We had the good fortune of connecting with Cecilia Martin del Campo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cecilia, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I feel like balance is what we all strive for. For me, it has been a constant struggle, between not knowing when to say no to work because you need time for yourself and also not saying no to work because you are growing fast! And you want to do as much as you can while you can. As a woman I feel like it has been harder, my own expectations are high. I have always been very perfectionist, ambitious and stubborn. Those are great attributes to have but when it comes to finding balance, it can be challenging. The first challenge is transitioning from having a hobby to creating a business from your hobby. Everything changes, you realize that even when you don’t feel like doing something you have to. What started as a fun activity, is now a commitment, it is now something you have to do, even if you are not feeling creative. And that is OK, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being a photographer but it was a challenge getting used to it. What keeps me going is remembering why it all started, why I decided to do it as a business. As a photographer, weekends are the busiest days. That means missing family events, friends gatherings, and other fun stuff. For me it’s been harder the last 2 years because I decided to get another full-time job, that didn’t stop me from having a full-time photography agenda, I have over 25 sessions per month. that plus editing, printing, branding customer services, keeping an agenda, finance, taxes and obviously staying up to date with courses, online classes, and anything that can help me improve my skills. Two full-time jobs, a wedding to plan ( got engaged a few months ago) having a healthy life, trying to exercise, and also having a personal life is NOT easy. For me, the key is to lower your expectations, understand that balance is not always possible, sometimes you need to lose balance to live a balanced life. There will always be ups and downs but the important thing is to enjoy the ride, to do whatever makes you feel happy and complete. For me that means to keep my agenda full, I am not gonna lie I sometimes just need a free weekend to do nothing so I do it, I make it happen I schedule it, “FREE WEEKEND” it is super important to put it on the agenda, to block the dates and to take a breath when you feel like you need it. We all need it once in a while.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a photographer. My intention is to tell a story using images, to be able to go back in time, remember a feeling, just by looking at an image. It hasn’t been easy but it has been really fun! I graduated with a Bachelors in Marketing, worked for a non-profit for 2 years after that and then I worked in the investment department of a bank before starting my photography journey. I have always had the desire and need to develop both my creative and financial side, so when I started doing photography I realized that I could turn it into my own business. My background has been very helpful in developing my personal finances. administration and the overall organization of my career. It has helped me put customer service first, without overlooking the fact that this is a business and bills need to be paid, so I always keep that in the back of my mind. Nonetheless, at the beginning of my career I sacrificed the business side of it in order to learn, network and grow. Doing so was a key element to my development.
I am very excited for the future, there are a lot of projects in sight that involve event planning, photography and networking. I think with the abilities that I have been able to develop throughout the years, I am almost ready to put them into practice. For the time being, my main focus is still capturing engagements, weddings, and family portraits.
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.
Windeansea beach in La Jolla (with some coffee) Some unique and hidden spots at Balboa Park, Hane Sushi, Davanti Enoteca, Parakeete Cafe. My favorite coffee shops (Communal Cafe) (Better Buzzed) (Coffee and Tea Collective) Lighthouse at Cabrillo, Torrey Pines Park, Beers At Liberty Station, Coffee at Moniquer General Pastries and Sandwiches at Conpane Shopping at Pigment (Liberty Station)
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?
Mom/Dad/Brother: They have always been my support system, my cheerleaders, and I couldn’t do any of the things I’ve done without them.
Future Hubby: We have been together for 4 years now, the best and the most difficult years in my professional life. If it wasn’t for him, I think I would’ve quit. He is the one always telling me that I am great! That I am good even if I cannot do everything I want at that moment. We are a great team. I am pretty sure we will accomplish amazing things together, both on a personal and a professional level. I am so lucky to have him by my side.
My boss (the non-photography job): He’s been a great mentor, he challenges me, he has helped me grow a lot! To deal with stress and to understand that everything has a solution and that keeping calm rather than getting stressed will help me resolve better and faster. It has been amazing to have had the opportunity to work with him.