Meet Regina

Photographer

She felt deeply unfulfilled from her 9-to-5 job at a bank - which led her on the quest to find work that uses her full potential, and would be happy to do everyday. This exploration led her to photography, which she now does full-time (with a team at that!).

My name is Regina.

I am a photographer. I capture natural and real emotions among my subjects (couples and families). I've been doing this full-time since 2015, and have grown and hired a team in 2018.

I am an alumna of The Purposeful Creative & I took up the following programs:

My name is Regina.

I am a photographer. I capture natural and real emotions among my subjects (couples and families). I've been doing this full-time since 2016, and have grown and hired a team in 2018.

I am an alumna of The Purposeful Creative & I took up the following programs:

How She Got Started

Your first job was at a bank… what led you to photography?

To be honest, I didn’t really know from the get-go that photography was my passion. I mean, I had a photography subject back in college… but after graduation, I ended up in a bank, under the Corporate Loans department.

But after a few years in that career, I was just weighed down by the lack of fulfillment. And so, I really took an effort to find that something – that career that would make me feel fulfilled.

It’s not like I already knew it was photography — but I kept exploring options like fashion, photography, events, etc. But after all that experimenting: here I am, happily taking photos and fulfilled at the end of the day, every time.

What was the final trigger that really pushed you to take the leap & start your photography career?

I started doing photography on the side (I applied as an apprentice for an established photographer in the industry). The first six months of doing that, I never really thought I’d go into it full time. I just explored it because I wanted an outlet, not so much about the income potential… the most important thing was that it made me happy!

I remember, during that time — my 5 days were devoted to my banking job, and then all of Saturday’s and Sunday’s were devoted to shoots. No rest, no time to see my family, no me-time.

After 6 months of doing that, I realized that it wasn’t a healthy or sustainable way to live — and that’s when I started planning to leave the corporate world.

I knew I wasn’t happy at my desk job, yes. But I also knew I had to be smart about it, so I didn’t quit my job until I was fully prepared. I really planned it out: I spent one whole year preparing myself financially, mentally, and emotionally.

It was a lot of work, and it took a lot of patience, but I knew in my heart that I’m meant to do something else, something more meaningful… a career where I can use my full potential – a career I’d be happy to do everyday. And I was willing to put in the effort to get there.

I knew I wasn’t happy at my desk job, yes. But I also knew I had to be smart about [quitting]… I really planned it out: I spent one whole year preparing myself financially, mentally, and emotionally.

What was the best piece of business/leadership advice you were given when you were starting off?

WHAT YOU FOCUS ON GROWS.

My photography mentors Toto Villaruel and Nicolai Melicor made me realize that I cannot excel in photography if I was only doing it on the side. You cannot expect 100% return… if you’re only giving 50%.

I had to let go of something to make room for what’s more important to me – hearing this helped pushed me to take that leap.

I had to let go of something to make room for what’s more important to me.

Her Journey (So Far): The Wins and Joys

What is the best part of your job?

It’s one thing to make my clients really happy with the photos that we took for them, but it’s another thing to be friends with them and to keep in touch with them even way after the wedding. What’s supposed to be just business blossoms into real relationships. I’m happy to say that I’ve got quite a lot of this.

Imagine who you were and where your career/business was a year ago. In the past year, what have been 3 of your most tangible achievements?

  1. Getting international shoots in places like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Australia.
  2. Finally having my own team now that I’m training.
  3. Expanding by putting up a sister brand Sunny Days Studio, that’s more focused on lifestyle shoots such as kiddie parties, maternity shoots, baby portraits, and family milestones.

What’s the thing in your life/career now that still makes you go, “Wow, I never thought I’d be the type of person who’d be able to do/achieve this.”

Being a mentor! I know that it’s only been a month that I’ve officially completed my team but it definitely has taken me to a whole new level I didn’t expect I would be. Like with mother’s instinct, it has made me more selfless. If, before, I can live with just a certain # of shoots — not anymore.

I’m now more motivated to book more clients so that I could provide more and share more and so that they would have an experience to keep on learning from.

What behavior or personality trait do you most attribute to your success – or getting where you are now?

It’s really my optimism – which includes me being friendly, me being real, and me taking everything really light! Negative vibes are totally unwelcome!

 

Roadblocks & Self-Doubt

When you were just starting out, what was the biggest roadblock that was holding you back?

FEAR. Fear that I wouldn’t be able to sustain myself if I go full time, fear that “what if it doesn’t work?”

But then again, what we focus on grows. My desire to be fulfilled and happy everyday and to share who I am through my work is waaaay greater than those fears. So, part of my optimism is also the willingness to take risks!

