We had the good fortune of connecting with Shayla Lee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shayla, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I started my online vintage shop called Another Love Vintage during the pandemic. Since I was a child, I loved thrifting and antique shopping and it was a dream to re-sell things that I found. Before COVID-19 hit, I was doing freelance marketing and traveling a lot photographing music festivals. Obviously shows stopped because of the pandemic and I was at home in Canada with a lot of extra time. I decided I had the ability to go for it, and I had less pressure on myself because I knew it was a pandemic and people might not be buying things.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I actually fell into music photography accidentally. I started a music blog called Femme Riot a few years ago. On the blog I did a lot of interviews, track reviews, and event coverage. I began getting offered passes to shows and I was constantly asked about whether or not I wanted a photo pass for certain shows.
The first photo pass offer I accepted was for an Elohim show in 2018 and I was so nervous/confused about the process, I went into the regular crowd with a small point and shoot film camera. After that I started doing more shows and getting more comfortable with the process of live music photography (first 3 songs in the photo pit, no flash).
The biggest challenge I had to overcome with music photography was experiencing anxiety and panic attacks. I have severe anxiety and one of my biggest triggers is being watched. I remember I would get so anxious before shows it would feel like every cell in my body was on fire and I could barely see straight. I was scared of people watching me, I was scared I would mess up, and I was scared of being judged. All of this anxiety essentially boils down to the fear of not being good enough. I worked really really hard with my therapist on strategies to help alieve some of this anxiety and honestly, it just took A LOT of shows to get used to it and train my brain that it could be fun, it wasn’t as scary as I initially thought, and 99.99% of the crowd would not even notice me because they were there to see the actual artist perform.
I am nervous about how my anxiety will come into play when I go back to shooting after not doing it for a year and a half. But I just try to remind myself that if I got through it before I can get through it again.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in Vancouver currently but I actually lived in Orange County for a few months years ago working as an au-pair. 1,000 Steps Beach in Laguna and Crystal Cove are absolutely beautiful!! Surfin Souvlaki in Mission Viejo was my favorite place for food – the spicy feta is the BEST.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have so many people who have helped me on the photography side of things as well as my vintage shop.
Photography: I have a wonderful support network of amazing photographers (mostly women) who are always there to provide support and give advice. Aside from that, I am also deeply inspired by their work and it has helped me create my own style.
Laura Harvey: @laurahphoto
Lindsey Blane: @lindseyblane
Kelli Lane: @kelliiiannephoto
Sofie Milton: @sofmilton
Another Love Vintage: So many people who encouraged me to go for it!
Anastasia Khakhlev (for creating my logo & digital assets): @ana.alexandrovna
Erika Acorda (for being the best assistant/stylist/cheerleader: @airwreckagh
Denise Acorda (the most amazing model & supportive friend): @acordingtodenise