Gabby Santos, a USF graduate turned excessive style photographer, has lastly determined what she needs out of life.
After years of dealing with indecisiveness about the place she needs her life to finish up, Santos took a shot at Lowry Park Zoo as a digital media intern. There, she discovered methods to thrive as a studio supervisor at Kilgore Atelier, a Tampa-based style design studio, curated showroom and a pictures studio.
Santos began her educational profession undeclared however finally selected a communications main with a focus in tradition and media. It was in these years previous to deciding on a serious that she struggled together with her id.
“In my first couple of years at USF, my GPA was very low and I was on the verge of academic probation. When I decided on communications and took Beginning Photography as an elective, that changed everything for me,” stated Santos.
Her ardour for pictures led to a digital media internship at Lowry Park Zoo the place she photographed the animals for social media promotion.
“This internship taught me how to have better control with my camera and be patient with the subjects that I’m photographing,” stated Santos. “Patience was important since I can’t pose animals,” she joked.
She stated the internship shortly turned among the best experiences of her school profession. Santos urges college students to search for out-of-classroom experiences to complement their college schooling.
“Internships help you stay motivated. When you become a valuable addition to a team and do what you do in a workplace environment, you begin to feel more secure about your future,” stated Santos.
Upon graduating in spring 2018 and finishing her internship at Lowry Park Zoo, Santos stated she started reserving pictures purchasers extra persistently, which bolstered her confidence and prompted the conclusion that she might create a sustainable future as a photographer.
She discovered her place at Kilgore after a pal of hers and in-house photographer for the studio, Javi Ortiz, launched her to Kyle Kilgore, the inventive director of Kilgore.
“(Santos is) young and self-taught like myself,” stated Kilgore. “My biggest problem when I started out was never having the opportunity to prove myself. I want to help people in ways I was never helped.”
Kilgore stated that Santos’ place at Kilgore Atelier is about extra than simply pictures. What she brings to the desk exceeds merely taking footage.
“Her willingness to learn, her personal goals, and her dedication to her vision are unmatched,” stated Kilgore. “You can teach any idiot how to take a picture and send an email but you can’t teach someone passion and drive.”
At Kilgore Atelier, Santos manages hourly studio leases, month-to-month subscription providers, and hosts occasions like styled editorial shoots and photographer meet-ups.
“My position allows me to bring the photographer community (in Tampa) together to network and collaborate,” stated Santos.
The talents she sharpened at Lowry Park Zoo have even helped her shoot excessive style fashions.
“Fashion shoots are challenging because you have to capture the model’s movements in the most candid and interesting way, just how I had to do with animals,” stated Santos.
On the atelier, Santos stated that she has been launched to many thrilling alternatives. She is at the moment planning a styled editorial shoot for photographers who need the chance to shoot professionally styled fashions and domesticate new content material for his or her portfolios.
For this shoot, she’s secured skilled fashions like Qui’yona Salmon, who has walked in Miami Swim Week, and Joah Carmody, who was not too long ago featured in a movie referred to as Ghost within the Graveyard.
“USF led me to Lowry Park Zoo and eventually to Kilgore Atelier. It’s my experience at USF that became the foundation of everything I do,” stated Santos.
Each Kilgore and Santos are keen to produce folks with alternatives to observe their creativity. USF college students who lease out the pictures studio will obtain a 15 % low cost. Together with entry to the studio, renters can use the atelier’s skilled photograph tools, together with backdrops and lights.
“I’m definitely not where I want to be just yet, but since starting at Kilgore, I feel closer to achieving my goals than ever before,” stated Santos.
“I know USF is home to many great photographers who are thirsty for opportunities to practice their skills. I want to help empower those people how Kilgore empowered me.”