We had the good fortune of connecting with Camila Badaro and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Camila, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Photography was always a big passion for me. It started when I was little, my dad had a few cameras (they seemed super high tech back then). He was patient to teach me and let me play around taking photos of the family, specially on our trips to the farm or camping. Back home, we got to see them on the projector. I thought that was the coolest thing ever. Then I moved to San Diego, started taking some general education classes in College. I remembered picking up a gorgeous photography book at the library and was mesmerized by it. So I said, that’s what I want to do. When I talked to the school councilor he convinced me to go for Graphic Design instead of Photography. I am grateful for that experience but Photography was still in my heart. So after I got married and had my first child, I was ready to go back to work and follow my real passion. Since I was always taking a million pictures of my son. My friends started asking me to take of their kids too. A couple of them convinced me that I was good at it and I should just go for it. So I did! I followed my heart. Took some classes and purchased my first DSLR camera in 2013. I created a facebook page, contacted my network of friends and started booking family sessions. After a a couple years doing families I wanted to explore new possibilities. So I saw a job opportunity on Indeed that caught my eye. Food Photography for Restaurants and Bars with a new Start Up company from New York that was opening in San Diego area. I jumped right in and felt in LOVE with FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY. I have been photographing restaurants since 2015, I have photographed over 500 in California, Mexico and Brazil. I absolutely love what I 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 LOVE what I do. and I believe my clients can feel that with my work and energy. I am excited about going to new places every day and meeting new people. I like to connect with each one of them on a personal level too so they feel comfortable with me. I take my work seriously, show up on time, I am very flexible and patient. My personality plays a big part on the success of my business. My clients feel comfortable with me.
I got to where I am today because I trusted my instincts and applied for that “Entry Level” position as a Food Photographer for a “Start Up”. It was the right decision at the right time, since they were just entering San Diego area. Although I did not have a vast Food Photography Portfolio, they liked what they saw and hired me for the position. Within 6 months they offered me more money and I became their only photographer in San Diego/Orange County.
I am so glad I overcame my insecurities, fears and self doubt. I realized when you follow your heart, give your 100% effort and take step by step, you get to the top. I still have a long way to go, but I enjoy every minute of the ride.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I have been in San Diego for 22 years. I love when I have a friend/family visiting from Brazil and I get to show them around and see the excitement. It makes me realize how lucky we are to live in such a cool place.
Here its my itinerary:
* Pack some food and vino and take them to Sunset Cliffs at Sunset Golden Hour.
* Spend All day at Balboa Park checking out the stunning views and Museums, eat at the Prado its a must.
* 14-20 miles Bike ride around the Bay! You get to see so many beautiful spots while exercising. Then a quick stop at my favorite Acai Spot, Acai Carioca in Pacific Beach.
* Drive up the 101 from San Diego to Oceanside Pier. Stoping along the way to enjoy some breathtaking views. On the way back stop in Del Mar for a happy hour the Viewpoint Brewery. Best beer, food, ambience and amazing view.
* The Torrey Pines Hike its an easy and always a “tourist pleaser”.
* Fortuna Mountain trails its my favorite Moderate hike near San Diego area. Best 3 hours in nature while exercising.
* Minus tide walk at the Cliffs summer time its incredible.
* Pack up lunch and Spend all day at Blacks Beach Trailhead from La Jolla Farms Road. Check out the Glider Port as well at sunset.
* A trip to Julian for the day, stop at Mom’s Pie, Julian Hard Cider and Lunch at Julian Beer Co.
* Head to Temecula wineries. Ponte is one of my favorites. Its worth to go to Temecula Downtown as well. Lots of great places to eat and cute little town.
* Go to Little Italy for happy Hour. Nolita Hall, Kettner Exchange, Juniper Ivy, King and Queen Cantina are some of my favorites.
* Monarch its my favorite new place to go for Happy Hour. Amazing view and vibe. I also like Tower 22 in PB or Wonderland in OB.
* OB Farmers Market its great to find local makers.
* Liberty Station is a great spot to eat, shop and have fun.
* Sunset picnic at Kate Sessions.
I could just keep going, but “my friend” ran out of time lol.
San Diego its such an incredible destination.
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?
I thank my family, specially my mother for always been my biggest supporter and for inspiring me as a creative herself. I also thank my friends, specially Isabela and Marcela for pushing me so hard to take photography seriously (when I was full of self doubt) . They even created my first photography facebook page for me so I had no way out.
I also thank all my photographer friends that helped me in the beginning and continue to inspire me every day.
I am so grateful for my community.
The Photo of myself shooting at a Restaurant is @aidandemolli All others are mine.