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Life & Work with Ruth Terrero

Hi Ruth, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
 After saving up enough money and doing some research, in 2013 I bought my first camera, it was an entry-level Nikon but my love for photography began way before that. I’m a dreamer and I’ve always loved the arts. Photography fascinates me and I’ve always admired photographers. I found it so amazing how they could express their creativity and help others see things from their perspective through photography. So I decided to experience that for myself. My dad also loves photography. Back then, he’d always have his Kodak point and shoot film camera or video camera with him to capture family vacations or just everyday moments. He doesn’t shoot much these days but I recently realized after looking through old family albums that he must have influenced me.

The first time I took a photo with my Nikon, I was slightly disappointed with the result. I thought I would just click a button and end up with a work of art, like magic. That’s when I realized that there’s more to photography than the equipment. There’s a science behind it and once I got over my momentary disappointment, that challenge made it all the more interesting to me. Learning about photography principles like aperture, ISO, and shutter speed was so exciting to me. I started as a self-taught photographer, getting my hands on as many Youtube videos and free photography courses as I could.

As I was learning the principles, I tried still life, nature, travel, portrait photography, and eventually wedding photography. I ended up absolutely loving wedding photography, which is my niche today. It was important for me to specialize in a specific type of photography and really master it. In 2017, I became an incorporated business as Ruth Terrero Photography and soon, the free education wasn’t enough. So I started investing in courses, joining communities, attending events, investing in better equipment, platforms, and everything that’d help my photography business grow. It’s been such a wonderful ride!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
 It hasn’t been a smooth road. When I started my photography business, I was a full-time business student with a full-time day job, juggling all three was hard. There were a lot of all-nighters and busy weekends. Additionally, as a solo business owner, I wear many hats: marketing, customer service, website design, blogging, social media management, accounting (my least favorite) and the list goes on and on. It can easily get overwhelming, I have experienced burnout and even felt like giving up at times. But the biggest challenge of all has been within me. Self-doubting because I lacked formal photography training. Wondering if it’s better to pursue my marketing background. Unsecured about not having what it takes and playing the comparison game. All things that are worthwhile are not easy. Running a business is hard. Every challenge I’ve experienced has taught me something and I’m thankful to God for giving me resilience, allowing me to adjust and keep moving forward.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a destination wedding photographer based in Tampa, Florida. I love wedding photography because I get to capture love, I get to capture some of the most important photos in a couple’s life, photos that get passed down through generations. My mission is to empower couples around the world to create their legacy of love by preserving memories and evoking emotion through fine art photography. And I empower my clients by guiding them (posing, advice, vendor recommendations, etc.) and making the wedding photography experience enjoyable and memorable. My brand is warm and personal. I’m constantly pushing myself and striving for more because I truly believe that there is always room for improvement. Personally, I’m an avid reader, a foodie (especially with Italian food) and I love traveling!

Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
 We all have a purpose, a unique set of gifts, a contribution to make to the world. We can either ignore that or take action. And if my journey can do anything for you, I hope it inspires you to take action! In the words of Steven Pressfield: “Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.”

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