Personal Branding Session with Safari Queen Kay Trotman

I had a photoshoot with this amazing, fun and full of energy woman already two times. Let me tell you, Kay is incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about what she does. If you ever thought of going on safari, look no further. She definitely knows how to make your experience the best it can be. You can find more information on her website:
 http://destined-to-travel.com

One of the photoshoots was in her house and it literally looked like a museum with things she brought from different trips. Just amazing. Our goal was to show her in her natural environment with things she loves and is passionate about. 

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Q: Tell me a bit about yourself and what you do?

Answer: My business and my goal is to introduce you to an experience that will leave you moved and inspired. It offers you the opportunity to get away from that ‘armchair’  safari and go on a ‘real’ ‘authentic’ safari in Tanzania, Africa.  I have my own safari business in Tanzania, complete with drivers and vehicles.  While small, we offer you a big experience, a personalized, customized and private safari, consisting of only those travelers signed up with Destined To Travel.  We do not have guests from other countries or companies, nor guests or drivers who do not speak English.  Our groups are anywhere from 12-18 guests and we offer year round safaris, typically in February, May, June and November.  These are generally off season when the rates are often lower than other seasons. 

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Q: What do you like most about your job?

Answer: What I like most about my ‘JOB’ is that it’s NOT a JOB.  It is a passion, that inspires me to provide it as an opportunity for new and seasoned travelers to have this experience without it costing an arm and a leg.  Most of my trips are valued at least 30% lower than larger, more well known companies, but the experience is quite different.  Because it’s my company, we can offer more personalized experiences and be a little more creative and flexible when the situation calls for it.

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Q.: What inspired you?

Answer: Well, it’s not a pretty story, but sometimes the best comes from adversity.  In short, I was depressed, after losing my mom, and a few months later, two of my brothers, six months apart, and being in a debilitating motor vehicle accident, which left me incapacitated and off work for more than a year.  I wasn’t quite sure I could go on, I was in a downward spiral and needed to change my life in some way, or life was going to pass me by.  So, after about four years of going through depression, I picked myself up and decided to change my environment.  I took a trip to Tanzania, and the rest, as they say is history.  I retired from my full time Human Resources Director position and began to think about new ways to focus my energy and live with the ‘new normal’ in my life.  Having been in the travel industry part time for more than 25 years, I knew that it would be something to do in travel that would make me happy.  After that trip to Tanzania, and after my retirement, I took two years to travel around to all the safari destinations, to determine how I wanted to specialize and what I should do.  It led me back to Tanzania - for all the reasons I felt good after my first trip - I knew others would too.

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Q.: What was the most exiting thing that happened to you during your trips?

Answer: The most exciting experience is two fold.  The most exciting wildlife experience was when I saw four, maybe five lions sleeping ON TOP OF, not on branches, but on top of a tree in the middle of the plains.  We spent hours with those lions, waiting for them to come down….We even left them and returned, and waited and waited.  Finally we were rewarded with only the mother of the pride coming down, but oh was it a joy to watch those ‘kittens’, who were almost as big as the mom.  

The most exciting thing, that was really not on safari watching wildlife, but it was on safari when I met the founders of the Children’s Home, my company now supports.  I was so fascinated by their story and what they were doing, that almost immediately, I knew I would be including it into my itinerary for all my guests to visit.  Since that time, we have supported the school in many ways, from bringing them almost everything they need, from clothing, to shoes, to computers, to tablets, and we were instrumental in having solar installed in the school.   Each year my company does a Make A Difference safari and people from all walks of life join the group and share their skills, professions and talents with these beautiful 21 young, mostly disadvantaged youth.  It is a fascinating experience and must say, it’s the highlight of the trip. 

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Q.: What does it take to be a great travel agent? 

Answer: To be a travel agent, a good one, requires mostly patience.  Often people don't know what they want, so sometimes you have to figure it out for them, and offer them alternatives. That's what a knowledgeable travel agent will do! You also have to be patient, because often you will hear, ‘oh, I can get it cheaper on the internet’.  Well, for Africa, I would tell them to go right ahead.  If someone is going to join one of my safaris, and the only thing they are looking at is the dollar amount, or complain right way about the price, it is most probably not someone who would fit in with the group.  Those potential travelers who are looking for a great value that offers a quality experience will recognize that all the trips we offer, provide that and those are the types of travelers, I’m looking for, someone looking for a quality experience and a good value, who will make it happen. For what I do specifically, you also have to be persistent, manage personalities, and work out issues, the same way as if you were on a job.  As much as one might try to make everyone happy, it’s not always possible, so you have to know when and how to create an atmosphere that both works for the individual, the group and yourself, so it doesn’t impact others in a negative way.  You have to be mindful of situations and be one step ahead of the guests, and that’s whether you’re sitting across the desk from them or you have them in a safari vehicle.  

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Q.: What to look for when choosing a travel agent? 

