I discovered a diamond. Specifically, I’m talking about the kind of person who enriches your life with their deep, delicate, storytelling perspective – on the world. What’s even more special is that I can’t describe in words what kind of person I’m talking about, but you can tell exactly what I mean when you look at their artistic compositions – the photographs that result from the hard work of a professional that moves me, unexpectedly, year after year.
Today is about Ana Maria and Ana Maria Sandu Photography, about the woman behind the remarkable stories presented in each photograph. We had a wonderful interview a few months ago – a meeting we managed to schedule after one year and a half! This is also one of the reasons I write excitedly, every line, every word.
What should you know about Ana Maria Sandu Photography?
If you want to immortalize the soul of your little one, moments of your family life or simply to have unique photos that automatically transport you into the fairytale world I mentioned above, you can choose one of the studio photography packages, with mythical, constantly changing sets, the most unique outfits and accessories for little ones…and mommies, plus an unparalleled level of patience.
To be honest, of all the qualities of this exceptional professional, I was very impressed by the respect she offers to every child, parent, grandparent…I found Ana Maria Sandu Photography’s Facebook page (link below) by chance. I wanted a photoshoot for Iris, who was about to turn 2 at the time, and I was nervous because I had an unpleasant experience with another professional in the past.
Ana Maria greeted us with a smile on her face, great composure, and an innate ability to adjust to our energy and needs. We were sure Iris would not smile, pose or cooperate in any way. But, the whole experience was…wow!
She captured her purity, her inner and outer beauty, her blissful innocence…simply put, when I look at photos from the photoshoots, Iris’ eyes are a magical, enchanting door that holds me still for a few moments. The whole experience flashes before my eyes, from the moment I found out I was going to be Iris’s mother, and the effect is a set of teary eyes. I feel blessed.
You’re probably wondering if a simple photoshoot can cause this amalgamation of feelings. For me – YES, because we go back to Ana Maria every year on Iris’ birthday as the photoshoot is an annual event, it’s part of our lives. It’s an important part of our lives, just ours, immortalized by an artist who has touched our hearts.
Let’s get to the interview!
Find out what Ana Maria thinks about entrepreneurship.
Manu: How did you decide to start this business?
Ana Maria: Since primary school, the classes I enjoyed the most were painting and Romanian literature. However, the path I chose was not in the artistic field, even though I felt I was not where I should be. It was during my time looking after the little ones, 6 years ago, during my parental leave, that something clicked. I had long wanted to develop this passion, to learn, to improve, so I attended the School of Photography with Dan Bălțat in Sibiu.
Then, in Bucharest, I attended graphic design and editing courses. Step by step, my children’s photography was paramount. I practiced all my knowledge and techniques on them, after which colleagues, acquaintances began to ask me if I wanted to photograph their little ones, grandchildren, etc. From recommendation to recommendation, I ended up offering photography packages for events, so – for me, each project was and is a special opportunity to create artistic compositions.
M: Did you ever think about giving up?
A: No, because I loved it so much and took each step with so much confidence that I saw my way forward, never expecting to get to where I am now. I’m always competing with myself, always trying to diversify, and the customer who comes back year after year, to be pleasantly surprised by something even better.
M: What is the biggest challenge you face, as an entrepreneur, in your field?
A: The biggest challenge, for me as a photographer, is working with children – knowing how to approach each one and bring them out of their shell. The purpose of photography is not to show the scenery, but to capture the candor, innocence, and joy of children. My challenge is to know exactly which “buttons” to push to achieve exactly that.
M: What do you do on days when you can’t find the motivation for the work you have to do (to keep your business afloat and help it grow)?
A: I try to look back and see what level I started from and what level I’ve reached. At that point, I realize that if people have helped me get to this point and keep asking me to capture the best moments of their lives, what I’m doing is good. People are the ones who help me get through those moments when I need motivation and when I may feel less optimistic or confident.
M: What is the most valuable lesson you have learned since you started your own business?
A: The most important lesson in life is to have faith and confidence. Faith – in what everyone believes, God, any religion, and trust in your own strength because those two go hand in hand. Let’s act with trust, with an open heart for these beautiful energies of the universe that we can attract. The law of universal attraction works. What you believe in and desire – you attract.
M: What do you consider to be the most notable difference between being an employee or an entrepreneur?
A: For me, the word “freedom” says it all. In this life, I didn’t want wealth or power, I wanted freedom. That is the ultimate value. I’m sure there are days and times when I work harder than an employee, but I know I have the freedom to choose my own schedule, to turn down work I don’t resonate with. I don’t work for someone else’s dream, I work for my own.
M: How would you characterize your business, in a word (except “quality”)?
M: What would you advise an entrepreneur who is just starting out?
A: To do what they do with passion, joy, and love. The financial aspect should be on a secondary or tertiary level. And before they can expect to reap the rewards, it’s important to know how to invest NOW in what they’re doing, in equipment and education. The fruits can be seen over time, years from now.
MY CONCLUSION-Support Small Businesses
After talking with Ana Maria, I realized that we are used to doing the math at the beginning, constantly asking ourselves – what’s my profit? without considering that everything done well takes time and investment to grow, develop and give you the financial gain plus the professional satisfaction you want. Also, when you’re looking for quality people, you’re unlikely to find them. Instead, you can attract them with who you are, your thoughts, and your energy. The law of attraction really works!
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