Today’s empowered woman I love hardly needs any introduction. Shaira Luna is known by many as one of the most sought-after fashion photographers in the industry today. Shaira is one of the people I know who has exemplified grit and perseverance. Before she became the industry great she is today, she taught herself photography and shot anything she could, even events and christenings.

Photo credit: Shaira Luna

Her body of work now is characterized by a distinct dreamy style. I’ve loved the shoots exuding unapologetic femininity, with hues of pink and rose. Her personal style is also on point! Shaira is a huge fan of thrifting clothes, and combining unexpected pieces for a unique look.

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I’ve been fortunate to work with Shaira many times over the course of my career, and as much as I love the work we’ve produced together, her dedication to her craft always amazes me. She also answered a few questions for me to share with you on the blog.

Photo credit: Shaira Luna

Sarah: What’s it like being a woman in your position? Does the industry treat you differently?
Shaira: Being a woman in my position is something I’m very proud of. When I was starting out more than a decade ago, most of my peers were male. My experiences have been positive for the most part, with people happy and surprised to see a female photographer. People have been very helpful, accepting, and actually curious about what it’s like to be a photographer. I take those opportunities to show and share what we do. 🙂

Sarah: What was it like working to where you are now? What were the challenges you faced?
Shaira: I started taking photos when I was 16, literally just to document little bits of my life, like a diary. I started getting published in magazines when I was 19, but only after a couple of years of shooting events and portraits here and there. I was hardly making any money, but I made that the last priority and I really pushed on and kept persevering and trying all different kinds of photography; slowly building valuable connections and relationships over the years. There were many times that I was taken advantage of, from a business standpoint, but those experiences taught me to learn more about the industry and to be more in tune with my instincts.

Sarah: Where do you think women now stand in society?
Shaira: I think women have so many more choices, and now have many avenues to share, and connect, and learn, and reach out. We don’t just stand, we can definitely strut and fly if we need to!

Sarah: What do you think it means to be an empowered woman?
Shaira: Many wise things have been said about being an empowered woman, but for me, personally, I think my empowerment comes from knowing that I don’t need to let go of the inner child who daydreams and lets her imagination run free.

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Photo credit: Shaira Luna Manila

I have three more blogs in this series, so be sure to come back tomorrow for more thoughts from inspiring women I know. Who do you think I will feature next? 🙂 Leave me a comment!

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