We had the good fortune of connecting with Natasha Perez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Natasha, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking?
I think it’s important to take risks in order to grow. It’s important to ACT and keep your feet moving to create opportunities and open new doors. I think that comes from making a conscious decision to be vulnerable and put yourself out there (especially in situations where you might be fearful of failing). Taking risks has lead me to where I am today – to traveling to 30 countries and six continents, to becoming a self-taught professional photographer, and ultimately to building my brand photographing, trip planning, and guiding tours off the beaten path that give people a perspective they wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else. The name of my brand: VSM Photography directly relates to taking risks.  VSM stands for “Vive Sin Miedo”, which translates from Spanish to live without fear.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a photographer/trip planner/tour guide extraordinaire! Travel photography is my passion, but since the pandemic has limited travel, I’ve transitioned from shooting for tourism boards, hotels, and travel companies to shooting and art-directing music videos here in Miami, working with brands and models, and shooting lifestyle photos. I was set to guide two trips in 2020 – one to the Yucatan in April and one to Greece in July, but both were cancelled due to COVID-19. Since then, I’ve helped plan several honeymoons through my trip planning service. I’m really looking forward to travel restrictions being lifted and being able to guide some tours that take people off the beaten path for a more local experience. Be on the lookout for those!

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?
I think it’s funny when I travel and people I meet go “You’re from MIAMI?!”, and talk about Ocean Drive like it’s where all the locals live. I love my city and how diverse it is. There’s so much more to it than what it’s known for. Some local hangs I enjoy are beach volleyball meetups in Edgewater Saturdays, slacklining and bachata after at 6:30 pm on Sundays at South Pointe Park, and the Pinecrest Farmer’s Market on Sundays. Can’t be in Miami and NOT enjoy the water, so I say paddle board or kayak by the mangroves at Matheson Hammock. Then head to Mamey in South Miami for some great live music, happy hour and jerk margaritas on their 3rd floor rooftop patio. If you haven’t been to a Tigre Sounds live jam sesh at Tigre Studios, or a Monday night adult skate sesh at Superwheels in Kendall, you’re missing out. If you like oysters, head to Casa Florida for my favorite grilled Parmesan oysters, and after to the Broken Shaker at the Freehand for drinks. A new spot I LOVED the energy at was Mayami in Wynwood. If you like a chill night instead, head to Dasher and Crank in Wynwood to play chess and grab some vegan ice cream. Also recommend taking a tour of Cuba Ocho, which has the largest collection of Cuban art outside of Cuba in Little Havana. I think that covers just about every neighborhood in Miami.

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?
Community is EVERYTHING. As humans, we’re better together. My shoutout list is long, as it should be. I want to thank every creative in Miami who has encouraged me or provided an opportunity for me to be apart of and grow creatively – Shane, Donna, Emily, Karolayn, Chele, Ashley, Jaime, Caro, Steph, Lee, Sarah, Carlo, Monica, etc. Thanks for showing me perspective is art. I also want to thank each and every client who has trusted me with bringing their vision to life. Shoutout to my mom for gifting me my first starter camera and a world map one year for Christmas. It was the encouragement I needed to get moving. And above all, glory to God for blessing me with these opportunities. I am forever grateful. Many promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep.

Website: https://vsmphotography.com

Instagram: @natashaa_perez

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ViveSinMiedoPhotography

Other: https://www.pinterest.com/VSMphotography/

Image Credits
Donna Irene Coelho (photos of myself)

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.