Tispr Stories: Xareni Penichet is Bringing Two Worlds Together
This week’s Tispr Stories continue with Xareni Penichet, a freelance photographer with a global perspective on art, life and humanity. Raised between Mexico and United States, Xareni thrives on her bicultural self and likes to bring the world together through her work.
Here is what Xareni has to say about freelancing, working in world of photography and cinematography and what her journey was like.
Who you are as a person or what makes you...you?
I am…me. I am a bicultural, independent individual who defines herself as human. I am interested in humanity as a whole, our behavior, or psychology and what is beyond this physical world.
What made you decide to pursue freelancing? Or what is bringing you back to freelance now?
I became a freelance photographer because, as a creative, I like being able to work on several different projects. Photography has so many angles, both literally and figuratively, and I love the possibility of exploring them all. Having the freedom of my own time is also important to me.
“I have always been a freelancer and I can't see myself any other way.”
How did you get into photography and cinematography?
I have always been interested in the arts, and in people. They both equally fascinate me. I found cinematography and photography mediums in which I could combine those two.
What has been your favorite project to work on as a freelance photographer?
I am currently finishing a personal project, which is a documentary on permaculture and how one can connect to nature. It has been the most challenging project I have ever done, but at the same time it is the most rewarding.
Permaculture is such a fascinating topic when you start exploring it, and illustrating it through photography and videography. It just gives you so much to work with and expresses so much as well. The basic principle is that permaculture allows us to creatively re-design our environment and our behavior. What creative can resist that?
Why do you do what you do?
I believe that in today’s world, where we get bombarded with several images on a daily basis, the content of what we see can change the way we interact in our lives. Oftentimes, quality loses the battle with quantity, therefore I am on a mission to create positive and real content. What I’m trying to achieve through my work is that we can all feel comfortable being ourselves with no judgment.
Where does the inspiration for your projects come from?
As a freelance photographer, I take inspiration from nature, spirituality, and psychology. I believe inspiration is everywhere around us, and it depends on us, on how we are as human beings, where we find it and what we make of it. Different people, and especially different creatives, can find the same source of inspiration but translate it differently.
How do you feel when working, doing what you love?
Grateful would be the short answer. I truly love what I do, although I realize now as I’m writing this that many people say that without actually meaning it. But I mean it. Every time I’m in a shoot or on a set, I am grateful and happy that I get to do what I love.
What it’s like being in your line of work?
Freelance photographer is not the easiest career to pursue, I can tell you that. There is a lot of competition out there, so it can be difficult at times. One needs to consistently be on the lookout for the next gig. It’s also what makes it exciting though.
What have you learned/gained from freelancing?
The importance of managing your own time. Working on your times and on your schedule, the power of flexibility can all be exhilarating, but one can also get so easily distracted and derailed. There’s also the risk of wanting to do so much and all at once.
Another lesson I’ve learned is how important marketing is. You constantly need to sell yourself in order to work. Like I said, finding the next gig is always on your mind as a freelancer.
“I am a bicultural, independent individual who defines herself as human. Every time I’m in a shoot or on a set, I am grateful and happy that I get to do what I love.”
How has being a freelancer changed your life?
That’s a hard question to answer, as I have always been a freelancer and I can't see myself any other way. I have never had a 9 to 5 job or been a full-time employee. There are two types of freedom that come with freelancing: the freedom of time and the creative freedom and I cherish both too much to go any other way.
What advice would you give to your younger yourself?
Be more demanding, get out there and show your work, don't be afraid to say no. I think saying no is the hardest thing for a freelancer, as one wants to take on as many projects and clients as possible, in order to built a strong client portfolio. Some jobs are not the right fit though and it’s taken some time to realize that.
What has been the hardest thing about being a freelancer?
Finding the clients. I am a photographer first and foremost, I see feelings, expressions and behaviors in images, in motions, in colors. I am not a marketer and promoting my work, myself, finding projects and clients has been challenging. However, succeeding in finding them also makes me feel more empowered.