I took a few months off from the B~Inspired Series, but it's back because there are few things in life that bring me as much joy as meeting and talking to creative individuals - especially when those individuals happen to be pretty incredible female entrepreneurs. I know Valerie not only as a Boston Blogger, but also as a creative mind who I've gotten to know over the last few months and will be working with in some pretty fun ways!! Read on to find out how Valerie took the leap of faith to start her own business and why Steve Martin has a pretty epic quote!
Business / Current Position: Owner and photographer for VS Photography
Location: South Boston
Educational Background: BA from Boston University
You just recently decided to turn your passion into your full-time career - how did you decide it was the right time to venture on your own?
I’ve always had the desire to go off on my own and build a business—blame that urge on my mom who immigrated to the United States for a better life and eventually became her own boss, business owner, and general badass (in the best sense of the word). But, I’m not sure if I can pinpoint the exact moment I chose to bring the VS Photography boudoir studio to life. The idea had been brewing for a while, and once I developed my portfolio, found my location, and put the rest of the pieces together, I decided to take the leap! There’s no time like the present.
What were you doing before starting your own photography business?
I worked in the publishing industry as an editor.
Since you work in a creative environment - what does a typical day look like for you? How do you find the time to fit everything in?
Every day looks a little different! The life of the creative, right? If have a session with a client, then I’m typically in my studio prepping, holding consultations, shooting, and having fun! When I’m not with clients, then I’m drinking an excessive amount of coffee while editing, handling day-to-day tasks, maintaining the website, blogging, and collaborating with others on special projects.
I've been lucky enough to see your studio in person and it's seriously a dream! What inspired your design and how did you go about decorating it?
I have a serious infatuation with interior design! I wanted the space to feel luxurious, elegant, and glamorous in order to give my boudoir shoots that extra something special. But, I know boudoir can be intimidating, which is why I also wanted the space to feel inviting and comfortable. Whether I’m shooting an intimate one-on-one session or a boudoir bachelorette party, I think the studio is a happy place where clients feel at home.
What are words you live by?
I adore the quote, “be so good they can’t ignore you.” In other words, I believe in wholeheartedly cultivating your passions and talent. Setbacks like comparing yourself to others, giving up on your goals, or no believing in yourself all fall away if you just stick to your guns and tirelessly work to present your best self to the world.
What woman would you want to have dinner with?
Between all of the role models throughout history, all of the super inspiring female entrepreneurs who have led the way for future thinkers, all of the photographers whose brains I’d love to pick, and all of the writers I’d be thrilled to have a word with, this is by far the hardest question! At the moment, because I’m focusing on cultivating my brand, I’d love to have a glass of wine with a creative who does it all with style and grace like Garance Dore!
What are three things you can't leave the house without?
Chapstick, a healthy snack, and some apparatus capable of taking photos.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I’d tell myself not to let fear get in the way. Fear has a funny way of paralyzing your ambitions if you allow it to do so. Your faith in whatever you’re invested in must be bigger than your fear!
You have a week to travel anywhere in the world - where would you go and why?
I was lucky to have gotten married in a small town in northern France. To me, it’s the happiest place on earth. I’d spend the week cozying up in castles, strolling through beaches in the rain, sipping on Calvados while slurping down oysters, and of course, spending time with some of the loveliest people in the world. Actually, I may need more than a week!
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
If you’re hitting a wall while on your entrepreneurial journey, just. keep. going. Show up every day and do your best. If you need a break, focus on smaller tasks, do something creative, go to Target and invest in festive office supplies and organize your work space--anything. Then get back to what’s important and remember that eventually, your rough patch will become a thing of the past. As Winston Churchill once said, “if you’re going through hell, keep going.” Pardon my language!
What has been your most inspired moment?
My first attempt at boudoir took place the day before a loved one’s wedding. I was on location with my bride in Europe--in a gorgeous open field--during golden hour. Simply put, it was amazing. The best part though, was that I discovered I loved making women feel confident, beautiful, and empowered through what I do—and I knew from then on that I wanted to recreate that experience as much as possible.
Huge thank you to Valerie for being part of this little series. I'm so excited for two upcoming collaborations that Bespoke Boston Weddings has with VS Photography all leading up to our first ever Bridal Pop Up Event on June 25th! Definitely will be sharing all the photos and details as they come out!!
Valerie has the most calm and nurturing personality out there - definitely a bonus for anyone shooting with her. Have you ever thought of taking boudoir photos? What's the style of photo you'd lean towards?
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