What’s your #1 go-to thing to do when self-doubt creeps up on you?

PRAY, and stop comparing.

What’s the hardest part about your job?

Backlogs! And very, very, very few clients who dictate prices.

What’s the most meaningful part of your job?

Making my clients so happy and again, being friends with them after!

Let’s Talk About The F Word: Finances

Note: We want to get more women talking about money more openly. It’s such a useful and educational topic to have – and we want to encourage more discussions about it. So, here we go!

How much capital did you need to start your business?

Around Php 200,000 (US $ 4,000).

How did you decide on your financial goals when you first started your business?

I’m actually not the type who sets monetary goals. But of course, it was a major concern when I jumped from corporate to going full time in this business.

My resignation was planned a year before I actually did it. I saved up, postponed my travels… but the most important decision that I had to do was to change my lifestyle especially in terms of spending – it has served me well up until now.

What’s your personal definition of a life of abundance? 

As long as I have something to give.

As long as I can travel once in a while, as long as I can treat my family, pay my bills, my insurance, my coffee cravings, and have an emergency fund.

At this point in your business, do you still get worried about sustaining your business and lifestyle long-term?

Yes, of course! That is why I’m expanding through creating another studio and training people.

And also, while I’m earning well, I make sure that my lifestyle doesn’t change. I still try to save as much as I can just in case other business opportunities come, I’ll be ready.

…the most important decision that I had to do was to change my lifestyle especially in terms of spending – it has served me well up until now.

Looking Forward: Regina’s Next Braver Goals

What’s the next big/challenging goal you’re working towards?

I’m really into training my team now to the point that they could actually handle shoots on my behalf.

What quotation or saying inspires you and motivates you to be yourself and do what you love?

Two related quotes: (1) 1 Corinthians 16:14 – Let all that you do be done with love and (2) Do everything 100% as you are working for the Lord.

Can you name the biggest lesson you’ve learned (so far) in pursuing your passion+purpose?

Talent/skill can be learned but your attitude and how you view things and the world will take you places. Always be a joy to work with!

What’s the biggest mindset or skill or takeaway that you learned from The Purposeful Creative that managed to get ingrained in yourself and the way you now do things?

In terms of mindset: DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT!

Another major takeaway that I got is that it is so important to have an amazing support system.

I’ve met such amazing women from The Purposeful Creative community: we still update/support each other (and meet up!) until now — many months after we first met online. I’ve never had a group with so much dreams and causes coupled with a whole lot of courage and positivity! It’s a group I can confidently share all of my dreams and not get judged, but supported and cheered on! It’s a safe haven.

How has your business changed your life? Who has it allowed you to become, and where has the journey taken you?

It has made me content and ambitious at the same time: Content in knowing that whatever I have right now is out of hard work and strong support system, but also – still ambitious knowing that I could do more, improve more, and give more.

My desire to be fulfilled and happy everyday… is waaaay greater than my fear of “what if it doesn’t work?!”

What is your ultimate goal? What’s the bigger Why behind what you do?

The goal really is to build amazing relationships with my team, with the people I get to work with, and with my clients every time! I find meaning in all the relationships made.

Talent/skill can be learned but your attitude and how you view things and the world will take you places. Always be a joy to work with!

– Regina Roque

What advice would you give to a young woman who is… scared to start or fail because – what other people will think?

No person ever succeeded by not starting or not failing; so might as well start and fail.

Now, about what other people will think… the truth is, THEY ARE NOT REALLY THINKING ABOUT YOU. If ever, they would only be bothered by your issue in one to five minutes but they also have their own life and business to think about.

What advice would you give to a young woman who is… feels hindered by the fact that she doesn’t have money to start?

If money is a hindrance, sell something. Sell clothes or stuff you’ve not been using for long, do commissioned works. Remember, to be good in business, you must learn how to sell in the first place. I mean: we are and will be selling ourselves, our services, or our products for the rest of our lives. There are so many ways now to earn capital nowadays, you are just your own limit.

What advice would you give to a young woman who is... struggling with finding the motivation or push to begin? (aka making all the excuses and procrastinating)

You know the cliches “Time is gold” and “Live Your Life to the Fullest”? They are cliches for a reason… because they’re true!

Don’t wait ’til you regret and say “If only I’ve done this earlier”.

What advice would you give to a young woman who is… thinking, “What if I’m not good enough?”

If you think you are not good enough, well then, maybe you are right. Again, you are your own limit.

Ready to follow Regina’s lead & take *YOUR* next brave steps towards a life of passion+purpose?

Check out the workshops she attended with us: