We had the good fortune of connecting with Vanessa Dubois and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vanessa, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Started as a hobby 20 years ago, photography quickly turned into a way to express my creativity. At the beginning of the year I decided to finally take the plunge. It sure was a bold move to go from passion to profession. But the universe showed me that I wasn’t getting any younger and that it was time for me to follow my dream to become a fulltime freelance photographer. Now fast forward 2 months and… it looks like it may not have been the best timing but even though this crazy quarantine is putting an hold on it, I do not regret any of my decision and I am becoming more and more passionate about my career.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The art of photography has a very wide spectrum. I shoot weddings, corporate events, family photoshoots, headshots….. but I mostly focus on life event photography with an emphasis on nightlife. Bright colors, lights, performances and crowds. Capturing movements and moments, and making memories that will last forever is what makes my photography special. Plus the main subject of my art is drag queens…another way to make my work even more unforgettable. I started going to shows to take photos of the audience for a local magazine but I quickly fell in love with the art of drag. The creativity of each performer became an inspiration. I enjoy their art and I try to document it so everyone can experience it through my lens. It is definitely not easy to make it a profession and live off of it but I am determined to make it happen. Hard work, focus, wheel power and an humble personality………. are some of the tools I use on a daily basis to make sure my work is appreciated and recognized. Another special thing about my work is that I don’t edit to my work very much. What “you see is what you get” . I do not believe that photos have to be over photoshopped. I capture beauty in its natural form.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Because I live in San Diego but work in Long Beach and West Hollywood a lot, I will take you on a little road trip. And because I work mostly with drag queens, we will have to go say hello to the ladies during this journey. Let’s start in San Diego! We HAVE to go eat tacos at Salud! and get an Horchata Latte at Por Vida in Barrio Logan. We will of course visit the heart of San Diego with a history lesson in Old Town. On Wednesday night we will go eat dinner at this beautiful place called Inside Out, a very peaceful atmosphere and the food is to die for. We will go on and go see Chad Michaels and the Dreamgirls at Urban Mo’s. One of the most popular drag shows in California. If we are still in San Diego for Sunday brunch, Lips restaurant has a great gospel brunch, lots of fun and mimosas! Then it is time to go to Long Beach/San Pedro and check out the Korean Bell of Friendship. The view is beautiful and great photos can be captured there. Hamburger Mary’s has drag shows almost every night of the week. In Los Angeles, I always stop by Venice Beach before heading out to Santa Monica 3rd street promenade and pier and finish the evening on Hollywood Boulevard. Stars and lights! For drag shows and fun night you can’t go wrong with Micky’s, The Abbey, Mary’s or any of the bars off Santa Monica in West Hollywood. As far as food I would recommend the avocado toasts at Blackwood Coffee Bar off Hollywood Boulevard and for breakfast Solar De Cahuenga will never disappoint.
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?
This is a hard one because I have a few people I would like to recognize and give a shoutout to… but if I have to pick one , I am going to dedicate my shoutout to Kris Reynolds, a fantastic photographer and a beautiful human being. He became throughout the years a mentor and someone I look up to. I love his art and his heart.
Facebook: [XPOZD] by Vanessa Dubois
Youtube: [XPOZD] Photography Vanessa Dubois