As a young girl, LaToya Sparks loved snapping pictures with her friends and family before knowing what photography really meant. Now, she is a new, up-and-coming celebrity photographer in Houston who has a sensational eye for style and pays close attention to detail. She is the proud owner of Creative Sparks Image, a unique photography business that creates a wonderful experience and captures timeless moments for clients that they will cherish forever.
Rolling out had the opportunity to chat with Sparks about how she got started in her thriving business.
How did you first get involved with your business?
I got involved with my business when I told my husband I wanted a camera for Christmas four years ago and he got it. The moment I had my first photoshoot, the way my clients interacted with me, I knew it was just the beginning. I began with investing in myself, attending workshops to learn the basics to become a skilled photographer. I absolutely love photography; it’s a true passion of mine.
Tell us about a time when things didn’t go the way you wanted — like a promotion you wanted and didn’t get, or a project that didn’t turn out how you had hoped.
One of my very first concept photoshoots I put together with a model that actually turned out very well, was not accepted to a magazine for publication that I wanted. However, it encouraged me to keep pushing and striving to work harder on the next project.
What is your greatest achievement?
I believe my greatest achievement is having the vision to pursue my passion. Believing in myself enough to go for it all and determined not give up. I was blessed to have some of my images selected to be published in various magazines with some of the models and celebs I have worked with such as chef turned reality star Shay Atkins.
What has surprised you the most about your business?
What surprised me the most is that work does not always come to you. You have to get out there to make it happen. The business doesn’t work unless you do. Pretty much, there’s no days off. You always have to challenge yourself to come up with new ideas in marketing your brand to set yourself apart.
What’s been the most difficult day of your career so far and how did you deal with it?
My most difficult day in my career was a few years ago when I had some unexpected health issues, which forced me to take a break from photography. How did I deal with it? Having a great support system around me that encouraged me that I will get back to it sooner than I think. Also, having faith and trusting that God will strengthen me back even better than before.
There’s also the whole work/life balance; how do you do it all?
First, I am a wife and a mother of two beautiful children. It’s not always easy, but I make sure I spend quality time with my family. I also have to make sure I set some time for self care so I can continue to balance it all. My family is what keeps me grounded and it pushes me to keep pursuing to do what I love everyday.
If we’re sitting here a year from now celebrating what a great year it’s been for you, what did you achieve?
I will achieve building new business relationships, adding additional services for my clients, and growing my business as an entrepreneur.
What was the last thing you googled?
The last thing I googled was fashion photography. I’m always searching for fresh ideas of new concepts for my next photoshoot.
Tell me about someone who has influenced your decision to pursue your career.
There have been a few that have influenced me; however, one woman who I love dearly is my mother. When I first told her I wanted to start photography, she automatically said, “Go for it; you have a gift.” She’s always supported me and cheering me on to be great.
What might we be surprised to know about you?
Some will be surprised that I’m actually a shy and reserved person. So, being a business owner in photography it forces me to come out of my shell and connect with people on a different level, which I love,