Answer: When choosing a travel agent, the first question you must ask if you’re going to a place like Africa is - have you been there?  About 80% will tell you no, I haven’t but I’ve sold it many times.  But, ask a question about something specific, and most likely they will not be able to answer it, without going to the company and asking it of them.  I know because I used to be one of those agents - selling from a brochure.  Today, I create my own itineraries, customize my own trips, after 50 some odd visits, I can say I am uniquely qualified to do this - to respond to inquiries and to lead groups where I know will be of interest to them.  Africa is not a place where you will want to just do the first cheap experience you come across - you need someone to guide you, someone who’s been there and knows the country and most importantly has contacts within the country that will make the trip more special.  They have to know if parts of the country are not safe - they have to have on the ground contacts to stay in touch with…..it's not as easy as just picking a property and then taking a group.  There’s a lot that goes into the logistics in planning a trip like a safari and you can say that of any travel agent who does FIT trips.  FIT stands for Foreign International Travel, and it’s when you start from scratch and build the itinerary that works for the travelers.  This is what I do - in Africa.   There are hundreds of pieces that must fit to make it all come together.  Not only do I have my own drivers, but I know all of the owners of most of the properties I book in Tanzania, and make it a point to inspect/stay at most of them personally, to ensure my guests will have an awesome experience. You HAVE to have on the ground contacts. 

Q.: What are three essential things you should definitely take on safari?

Answer: The three essential things you should definitely take on safari - are not a hairdryer and a pair of heels or your best sandals.  Most importantly you need a good flexible attitude and a sense of adventure.  But, equally as important would be a hat, sunglasses comfy shoes (tennis or otherwise),  and a small flashlight.  Of course, there are many other things, and once a trip is booked, I’ll give you everything you need to know about traveling on safari. 

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Q: Why did you choose me as a photographer for your personal branding session and what was your experience?

Answer: I chose OksanArt because I saw photos of two other people I knew, and loved the photos.  But mostly, I was looking for someone who wouldn’t just do headshots, but capture me in my element - which is safari chic and casual - in different scenes - and the essence of being ME, not made up just for a photo.  I also wanted to connect with the person, to feel part of the scene, to have interaction and offer input.  I wasn’t sure, at first, I’d done photoshoots before, and until you meet someone, you only have other photos they’ve taken to decide if that’s the person or not.  I certainly made the right choice.  I have had nothing but compliment after compliment on the photos, I’ve shown.  Oksana is definitely my referral photographer and if I decide to do it again, she'll be doing it again.  I love my photos, and so, I did two photo shoots.  Capturing the essence is so critical - I dislike face on shots, portraits - they don’t say anything to me - and they certainly don’t move me.  I love the way OksanArt has captured it all in each and every shot.  Now, if I can just get her on safari - I’d be one happy camper, literally. 

Personal Branding Photoshoot with Organizing Expert Elva

I had a great pleasure of photographing this wonderful young lady. She is a real expert in what she does. You can find out more about her and her Sensational Organizing Business at : http://www.sensationalorganizing.com

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Q: Tell me a bit about yourself and what you do?

Answer: Hello! Fellow passionate ladies, Thank you for letting me share about myself and business.

I was born and raised in a single parent home in beautiful Santa Barbara. My mother was a passionate woman always onto the next thing, like getting her cosmologist license and taking ESL courses at night after work. As the oldest of 3 siblings I naturally fell into a supporting role. Since my early years I would look for ways to simplify our lives by releasing items no longer serving us, tidying, and coming up with organizing solutions. Whenever something was needed at home everyone would ask me where it was and I’d know exactly where its “home” was. When I’d get hired for babysitting I’d tidy the other mom’s homes and they’d be elated. Turning chaotic spaces into peaceful spaces has always been something I’ve been drawn to.

My goal and passion is coming alongside busy passionate woman to help them clear clutter from their homes and offices, get organized and setup systems so that they can get back to what matters most and help them push forward toward their goals in life.

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Q: Why did you decide to become a professional organizer?

Answer: After 15 years in the office administration field I came to a crossroads in my life, after having a two-year talk with God, I took an inventory of my skills and what I liked to do. Among them was my natural ability to declutter spaces. I thought about growing up and being a support for my single mother in managing the home, I knew I was a natural at finding solutions to problems, and loved encouraging people.

As an adult I went through a few situational events of my own that thru my organization out of sink, like having kids, depression, and my moms’ 4 car injuries in a two-year period. This is what happens many times in my clients lives as well. They feel like they used to be organized and then something happened and they don’t feel like they can grab traction. Through the difficult times I learned to get myself up, refresh my systems and feel in control again.

My hope as I help others get organized is to help them not only to gain control of their spaces again but for them to feel encouraged and supported, to empower them to stay organized and even when life happens we can feel confident knowing that our system is there to help us get right back up with ease.

 

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Q: What do you like most about your job?

Answer: The thing I like most about what I do is the transformation that occurs, not only to people’s spaces but the mind clarity that my clients receive when they freely subtract from their lives what is no longer serving them. The smile on their faces gets me every time. 😉 Subtracting from your life is not giving up stuff, it is revealing your beautiful life.

