One of the things I love doing as a creative photographer is producing personal projects that get me to stretch and expand my artistry so I can bring that whimsy to the assignments that magazines and businesses hire me to do for them.
Just like the editorial work I do, I lean into storytelling where I can direct a scene to unfold in front of the stage I’ve set up, controlling lights, placement of people, and scenarios so I can capture genuine emotion out of people I direct.
One of my ongoing projects is TAYO NA: an editorial magazine spotlighting nearly 30 Austin Filipino artists and makers.
With my art director, Travis San Pedro, and graphic designer, Lisa Crawford, we were able to tell the story of Austinites who were invited to a Kamaya holiday dinner. On their way to pick up gifts for the gathering, they run into fellow Filipinos whom they knew and didn’t realize were fellow guests at the gathering. We see how they interact with each other, treating each other like family through the photographs I directed and took at various Filipino-owned Austin shops. The build-up of the story leads to seeing the guests gather at Kapatad where they continue to be in the spirit of being kapamilya, passing food and sharing a dinner through a kamayan feast.
Through this project, I was able to photograph Filipino foods you’d normally find at the spread. This included showcasing the staple of my childhood: a scored mango flipped inside out.
I loved this image so much that I turned it into a die-cut sticker and printed it with Sticker Mule. I’ve never made stickers before and it was a surprisingly easy process. Sticker Mule even gave me easy-to-understand proofs before committing and that made me feel incredibly confident ordering through them. And now I have an amazing sticker that promotes my work and reminds me to keep going as my team and I prepare for the second book of TAYO NA to be published in October 2024.
If you’d like to learn more about TAYO NA and how you can be a part of celebrating Austin Filipino Artists and Makers, click the following link: https://austinfilipino.com/
And if you’d like a sticker reach out to Joi@JoiConti.com ;)
I have never lived in a city that hugs the way that Austin hugs. Austin is a vibrant city that manages to balance a spirit of brilliant liveliness and rest. Austin sweeps you off your feet with all there is to do, and when you get to know people, you get to see what a strong community looks like, welcoming you in.
To really get a feel for the creative and inspiring community, you must attend the pop-up markets throughout the city. Tomorrow, I’ll be joining the ranks of vendors for the first time at Cinful Sweets’ first anniversary, selling a curated set of prints. As a special sneak peek, here’s a picture of the beautiful bluebonnet ballet—the Texas state flower—that I’ll be selling:
Come visit me and my fellow amazing vendors tomorrow at Cinful Sweets’ Anniversary!
If you’re looking for more amazing things to do in Austin, check out this Redfin article that features me and other local photographers recommending our favorite activities. Unsurprisingly, for me, it’s all about food!
One of the ways I continue growing my professional photography business is by connecting with people in person. Since moving to Austin in 2020, I’ve found that I am energized by a mixture of being surrounded by and collaborating with creative people and letting myself dream and hone my craft on my own.
Yesterday, I was surrounded and inspired by amazing women in leadership and people who own and run their own successful businesses.
My morning was spent at the UT School of Law for the Texas Diversity Council’s 2023 Women in Leadership Symposium. By noon, I was moved, inspired, and energized in so many ways that all I could do was let the tears run down my cheeks.
Good vibes help me thrive and to be in a room full of welcoming, energetic, and encouraging people was a gift.
That afternoon, I made my way to Hearth & Soul for a beautiful community event created by the Women of Austin and YWA. I was welcomed by people who resonated with my work: creative photography that is vibrant and unique as the people and products I photograph.
By the evening, I found myself daydreaming about the projects I’m about to start with the people I connected with throughout the day.
If this resonates with you, let’s chat!