When I entered high school, I distinctly remember my Facebook newsfeed being filled with pictures of my brother and his friends every day. An album for each day, in fact. The girl responsible for all the shots was none other than Luisa Wall (née Matalucci). It was hard to tell where Luisa’s hand ended and her camera began.
And now, years later, it still rings true. She’s made a business for herself: Luisa Matalucci Photography, LLC in her hometown of Goshen, New York. I’m inspired by Luisa for many reasons, not only because it’s an incredible feat to have a thriving business in such a small town, but because it’s not always that you can have a successful career in the thing you are the most passionate about, especially when it’s in a creative field.
Recently I got to chat with Luisa about her creative process. Read on to get to know the girl behind the camera!
The Lipliner: How old were you when you got your first camera?
Luisa Matalucci: When I got my first camera, I was a freshman in high school, so I was 14 years old. Everyone else had a cell phone, so my mom said I could either get a cell phone or a camera and I chose a camera, obviously. It was a Sony Cybershot.
TLL: When did you realize that photography was your calling (as opposed to a hobby)?
LM: I always loved to take photos of people, and I knew I had to do something with it professionally. Originally I went to college at Marymount Manhattan for Dance and Media, but about halfway through I found out that I had Lyme Disease. After that, I decided to shift my focus mainly to photography. When I graduated, I started my own photography business in Goshen, NY.
TLL: What was the hardest part about establishing yourself as a professional?
LM: The hardest part about establishing myself as a professional was getting people to take me seriously. I look young, so people assume I don’t have experience. The more jobs I do, the more exposure I get. For the most part, it’s all word of mouth.
TLL: What’s your favorite event/occasion/thing to shoot?
LM: Although I enjoy photographing all of my events and sessions, I especially enjoy engagement photos. These shoots give me a preview into the couple’s relationship before I do their wedding, and it’s beautiful to experience their love unfold naturally from behind the lens. That way, I also get to know them better before their big day!
TLL: What kind of music do you like to listen to when you work?
LM: While I’m editing, Spotify is usually my go-to. I have an obnoxiously long playlist called “Goodstuff”. Any time I hear something I like, it goes into that playlist. I think it’s up to 30 hours and 35 minutes long. Music is essential when you’re editing for hours on end. It keeps you somewhat sane.
TLL: How has photography impacted other aspects of your life?
LM: Being a photographer affects my social life most, because my weekends are often booked with events. When friends are off for the weekend, I normally have to work, so it’s difficult to make plans. During the week, I have some photo sessions scheduled as well, but I spend most of my week days at my computer editing. Coffee is crucial.
TLL: What has been the proudest moment of your career thus far?
LM: One of the proudest moments of my career has been when I got the opportunity to work with an intern, Claudia Krebs, through the Goshen High School Internship Program. I was so proud seeing the way she embraced photography. She really grew in the program as both a photographer and a person. Now that the program is over, she’s become my very good friend.
TLL: What advice to have to young girls who are also interested in pursuing careers in creative fields?
LM: I know it’s super cliché but “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Every day I realize how blessed I am to be able to do something I love as my career. Not everyone has that opportunity. To young creative minds, I say follow your dreams. There’s a place for everyone in the world. Find yours.
Be sure to check out Luisa’s social links below and feel free to contact her if you’re looking to book something! (Mary’s getting her headshots done by Luisa soon, people!) #luisamatalucciphotography