We had the good fortune of connecting with Cheyenne Araujo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cheyenne, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I was always one to shy away from risk-taking, both in my career and everyday life. This fear of failure thrived when I was tasked with doing anything outside of my comfort zone; it was a reflection of my lack of confidence and the doubt I had in my capabilities and talents. It was stunting my growth and my opportunities were restricted the more I turned down new challenges. I was depriving myself of experiences.When I freed myself from the fear of getting turned down…fear of failing…fear of not being good enough, I discovered I was in a better position to accept challenges and the fruitful benfits that came with it. Taking the more daring route pushed me to find new solutions, nudging me to explore variant options. In my creative career, a notable risk I took was agreeing to shoot at one of my universty’s formal functions. I was hesitant to agree to this opportunity because I had no background in event photography; I realized I would lose absolutely nothing if I said yes to this fantastic job which prompted me to take up the task. I did my research weeks prior to the event, asking my creative friends for advice. I watched tutorials and read several blogs/ articles till I felt I was well prepped. On the day of the function, as much as I had prepared, I was still challenged with several problems that were new to me- indoor lighting, several subjects, and a smaller space were all things I never had to consider when I shot my planned shoots with my muses, yet I was able to figure it out in the moment. My clients were more than pleased with the results, that I was offered another opportunity to shoot for my school. I was told that you miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take. I would encourage anyone to take that risk. Shift your emphasis on the positive results that could come out of taking up anything that seems risky, while still taking note of any adverse results that could be faced.
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.
I enjoy making people feel beautiful. Hearing my muses say they feel beautiful, that they have never seen themselves in that light before, is what pushes me to create. My ability to show someone how their inner glow is portrayed to the world is truly so satisfying and rewarding. It started out as a hobby, but after seeing how I could make others feel, I immediately decided to keep creating. It has also become a creative outlet for me. I enjoy bringing a vision to life and telling stories through my lens. I get to meet new people and hear how they have lived, loved, and learned in this world. I treat each shoot as a lesson, where I am tentative to the whole process so that I leave with new knowledge in whatever form that may be. Seeing how far I have grown in my craft over the past 3 years, I am blown away. I started off with an entry-level camera and no knowledge of ISO, shutter speed, exposure, and the many other aspects that go into photography. Working jobs while in school helped me expand AKA my camera gear arsenal, which allowed me to experiment more. To see the different goals I have accomplished within this short time like launching my website, publishing my first book, and working with some of my favorite brands, I am forever grateful for the support from my community because without them I don’t think I would be able to accomplish all that I have. The most challenging part of this venture has been balancing my other duties. Finding time to fit shoots and post-editing between my studies and work has been exhausting. It has been difficult to prioritize certain deadlines. Over the years I have done my best to finish my school work before the weekend so my weekends can be dedicated to creating, which can be draining at times. I am slowly learning to accept putting projects on pause, especially when my full attention and passion cannot be poured into it.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
South Florida is a fantastic area to tour! The diverse cultures that warm Miami is part of the reason why I moved to the Sunshine State. Any trip to Miami should be fueled by some cafecito- Cuban espresso. Enjoy the communal experience of sharing a café con leche or colada with locals at a small, local restaurant. La Esquinita Habanera Restaurant and Latin (10720 W Flagler St) are two casual Cuban restaurants that have authentic coffees. Try their Cuban sandwiches or opt for a lighter snack like their papas rellenas (fried stuffed potatoes). A cafecito pairs perfectly with a sweet treat from Tasa Bakes (@tasabakes on IG). Place an order for their famous cheesecakes or bites of heaven, and pick it up while in that area. This small, gourmet bakeshop will satisfy any sweet cravings. The art community thrives in South Miami, where murals and public art displays can be seen scattered around the city. Take a trip to Wynwood to appreciate the community that is dedicated to urban art. Each building is brightly decorated with cool paintings, each so unique. Social activism, cultural awareness, or personal experiences are themes that have inspired the different murals. Make a stop at Lucky Records and browse their selection of cool vinyls that are reasonably priced too. The Miami Selfie Museum is a must-visit for all those Instagram-worthy photos. The area is lined with quirky restaurants, catering to the different dietary needs. The vegan tacos at Kush are fiercely flavorful. Coyo Taco has crisp fish tacos, that pair so well with their house beer or margarita. Walking around Wynwood can get hot and exhausting, so make a quick stop at Dasher & Crank for a scoop (or two…or three) of their smooth matcha ice cream. Sneakerheads and sports fanatics can shoot some hoops at LeBron James’ outlet store, UNKNWN. The bright blue court is perfectly shaded by the palm trees too. Not far from Wynwood is another lavish, artistic community known as the Design District. High fashion, luxury brands have exquisitely set up their shops in this area, where the architectural designs must be applauded. Whether you are shopping, finding something to eat or just admiring the district, this is a great add-on to a trip to Miami. The natural beauty of South Florida is something anyone visiting should get to experience. Skip the crowded South Beach and opt for a quiet day at Crandon Park Instead. Located on the barrier island of Virginia Key, the beach at Crandon Park is perfect for some alone time. Grab a kayak and head to neighboring Biscayne Bay for a spectacular experience on the water; you might be lucky and spot a dolphin while paddling through the mangroves. If you are up for an adventure, be sure to take a tour through the marshy Everglades on an airboat, where you will be amazed by the diverse flora and fauna, learning how and why the swampy area is being threatened. Appreciation of the flora in South Florida can also be done in a more confined manner by visiting the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, which has an array of beautiful native and exotic species. There almost seems as if there is an infinite number of museums in South Florida. The Pérez Art Museum and Vizcaya Museum and Garden are both in the downtown area of Miami and have been my favorite museums. Pérez Art Museum is known for exhibiting work from superb contemporary female artists, while Vizcaya has a more historic background being the former villa of James Deering. The Wolfsonian and the Bass Museum are two other museums located on Miami Beach that should be added to any itinerary. A trip to Miami is not complete without a night out on South Beach. Bar hop along the strip as you groove to the reggaeton and salsa music.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My friends and family have been my undying support system throughout this journey. I have learned to take risks especially from my Aunty Imelda, an entrepreneur/ creative/ designer, who takes on any challenge with a strong head. She has shaped how I address situations that look bigger than my abilities, which I thank her for. She is resilient and intentional with her projects and business, which are characteristics I have adopted. She introduced me to bloggers and creatives in the DMV area when I was still establishing my brand, which helped me collaborate and build my portfolio. Throughout my creative career, she has offered her honest and critical opinions that have helped me perfect my craft. She has always been a figure I can go to for advice, weaving her gentle love with authentic perspectives.
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