We had the good fortune of connecting with Leanne Joy Alcantara and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Leanne Joy, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
“Do it because you love it.” It’s not the exact phrase, but I’ve heard someone say this before, and it has been one of the best affirmations for me. Some people think that following your passion is hard. And I agree, being a photographer, it’s hard to even get clients that would want to work with you. Everyone has their own struggles and obstacles to overcome, but would you really call it “Passion” if you don’t give it your all or if you don’t even try? Some days, I think about if I’m good enough, or if people even like my photos, But I remind myself that it doesn’t matter. I love what I do, and that’s all that matters to me.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m the kind of photographer that would try to get to know my client first. I personally do a secret assessment in my head about what kind of person are they are, and ask myself, what type of ambience should I bring to the table based on their personality? I get excited when my client starts to relax and become comfortable posing for a shot. Because that’s when they truly shine and show their best side. Their truest self shows when their comfortable and they start looking good in front of the camera.

Personally, for me, it wasn’t hard to begin my small hustle of being a photographer. I started off by taking photoshoots of my friends and it didn’t really come to mind that it would become a side hustle for me. My friends would post my work, and people would start requesting photoshoots from me, and that’s how it started. The only obstacle that I had to overcome is balancing work, school, and at the same time photography.

Being a photographer, I’ve learned how to look for people’s own unique beauty. I typically don’t judge and just assess what kind of person my clients are, and find what makes them attractive.

Most people don’t feel comfortable or attractive enough to look good in front of the camera. And what I want people to know is that everyone is capable of looking good in front of the camera.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would take them around Santa Barbara county and LA. In Santa Barbara county, there’s this place called Solvang, and it’s a Danish town that filled with small businesses. There are wonderful places to eat over there, and many wineries to visit. The second place would be Downtown Santa Barbara, and there are also many small businesses to check out over there. A night walk around Downtown SB is nice, and Sterns Warf Pier is a great place to watch the sunset. In LA, we would see a concert and buy Jollibee (which is a Filipino fast food) And then we would go around Filipino town and Korea town.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give my thanks to my friends who have sacrificed their time for me, and became my guinea pigs for my sessions. I have become such a better photographer because of them and I appreciate them a lot. And my wonderful parents for always being supportive and being there for me. They’re all such a blessing to have in my life.

Website: sayashotz.wixsite.com/portfolio

Instagram: sayashotz

Image Credits
People featured: Kavi Wimalasoma, Dulan Wimalasoma, Daniela Ortiz, Jillian Picache. Places featured: teamLab Borderless (Tokyo, Japan), Mt. Fuji, Japan.

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.