We had the good fortune of connecting with Val and Alan Rueda-Ramirez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Val and Alan, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
When we first started, we knew was that we loved taking pictures of people and documenting their most special moments. We decided to really take a leap of faith in starting because we had limited business experience and also full-time jobs. At first, we took it step by step and faced trial and error as we went along, so it took up a lot of time. We were committed to learning and getting better, but that also meant long nights of online research and endless editing sessions! Now, we have a better grip on our time and scheduling when it comes to our photography business because we have systems! Now we are able to manage editing multiple galleries while also not killing ourselves with work loads after our day job. This seems like a minor and almost given thing, but it took a while for us to be able to manage our time better in order to be able to work a day job, run to shoots, edit galleries within a time frame, and also still have time to ourselves and our social lives!

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.
Our art form is photography, specifically photographing PEOPLE. We are both people lovers, so the fact that we are able to capture moments and give them to our clients as memories that they can keep forever is awesome. We’ve heard the saying “Life imitates art” and we think that our form of art is creating art from a seemingly average life. Each client’s life is unique and beautiful in its own way, and we just capture it! That’s the art.

We like to think that what sets us apart from others is the fact that we are a team of TWO. The dynamic between us as business owners directly intertwines with our dynamic as a couple and it plays out perfectly when we’re working during a shoot. We coordinate and work together to make each session memorable,

We are most excited about continuing to grow our business and grow in our craft. A lot of people told us at the start, that we grew quickly and we hope to continue remaining focused and consistent so that we can continue to learn and grow. We are extremely proud of where we are with our business, but we also feel very excited to improve as a brand and eventually make this a full-time thing. That is our biggest goal that keeps us excited.

We love looking back at when we first started, which wasn’t that long ago, and then looking at where our business is now! Not only has our business grown, but our skills and professionalism has improved as well. there have been so many moments where we have questioned if it’s even worth it to continue putting our efforts into this “side thing” but what has kept us going is the fact that we are passionate about what we do.

One of the biggest lessons that we have learned is “don’t be afraid to ask questions”. Not be afraid to ask for help even if it sounds stupid in your head. Being in the field of photography, you find that the industry is very saturated, and a lot of people will seem unapproachable. That’s just the truth, and as a start-up photographer, it can feel humbling to ask questions even if it’s just a simple– “How did you do that?”.
However, the good news is that there is an entire community of people who love to share their experiences, strategies, and answer any questions! We are grateful for all the incredible people we have met in person and through instagram who have always answered our questions.

Being business owners while also being a couple can get tricky! It’s like being married…twice LOL
We have definitely learned a lot about communication and patience, especially when it comes to challenges. Whenever we are faced with any type of challenge or conflict, we have trained ourselves to assess the situation, research, and bounce ideas off each other in a way that puts us to work as instead of panic.

Some thing that we want people to know, is that we love what we do. That phrase is repeated so much and it’s cliche but it is so true! We love taking photos of people and we love seeing every client’s reaction when we deliver a gallery. The core purpose for owning V.A. Moments in the first place is to be able to find people who are looking for a photographer, and being able to witness special milestones in strangers’ lives, stopping time in a photo, and doing all over again. We really don’t do it for the money, we do it because we enjoy every part of it– it is truly our favorite thing.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Wynwood, we feel like since all the creatives and their creations are there in the south florida are it is always a good traditional place that helps to get our creative juices flowing.

Fort lauderdale, due to the beach and some hidden gem areas such as the alchemist, where they have amazing food and coffee, and an “art junkyard” filled with repurposed antiques. We did a session here once– the most unique graduation session ever!

Brew urban cafe- also one of our settings we have used for photos. They have a large window that lets in a lot of daylight. The lighting is beautiful, along with the rustic feel of the place. They have a beautiful book case that covers an entire wall and sets the scene for a perfect shot.

Forest ridge, yet another place we have used as a setting countless times. It’s a nature trail filled with beautiful weeping willow trees. During golden hour, this spot looks magical and is the perfect setting for a picnic!

Sawgrass Trailhead at Atlantic Blvd. in coral springs – This spot is literally the only place where we are able to feel like we’re out of Florida, while also being very much Floridian at the same time. It’s home of an elevated trail surrounded by seagrass that can sometimes come out looking like a beautiful wheat field in photos! Perfect for picnics, biking, photos, etc.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We definitely have so many incredible people that have been huge supporters since Day 1! Two of them are Jewel and Luis, two of our church leaders and friends who witnessed our official first moments when V.A. Moments started growing in our hearts as a thought and then a probable idea. Luis endured hundreds of questions about settings and strategies and let us use his camera before we had our own, and he never hesitated to spend hours explaining aperture lol Meanwhile, Jewel was always our voice of reason when it came to picking a name, editing style, and being a business owner… she always encouraged us with our work even back when we did our first wedding and had to re-edit photos during our learning seasons.

Instagram: @v.a.moments

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/v.a.momentsphoto

Other: Google reviews: https://g.page/VAMomentsPhoto?share

Image Credits
Image of us on the bench by a tree, with our cameras: @vvs_productions Close up image of us looking at each other while holding cameras: @natalieprisla

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.