We had the good fortune of connecting with Gracyn Applegate and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gracyn, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I have always appreciated photos, but I didn’t start attempting the art until my family embarked on our very first cross country road trip. The views were so incredibly stunning that I couldn’t help myself from trying my hand at capturing it through the lens of my Iphone. From there, photography became an addiction. I found myself — and still do find myself — whipping out my camera to capture the world’s little moments, whether that be the little boy blowing bubbles in the park, my friends dancing while getting ready for a night out, or the elderly couple smiling while sharing a cup of coffee. I transitioned to a professional camera upon graduating high school, where I launched my own photography company during June of 2020. What started as something to distract me from quarantine quickly transformed into a side hustle. The more I photographed, the more I grew to love it for more than the end product: I began to love the entire process. With hard work, time, and an ever-increasing earnestness to continuously learn from the artists around me, I hope to transform my side hustle into a full-time career.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I believe in the power of the moment — the moments when one is unapologetically and utterly themselves. The moments when one lets down their guard and embraces the world and individuals around them. The moments when one forgets that they are in front of a camera and instead are completely enveloped in the emotions of the present. I believe in these, and I aim to capture them. I capture your beautiful moments. I don’t pose clients, for this creates an unnatural stiffness. Instead, my goal is to make every session an experience that leaves the client with a genuine smile on their face. Capturing people in their element is perhaps the single accomplishment I am most proud of, for authenticity is what makes our world spin, and I fear that if these moments are not captured, this fact will be forgotten. I got to where I am today not only by taking risks and chasing opportunities, but by noticing the little moments in life that make this world such a beautiful place to live. I don’t suppose anything in life is easy, especially not when it comes to transforming one’s dream into their reality. For me, overcoming these challenges is something that I don’t think of as a choice, but rather as a necessity — and that is what keeps me from allowing my dream to stay merely a dream. Through my journey I have learned the importance of simultaneously staying the course while being adaptable, the necessity of never turning away from an opportunity, and the beauty of collaboration. My only hope is that my pursuit for capturing the world’s moments never ends, thus satisfying my craving to create art that evokes only the best memories for those whom I photograph.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Splitting my time between the cities of Dallas and Austin, there is a plethora of activities to fill one’s time. My soul tends to wander toward the more outdoorsy activities, leading me to White Rock Lake and Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, and Zilker Park, Town Lake, and The Greenbelt in Austin. In these settings, one has the choice to people watch, get lost in the crowds and enjoy their own afternoon, or do a little bit of both. As far as restaurants, nothing beats a killer view. In Dallas, there’s Upside, while Austin flaunts The Oasis. Apart from views, The Rustic in Dallas is a must thanks to the live music that will calm anyone’s soul after a tough week at work, and Abel’s On the Lake in Austin has the effect of making one forget all their worries while sitting on their outdoor patio. Finally, simple exploration fits perfectly into any itinerary, whether its the Katy Trail, DMA, or Eyeball in Dallas, or South Congress or 360 Overlook in Austin.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There is no doubt in my mind that I would not be where I am today without the people who build me up and encourage me to chase my dreams day in and day out. Thank you to my family for evoking my love for capturing the moments around me by traveling the country with me. Thank you to my parents for gifting me my very first camera. Thank you to Emily Cullum (of Em Cullum Photography) for answering all of my questions regarding the industry. Thank you to Jenny DeMarco (of Jenny DeMarco Photography) and Yazmin (of Photos by Yaz) for taking a chance on an amateur photographer like myself and allowing me the opportunity to learn from them. Thank you to George Sayegh for being my constant encourager and providing me with endless opportunities to pursue what I love. Finally, thank you to all of the beautiful people who have trusted me with preserving their memories and telling their stories through my lens, for without them I would have no moments to capture.
Other: email: firstname.lastname@example.org