thanks to all the wonderful places and opportunity this city has to offer this can make for a lot of traffic on most days. I do my best to work with my clients on choosing locations so we can avoid this traffic as best we can!

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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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