I like to tell people that out of the 16+ years I have been a professional photographer I have very few people that I would call clients. Instead, I have made so many new friends who I happen to photograph. I've watched their children and families grow. We are friends on Facebook. We care about each other outside of our "professional" relationship. Instead of building a list of clients, I have built a list of friends who are often more like family. I'd love to include you in the Gretchen Otero Photography Family.
Gretchen Warren Otero is the name on my driver's license. I'm recently married - woot woot- and living my best life with my husband, Eric, in sunny San Diego. We live a pretty active lifestyle and enjoy hiking, running, biking, and Crossfit. I get antsy when I'm not on the move. The opportunities for outdoor adventure in San Diego and the surrounding area seem limitless and I love that. We love to travel and explore but also enjoy taking it easy and experiencing the joys life has to share with us. We have a 16 yr old dachshund named Flash who enjoys short walks, long naps, and waking us up at 4:00 am.
My career as a photographer began at a small independent studio in Memphis, TN. At the risk of showing my age, I'll say, we shot film. After moving to Mobile, AL I began working for and studying under a Certified Master Photographer. I learned how to manipulate light and life and achieve the visions that existed in my head. I also learned the invaluable skill of making people comfortable in front of the camera. A skill that ranks in importance with technical photography ability. Time passed and I decided to cross into the world of studio management where I acted as both the photographer and manager for one of Mobile's oldest independent studios. Always learning and always exploring has allowed me to continue to grow and build skills year after year.
Fast forward and I've landed here in sunny San Diego. I entered the 9-5 working world thinking it would be a nice change of pace. It was, but it's not my passion. Amazingly, as much as I didn't market myself and didn't pursue a photography career, it followed me here. Friends of friends have sent clients my way, and gradually and somehow unintentionally I have built a photography business in San Diego. I truly believe when something is meant to be, it will happen! I've jumped in feet first and I'm back to my happy photographer self here in San Deigo and it feels so good.
Sidenote: Your dreams and passions exist inside of you for a reason! Follow them and show the world your talents! Anyone can follow their dreams!!
I have so much joy in my life and although I am so happy with where I am, I can't help but also be excited about the future of my career in San Deigo.
I am looking forward to serving San Diego as your premier family and pet photographer for years to come. I can't wait to get to know you and your family & watch your children and pets grow. I can't wait to meet your parents for that generational portrait session you've been meaning to do. Just so you know, I'm going to call them Mom and Dad. I am genuinely happy to be your photographer and create memories for you and your family that will be handed down through generations and serve as reminders of these happy days now passed.