I think inspiration runs in a circular motion so here’s to hoping I can inspire all the incredible gals as much as they all inspire me. Badass Women is a series about capturing that positive energy and spreading it. Wanna help? Read about these cool girls and share their features with the women that inspire you!!
Olivia + I recently collaborated on a photo shoot. Keep on reading to learn more about the girl behind the lens and view exclusive photos from our afternoon at Beacon's.
What is your relationship with beauty?
To me, beauty is so many things. When someone is beautiful, it is NOT because of their hair, clothes, social media following, or their sex-appeal. It is the way they see the world and appreciate it as it has been given to them… It is the way they exude confidence and love themselves no matter what their dress size. I live in the same messed up world as you do, and struggle with this subject myself. Taking photos of these so called “perfect” people on a daily basis can get to your head. But at the end of the day, we all have our own stories, our own strengths and weaknesses… our own kind of beauty. Trying to emulate another’s beauty, is nowhere near as radiant as your own. You are the only you there is and will ever be. It would be a shame to throw that away, don’t you think?
What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Check my phone.
Where did you grow up?
Leucadia, CA. It’s a small, funky beach town in Northern San Diego County.
How old are you?
I am fourteen years old. (Turning fifteen on July 4th!)
Talk about one of your happiest memories of all time:
Shooting at Honolulu Bay on Maui last fall… Met some amazing locals with awesome stories and officially fell in love this the island.
What are you passionate about?
Other than photography, I am passionate about life in general. Appreciating every moment of everyday. Having gratitude is key to having a happy life. I am passionate about learning about other cultures and seeing the world's beauty.
How did you first start working with brands such as ACACIA and Splendid? Were you intimidated by working amongst adults in a professional setting, or did you feel confident in your craft from the start?
I started my portfolio on Instagram, and started reaching out to small local companies. Not a day went by where I wasn’t shooting, and before I knew it I had some of my favorite companies reaching out to me. A lot of it is getting out there and letting people know who you are and what you do.
As far as working with adults, I have never really given it much thought. Being in that environment has always felt very natural to me. I have never felt out of place or insecure because of my age comparatively. The companies I’ve worked for have respected me for what I do and treat me no differently than they would another professional.
What advice would you give to other young photographers pursuing freelance work?
Go for it. Be confident in your work, and never be afraid to reach out to anyone you want to work with. Keep shooting and learn along the way. You don’t need top-of-the-line equipment to get an amazing photo. The quality is not what is going to make a photo stand out, it is the way you look at your subject and capture it through your eyes.
Living in California has had a big influence on your style, could you discuss what it is about surf culture that inspires you?
The people. Everyone is so real and down to earth. They take time to appreciate the little things that Mother Nature so freely provides. Being in the ocean and feeling its power helps you realize that you can only control so much. The ocean provides an ever changing canvas, you can never get the same shot twice. There is a special spirituality about the ocean that keeps you coming back… It’s addicting.
If you could choose any company to shoot for which would you choose and why?
I would be stoked to work for any of the major surf companies. Billabong would be my first choice, I love their style and shoot locations. Free People is another company I would love to work with. I just want to see the world, so anyone that needs a photographer on any upcoming trips… let me know!
Are there any specific models you would love to work with in the future?
I have had the opportunity to shoot with some amazing people already, but a few people I would love to work with are Mahina Garcia, Rocky Barnes, Mimi Elashiry, Malia Murphey, and so many others. I would also love to get in the water and shoot some surfers such as John John Florence, Mick Fanning, Carissa Moore, Courtney Conlogue, and all the other insane surfers on the WSL tour.
As someone who has been homeschooled for the majority of their life, what is your stance on education?
Being homeschooled has impacted my life in all of the best ways. I started homeschooling in 4th grade and am now going into my sophomore year of high school. Before I started homeschooling, I went to a private Catholic school in Encinitas. The reason I initially started homeschooling was because of my rigorous schedule as a high-level gymnast, but unfortunately I had to stop in 2015 due to a back injury. Shortly after and with more time on my hands, I got more and more into photography and everything went from there.
I believe that giving yourself enough time to figure out who you are and what you want to make of yourself is so important in a kids/teens life. The flexibility of homeschooling has given me that opportunity.
Do you learn best from research or from experience?
Experience for sure. I would think that would be the case for most people. I could read my camera manual for months, but until I actually pick up my camera and start shooting, I wouldn’t know what the heck I was doing. For me, “doing” is learning.
What quote inspires you the most? How do you relate to it?
“People are capable, at anytime in their lives, of doing what they dream of”.
I believe that age is just a number, and does not define anyone's capabilities. This generation of kids and teenagers have full power of changing the world, more than anyone.
I say we start now.
Where you can find Olivia:
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