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Q: What areas do you organize and what is your expertise?

Answer: I organize every room of your home. Your bedrooms, kitchen, bathrooms, pantry, playroom, living room, guest bedrooms, craft room, home office. I can even help you unpack, to relieve some of the anxiety that comes from moving and give you a fresh start in your new home.

The areas I specialize in are master bedroom closets, pantries, and home offices. I can also help you uncover habits and needed systems to help maintain your organized spaces.

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Q: What are your top 3 most useful tips for getting organized?

Answer:

1.     Don’t worry about perfection-Just start! -A step forward is better than no step at all.

2.     Organizing containers are not your first step toward getting organized. Sort and release what is no longer serving you FIRST. Designate where you want each item to live. Lastly measure and purchase the right container for your space and situation.

3.     Think of your container or storage space as a boundary for how many things should live in that space. When you see that container overflowing it will be your signal that it is time to purge or re-arrange your space based on your new life style. This will keep your systems streamlined and your life at peace.

Bonus tip: We are evolving human beings; our likes and lifestyles change all the time. Taking the time to release items seasonally, will help your spaces stay fresh and help support you no matter what season you are going through.

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Q: What should people do if they want to work with you?

Answer: If you need help getting organized you may reach out to me via my website and schedule a free consultation by going to www.sensationalorganizing.com/freeconsultation or call me at 909-372-0527.

 

Q: Why did you choose me as a photographer for your personal branding session and what was your experience?

Answer: I was blown away at your marketing material when I first met you at a networking meeting. I knew I’d want to work with you but knew because of your quality of work that it would be an investment. I jumped at the chance to be your client as soon as I could.

My experience exceeded what I expected from the session. I appreciated you walking me through the entire process, brainstorming ideas with me via Pinterest and messages. I get comments all the time that the pictures really show off my personality and that you brought out my essence!

I appreciated that you took pride upon delivering my photos to me in a very timely manner. I further enjoyed experiencing the bond you have with your beautiful makeup artist. Your passion for your skill is apparent in every step of the process. Thank you!

Fitness Photoshoot at Zero Gravity Fitness Gym with Cynthia

Fitness photoshoot with amazing Cynthia Aguirre right after fitness competition, where she placed first in her devision. Such an inspiration! She makes me want to run to the gym.

Special thanks to Zero Gravity Fitness and Ryan Bentson for his help and for letting us to use his wonderful gym. Please check them out. www.teamzerogravityfitness.com

Hair and Makeup by Lisa Cano

Body ART with Rocio

This girl rocks! Two hour for body art wasn't waisted. Love how pictures come out. Rocio is always a pleasure to work with. If somebody is looking for a personal trainer in Island Empire, she is realy a great one. 

My sketch for body design and some selfies in makeup chair. 

Glamour Session with Beautiful Belly Dancer Shantel Medina

I had an honor and a pleasure to photograph this gorgeous young lady, who is also a talented tribal style belly dance. If you would like to learn more about her, please check out her facebook page:  Shantel Medina Belly Dancer

We started with some glamourous boudoir photos on a special set we have built in OksanART studio. Shantel's favorite color is black, so obviously we went with it. 

Hair and makeup my Hanna Olivas. 

Shantel and her husband are big funs of vintage as well as comics books, so we couldn't not include a few shoots pinup style with favorite comics. 

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Finally my favorite part. I had a please to watch Shantel dance. So beautiful and full of grace. 

First Pin Up Photoshoot in our New Studio

I am so exited! Our new studio coming great together. Two big shooting rooms with natural light as well as studio lightening, separate makeup/dressing room, viewing room, as well as outdoor area. Studio tour coming soon.  

Here is the photo from the first photoshoot. Big thanks to our wonderful makeup artist and hair stylist Monique, who will be pampering our clients for their photo sessions.

This sessions was inspired by Gil Elvgren Pin Up Illustration - Photographer Pin Up with parrot. We decided to replace parrot with my lovely puppy Simba. Isn't she cute? 

We are looking forward to more creative pin up sessions. To book yours, please contact us at info@oksanart.com or through our Contact Form

A few outtakes from the shoot. I could not resist to post them. Simba is so cute! 

Fitness and Glamour Photoshoot with Rocio at Disney Concert Hall

Rocio is a fitness instructor. Amazing fitness instructor by the way! I know because she is kicking my butt every week and I love it! She also competes in fitness competition. She has a great body, which she is working hard on. We decided to show it off in series on fitness as well as glamour shoots. We had tons of fun. Disney Concert Hall was a perfect place for the shoot. Rocio, you are so brave! You rock! 

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Parker's Model Portfolio

Very fun photo session with Parker for his modeling portfolio. He definitely has some modeling skills. Just look at this little fashionista. I think we got a good variety of looks in just one session. 

By being an Au-pair three times in three different countries, I surely learned how to connect with children, even if they don't speak your mother language. I like to make my photoshoots fun and will take my time to bring out a personality of each child. 

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