Angela Acosta is a portrait and personal branding photographer in the New York City area. She helps women change how they see themselves through the power of photography. She empowers them to focus on the importance of their journey, not perfection or self-judgment, and to live their best life. She coaches, photographs, and gives women tools to improve their lives. Her mission is for Angela Atelier (her boutique studio) to grow into a lifestyle brand. Check her out on Instagram, and connect with her on Linkedin. She’s another Woman to Watch who creates a life of authenticity and impacts others using her amazing talents.
When did you start your business, and why did you create it?
The first photography business was all over the place, I would photograph anyone, anytime, in any genre. Then I discovered portrait photography and did that for a while. At the time, it included family portraiture. When photographing families, I realized the moms always took a back seat in the studio. They were there for one thing only: to photograph their children. That made me sad because moms are superheroes, and they’re the ones that should be celebrated and seen. In 2018, I decided to niche down to photographing only women. I wanted to change that conversation, and I founded Angela Atelier.
Tell us about your business and what makes you unique in your field.
I use photography as a form of self-care. Women need to be seen. And it’s essential to allow yourself to feel vulnerable – vulnerability always happens in front of the camera. Amazing things happen if you let your guard down for a few hours. You can discover something new about yourself. You can learn self-acceptance – whatever you intend to be — but at the end of the session, there is that release and acknowledgment of your importance in this world and then the bonus of your legacy in print.
What do you feel makes your audience unique?
The women I speak to are movers and shakers, starting businesses, recreating themselves for their next chapter – they already have a sense of self. They have not considered photography an experience in that journey, so I speak to that and them.
If you could magically give all of your community members one thing in this world, what would it be, and why?
For any business owner in my community, I would give her the magic of brand clarity because when I discovered my brand, it saved me so much work. It made things so much easier, and I wish I could hand that to every woman I meet who is building a business.
Has anything surprised you about starting a business?
When I started my business, I loved photography. I loved the one-on-one connection when doing portraits, and when I expanded to branding, I loved doing that as well, but what has surprised me the most is how much I love connecting with other women in communities and helping them build their businesses. When I was in corporate, I was such a wallflower that if somebody had told me this would be how I transformed, it would have shocked me.
Did you create your own website or hire it out? Do you use WordPress?
I purchased a template but found out quickly how limiting it was – adding pages and keeping it visually stunning is time-consuming. I use WordPress for blogging and love it.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting their own business?
If you’re on the fence and you’re telling yourself a ton of reasons why you shouldn’t do it, just do it. Jump into the deep end of the water because you will be so surprised by how resilient you are and how flexible you can become and it’s a beautiful thing to discover. Give yourself that chance.
If you could go back in time and do something differently, what would you do and why?
I would’ve hired a coach. Knowing what I know, I would have had much more movement towards my dream life instead of being stuck for years in a world I didn’t want.
Do you have an email list? If so, did you start it when you launched?
Not when I first started; it took me years to build an e-mail list and get regular newsletters out there, but it’s done, and I’m happy with it. I designed it like a magazine.
How do you promote your site?
Social media, e-mail newsletters… the usual.
Who are your favorite bloggers or podcasts right now?
Mel Robbin’s podcast, for sure. She’s got a fabulous presence and topics.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Absolutely! I’d love to tell you about this fantastic project called Startup Stories. We’re on a mission to showcase the stories of 100 incredible female entrepreneurs. We want to share their inspiring journeys with the world and give them the recognition they deserve. We’re also a startup, so we understand the challenges they face regarding visibility and credibility. We plan to feature them in our Startup Stories project magazine and Moondust magazine. We’ll do a fabulous photoshoot, write an article about them, and help boost their online presence and credibility. It’s all about getting these women the spotlight they deserve!