I specialize in capturing classic weddings, fun family photo sessions, celebratory B'nai Mitzvah, and influential events for political candidates and companies.
Born in Peru, and now based in Washington, D.C., I love traveling and dining at every oyster bar along the way. I can’t wait to team up with you and capture your personal piece of history.
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This year, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the future. As 2016 started, I shifted my focus to spending quality time with my family and friends; I made sure I felt like I actually had a summer and spent time outdoors; made decisions based on what makes me happy and not what pleases everyone else; learned to compromise (hello only child!); learned to ask for help and let go; learned to give myself time off.
That led to the decision to travel to Spain and France. The purpose of the trip was first and foremost to see my cousins and my aunt and uncle, but also for me to spend time exploring alone. I didn’t quite expect that those two weeks were going to lead me to where I am today.
Reconnecting with my cousins reinforced my belief on quality time with family. It was amazing talking to them about our past as kids in Peru and what it feels like now to live in a developed country as adults. They gave me ideas on my photography business and challenged me in my beliefs. As the days went on, I realized that I really wanted more days like the days I was spending with them.
One early morning, we had arrived at the train station and got seated to depart for Barcelona. As we were counting down the minutes, I looked out the window saw an advertisement directly in front of me.
“It’s not Mondays you hate. What you don’t like, is your job.”
That ad really got me thinking. I liked the work I was doing and had some great coworkers, but it just wasn’t making me happy. It was actually doing the exact opposite, and it was draining.
As I said goodbye to my cousins and continued to France on my own, I had some time to think about this year and the strides I made. I let go of so many things that no longer served purpose in my life and my full-time corporate job was one big dark piece that was still looming over me.
On my last day in Europe, I took a stroll to a nearby restaurant in Paris for breakfast and sat outside enjoying the view, the summer breeze, and my espresso. As I watched people head to work, I thought about the lifestyle I wanted. One where I chose the hours and would be excited to get up in the morning to do something that makes me happy. And I certainly know that photography makes me happy. I have the privilege to photograph people during moments they will cherish forever. Those moments, like a wedding, a family portrait, or any sort of celebration, is always remembered. I want days to brainstorm at my own pace; to photograph my couples, families, corporate clients during the time they feel their best; to connect with creatives and learn from other photographers; time to spend with my family, in another next state, or continent.
When I returned home, I looked at my job differently. As the weeks went by, I realized that the decision had already been made and all I had to do was put in my two weeks notice.
Today, I leave my full-time corporate job full of excitement for what’s to come. Thank you to all who have stepped in front of my camera and allowed me to capture your smiles, accomplishments, and many happy life moments. I honestly wouldn’t be here without you.
Cheers to new adventures and officially enjoying Mondays!
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Ana Isabel is a portrait and event photographer in Washington, D.C. and San Antonio, TX.