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

Hi Ayla, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I attended Charleston County School of the Arts in South Carolina from 7th grade until I graduated High School. I majored in Creative Writing and had a personal interest in poetry, but the entire school was based around every art form. From music, to acting, to visual arts, we were all immersed in creativity every day and it was incredibly celebrated. This became a core facet of my joy and personality. I briefly worked as a Veterinary Technician and in a pre-school. Both jobs were important and rewarding, but neither really filled my cup. It was only once I returned to photography, a marrying of poetry and visual art, that I found my joy returned and I’ve been able to grow in that space of passion.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As a lifestyle family photographer, I am in a very very large ocean of several other extremely talented creatives. It is especially difficult to stand out in a media-based industry. I don’t necessarily stand out in an online presence, nor do I strive to. For me, the success comes from the intimate connections I make with every client or family I meet. I genuinely love to know people’s stories, and to capture even just a moment of that for them to preserve is priceless for me. I am always the most excited about a family that is just as excited to be photographed as I am to meet and know them. That energy translates into images and galleries every time.
Today, I am still a small, but passionate, fish in that massive ocean. I got my start in Charleston, SC where I had the advantage of a “guaranteed” client base. Now, here in Atlanta, I am starting from scratch and re-learning a lot. I am using it to my advantage to improve my client relations and the actual technical parts of my business.
When I began, I had a simple Canon Rebel and stock lens. I bought it to take images of my firstborn son. A friend of mine asked me to take photos of her daughter one day and she paid me fifty dollars. I will never forget the feeling of what it was like to be recognized for my art, and to have someone actually believe in me. I promised myself when I first began that I was “allowed to suck”, and that I wouldn’t quit just because my skills weren’t on par with other photographers who have spent years in the business. That has paid off immensely, and getting to look back to mid 2018 and compare my progress is very rewarding.

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.
I think I need a best friend to show me around! As a transplant, I am still yet to learn many of the amazing things to see, do, or eat.

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?
At the very root of my success comes the never-ending faith that I would be amazing at *something* one day from F. Rutledge Hammes. I would be alone in my ventures without the incredible love of my friends who are all successful and talented entrepreneurs. And what would a shout-out be without thanking an innumerable number of my family members for fostering and encouraging my passion to create.

Website: http://imagerybyayla.com/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/imagerybyayla

Facebook: Facebook.com/imagerybyayla

Image Credits
Photo of myself and two boys- Locallie Yours

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlanta is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.