We had the good fortune of connecting with Bailee Lewis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bailee, why did you pursue a creative career?
As a student in high school I always felt drawn to the arts. However, I was never very talented in mediums like drawing or painting. I desperately wanted a hobby that I could use my imagination and creativity but also as a way to interact with people. As silly as it seems the show America’s Next Top Model inspired me to translate that into ideas for photoshoots. I took some photography classes and soon enough I was working for several small brands to shoot product and fashion photos and doing portraits for locals and even clients out of the state or country. This hobby became my job throughout high school and is now my career.
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.
As a photographer almost every style is incredibly competitive and it’s really difficult to find your niche when you first get started. Instead of just taking the route of commercial portrait photography, I try to incorporate artistic elements in my photos. For me this means playing with textures, colors, fun cinematic-like concepts and taking inspiration from other parts of culture just as any artist does. It was a challenge finding inspiration that could translate into photographs but I’ve overcome that by using movies, songs, TV shows, paintings and other art forms to give my photos a story. I guess my hope is that when people view my images that they see more to it than just the visual aesthetics and can fill in the blanks with story or even just a feeling they can relate to.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First I would want to take them to Sip & Shop in Santan Village Mall. The shop showcases many small businesses. where they could find souvenirs. It also feels really good knowing that your money is going towards a local small business since that is what helps them to achieve their dream. I would also likely take them to Joe’s Farm Grill and to walk around Agritopia Farm to enjoy the sunny weather and the beautiful flowers and plants found at the farm.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to not only my parents for helping me jump start my business with the materials back in high school but also one of my long time clients, the owner of A Worthy Brand. The owner Laura Michael hired me to shoot modeled product photos for her jewelry brand when I was new to the industry. She took a chance on me and provided me with feedback, tools and encouragement that has helped me to grow my business in the product and fashion photography area of the industry.