We had the good fortune of connecting with Alyssa Martinez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Alyssa, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Pursuing a creative career has never really been a question for me. Creativity and art have always come more natural to me than most other things and almost all of the careers I aspired to have growing up had to do with creating. As a child, I was really into arts and crafts and I would constantly be trying to find ways to monetize whatever I was doing or making. You could always find me drawing, taking photos, or making things out of other materials. Art, in many forms, has been my outlet, my entertainment, and has just brought me so much joy throughout my life. I first picked up a camera when I was around 6 or 7-years-old and when I was 12-years-old I was given my first DSLR camera by my aunt. At that point, it was safe to say I had found my medium of choice. I am the type of person to hoard memories whether it be photos and videos, or souvenirs; it is hard for me to let go. My photography allows me to make those memories tangible and that is what I am so drawn to. Seeing my dad, who is a graphic designer, draw, design, and run his own business gave me the representation I needed to see all the things that I could do for myself. He has shown me how you can turn a passion into a profession, and that you don’t have to settle for an amount of money when part of the pay off is loving what you do.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a self-taught digital photographer. I love capturing anything from portraits and lifestyle photos, to products and street photos. I tend to gravitate towards a lot of exposure, highlights, and bright colors when I am editing my photos because to me that translates to positivity and that’s how I want people to feel when they see my work. One of my favorite things about taking photos, portraits in particular, is allowing my subjects to see themselves in a different light than they normally do, to see their true beauty through eyes other than their own. I am still building my business, but I am excited for wherever my craft will take me. I think the biggest lesson creating has taught me is that comparison is the thief of joy. My art is what I make it, it is my own regardless of what others are putting out, so I can’t compare myself or my work to anybody else.

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?
I love this question. If my best friend was visiting the area I would take them to Downtown Los Angeles, specifically the Fashion District. We could walk around and grab coffee at a cute cafe, look at all of the small vendors’ shops or walk through the Santee Alley. Then for food I would either take them to Grand Central Market which has so many great food options, my favorite is pupusas, or we’d eat at one of the many good food trucks around downtown. I always have to hit a shoe store when I go to LA so the next day we would do that and go to the beach to walk around or lay out depending on the weather. One of the days would be dedicated to exploring, taking photos, and at the end of the week we’d go to a flea market and grab lunch or dinner.

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 family has been my biggest support system through everything in my life. They have always encouraged me to pursue whatever it is I want to do, regardless of how crazy it might sound. As a kid, I would switch up what I wanted to be every few months but I was always supported by my family and told that I could be and do whatever I wanted. When I was in elementary school, I told my parents I wanted a camera for Christmas because I wanted to be a photographer and that is exactly what I got that year. The two people that really inspire me to pursue a creative path are my dad and my aunt. Growing up seeing them work in creative spaces and run their own businesses was and is still so motivating. While my mom doesn’t have a career in the creative field, she has demonstrated for me where hard work and patience can get you. She consistently inspires me to keep putting in the effort towards my craft. My family has shown me that the sky is the limit and for that I will always be grateful.

Instagram: Instagram.com/photobylyss

Facebook: facebook.com/photobylyss

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