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Meet Trailblazer Lina Bonda

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lina Bonda.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Lina. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Well, when I was a little kid, I was really into drawing. I was always drawing. There was something about art and being creative that I’ve just really always liked. There’s never a “wrong answer”, just different interpretations and I think that’s part of what makes it so attractive to me. When I was younger, I honestly thought I was going to be a fashion designer because I was always drawing different outfits and styles.

As time went on though, it became less about fashion and more about the creativity for me. In middle school, I had one of those little digital cameras that everyone took their Myspace mirror selfies with and I literally brought it everywhere with me (also because I could pretty much fit the thing in my pocket). When I was in high school though, my parents saved up one Christmas and got me my very first Nikon! I actually still have that same camera today and it works great, although I’ve upgraded since then. I continued taking it with me everywhere I could. In college, I was always taking pictures of my friends and I’m so glad I did. They have became such precious memories to me and the fact that I can physically hold them and look back on them now is something I will forever be grateful for.

In my second semester of freshman year, I took a communications gen-ed class and fell in love. It focused on female empowerment and/in the media and it was then and there that I knew I wanted to be a positive female role model in this industry. I was so inspired!! I went back to my dorm that very same day, filled out an application to switch majors and never looked back! I had found what I was passionate about and realized that this is what I wanted to do with my life. If I could capture these memories for my friends and myself, imagine what I could do for others?

After graduation, I was asked to make a music video teaser for some friends of mine in the music industry. I had an absolute blast and it only re-affirmed my passion for photography and videography. I continued doing side projects for family and friends while I looked for any available careers in the field. Then I realized, why am I going to make someone else’s photography dream come true?! This is MY dream. So I kept working as often as I could and slowly built up my portfolio to where it is today. However, I am by no means done! My portfolio is constantly evolving as I continue to grow and evolve, both as an artist and a person.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has been anything but a smooth road haha but I think that any young person out there can really relate to that. You start to learn though that the journey is half the fun of it! If everything was just handed to me, then I wouldn’t be the same person I am today. I am so proud of everything I have accomplished simply because I had to work for it.

Something I struggled with for a long time was comparing my progress to the progress of others. You will never feel like you are moving forward if you do that and that took me a while to realize. One strong piece of advice I have for anyone out there (especially young women) is the only person you should be comparing yourself to is the person you were yesterday. SO important. And it’s still something I have to remind myself from time to time. I’ve also found that it’s just as important to realize and be proud of your own small successes. It’s okay to give yourself some credit! At the end of the day, you’re living this life for you so learn to compliment yourself when you deserve it! Build up a team of people around you who support you too. I’m so lucky to have a supportive boyfriend, family and friends that got me to where I am today and are going to keep me going when times are tough. They genuinely want to see me succeed and I will never be able to thank them enough for it.

We’d love to hear more about Lina Bonda Creative Arts.
I would say that I gravitate the most towards portraits, nature and candids although I really like to work in a large variety of sessions. I’ve also done engagements, pets and music videos just to name a few! I think that’s one thing that sets me apart. While a lot of photographers like to find their specialty such as just weddings or just kid’s portraits, I like to capture all different kinds of moments and memories. It keeps it interesting for me! I do think that a lot of my work tends to be inspired by nature, however, even if I don’t necessarily realize it at the time. It’s something that I’ve only started to pick up on recently after taking a step back and looking at my work as a whole.

A recent proud accomplishment of mine has been partnering with the Kingston Farmers Market! We just had our big opening day on June 3rd and the turn out was awesome!! There will be lots of local goodies, food and music every first Sunday of the month through October so definitely check it out! Come find me taking pictures and say hello! Another accomplishment of mine that I’m so proud of are my upcoming styled shoots!! I’ve partnered with a jewelry designer, florist and makeup artist just to name a few to help bring my visions to life! It has been taking an insane amount of time, effort and coordination, but I’m so excited to see the final results and I think my supporters will be too! One of them might even involve a giveaway, so be on the lookout this summer 😉

Do you feel like there was something about the experiences growing up that played a role in setting you up for success later?
I don’t think there was ever any one “aha” moment for me, and it sounds so cliché, but I really do have to thank my parents a lot. They’ve played a big part in why I’m so ambitious. They taught me that nothing was ever going to be handed to me and if I wanted something, then I was going to have to work hard for it. I can’t thank them enough for instilling that in me. They taught me to arrive early in order to be on time and to always go the extra mile just because you can. It sounds stupid, but I can remember, for example, doing like book reports in grade school and I would always want to do the bare minimum. That wasn’t good enough for my parents though, I had to go the extra mile, you know? Make a tri-fold poster when you only needed a tri-fold brochure, or bring in a bunch of extra stuff to go along with the required project. I remember feeling embarrassed and nervous because I didn’t want to be picked on for it, but looking back on it, I can understand it. I think it’s part of what drives me to continue going the extra mile for my clients today.

Another big experience that has definitely shaped me into the person I am, is having been adopted. I was adopted from Vilnius, Lithuania when I was only a few months old and I feel so fortunate because I feel like that could cause a sense of displacement in a lot of people, but for me, it’s done the opposite. It’s given me a stronger sense of identity and love for where I come from. I’ve gone back and visited my beautiful country multiple times and plan on continuing to go back for as long as I can. I’m actually going for a little bit this summer and can’t wait!! Stay tuned for lots of travel posts!

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Corey Gloster (Design and Photography) (www.CoreyGloster.com)

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