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Meet Vania J. Arroyo of Vania J Arroyo Makeup & Photography in Dorchester

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vania J. Arroyo.

Vania J., please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I have been working in the beauty and fashion industry as both a makeup artist and a photographer for 10 years. My story really begins at 21 years when I left Boston and moved across the country to Los Angeles to go to school for makeup (MKC Beauty Academy). A friend of mine called me and told me to apply to this makeup school, so I did. I lied on my entire entrance essay (lol) because I didn’t know much about makeup at all, and I wasn’t passionate about it at the time. I started wearing lipstick when I was 11 years old (sorry Mom), and then added eyeliner and mascara to my routine when I entered high school. That was all I knew how to apply, so I thought it would be cool to learn how to apply a full face. A week after my application was sent, I got the email that said that I had been accepted to the school. Little did I know, going to MKC was going to change the path of my life!

I came back to Boston and immediately began doing makeup for photoshoots and fashion shows. I became the head makeup artist for a local magazine, and I met so many people through that experience! It got to the point where I wanted to do makeup all of the time, but I couldn’t find photographers who were willing to shoot with me all of the time. In 2009 I decided to learn about photography so that I could create and direct my own photoshoots. My first job as a photographer was taking newborn photos at local hospitals. I knew NOTHING about how to work a camera, so it was very easy to start there. My second job was as a preschool photographer for Lifetouch. It was at Lifetouch that I learned about lighting, posing, and how to work the camera a little more. I would reach out to professional photographers all of the time and ask to shadow them, but they would never respond. So I hesitantly applied for a photography position at a fashion studio, and to my surprise, I got the job! The photographers there were so excited to teach me more! I spent a year traveling the country with them and built a really dope portfolio,

Fast forward to where I am now – I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to photograph or do makeup for many concerts, events, festivals, weddings, model portfolios, actors/actresses, and the list goes. I’ve worked with a few celebrities, and my work has been published in a few different magazines. I’m not stopping there! I’m excited to see where my career will take me next. I thank God for the people that He has placed in my life, because a lot of these people have opened many doors for me. God is GOOD (I have to give Him the glory)!

Has it been a smooth road?
It would be nice if the road to success was smooth, but I don’t think that is ever the case. I heard the word “No” so many times, that it often left me feeling discouraged. But that word has taught me that not every opportunity is for me, and I’ve learned to accept that. Financial instability could be a dream killer as well. BUT! I’m thankful for the bumps in the road, they teach me something new about myself every time! It’s one thing to hear that you’re a boss, when you truly make it through the obstacle course(s) and survive, you really start to feel like a boss. The struggle empowers me!

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Vania J Arroyo Makeup & Photography – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I’m known for doing really clean makeup, and for taking amazing photos 🙂 Well, I don’t know if my photos are amazing, but I know that I’m good at capturing the moments that tell the story of whatever it is that I’m photographing. I’m proud that to still be in the game after 10 years! I’ve wanted to give up SO MANY TIMES, but I’m grateful to have persevered. I don’t know what sets me apart from others – maybe it’s my personality? I heard through the grapevine that I’m fun and easy to work with.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love Boston because I’m from here – it’s my comfort zone. I hope that one day the creative scene would stop with the cliques and collaborate more (yea, I said it). But I do love this place, it’s my home! We have a lot of really amazingly talented people out here.

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