We had the good fortune of connecting with Ali Tso and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ali, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking.
Life is full of risks! I think to achieve any goal or dream requires us to have the courage to take a risk. But I think what makes risk taking so scary is the fear of uncertainty. I grew up doing gymnastics for most of my life and I think that really shaped who I am. We would practice, practice, practice all year long just for a few months of intense competition. We would train our bodies as well as our minds to handle high pressure situations. Plus the sport itself is very risky! I really struggled with fear throughout my gymnastics career as well as in certain areas of my life, but I always had the support of my coaches and teammates and that helped me tremendously. Learning to face my fears was very challenging, but it helped me grow enormously. I often joke that if I could survive gymnastics, I could survive anything haha. I learned how to overcome fear and take healthy risks. For instance, it helped me have the courage to start my photography business! I believe that when we are given the opportunity to pursue a passion or dream, take it! I fell in love with photography more recently in my life. I was actually pursuing a degree in counseling to launch a career in sports psychology before I even discovered photography. I suppose it was a leap of faith, but I saw the freedom and fulfillment in starting my own business. You don’t achieve your dreams by playing it safe!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My absolute favorite part of photography is capturing the emotions, love, and precious in-between moments. I’ve always had a passion for people and it’s SO awesome that I get to celebrate and document tangible moments that people can cherish for a lifetime. I think that choosing to be an artist or creative as a profession definitely has some challenges, but it is also the most rewarding career I’ve ever experienced. I get to meet so many people and hear their stories, and there are always new things that I learn from the people I meet. I think that the most fun part of being a photographer is that I get to create in the moment with people. I keep my photoshoots very playful and light-hearted. It should be fun!! And I want everyone to leave feeling good.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m very active and adventurous! We would definitely explore a new hike in Sedona, Flagstaff, or even a beautiful creek or lake up north. Arizona is just so beautiful and diverse in nature! It also makes for some gorgeous backgrounds in photos. I would then probably take them indoor rock climbing at my favorite spot – Focus Climbing Center. I’m also a huge fan of discovering new breweries and yummy food. My favorite local brewery is Beer Shop Co. You’ll have to try my favorite beer, Church Music!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am so lucky to have so much love and support in my life. My friends, family, and coaches all deserve a shoutout! But I think one of my biggest influences is my boyfriend Zach. We had just started dating at the time, but I remember sitting with him one evening having dinner out on a patio talking about our futures and careers. I was at another crossroad in my life struggling with whether I should move back to Colorado and finish my graduate degree in counseling or to completely jump ship and pursue my passion of photography. I was hindered by the fear and uncertainty of if I was good enough, starting all over, and even what people might think of me. But I admit, there was a little part of me just looking for any reasonable excuse to go for it. I remember expressing all of these fears to Zach and he just so lightly says, “But what if everything goes right?” Gosh, he’s so dang positive! That conversation changed me because I actually believed him. I’m so thankful for his encouragement and kindness throughout my journey.
Ali Tso Photography, LLC