Today we’d like to introduce you to Valerie Lopez.
Founded by Valerie and Camilo, the idea first came to them while vacationing during the summer. Surrounded by unbelievable landscapes and stunning architecture, Valerie, a Miami-based photographer, was torn between the desire to get behind the lens, and also be in front of it. Wanting creative and spontaneous shots of them on vacation, Valerie and Camilo imagined this would be the perfect opportunity to work with a photographer – but had no idea how to find one in a foreign city. After many awkward selfies and out-of-focus shots captured by strangers, they realized they may have just discovered a niche in the market of travel photography…
Once back home in Miami, Valerie shared this idea with her mom, whose only reaction was to walk away and return with a pile of old photographs. The photographs showed Valerie’s parents vacationing in Rome circa 1986 – timeless moments captured in portraits. “Your dad used to do this”, her mom told her. They’d go on vacation and he’d book a photographer to take professional shots of them. Valerie never met her father – he passed away before she was born – but through this experience, she felt his presence more than ever before and took it as a sign to launch Shoot My Travel.
Inspired by the connection to Valerie’s father and excited to share this idea with travelers all over the world, Shoot My Travel was founded in 2015.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The struggles are many from personal to the business side of things but you have to keep a positive mindset and accept the challenges that come along the way. I think one of the most challenging was having access to the industry, to resources and to the correct people, I’ve always believed that is that access and those connections that allow you to thrive. On a personal level, it was gaining the confidence and learning that you have the power and knowledge to bring your idea to success and that that creativity and determination is what got you to where you are in the first place. How my grandma would tell me, its not the boat, its the captain.
Remember that when one rises, we all rise!
What should we know about Shoot My Travel? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I’m the co-founder and CEO of Shoot My Travel.
A creative problem solver and photographer. I like to tell stories, that’s why I love what we do because we tell stories and capture personal history on a daily basis. I’m proud of providing tools for photographers to continue doing what they love and grow as professionals. Providing thousands of jobs to photographers in over 80 countries and receiving an email from a traveler saying that their experience was unforgettable is what fuels me and that human connection is what makes us different. We are driven by passion and power by tech!
I’m a passionate, fearless dreamer and achiever. Everything I set my mind to do, I achieve or at least tried, I believe you don’t wish for dreams, you work for the dreams!
Do you have a lesson or advice you’d like to share with young women just starting out?
Ask yourself, what are some of the weakness and surround yourself with people that are the best at that.
Take feedback! It’s very important to learn from a place of wanting to constantly improve and not from a place of being defensive.
Be curious, resourceful and resilient.
Know that a NO means next.
Starting price to book a photographer is $195/hour (prices vary depending on destination)