We had the good fortune of connecting with Laura Gordillo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Laura, what makes you happy? Why?
Running business comes with many challenges. There are so many different aspects you have to manage and it can be very difficult to keep up with the workload. I can honestly say one thing that brings me extreme happiness is the end result of all the hard work I put into each session. From the initial inquiry, to the location and clothing/color scheme planning. To meeting of some nervous clients , making them feel comfortable in front of the camera and assuring that you are capturing beautiful images they will cherish forever. Culling each image carefully, meticulously editing each and every image. Then FINALLY, delivering a gallery that took so much planning and preparation for. You wait patiently for any type of reaction. Then , the email arrives that usually reads; ” OMG! I LOVE THEM! Beautiful job Laura!” This part right here. Makes me feel so much happiness. It always reassures me of why I do what I do and why I am so passionate about my art.
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 path has definitely included adversity and several bumps along the way. My family with the exception of my husband doubted me and thought I was crazy for leaving teaching. Learning what my value is and being confident that people would be willing to pay that was a struggle. The time commitment that took away from my family. The financial ups and downs starting out of not knowing how much money I would make from week to week and month to month. My husband has a career but we still need my income to live our life. The fear of not being able to contribute to our family motivates me. Branding and rebranding. I could talk about struggles all day but every one of them has made me better and stronger.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Phoenix has so much to offer! I am often asked what are some MUST do things while visiting: Day 1 : Start off in downtown Phoenix take a bike ride down Roosevelt Row and enjoy some of the GREAT eateries and bars it has to offer. IF on a first Friday of the month enjoy some beautiful art. Tour galleries, venues and art-related spaces to see a variety of artwork and to enjoy the spirit and culture of the city. Day 2: Heritage Square: Visit the amazing Science museum and end the day at the famous Pizzeria Bianco and Bar Bianco which was featured on Oprah and is visited by people from all around the world. Day 3: Diamondback Game! You can’t come to Phoenix and NOT go to a professional baseball game and you can’t go wrong with those delicious hot dogs! Day 4: Phoenix Suns Game. We are so lucky to have NBA , MLB, NFL and NHL teams. Being able to see games in person is a one of a kind experience! Day 5: Tempe. We can go down to Tempe town lake and rent a boat and bask under the sun. Stop by the Center of the Arts and admire some art then finish off by walking down main street and enjoy a some delicious food or cocktails many restaurants have to offer. Day 6 : Old Town Scottsdale – You can spend the day around the Fifth Avenue shops, trying on Native American jewelry in Historic Old Town or splurging at Scottsdale Fashion Square a 3 story mall! At night, dine at one of Old Town’s renowned restaurants, check out the weekly Scottsdale ArtWalk, or check out the clubs in the Entertainment District.
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 was a 3rd grade teacher that loved to take pictures. People would comment on every day pictures I took with a regular point and shoot digital camera. I always had an interest in photography. My husband encouraged me to pursue it, he thought I had an eye for it when I didn’t. He knew I wanted to stay home when we had kids but knew I would still desire to bring in my own income. He bought me my first DSLR for Christmas and created my LLC. He said what I did with it was up to me. I slowly began going to conferences and workshops to learn. I continued to self-teach myself and take pictures of people to develop. My daughter was born a year later and I put everything into my business after that. I never went back to the classroom and have been running my photography business as my sole income for almost 9 years.