Creative Spotlight: Amanda + Ragi of Bowtie & Bloom
We are kicking off our creative spotlight series with the husband and wife team behind Bowtie & Bloom Photography & Videography! Amanda and Ragi (pronounced Rah-Gee) are both precious souls whom we worked with at Bloom Bash San Clemente. In fact, our originally scheduled videographer had to back out due to an emergency and Amanda & Ragi stepped in to provide video AND photography coverage of our event. You won't find two more kind or more creatively inspiring people, and we are excited to introduce you to them and their work! Bowtie and Bloom will also be with us in April at Bloom Bash Holman Ranch.
When did you start your business/blog?
We technically started in 2010, while we were students working on our Masters of Fine Arts in Photography. We wanted to make sure that we were the best that we could be and really master our craft. We graduated in 2014.
Where does your passion stem from?
We have both always been artists (and art students). We loved studying art in every form. We met as graphic design majors in college and our last year in college (while we were engaged) we had to take 2 photography classes. I always say that we fell in love behind a camera and in the darkroom. We both have really fond memories of working together on projects.
We learned really quickly, through all the experiences, good and bad that we went through together, the relationship and the marriage is what's important, not the wedding. So we wanted to make our client's experience just as much a part of the process as the actual images. Our passion is the marriage itself, not just the wedding.
If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice what would it be? (business, social media, etc.)
When we first started out, everyone recommend we invest in more traditional forms of advertising, so we spent thousands on listing with big bridal magazines and booths at bridal expos. We spent money that we couldn't afford to spend in hopes of getting business that never came. We wish we had known that there are simpler, more cost-effective ways to grow your business that are far more effective.
Focus on your brand and your social media presence. Do styled shoots, network, collaborate! Build your portfolio and relationships with others in the industry. These things have made a bigger impact on our business that traditional advertising ever did.
What is one way you stay inspired outside of your industry/field?
We travel! We decided a few years ago to prioritize traveling in order to take time off for ourselves and to stay refreshed and inspired. Sometimes, just being in a new place and seeing things for the first time with fresh eyes, is enough to get you recharged and back in the creative flow.
Favorite project AND most challenging project?
As a married couple and business partners, we do everything together, so there has never really been a challenge that we haven't been able to work on together and accomplish. Our weaknesses and strengths balance each other out. Our most challenging project to date has been our individual Masters Thesis Projects. We worked on them over the course of several years, revising and reworking, until the result was where it needed to be. It taught us to be persistent with our vision, trust our instincts, and to not be afraid to change and move in a different direction.
Do you find yourself drawn to one medium over the other (film/digital/ photo vs videography)?
We love photography and we especially love film. Amanda and I learned photography shooting film, so to us film is part of who we are as photographers.
Recently we started shooting 16mm motion picture film and we love the unique look it has.
Three favorite things RIGHT now:
- My Passport
- Any and all cameras (love old cameras that work)
- Amazon Prime lol
- Later (app). This little app saves me so much time and keeps me sane when it comes to Instagram. It helps me schedule and curate our feed, something that used to take me hours.
- Chai lattes! I'm not a coffee drinker.
- Currently re-reading one of my favorite books, Ready Player One. I'm a sci-fi/ fantasy nerd.
Click here to register for Bloom Bash Carmel Valley where Bowtie & Bloom will be photographing + filming, as well as answering questions on our expert Q&A panel. Check out their gorgeous video of our last workshop in 2016.