We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Regina Rached a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Regina, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today Earning a full time living from one’s creative career can be incredibly difficult. Have you been able to do so and if so, can you share some of the key parts of your journey and any important advice or lessons that might help creatives who haven’t been able to yet?
It has been a long journey. I started making actual income in 2009 with my first wedding. I was also an elementary teacher back then. It helps to have a steady job with a paycheck while trying to build your business. Is it easy? Not in the least, it’s tiring and I’m happy I did this when I was younger. I used a credit card to purchase equipment and paid that off as soon as I could. I took on any photography work I could. After 5 yeas of teaching, in 2014, I decided to go full time with photography and felt confident with consistent bookings of weddings. It was so freaking scary, but I knew if I didn’t try I would end up quitting photography because I was overwhelmed.
Looking back, I do wish I decided to go full time sooner. There were a lot of personal things going on in my life, the loss of my mom was a big one that altered my course. I don’t regret anything, but my suggestion is to take the leap sooner than you think. If you put all your effort into your business you should have good ROI.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers?
I’m Regina Rached (pronounced Ra-shid since everyone asks). It comes from my Lebanese dad’s side. I was born overseas so I’ve been lucky to be traveling internationally since I was really young. I think this has helped me grow up with a unique perspective. I have always been deep and creative, photography was one of my outlets as a teenager. I also wrote a lot. My goal originally was to be a photojournalist in the Middle East. Instead, I got kinda thrown into weddings working with a friend second shooting in my early 20’s. I love capturing raw emotion. Any emotion. Photographing humans has been an honor. I also have a strong love for animals and including them in my work. Weddings became a great way to capture emotional things happening and the people it was happening to so I fell in love with them.
Music and movies are also a huge inspiration for me. I was never interested in anything traditional, so when it came to my photography, I didn’t want to offer the norm. Not just to stand out, but also because it feeds me creatively. Like any job, it can get mundane.
In 2020 I opened my dream studio space and started doing boudoir and creative portraits. I’ve redesigned the place as well to rent out to other creatives and I’m really proud of it. Getting to do less weddings and more creative work has been inspiring, and has helped me not get burnt out on weddings. I feel strongly about capturing individuals. We focus so much on family photos or wedding photos, what about us as unique beings? We deserve our own personal journey documented. And we can get as creative as you want, or as raw and stripped down as you want.
Is there a mission driving your creative journey?
I want to photograph humans in their own way. Just for them. Not for anyone else. I want to show all bodies and genders. I have created my studio space to be welcoming to all humans. I see so many that are feminine only and I wanted mine to be different. I’ve invested a lot of time and money into the space and hope that others see it the way I do.
My portrait and boudoir work can be seen at www.offbeatboudoir.com.
Can you share a story from your journey that illustrates your resilience?
From the very beginning I was told by everyone in my family that I wouldn’t succeed as a photographer and I would not make enough money to sustain a living. This is why I got a degree in Elementary Education instead of photography. Now, I’m not saying having a Fine Arts degree in Photography would have helped my business any because back then they weren’t teaching much of the business side, however, I think it would have pushed me toward being a photographer more quickly than switching paths to teach. Though I do love teaching and love doing mentorships and workshops for other photographers.
- Website: www.reginaasthephotographer.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/reginathephotographer
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/reginaasthephotographer
- Other: www.instagram.com/offbeatboudoir
Regina as The Photographer Chanel Fernandez Photography