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

Hi Gabriela, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I was in my senior year of college in spring of 2020, and wanted to get into senior/graduation photography. I had done a few photoshoots and a wedding for friends and family, and would go around taking photos at parties just capturing people having fun, but wanted to expand to more people. Once COVID hit, I had a huge opportunity to take all that down time and learn how to use a camera better, work with lighting, develop my style, etc. I have always had a creative side, whether through painting, drawing, or other crafts, so photography was a new and fun way for me to expand my creativity. I really liked how I could capture what I see in my mind into photographs and provide memories for people that can last a lifetime. While I was looking for a post-grad full-time job, I started to photograph people more and more, and now have continued photography while having a full-job, and although oftentimes stressful, I love it!

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.
Personally, I think that my style is bright, vibrant, lively, warm, and I hope it to be timeless. I have found that I love photographing people having fun, being joyous, celebrating, and being in the moment. I think that all of life, all the stages, moments, relationships, is a celebration (from a song my family would listen to growing up), and really try to capture that in my photos.

The largest part of a photographer’s brand is how they edit. I had a lot of trouble finding how I like to edit at first, and sometimes still second guess myself- as we all do! My instagram feed is flooded with so many different, trendy styles that I really like, but when I tried to replicate something similar, it didn’t feel like myself. I have over time, taken feedback from others and my end goal into account and have incorporated that into what it is now. I have gone through many, many preset packs and so many different methods to find what I like.

I have only gotten where I am, and will always have room for more growth, by trying out new things, being pushed out of my comfort zone, and learning from past experiences. When I first started taking photos, I really had to put myself out there, sometimes even asking strangers if I could take their photos for free, which was something that was very difficult for me. But now, the experiences with weddings and sessions, I can see my skill of directing and being vocal has improved tremendously.

Sometimes you just have to go for things, no matter how out of reach they may seem, build out a small step by-step plan, don’t get stuck somewhere, take time off to rejuvenate and recharge, and keep on improving. One of the things I am proudest of is having some of my photos in a magazine and on a magazine cover. which I wouldn’t have thought that it would have been possible for me when I first started!

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.
Growing up in the suburbs a little outside of Atlanta, I have a few spots around there that I would bring friends to. For food spots, I would go to the Halcyon to either eat at Never Enough Thyme for Brunch and either Gu’s (Halcyon or Krog St. Market location) or Cherry Street Brewing for dinner! Downtown Alpharetta also has some great food options, my favorite being Jekyll Brewery, where I will get their bison burger and fries every time. Ponce City Market has been a favorite spot for me since high school is a great option for food (H&F Burger is my favorite), drinks, shopping all in one spot! And the PCM rooftop is a great spot for getting a great view of the skyline and playing games! Next to Ponce, I would definitely do some bar-hopping and eating along the Beltline and stop by Inman Park! Barcelona Wine Bar, Ladybird, Two Urban Licks, and New Realm Brewery are a few to-go spots. Piedmont Park is always a nice place to take a stroll around the park and get some fresh air, or host a picnic! I plan on branching out and trying out Estrella Rooftop, Tiny Lou’s, City Winery, and the restaurants at Politician Row. Some fun spots to go to on a weekend are Eclipse di Luna or Loca Luna, both have amazing food and lively atmosphere, and Dark Horse Tavern for some karaoke!

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?
First of all, big thanks to my friends and family who either first trusted me to capture their special moments before I even really knew what I was doing, or countless times would let me practice photographing with them, and would also support and share my business with others. Huge shoutout to YouTube, and Google, and all of the photographers that share their tips, tricks, and education material publicly online. I strongly believe in community over competition, so really appreciate when photographers are collaborate and we all can help build each other up. I have found many photographer friends that are all so encouraging to each other, sharing with each other what the challenges of being of a photographer are, which both helps us all know that we are all going through similar experiences and have support. My sister has also been a huge help with guidance in so many different areas and a great support, as we both have stepped into the world of photography.

Website: https://www.gabrielaisabelphoto.com/

Instagram: @gabriela.isabel.photography

Facebook: @gabriela.isabel.photography

Other: New website will be up in the spring!

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.