We had the good fortune of connecting with Tania Ortiz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tania, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
My intention wasn’t to pursue an artistic or creative career, in fact I picked up my camera because I needed to find myself again. About two years or so, before I started photography I came a victim of a traumatic experience. I won’t get into depth, but I will say I’m safe, I’m loved, and extremely thankful for those around me. It was the most difficult chapter in my life and it took a great toll on me, but I had a decision to make. I had to choose whether to continue reliving what I went through or regaining my life back and accepting my new normal. It has helped me greatly not only to get to meet and work with new people, but it has also brought my mind to a clear and peaceful space. Every day I find myself growing in what I thought would be just a hobby. To me, it serves like my escape from reality. It has given me great satisfaction to be able to create what I envision, and the fact that people love my work makes it that much more gratifying. I always said I wanted to feel the phrase, “when you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like a job” and although I’ve had great jobs in the past, this one gives me that feeling.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from photography, it’s that this business is not a competition. I remember when I started (just a year ago), I constantly found myself comparing my work to other photogs with years of experience under their belt. I was my worst critic! I would get so frustrated because my work did not look like others or what I thought it should be. But that’s exactly what it is… it’s not supposed to! As cliché as it may sound that’s what makes us unique and creative. Like everything, it takes practice and you’ll eventually find your niche. Once I let go of that, I honestly feel like my work started flourishing and ever since I’ve constantly stayed booked. Never put down your camera! Practice with your friends and family. Do your research, and reach out to fellow photographers for questions! It doesn’t stop there, I feel like if you want to stay relevant you need to put yourself out there. Social media has been a great outlet for me. Post, post, post your work! One tip that I learned from another photographer is that when you’re beginning photography you don’t want to charge a ridiculous price when you don’t have much work to show. Start off super affordable and that’ll draw your customers. There, you’ll earn your practice and eventually build up your potential. Also, make sure to make your clients’ session enjoyable and one to remember. Learn a little bit about them and find what makes him comfortable because it’s not always easy being in front of the camera. Play some music, or start a conversation… The main goal is to have fun with it. I want your session to bring you as much joy as it brings me to shoot with you all. That is also another reason why I started photography, for the joy. Time is so bittersweet, and I feel like photography gives us that “pause” to cherish our memories forever.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Houston is filled with so much culture and diversity, so one thing you won’t have to worry about is finding something or somewhere to explore. Definitely do your research before hand because Houston is a large city. Some of my top favorite locations to suggest are around the downtown area. The museum district is a must if you’re a lover of art like myself. The Menil Collection is one of my favorites. Now let’s talk the food. Whatever you are in the mood for we have it! One of my favorite restaurants to stop why is the infamous Turkey Leg Hut. The food and the atmosphere is impeccable. Whatever your food options are there’s a restaurant at every corner! Also with great food, you have to accompany it with an even greater vibe. There’s plenty of spots filled with great music and lovely people. Houston is an overall amazing city to visit! I can’t say it enough you’ll have to see it for yourself!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My entire drive is dedicated to my daughter Everly. She is the sole reason why I started my photography business. She’s actually the reason behind the name Foreverly Photography.”For Everly.” Everything I do is for her. I want her to know that wherever life takes me with my business, she was the main purpose that lifted it all. My sister and amazing parents also play a vital part in keeping FEP running. Whether it’s watching my daughter while I’m shooting or assisting with sessions. They deserve just as much credit (Cris, I love you so much sis)!
I also want to thank everyone who has and continues to support me. There would be no Foreverly Photography without the recommendations and referrals.