We had the good fortune of connecting with Maribel Lopez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Maribel, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
When it comes to balance in my world it took me a while to figure it out. Not only do I run my own photography business but I am also a full time elementary school teacher and the most important job; a mom to two beautiful kids. I guess you could say I wear a lot of hats. When I first started balancing all of this, it was a lot of pressure. Working Monday-Friday at the school, shooting weddings / family sessions on the weekends and then trying to find the time to edit and deliver images. I never stopped! I would work from sunrise to sunset. I barley had enough “me time” let alone time to spend with my husband and kids. I knew things had to change. This is where balance came into play. Since being a teacher means that I usually leave work at 3pm I wanted to establish “Business hours” for my photography. This way I knew after my “business hours” were done for the day it was time for my kids and husband. As human being its natural for us to pile all of this stuff on our plates and think “Oh I’ll find the time to do this,” but in all honesty we end up burning ourselves out. I needed to have some sort of balance and schedule to keep my sanity. I think over time I understood what needed to be a priority in my life and adjusted my balance to make it work for me.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Starting my photography business off in the beginning wasn’t an easy task. It took a lot of research and patience to make sure I had everything I needed. Having all my licenses, business insurance, upgrading my equipment etc. The hardest part was it didn’t happen overnight, which I knew it wasn’t going to, but one can hope right? I get told a lot that I have a bunch of energy and I just put that towards my business. One thing to know about me is I strive for my clients to get to know me even before we meet in person. I want them to show up feeling like we are already the best of friends and that they can be comfortable in front of me. I will never ask my clients to do something that I wouldn’t be willing to do myself. I show them just how silly and vulnerable I can be through my social media platforms. I’m basically a professional 3rd wheel, there to capture all the love! I always say it’s my job to pause life’s special moments.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I’m normally not the one to go out on the town. I guess you could say I’m more of a homebody. I love just hanging out, watching movies, playing board games that causes way too much drama, having a dance party and just catching up! However, when the rare occasion comes up that we go out I love taking my friends or family to city place. It’s the perfect place to hang out and just walk around during the day. Getting ice cream from Salons and eating at one of my favorite restaurants Saitos. Might I add their yum yum sauce is the BOMB, I put that on everything. I also love city place because at night it turns into a whole different atmosphere. You have the movie theater and the improv club. Walk a few blocks over and you hit Clematis which is perfect for late night dancing, some amazing pizza, walking on the piers and even trying to escape from one of their many escape rooms. No matter what happens that night I always end it with taking whoever is with me to my favorite ice cream shop Crema! Best rolled ice cream in town!
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?
All through high school I knew I wanted to be a photographer. However, I wanted to be a landscape photographer. Knowing this both my moms encourage my passion of photography by buying me my first camera. They saw something in my images that were great that I didn’t see yet. Fast forward a few years when my now sister in law Jackie ask me to take pictures at her wedding. I thought she was crazy for wanting someone like me to do this. Thus, my love for weddings and family photos came along. I knew I wanted to make this into a business, but I was scared out of my mind, but thanks to my awesome husband Brian he pushed me to take the leap of faith and make my business official. Over the years so many people have come into my path and have continue to fuel my fire and I thank every single one of them for that.
Nominate someone: ShoutoutMiami is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.