Connecting Creatives: Elena Strawn Photography
The Six Degrees Creative brand is all about connection. With the Connecting Creatives segment the goal is to highlight creatives and entrepreneurs in our communities and share their journey. No matter the outlet or industry, it is important we support each other’s growth both professionally and personally. Together we can make being a creative or running a small business sustainable and successful.
This week we highlight photographer and creative Elena Strawn of Elena Strawn Photography. A passionate concert photographer, Elena photographed 175 concerts in 2019 including shows at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium and Temple in San Fransisco as well as larger festivals like SnowGlobe. Her dedication to her craft is clear and can be seen in every photo she captures.
Read more about Elena Strawn Photography below and support her creative journey by following her on Instagram, purchasing a print from her store, or by simply telling a friend!
Hi! Thank you for taking the time to be part of Connecting Creatives. Can you tell us more about your background and how you got started on your creative journey?
Hey! Thank you so much for having me. This is such a cool opportunity to be a part of and I have loved reading all the other posts! I picked up my first camera about 5 years ago for a class in high school and I haven’t looked back since. I didn’t think much of it at the time and was looking at photography as just a class that I needed to take.
It wasn’t till later in the year when I realized I loved being in the darkroom and when I was at a concert I knew I wanted to be on the other side of the barricade taking photos of my favorite bands and artists capturing memories.
What keeps you engaged and passionate about your small business?
There is a lot that keeps me engaged and passionate about photography. One thing that keeps me passionate about photography is that there is always something new to learn. My editing style has been evolving since I started photography and it is something that has been so fun to dive more into during the past year. The ever evolving aspect of editing photos has kept me busy during a year with little new work and seeing my progress over the year with old photos and new edits has been very rewarding.
If you could give advice to your younger business self what would it be?
The main bit of advice I would give to my younger business self is say yes to everything and every job that comes your way. I think that being open and always saying yes to jobs that come your way is something that is very important and helps build your brand. I would also say that if you feel burnt out that it is okay to take a step back and take a breath.
What is a challenge you have faced as a small business and how have you overcome it?
One of the main challenges that I have faced is the pandemic. I photographed a handful of shows right before the pandemic hit, but definitely not having photographed many shows in 2020 was tough for me. I have been lucky enough to photograph a livestream show here and there, but it's a different experience.
It was especially hard for me coming off a year where I photographed about 175 shows in 2019 and I quickly had to think about how I wanted to keep my creative juices flowing while live music is on hold. One thing that helped me during these times was shooting more film and nature. Going out and enjoying my local parks and taking photos brought me great joy and the creative fix that I needed.
What do you want people to take away from your small business?
I would love for people to see more than just a photo and see a story from my photography. I want people to relate to my work and feel something from seeing my photos. Hopefully my photos invoke emotion and make people think and remember the moment if they were at that concert or have ever been to a place that I have taken photos at.
What is the next milestone for you?
Hopefully in the near future I will get to check a few things off the bucket list like going on my first tour and getting to photograph album artwork! I would also love to have a few more photos of mine published, but until then I will just keep working at it and taking everything in. I have also been working for my friend LP Giobbi’s nonprofit Femme House and we have a ton of fun projects in the pipeline that are coming this year!
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