Here at LIVELY, we’re constantly surrounded by swoon-worthy women that are killin’ it in their businesses. We're launching #WomenCrushWednesday to celebrate the boss babes who provide us with a constant flow of inspiration, support, and endless girl-crushes.
Up next, Photographer and Content Creator, Paige Babilla
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Wheaton, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. After obtaining my BS in advertising from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, I moved to Chicago, where I currently reside.
How do you balance your full-time job at an ad agency with your photography side hustle?
Let’s be real, balance doesn’t exist! For me it’s about harmony — getting the two to work together, always favoring one more than the other in a way that best serves my goals. During the day, I focus on my job as a Content Strategist and do my best to not let photography distract me so that I can then fully dedicate my mornings, nights and weekends to building my photo business. Lucky for me the two are somewhat complementary and I am truly passionate about both! My friends always say I’m “never not working”, which is a choice on my part. When it comes down to it, I’ve found that my priorities lie in my career right now, so I’m okay with skipping a night out in favor of working to meet deadlines and take my photo business to the next level. I am very grateful to have family and friends who are super supportive of that!
What advice would you give on taking risks?
If it’s something that excites you, that makes you want to get up in the morning, do it. Whatever it is, you’re never going to be *ready* for it, that’s what makes it a risk. You have to take a leap. You’ll try, fail to some degree, learn and get better. If you really want it, you’ll make it work.
Where do you find your motivation?
I am driven by my incredible clients. With each shoot, they remind me why I do what I do and why I work this hard. I love that I can help bring their vision to life through photographs. What makes me happiest is when they end up with images of themselves that they absolutely love, because I think every person deserves that.
How do you fuel your confidence?
When I first decided to start pursuing photography as more than a hobby, I suffered from a severe case of imposter syndrome. I refused to even call myself a photographer because I thought, what gives me the right?? What I didn’t realize at the time is to get better you have to start. There’s no way to improve and to get to the level you want to be at without starting. Now when I am feeling defeated or intimidated by the great work I see others producing, I look back at where I started and realize how far I have come. That restores my confidence in myself every time.
What’s the best advice you’ve received from a mentor?
Stay in your lane, don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.
When do you feel most empowered?
I feel most empowered when I am organized with a plan and set goals. It’s when I am overwhelmed and unorganized that I find myself paralyzed with indecision and am unable to move forward.
Do you ever deal with burn out? How do you deal with it?
ABSOLUTELY. Part of “never not working” means frequent burnout if I’m not careful. Getting out of town is my favorite way to combat it, but when that’s not an option (which is most of the time), I’ll head to a new coffee shop or restaurant I’ve been wanting to try, or go for a walk along the lakefront. Or sometimes it means taking a day off and watching Netflix for 10 hours. Whatever I can do to disconnect from my to-do list and get re-inspired.
What are your thoughts on “following your gut”?
I think humans are incredibly intuitive, so if your gut is telling you to do something, you should at least explore it. I tend to be more of a head over heart person, but have a lot of people in my life who are mostly heart humans, so it’s great to talk things out seeing both perspectives.
3 fave LIVELY pieces?
I live in leggings so the No Show Thong is a must. Whether I’m shooting a session or commuting to my full-time, I’m constantly moving. Bralettes are the perfect in-between that will work with whatever I’m doing or wearing. I’ve been loving The Busty Bralette and The Seamless Busty Bralette!