We caught up with the brilliant and insightful April Taylor a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Hi April , thanks for joining us today. Risking taking is a huge part of most people’s story but too often society overlooks those risks and only focuses on where you are today. Can you talk to us about a risk you’ve taken – it could be a big risk or a small one – but walk us through the backstory.
I’ve taken many risks over the years, but one risk in particular was moving from my hometown in California and moving all the way to Georgia. It was a huge risk because I had built a reputation and a great clientele in Sacramento,Ca and I was walking out on faith to where absolutely no one knew me or what I had done in my photography career. It was terribly hard, I actually took 1 whole year off from my business to make sure my family settled in with this big move . After a year I realized I was missing taking photos and started trying to get my feet wet again in a place that is so saturated with photographers. Many challenges and honestly I was afraid of failure. But I started networking which was helpful and my mentor that sadly has now passed away , helped land me some gigs one of which was as media on the red carpet for ATL Housewives. From there I started getting into social media more actively mind you this was in 2015. I’ve been able to build a good clientele here now but the process has been very challenging especially over these last few years and suffering through different tragedies .
I am grateful for taking the leap of faith and all the risks to come here to Georgia it’s definitely been an experience with lots of trial and errors and lessons .
April , before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
It all started back in 2009 with an old Nokia flip phone and MySpace. I had an idea and a passion and was going to change everyone’s profile pic one snap at a time.
I couldn’t afford a fancy camera and I often had lens envy lol, but I realized it’s not the size of the lens but the person behind the lens that matters. I captured pics of people for free, until one day someone actually wanted to pay me for my work!
Ever since then the fire was lit! I’m from California born and raised and that’s where Photos by A-Love originated.
In 2012, I was Awarded Exceptional Woman of Color in the category of Entrepreneur/Innovator for my work as an entrepreneur and work efforts in the Community, also a Semi-finalist in the Raw Natural Born Artist Contest for Photographer of The Year. Having worked with numerous Makeup Artists, Fashion Designer, Hairstylists, Local music Artists, I have maintained my passion and I love to have fun and bring laughter to my Clients.
In 2014, I relocated to Georgia where no one knew me or my resume and I had to build from the ground up from scratch, I’ve faced many challenges and tragedies that almost made me throw in the towel. Fast forward to 2019, I was Awarded as Best Photography Studio in Snellville, all my blood sweat, and tears lots of tears I won and was Awarded 2020 Among THE BEST OF GWINNETT, I was determined to win THE BEST,
and by His grace I just won THE BEST of Gwinnett County for 2021!! My story doesn’t end here and I have a lot more work to do but I’m so blessed and grateful and I give all glory to God.
I love fashion and glamour photography.
The majority of my career has been geared towards that niche. I love editing and beauty retouching. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of birthday shoots where I create a whole party scene. At this time, I book a lot of headshots and birthdays. I now work out of my in-home studio.
I think what sets me apart is I have the gift to Gab lol sometimes I talk too much but every client I work with my goal is to make them comfortable and feel beautiful all while we talk about everything under the sun and laugh a lot! Laughter is key.
We’d love to hear a story of resilience from your journey.
Wow, I have so many stories where I almost completely threw in the towel . Trying to build a business plus raise kids talk about a full time job of being overwhelmed, and then life hits hard with tragedies and loss .
Moving to a whole new state posed many challenges, about 2 years after my move my amazing Mentor Sean Imageking passed away from heart complications, during that time I had just gotten my studio and I was so excited to share the news with him and I learned he died , I was devastated and felt lost because he helped guide me In So many ways every since then I still haven’t found a new amazing mentor such as him.
In 2017 another near tragedy struck that almost made me completely walk away from my business, my daughter attempted suicide but by his grace and mercy she survived and it was a very long road of healing for us both, and I stopped doing business for awhile and once the medical bills rolled in I lost my studio . After losing my studio I worked so hard for, I felt as though I wanted to just give up completely but an opportunity in business arose and I knew it was a sign to get up and dust myself off and get my head back into the game of doing what I loved to do which was capture beauty and smiles
I’m definitely finding that my resilience and bounce back game is strong!
Any advice for growing your clientele? What’s been most effective for you?
My most effective strategy for building clientele is just being my natural self, I am honest and I am transparent in who I am. I will tell you I’m not a technical person, I don’t know everything about lighting , and cameras etc, but what I do know is how to be a go getter, a people person and to achieve laughter and smiles to get the images I need. I’ve had some clients for a lifetime and I even have clients that have flown me back to California to have me shoot them cause they don’t want to work with anyone else. Bottom line be genuine and love what you do.
- Website: Www.PhotosbyAlove.com
- Instagram: Photosbyalove
Photos by A-Love LLC Makeup Nicole Matta