We had the good fortune of connecting with Laurel Olotoa and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Laurel, what role has risk played in your life or career?
By definition risk is “a situation involving exposure to danger.” by this definition I wouldn’t say I have put myself in “danger.” However, I believe that “calculated risk” has everything to do with growing ones business, No successful entrepreneur will say that they, at some point didn’t “put it all on the line” to move forward or further their careers. Sometimes you just have to jump into the deep end and quit doubting yourself. For me, that meant jumping into a career that may be heavily saturated and spending the money & time to better my skills. 10 years ago this meant buying a 2nd home and flipping it. With small margins and very little money I pinched pennies to make it work and then snowballed that into another property and another. I’m currently now fixing up my first home purchased back in 2013 and will be using that equity to start the next endeavor. I’ve spent the last 10 years flipping homes and tackling interior design projects, but realized I needed more. In 2018 I jumped head first into starting up my photography business. Something I have always loved doing as a hobby since high school & as a creative I longed for another outlet. Risk, is everything here. Through trail and error and building my portfolio over the years I was able to do just that. Now, just 4 years later, I am a published and award winning fine art photographer. That said, I’m no where near done with all I want to accomplish. I’m on my way to completing my flight hours and will obtain my private pilots license this year & I’m currently working on music & releasing my first single. If anything, risk taking is living. Without it, you would end up living your life with regrets and that is the last thing I would ever want.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am constantly inspired by the people I meet, the cultures I experience and the travels I take. My approach to photography has always been more than your regular “point and shoot.” session. As everyone has a camera now a days, I knew my skillset was always about ART first and foremost. Over the years I learned that my love to create portraits and make women and children feel beautiful was what made me most happy. With such a heavy saturated field of photographers now a days I knew I had to be different and find my niche. I’m different than most as I don’t just add a filter to a photo or upload and send. I hand edit every photo to what I saw that day. Each photo is a work of art. Quality over quantity! This was a difficult challenge to overcome at first as it was a new concept to many when purchasing photos packages. However, I am a artist first and photographer second. I want you to print my photos, have them on canvas and show them off as works of art. Not just upload to your social media accounts and leave them there to be buried and forgotten over the years.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Born and raised in Washington State there are too many to list. However, one close to my heart and something I’ve been doing since I was a child is taking a ferry ride to Bainbridge island for the day & hitting up the small viking town of Poulsbo. While there you must check out Sluys Poulsbo bakery for AMAZING donuts and walk the waterfront or rent a kayak. If your up for a bit of a road trip, do drive to the San Juan Islands ferry to Friday Harbor or drive along Deception Pass. You can always take a trip out to Mount Rainier National park which will NEVER disappoint as the beauty is year round.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
To my husband, he who has supported me, pushed me and guided me along my entire journey so far. I love you!

Website: www.laurelolotoa.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lo_portraiture/ https://www.instagram.com/laurelslandscapes/

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/laurel-olotoa

Facebook: www.facebook.com/LaurelOlotoaPhotography

Other: www.instagram.com/laurelslandscapes/ TIKTOK https://www.tiktok.com/oellamoon

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