Meet Anastasia Campos, a documentary photographer and long-time Herbie, who started photographing family and friends and ended up with a successful business!
1. Tell us a little bit about your business.
I specialize in documentary photography. What does that mean? I like to tell real stories, stories of people and the places they live in. My work focuses on activity — capturing life as it happens.
2. How did you get into photography, and how long have you been working as a photographer?
I've been working as a photographer for about 6 years, starting with a point-and-shoot (the little square cameras you use to take pictures of your dessert... wait, that's only me?). I started with my life: my friends, travel, my dog. I eventually printed some images and brought them down to our monthly art walk. When I made $275 after my first night, I thought there might be something to this photography-for-money thing.
3. What motivated you to start your own photography business?
I started my business after about 3 years of being asked, "You have a camera, right?" and doing exceptional amateur work for free. People around me were getting engaged, having babies and birthday parties — and I was the friend with the camera. A couple years (and about 1,000 awkward pictures) later, I opened shop.
4. Is this a full-time gig, or something you do on the side, a hobby?
I'm a photographer by nature, which means if you're within 30 feet, you're material (ask my husband). I’m a full-time stay at home wife, photographer and writer in that order, so yes, I set my own schedule and work in my pajamas. I also work for Simple Health Ministries, which is a health education ministry owned by my amazing mother-in-law Becky Campos, who reclaimed her health from Stage 2 breast cancer with a plant-based diet.
5. How long have you been a member of the HH community?
I'm a lifelong vegetarian and have been plant-based and a member of HH for the past 3 years.
6. What advice do you have for anyone interested in a photography career?
There is nothing more important than following your vision. If you don't know what that is yet, you're just like everyone else. The only recipe for finding your voice is practice, practice, practice. I'm serious! Get out there! I also recommend keeping a tally of what works and what doesn't. That will save you a headache or two.
7. What is the most rewarding part of your business/work?
The most rewarding aspect of my work is actually shooting. I like to think that the images are my only clients. Walking down the street with my camera in hand, I completely disappear. Time stands still when you’re doing what you’re meant to do. This is the most satisfying aspect of my work.
8. What is the most challenging aspect?
The most challenging aspect is artistic compromise — a HUGE no-no, though I've done it too many times. I seek to live by my own standards of success (which are pretty high) — when I've let things like opinion or money dictate my decisions, my work suffers.
9. Does your business directly relate to your Herbivore lifestyle?
Yes and no. It relates because my Herbivore lifestyle is all about vitality and life — the very things I wish to capture in photographs.
10. Anything else you'd like to add or share?