I had the wonderful opportunity of interviewing this lovely lady from California. I foundher on Instagram and was really captured by her photography and had to find out just how she made her clients looks so happy and relaxed. Lets get to know Sandy Grigsby.
Hello my name is Sandy Grigsby, I help women unlock and visually capture their truest selves. I use my camera as a tool to bring a women’s inner beauty out. That said, I’m not a conventional photographer, I do more than just photograph women. I give her an experience she will never forget and a new found sense of confidence, self-worth and beauty that she will carry with her forever.
LADY BLUE: Tell my readers about you and how you came to be who you are today?
I began my career as a commercial print model, actress and spokesmodel. I had a degree in Visual Communications and started my company Brio Five in 2005 building mostly websites. Photography was always a part of my business, as I often photographed client products along with food, my animals, travels and eventually people. I realized my passion was photographing women and bringing their true essence out about two years ago. As a model and actress I had experienced a lot of rejection and that can tear a person down, going through this made me very strong and who I am today. It also helped because I learned exactly how to prepare, behave and pose in front of the camera as well as behind one.
LADY BLUE: Where were you born/raised and how did you come to settle where you are now?
I was born in Switzerland and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in California when I was one. My father was black and Native American and my mother European white (talk about experiences). I can’t begin to tell you how difficult it was asking my mom things any American mother knew and she looked at me blankly and told me she didn’t know. I give her kudos though, as she integrated well and made sure to learn and give us American traditions she had never experienced as a child. I moved to Los Angeles for University and fell in love with it because of the culture, creative, and weather. After brief a return to the Bay Area to take care of my father in hospice, I eventually made my way back to LA and I now live in sunny Santa Monica.
LADY BLUE: What made you decide to do what you do and how has the impact on community changed your life?
When I first started pursuing photography as a career I did it for the websites I was designing, such as the jewelry, food, clothing or other products. When clients I was doing graphic design work for started asking me to photograph them I discovered I enjoyed it more than the inanimate objects. After photographing multiple people I realized I had more fun doing that than building sites so I slowly transitioned to more photography work than graphic design. I dabbled in weddings, hated that, kids, hated that more, food, loved that but struggled with getting food accounts, and eventually realized I just loved photographing real women, especially women who claimed to “not be photogenic” and who hated being in front of the camera. After photographing multiple women and seeing how they felt after a shoot, witnessing the confidence they carried with them afterwards, and seeing their joy I realized this was my gift. That’s when I changed direction and decided to use my camera as a tool to show a woman her true beauty and power.
LADY BLUE: What inspires you to do what you do?
Seeing a woman transform during my process to bring her true essence out inspires me to do what I do. Seeing how she reacts after she’s let herself be her truest self in front of my camera, is mesmerizing. Just being able to bring out a women’s confidence out by realizing how beautiful she really is, it’s hard to describe, but it’s so inspiring and excites me. Showing them their final photos and experiencing their reactions just makes me bloom with joy! Although I do it for them, I confess it is really much for me… The high I get off of another woman’s sheer bliss is addictive and contagious – makes me want to do it again and again and floods into women wanting others to experience it too!
LADY BLUE: What was the biggest obstacle in achieving your success?
The biggest obstacle to achieving my success would be my own self doubt. It was something I had to really work hard on to get past. I feel that is why I can coach women through a session so well. I had doubts about everything in my life, still do. I had to face them head on and make them move aside so I can continue my journey. We all have doubts about ourselves: how we look, our talent, experience, skill, ideas, relationships, decisions, all of it. Unless we accept that this is normal and not a fatal flaw in our being we can’t move on to bigger and better things. Once I realized this I became unstoppable, there are times when I fail (and boy I have some epic ones) but there are more times when I succeed. Failure is a way for us to measure our growth, courage, passion and grit. Without it we would be entitled, spoiled and a hot mess. Sometimes I’m slow, sometimes I’m fast, I can be insecure and confident in the same moment but either way I always get to where I need to be just at the right time that the universe has destined for me. I know, this sounds like some kind of dreamy mumbo jumbo yet when I look back on my life it is all true. So why have doubts? Just keep going and in one way or another, you will succeed.
So there she is, a woman who found her niche and is making the most of it. I am glad that I got to know Sandy and hopefully shed some wonderful light on what I consider to be a brilliant photographer and a phenomenal woman in business!