We had the good fortune of connecting with Angela Ainsworth and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Angela, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
Burnout is real and there’s always time to make room to refresh and restore self. Business owners/Creatives often eventually find ourselves burned out and that’s due to us taking less time for ourselves while balancing so much regularly. Focus is wonderful. Drive is wonderful, but we have to remember to rest, refresh, and restore ourselves so that we can put out our best quality products, service and/or content.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
Of course. My entrance into the world of Photography was definitely challenging and absolutely overwhelming but I’ve learned a lot and of course my journey to where I am now in my career (a Professional Photographer & Photo Editor) has been far from linear. I went from being a Culinary Intern at the Art Institute after high school to a Visual Merchandiser for Gap & Fossil while also working in Corporate for the last 13 of my 33 years of life…. I mostly dabbled in Photography off and on throughout inconsistently until 2018 when I was laid off from my Procurement position in Oil & Gas After Market Sales. I found myself craving the creative expression that I had hardly been able to find time for. So after a couple of weeks of debating, I purchased a new camera and started to invest my time in watching countless YouTube videos and joining Facebook groups for meetups to create content.
What I am most proud of, is my ability to remain firm in bringing my vision to fruition and to push until I succeed. It’s hard sometimes but I’ve always been able to push through. I also am happy that over the last few years, I have honed and refined my retouching craft to help other Photographers elevate their work. I’m also currently growing my own network through my newly curated Social Strategy.
Some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way are very simple. Stay true to self even when it makes you seem like a “martyr.” Als, always remain professional and believe in yourself even when you feel like no one else does.
What I’d like the world to know about Me, My Brand and My story is that I am a Woman of simple desires and I want to create art that grabs attention; however, I’d like it to be true to my character. I put myself in everything I do and I make sure to always plan everything I can because without a plan, things tend to go off the rails quickly. Plans are also just easier to follow. I’d also like to mention that in the last year, I have begun sharing the knowledge I’ve gained to help others use their platform/equipment to increase their awareness, following & engagement. I’ve also recently begun rolling out easy to follow in-person and virtual one-on-ones and I’m releasing a virtual workshop soon.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I have friends all over the world and anytime they come to visit, we eat…a lot… *laughs*. After all, Taste is Experience and that’s one of the truest things you’ll ever hear me say. Typically when a friend is coming to town, I tell them to be prepared for a food journey. So if they’re in town for a week long trip, it’s going to look a little like this: Breakfast at Sweet Paris Creperie, Black Walnut or Toasted Yolk at least 3 times during their visit. Crepes, Chicken & Waffles and Churro Donuts are EVERYTHING. A daily trip to Barbarossa Coffee because their Chemex brewed coffee is a sight to behold, the Avocado Toast is amazing, the Honey Milk Latte is exquisite and I can eat a ton of the Sticky buns. Ramen, Baos and Dumplings are always on the list as well so we have to get Jinya Ramen. They are my absolute favorite Ramen restaurant. I’m obsessed with Japanese cuisine and have to have it at least once a week every week.
Let me also not forget the city tour. We’d travel through Downtown, shop in the Galleria (lunch at Ruth & Chris’ is a must), head down to thrift in the Montrose area and visit the Museum District. I always make sure they see the installations at Avenida/Discovery Green.We’d also have to pick up flowers and do Charcuterie in Bayou park as well as visit Nordstrom Spa for a facial and massage for relaxation. Houston definitely has a lot to offer and a lot to see so I know I’m missing something.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’ve met so many wonderful people throughout my years of creating and so I truly have to dedicate this shout out to every Creative who have ever encouraged and supported me. I also want to specifically credit my love for his never-ending support, the Ladies of the Black Female Photographers group for their advice, and my best Photographer friend, Chris who constantly tells me I’m too talented to ever give up.
All images including retouch were photographed and retouched by me.