We had the good fortune of connecting with Yvonne Villegas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Yvonne, how do you define success?
I feel like the meaning of success has changed for me over the years. At this stage in my life, it’s answering the question if I’m at peace which, to me, isn’t a simple answer. Success varies for everyone and my definition has evolved over time from material assets and money to asking myself, “Am I being the best version of my current self?” Currently, I feel successful. I consistently accomplish small goals that continue to feed my desire for adventure, improving my behavior, and increasing my creativity. Most importantly, answering the question do I feel I’ve succeeded when I look within. My goal is not to be happy all the time because I believe that’s impossible goal, but you can strive to be satisfied with who you are. In my earlier years, I worked non-stop to make sure I had that home, I bought that new car that I liked and was able to travel the world. At the time, this was what defined my success. This was the epitome of what I wanted the rest of my life to be. Then the recession happened and fed me a nice slice of humble pie. I was so busy trying to show what I thought success looked like, that I had failed to plan on how to keep being “successful”. What then? How do you define success when you’re a little jaded and everything you thought was important was stripped without your permission? I took a long deep look at my life and realized that my family and people who supported me made me still feel like I was doing something right. I felt my focus needed to shift. Since then my success is defined by answering, “Am I satisfied and at peace with my current life?” I do so by looking at both my emotional state and celebrating small victories. I invest time in people who reciprocate the intention of being good human beings. I found all things that made my heart heavy and began to strip them away if they were toxic. I continue to nourish relationships that need work, even if it’s a little bit at a time. I confronted my fear of taking a risk by launching my business. Knowing that it could be as successful as I want it to be but only if I keep at it. If I fail, I still have many things to be thankful for and of course a plan B. Am I the most successful photographer? No! Do I feel fulfilled with the work I do and people I meet? You bet! There is nothing more satisfying to me than having something you made be received with gratitude and smiles. I don’t compare myself to others, in business or in my personal life. I strive to be better than I was the day before and that, my friends, keeps feeding my feeling of success.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The journey has not been easy, but it has been as consistent as I have been in growing it. It takes time, patience and love. The key is to find ways to keep motivated when doors shut or when there are failures in the business. You can allow that to hinder and prevent growth or you can find a way to solve the issue and improve to move forward. If there’s one thing I would like the world to know about my photography is that translating my vision was not easy at first, but I have managed to do just that. I’m so excited when I have a session and I’m capturing this love or raw interactions for moments that will be cherished. It feeds my heart.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Ahh! So many places I love. I would definitely take people around market square and visit La Carafe for drinks and music. Additional bars: – Grand Prize bar – Axelrad – Cottonwood – St. Arnolds – The Big Easy for live music and drinks Hangout: – Hermann Park – Midtown – Discovery Green – Concert venues Interesting: – Sofar Houston – MFAH – Museum of Natural science during networking or salsa nights – The Big Easy.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Dedicated to my parents who always showed me a different perspective when times were dark.
Lisa Moreno Sklyer Marie Ryden Jesse Soto Marilyn quiroga, Cé Cì Líâ