Women Create L.A- Ilene Squires
What better way to honor International Women's Day then kick starting 2018's first "Women Create L.A."?
Ilene Squires is one of my newer friends, but when we met we instantly hit it off. She was born and raised in L.A. but has been a New York transplant for some time and just recently moved back on a whim with her husband and toddler CeCe (although at the time CeCe was still in Ilene's belly).
What I love about Ilene’s work is her ability to capture the human-ness of well…humans. When scrolling through her feed, it’s as if she has been friends with all her subjects forever or is if she simply walked into a regular ‘ol day and snapped a photo. They look comfortable, relaxed, serene. Exactly what anyone would want in a photographer shooting their wedding, baby shower, most precious newborn baby.
Ilene credits her ability to connect with people and capture their "warm fuzzies" to New York. In LA we spend a lot of time, in our cars, in our homes, in our offices. LA also keeps people separated by income. Rich people here, lower income people there.
In New York, you’re forced to interact with everyone. On the subway, even if they don’t talk to each other, people are forced to interact…. holding the same bar to keep from falling, giving up a seat for a pregnant woman, the occasional chat. People are always outside, walking to get to their destinations, or sitting on their stoops looking to escape their small living quarters. The energy is alive and intoxicating.
Ilene first got her taste of New York during college landing a dream marketing internship, and quickly discovered, that’s not where her heart was. After living abroad in Granada, Spain for a year, she started working in lower income schools in the South Bronx as a bilingual teacher. She was not fluent in Spanish, but just kind of “winged” it with the skills she acquired abroad. It was here that she accidentally became a photographer. She’d photograph children in the area and spend her long vacations abroad.
Working in private schools later in her career allowed her to be off every day in the early afternoon to explore the city and attend photography school. There she linked up with another photographer who took her under her wing and taught her everything she needed to know about photography. Ilene quickly started shooting families and weddings and her business blossomed. She even self-published a book titled, "Faces of Harlem". Check out some of those magical images here.
Living and shooting in LA has given her the experience to rediscover what she knows best…. people. She shoots weddings and portraits, but more recently has discovered a love for shooting families and children.
If you’re looking for a photographer that will tell your story, Ilene’s it.
Here are some photos from her super cute home office. I love her NY inspo wall! She also happens to be a marathon runner! The last photo is a shot of some work we did along side Gina Brownstein earlier this year.