Explore Self-Care through Photography | Anj Angeles of Her Light Studios

Anj Angeles is a Photographer, Content Creator, and Writer. For the people who knows Anj, you will most likely want to call her as Light worker. Light workers are beings who feel an enormous pull towards helping others.
She is an advocate of self-love, an Empath, and a hopeful romantic. What lights her up the most is helping people take steps, even small ones, towards being the highest versions of themselves. She tries to do this with her photography work and with her writing.
 "Literally I am a photographer and figuratively I am someone who really believes that everyone has a divine purpose in this world to make it a brighter and better place to be"  
How long have you been into photography?
I have always loved taking photos, I grew up capturing moments with my digital film camera and making photo albums. And then I got into digital media and studied about it in college, and then fast forward to now! Professionally, I've been a photographer for five years now.
What is your medium/style when it comes to photography?
I just absolutely love to create a light, bright, dreamy, and golden images
How did you learn about your skill?
I guess I've always loved photography and videography and took a related course of Mass Communication in UP Diliman, but I never really thought of photography per se as a career, until I got my first job fresh out of college at a photography studio. And I would say this was where I honed my skills, and I have an amazing mentor (the owner of the studio who is also now my dearest friend) who taught me generously everything and even encouraged me to do my own thing and start my brand of photography.
What has photography done to you as an individual?
Photography is about making people see what you see, right? But all the more, it has changed the way I see things. It has changed my perspective on the world and life, because of the people whom I have gotten the privilege to photograph, and whose stories I have been so grateful to witness and share.
What do you think is the importance of Creativity in Photography?
I feel like when people think about photography, they think it's about capturing a moment. But for me, photography is really about creating a moment. So I think it's essentially a creation, a creative process. And it takes a lot of creative energy to think about what story you want to tell and how you can tell that story through a photograph.
What keeps you inspired?
Many things haha! I would say, first of all, people and their stories. The best part about my job is really getting to know people and serving them in the best way I can to bring out their light, their confidence, and their stories through my work.
Secondly, I would say I stay inspired by being conscious of the media and art that I consume. If you choose to surround yourself with things that inspire you, then you will not run out of inspiration.
Lastly, I would say being attuned to my inner world is also important. Listening to myself and what's going on internally, my emotions, my thoughts, those are a good majority of where I get my inspiration as well. I do a lot journaling and reflecting.
How do you associate self-care and photography in your life?
It's funny because photography is my job, and you know how people say when you do what you love, you won't have to work a day in your life? I think this is fake news haha when you do what you love, all the more you will work so much harder because you care about it so much! And when you're working so hard, you also have to double on your self-care. And as much as I try to distance myself from my camera when doing self-care sometimes I just really feel like using photography as a tool to do self-care and expressing myself haha! So I try to give myself more of photography challenges wherein I can create things that are just for me and for my own sanity vs thinking of what other people will think. And that's a form of self-care I think for me. Which I think is a good principle to apply for any creative. :)
Do you think photography or taking photos can be used as a tool for personal healing and growth?
YES DEFINITELY! Actually, before COVID happened, I was writing and planning to launch a self-love and photography workshop. And this is based on my work with a women shelter. I work with women shelters for girls who have been victims of abuse and prostitution, and I share my time with them through taking their portraits and it has opened my eyes to the power of photography for healing and building self-confidence. These girls never have their photos taken because of safety issues and so having this safe place where they can express themselves, learn a bit of photography, and also have their portraits taken means a lot to them! Huhu I miss them right now because I don't get to visit and do projects with them due to the pandemic.
So there. I was planning to launch a similar workshop for anyone to join but the pandemic happened. Hopefully soon, I can still work on this again.
But also I'm a huge advocate of self-portraits and I like teaching people to express themselves and use self-portraits as a way to get to know themselves more, and appreciate the skin their in!
Also in terms of growth, right now I am so passionate about helping people grow their businesses by helping them with their brand photography. It's one thing making people feel confident in their own skin and beauty, but another thing to make them feel confident about their passions and their own brands and businesses. And that's just really what I'm focusing on also right now. How to grow career-wise in that aspect through photography.
What can you advise to anyone who would like to start their journey into photography?
I would say just start! Start where you are and don't worry about equipment and getting the best equipment there is. I survived college borrowing people's cameras haha and never bought my own until I was a year or two into my job and could afford one (after really saving up for it!). It's not about the equipment for me. I think it's about the passion and the heart and your message every time you take a photo.
And in my opinion, you just really need two things: good light, and a good eye. So just master those two things, master finding or creating good light, and just keep practicing and honing your skills!
Aside from photography are there other things that you are interested in when it comes to advocating self-care?
I am such an advocate of journaling! My mind is always a mess and meditating doesn't always work for me. Meditating for me is like trying to stay still while all my thoughts are dancing around me. Journaling for me is dancing with my thoughts until they calm down and sit beside me. And even for people who aren't huge fans of writing or anything, I would still say start with an easy question a day like, "what's been on my mind today?" Or "what made me happy today?" And just write and see what comes up there. It is such a good way to check in on yourself and your mental wellbeing every day.
What do you think is the importance of taking good care of our mind, body, and soul?
I believe that you can only give as much as you give yourself. So if you want to be of service to others, if you want to love your family and friends better, you really have to double down on that love you give yourself. I've experienced so much serious emotional and physical burn out before because I didn't know how to receive love and care from myself, and I just kept giving and giving. And I reached a rock bottom in my life because of that. And that's when I realized how important it is to take care of yourself first.
Can you share with us your rituals/ routine when it comes to self-care?
Hmm I don't have a routine per se, but I believe in taking time in a day to do whatever I feel like doing and whatever will help me replenish my cup and vibrate to higher energy. Usually, that is a long bath, my happy music, my skincare routine, journaling, and a really good empowering podcast or guided meditation. :)
For inquiries you may wish to connect with Anj Angeles through the following:
Instagram Profile : @anjangeles or @herlightstudios