In honor of the launch of Vital Proteins new Collagen Water™, we’re kicking off a weekly series on Lively called “How I Uncap My Potential,” where we feature amazing women doing incredible things in their field. Today, we’re spotlighting Andrea Campos, a San Francisco-based photographer and marketing professional who keeps things candid when discussing life, career and self-doubts.
Get to know the 20-something artist in our interview below.
Andrea Campos: I’ve always enjoyed photography, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I started to pursue it as a career. Up until that point, my work had primarily been focused in marketing. In fact, I actually started my career not too far from Vital Proteins HQ, at EnergyBBDO, an advertising agency in Chicago.
I really enjoyed developing campaign ideas and bringing them to life, but my favorite days were always on set, and as I’ve moved through my career, I’ve tried to make sure that I was getting more and more exposure to that.
By the time I got so San Francisco, I knew that I wanted to do more than just design experiences, and I was lucky to land in a place that gave me the creative autonomy to do both. Gap Inc. gave me my first photography assignment, and I’ve been working on making that my full-time role ever since.
AC: Every job I’ve had has been uniquely rewarding. Some have brought me once in a lifetime experiences, others have pushed me to think bigger and then I’ve had some that have spotlighted things that I absolutely do not enjoy, which I think is equally as valuable as the good stuff.
But the project that has been the most rewarding, to date, has been my work with ‘My Life, My Stories,’ a Bay Area-based non-profit that is focused on preserving and sharing the legacies of seniors through storytelling.
The project, which is set to be completed later this year, has given me the opportunity to photograph seniors from all walks of life and allowed me to get to know each and every one of them on a personal level. Intergenerational friendships are something that feels rare in today’s world.
AC: My biggest obstacle has been self-doubt. I wish I could tell you that I’ve overcome it, but the truth is I’m in the thick of it right now. I’m smack dab in the middle of the crossroads between what I should do and what I feel I must do.
For years, I’ve been burning the candle at both ends working full-time in experiential marketing and moonlighting as a photographer.
With each job shift I’ve had in my career, I’ve gotten closer to making photography my main priority, but I haven’t been able to make the leap of faith into the world of full-time freelance photography. And that’s been because of my own self-doubt. That little voice we all hear at times tells us we are not enough, that we’re imposters (and everyone knows it) and that we have no right to be there. So, that’s what I’m trying to get better at.
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AC: If you’re sitting in a job, profession, career that you feel “meh” about, do something about it. Life is too short to have 8-9+ hours of your day just be “meh.” Take the time early on to figure out what it is you like, and what it is you don’t like. Put it on paper.
Do what makes you happy. The road to fusing your career and passion is not a ladder – it’s a jungle gym. Hone your craft, work on those skills and be ready for that opportunity. Sometimes the right move is a lateral one, going back to school, or simply taking a break. Trust your gut and do what is best for you.
Along the way you may be tempted to compare yourself to your peers. Don’t do it. They may be doing things differently, and it may look like they have it all. But here’s the thing: Happiness is not a one size fits all.
AC: This may sound counter intuitive, but I’ve slowed down. I used to be the type of person who felt restless with any sort of down time. I was at every event, every party, everything (it’s no wonder I ended up pursuing a career in experimental marketing) but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve really learned to appreciate and value my “me time.” And it’s in that time when you can really stop and think about your goals and values.
AC: When it comes to breakfast, I’m a creature of habit, and one of my favorite ways to start the day is with a nutrient-packed smoothie. I love Vital Proteins Watermelon Mint Beauty Collagen. It’s the perfect addition to some of my favorite smoothie blends. I’m also a big fan of Vital Proteins Collagen Water. It keeps me cool when I need it most.