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UNG Alumnus Takes Her Best Shots


Creating a small business in college sounds horrifying and impossible to balance. The idea can be overwhelming with the stress of homework and exams. For many students, it would not be a reality, but it is for Larissa Magana a UNG Alumni who started a successful photography business her sophomore year.   

Magana dabbled in the arts at a young age experiencing the beauty of photos. However, her true inspiration for starting her business was her mom. 

She recalled childhood memories where her mom always had a camera in her hand capturing the smallest events.

At the age of eight, when we all asked for Barbies, trucks, and Hot Wheels for Christmas, she asked for a camera setting the foundation for becoming a talented photographer.

However, she didn’t start taking photography seriously until college. She entered UNG as a business major and hated it, especially accounting, and quickly realized this was not her journey.

Magana switched her major to art. It was a nerve-wracking experience for her because she did not tell her parents. Her parents are from Mexico and she was a first-generation attending college.

Her parents envisioned success as becoming a doctor or a lawyer, careers that are seen as traditional forms of achieving the american dream.

“Having a small business can be just as successful if not even more because when you are a small business owner, you have to do everything,”- Larissa Magana

She did not want to be traditional; she wanted to create success. The climb has not been easy because many people viewed her profession as a “side gig” and not her career.

“It’s okay because I got the drive to show them,” Magana said.

As soon as Magana’s business started to flow in 2020 with new customers and inquiries, Covid-19 hit the hardest. Companies were shutting down, people were losing jobs, and Magana was just beginning her career.  

Tension was high during this time because she describes her fear of getting sick or getting her family sick. 

With all the fear from Covid-19 came regret for Magana because she did not know if her business would survive. 

As the year went on and the world adapted, her business grew. People wanted wedding photos, couple shoots, and the usual Christmas card. 

As her business developed, so did she because in the beginning, she described herself as a “yes” person saying yes to every shoot and customer.

As her skills grew, so did her confidence and firmness to lead her business. She felt comfortable denying rude or unprofessional customers.

Some advice that Magana offers to new business owners is, “don’t be scared you are going to mess up, it’s unavoidable, and that’s nothing to be afraid of.”

–  Coffee is your best friend

– You need to sleep

– If anyone can do it, so can you

“Don’t wait till you get out of college because would you wait until you get out to apply for jobs? No,” Magana said.

She also describes some tips for taking photos: don’t be anxious or nervous when you take a picture because if you look nervous, that’s how your images will come out. 

 So you have to act like you are taking a selfie and find the best angle and comfort level.

Her current prices for shoots range from $150-$275 because she would never want to charge more than what she could afford. 


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UNG Alumnus Takes Her Best Shots