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

Hi Drew, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I’ve always wanted to start my own business. It’s been a dream of mine ever since I was a child. Yes, being able to call the shots and make your own schedule sounds fancy, but it’s a lot of hard work and dedication.

I started working in the retail industry when I was 16 years old. Graduating high school earlier than most, I wanted to hit the ground running and begin my sales career. Selling shiny objects to individuals who had way too much money to begin with, I quickly learned how great I was working with people. Listening and deep conversations turned customers into lifelong friends; I enjoyed the connections I made with my community. Working at this small store in my hometown of Aptos, California, it created a safe space for me to grow and become the person I am today. I loved my job, and I was really good at it. I quickly became Sales Floor Lead and moved onto Manager. The retail industry had met their match, so I decided to move onto my next venture.

Well, the restaurant/service industry is a lot different than the retail industry, but I wanted a challenge. Weaving through different positions and locations, I landed a General Manager position at a local coffee shop in Carlsbad, California. The hours were rough, but I was off by 2 PM every day. Planning on getting things done in the afternoons after my shift, I regularly found myself asleep on my couch exhausted from the workload. I strived to make my team my main priority, for I knew what it took to be a great leader. Making each day enjoyable and as fun as possible, my store went on to win awards and get noticed by the company heads.


The fun and enjoyable workspace was no longer feasible due to what our world was going through. My team and I were exhausted. Overworked, underpaid, bonuses cut left all of us with zero incentive to continue, but I did. Yes, I was tired, but I continued to be there for my team and my community. If I could offer anything during that crazy time, it was a friendly face, a cup of coffee and a shoulder to cry on.

Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months and months turned into over a year of false promises and debilitating stress. With the lack of staff, I stayed true to my word and continued to show up. Working extra hours, 7-day work weeks, open to close, I was putting myself last and everyone else first. I was overworked. Little did I know, the universe had some big plans for me.

In March of 2021 I suffered a back injury that forced me into bed for 6 months. Those six months were awful. Without going into too much detail, this is what I learned during that time.

1: You must put your oxygen mask on first before you can help the person seated next to you. You know that silly rule you hear the Flight Attendant say while you’re playing your Nintendo Switch and pretending to listen? Well, It’s TRUE! To help others, you must take care of yourself first. It sounds selfish, but it isn’t. You’re not helping anyone if you’re drained, both physically and mentally.

2: A solid work/life balance is much more important than you think. You must make time for yourself and your loved ones. The number of experiences I missed out on because I “have to work” is crazy! We only have one life to live, and that life should be filled with happy memories, NOT you stressing out over bean juice. Tomorrow is never promised so make the most of it.

3: Don’t follow the rules 100% of the time. Trust your gut, BE CAREFUL and think outside the box. Ask as many questions as possible and think for yourself.

4: I want to start my own business.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Being an artist/photographer has its everyday challenges. Coming up with your own workflow, creating your own vision that stands out from the rest, finding new clients and getting your products out into the world is a lot of work. Being your own brand, you must know your self-worth and confidently sell your services daily which also takes a lot of work and energy.

My photography business is founded on the principles of kindness, artistic expression and professionalism. I find that by working with my clients, listening to their ideas and coming up with a vision together only makes the finished product that much more beautiful and memorable.

Being part of the LGBTQI+ community, comfort and confidence doesn’t always come easily. I want all of my clients, no matter what their sex is, gender is, religious beliefs are or the pronouns they use to simply feel their best when they’re in front of my camera. Let’s just have fun!

Whether it’s your wedding day, graduation, your baby’s birthday (fur babies included) or any special moment, I want to be there. With every photograph I take, I want to encapsulate your happiness and joy.

I’m extremely proud of my personal growth. I guess that’s all we can really hope for in this lifetime, right? To know we can experience trauma and continue to get out of bed each day and believe in ourselves? It isn’t easy, but you start to feel stronger with each passing day. The person I was when I worked in the service industry was stressed, angry, impatient, and extremely hard on myself. Today I focus on rest, my family, my two adorable dogs Ashland & Harley, and I get to pick how the day is going to treat me. It’s a new feeling having all of this control and freedom, but I’m learning to ride the rollercoaster better each and every day.

I want the world to know that photography is an art. We are artists. We see things differently than the average joe. It’s important to find and pick the right photographer for your occasion, and it’s also important to make sure their style/aesthetic fits what you are looking for. Today, we have so many resources to help research. Use Instagram, Facebook, online portfolios and websites to help make your decision, and if all else fails, send a DM or email. If you have questions about pricing, I’m sure every photographer out there won’t mind breaking down their prices to help you better understand their role. Yes, we are artists, but we are also human and need to make a living.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My best friend and I met here in San Diego, so we both know the area very well. She moved up to Oregon a few years ago to be closer to her family, but we make an effort to communicate daily and to stay close. After picking her up from the airport, we would most likely begin our day with brunch at LTH in Oceanside. From there, take a walk along the strand and watch the waves crash against the cars driving by. We are all about making beautiful memories and having adventures. Whether it’s driving to Julian for a slice of pie or trekking it to beautiful Palm Springs to sit poolside with a couple cocktails, we always find our happy place. As we get older, it’s so important to spend our time with our closest friends and family. It doesn’t matter what we do or where we decide to go. What matters is that we are together.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have been extremely blessed for the people I have surrounded myself with; some mentors, some friends, but all of them are family.

John and Jerri Hammond gave me my first job! Not knowing I applied at such a young age, they gave me a chance. That chance lasted 8 years and a friendship lasting a lifetime.

My mother, Linda, for teaching me what a solid work ethic looks like. For showing me how to keep my chin up during hard times and for her endless support.

My best friend Bethany. I would not be the same person I am today if it wasn’t for her and our friendship. When you look up best friend in the dictionary, her picture pops up.

Finally, my partner Christopher. He is my biggest cheerleader. He’s the type of partner who will leave work early to bring you flowers in the rain because he knows you’re having a bad day. Christopher makes me believe I can do anything, and I count my blessings each and every minute of the day to be able to call him mine.

Website: https://www.drewramseyphotography.com

Instagram: @drewramseyphotography

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DrewRamseyPhotography

Other: https://buzzvintageboutique.com

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.