We had the good fortune of connecting with Laura Bravo Mertz and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Laura, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I wanted for the women that stood before my lens to feel gorgeous, feel free and to really let me in to capture a true expression. I do shoot men and men are fun to shoot as well! I feel that shooting the ladies is an almost spiritual experience for me. To get the ladies to “let go” is tricky sometimes but I manage to do it, and make it fun for both of us.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m excited to have a large space that I call Sacred Creative Space for the Shoot. We have great space for Boudoir with gorgeous natural light and 2000 square feet of different sets that range from colorful, white bohemian, to dark and sexy. Everything is done at the studio, hair and makeup is done in the glam room where there’s always champagne, music, candles! It’s a love affair with my clients but they are celebrating themselves and I’m there to fascilitate the transformation. I’m passionate about women (all women, all shapes, all ages) to really have permission to honor themselves unapologetically and capture the moment that it’s happening! I’m so proud that I get ladies driving from LA and OC, and especially proud that most of my boudoir clients are over 40. I’ve learned that getting myself energetically ready and getting the studio environment as soothing and stress free as possible is super important to an amazing shoot. Another thing I’ve learned is the getting an idea of what the client wants to accomplish in terms of images pre shoot and if the shoot is for an upcoming wedding, milestone birthday, anniversary or just because. It’s collaborative experience with every single client. I love mirroring the clients on position and where to twist, arch, positioning arms, chin etc..and I often do it with them (that’s my workout) as we are shooting. I’ve learned that shooting Boudoir is second nature to me and as I’ve developed in that niche, my business grew immensely by simply concentrating on shooting what I love the most, Boudoir. It was a challenge at first to really have the courage to sign the lease of my studio, it was a huge leap I took 3 years ago. My hubby really cheered me on and we tweaked my packages a bit to take care of the extra overhead. I’ve been shooting boudoir for 10 years out of my home studio. It took me 10 years to finally set up shop! My dream was always to have a brick and mortar studio filled with girly furniture and sets and really making space for the kind of images I wanted to get. What it did for my relaxation time at home once I separated the two was well worth the energy shift of being truly “at home”. What I would like the world to know about me is that I’m a woman, a wife, a mom and I love coming to work. I sincerely pinch myself that I get to make women feel gorgeous in their skin, I must also give thanks also to the glorious, magical makeup and hair artists that help me whip up this magical experience for the ladies. You see, for every woman that truly sees and feels her worth and I get to freeze that moment, it’s truly transformational, not just for her, but for me. When she gives herself permission to be the goddess, it gives me permission as well. The end result is a portrait that she loves, that’s not over edited, where she shines and is proud of.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a Vista girl, I live out in the boonies, and there are some hidden treasures out here! I love Milk in downtown for vegan treats and the best smoothies ever. If I’m feeling indulgent, we go to Ciao’s in Vista, a legit Italian restaurant that’s been there for 40 years. It’s a big spot, they recently remodeled and it has a true Italian deli and a gelateria and bakery on the premises. If I want the beach we take a long walk in La Jolla towards Scripps pier and go up the steps to Caroline’s seaside Cafe for brunch.
 Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Dawn Nicholas Owner of Remedy in Encinitas

Website: www.solifoto.com
Instagram: @Laurabravomertz
Linkedin: Laura Bravo Mertz
Facebook: SOLIFOTO
Yelp: SOLIFOTO

Image Credits
Laura Bravo Mertz SOLIFOTO Studio Carlsbad, CA Photo of me w camera Rich Mertz took that one

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