Name: Graciela Valdes, CPP
Title: Owner, Certified Professional Photographer
Company: Graciela Valdes Fine Art Photography
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Let me tell you, there’s NOTHING like being a strong, Latin Woman. Period.
Passion, determination and a burning fire fuel me as an entrepreneur and professional photographer. I recognize that my ability to create the exact life and business that I want is as a direct result of my immigrant parents’ sacrifices coupled with the impeccable work ethic which they gifted me.
As a Certified Professional Photographer specializing in Boudoir and Personal Branding, I create experiences that are more about how you feel, rather than how you look. Unless you’re at the DMV, you really aren’t looking for a picture to show people what you look like – you are really trying to get them to understand who you are.
The empowering and transformative power of custom boudoir photography is unparalleled. I provide a concierge service where excellence is my benchmark. My clients’ experience is paramount, and I insist they each feel like my only clients.
Boudoir photography not just for ultra-feminine women either. It is my honor to photograph a large and diverse client base – men, women, couples, members of the LGBTQ community – everyone is welcome.
While most people define boudoir in the classic sense such as portraits in lingerie or fine art nudes, I like to stretch that definition to include any type of intimate portrait created in a context that is completely up to the client. Sometimes that looks like a designer gown and a pair of Christian Louboutin’s and sometimes it looks like jeans and a t-shirt with a pair of converse kicks. The important part is to be yourself and celebrate yourself!
Because I am able to “see” my clients and bring their best selves to light, I also excel in creating high end Personal Branding portraits – that is, images that sell your business.
In today’s online world, an entrepreneur or professional has just 3 seconds to come across as authoritative, confident and approachable in a manner consistent with their branding. At our initial consult, we do some branding exploration, and figure out how to convey the client’s passion and purpose in one cohesive and clear branding shoot. We create a portrait that speaks directly to their client, connecting with them at a glance.
Having been on the Board of the Women’s Council for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce for several years now has afforded me the opportunity to give back to both the South Florida female business community and the non-profit world as well. As the 2021 incoming Board Chair, it will be my pleasure to once again present the 4th Annual Excuse Me, That’s My Seat conference in honor of International Women’s Day which I have chaired since its inception.
My passion spills over into various other causes: I am a founding Board Member of Bowtie Kids, a non-profit providing courage and confidence to kids living in chronic pain as well as the founding Board Chair for Elite Foundation, a non-profit that supports survivors of human trafficking.
I feature several other non-profits on the Giving Back page of my website such as The Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center; Tomorrow’s Rainbow, the Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida; VACC Camp, and PACE Center for Girls. I have a heart for the underserved in our community and it is my absolute honor to support each of these causes.
I’d love to share one more passion project of mine – The Pilot Light Portrait Project. It is an Artistic Movement through empowering portraits of Thriving Survivors honoring their personal source of strength, their Pilot Light, to inspire hope for the world. I encourage you to check out the many survivors who have been photographed in this unique series.