A Creatives' Pivot
“Pivot. Pivot. Pivot.” As the famous scene of friends. If you don’t know what I am talking about then take a look…
That’s the story of my next guest on my blog. From actress to graphic designer and photographer. Her story will inspire you to own your craft and your passion and take the leap to pivot a create a life you love. So I’m excited to introduce you to Paola Carleo from Italy currently based in L.A. California.
I think many of you will agree that sometimes we start on a path and discover it’s not for us but do we have the courage to change... Well, Paola did. Being an actress in Italy she felt it was fun exciting. Over time the lifestyle was a lot and she found herself not feeling comfortable in that space. You can image life as an actress is very busy with lots of parties and for Paola, it just was not her personality. That being the case she loved the industry for its images and stories.
As she prepared to make the transition to California she decided to stop acting. Prior to being in an actress, she attended school in Rome for marketing and that is the path she decided to rediscover and pivot. Paola started taking classes in graphic design and in order to be a well-rounded designer she also took some photography classes. And it’s there where she learned her talent and past craft as an actress made her a natural photographer.
Her connection to being in front of the lens helped her understand how to communicate and use her talent to capture beautiful images.
So you see if you are feeling like the place you are now is not for you, look for something that inspires you, something that connects you to the things that you love and build on that to create a new direction for your passion and purpose.
Needless to say but you can guess it Paola’s niche in photography is headshots. She loves that they are so intimate and capturing their essence. I believe that headshots are a lot like logo’s, which also happens to be Paola next favorite thing in her design business.
Paola’s next pivot working came the way of 2 boys, one 3 years of age and another 10 months young. As you can imagine having 2 boys and business you’ll have a full plate. But something that Paola said I loved, “I have to manage my time because this is a moment of my life that I have to share with my kids and I love it.” Although she loves photography and still does plenty of it, her other passion to design brands that people love has been a great way for her to manage her time while working her business part-time.
Living in LA, Paola and her boys' frequent agencies and schools for actors where they audition or take classes. This is her secret weapon whether she realizes or not. Being busy does wonderful things for your business. Paola says most of her business comes from these agencies and schools and because they love her work the refer her out and work with her for their head-shots. She meets a lot of moms, while her kids' audition. Her busy life get’s her in front of her ideal clients and word of mouth and her portfolio now consist of cute kids strutting their stuff in hopes to be cast. Yup head shots for kid actors. “It’s pretty hard but it’s so fun,” she says.
Paola's advice to other photographers looking to build a great portfolio of head-shots...
“Know how people feel on the other side of the camera. If you are photographing actress and models go to the agencies and classes. Get to know what they are looking for."
One of my questions to her is what does she find most challenging in her business. Her reply was one word “Business!” She continues to relay that she’s an artist and a creative person. As an actress she did not have to worry about the business aspects too much because she had an agent that took care of things. How does she overcome this? She now has a business partner, another graphic designer that really helps her with the business side of Berry Bee Designs. I love this because it's a great reminder that we can’t be good at everything. So find someone that can support you in the areas you need help in. I mean the most successful people I know have a team that helps them accomplish their goals. No need to go it alone.
Paola is currently working on creating a personal branding photography service for actresses looking that want to get attention using their online social profiles.
What is so inspiring about Paola’s journey to me is her ability to pivot and doing so in a way that connects to her strengths and passions. She knows how to balance her busy life as a working mom and still manages to do it all. It’s women like her that have inspired me to start a podcast. It’s stories like this, the real life, day to day decision that no one hears about when success comes your way. If you want to be alerted to when the Podcast is coming up just go right ahead and sign up below.