Fiona Pepe
   What do you do for a living, and how did you find yourself there?     I am a full-time fashion photographer and stylist.  I bought a camera on a whim six years ago and just started playing. I am self-taught. The process of learning the camera and beginning to explore my ‘eye’ was a wonderful experience.  I make sure I still play as much as possible.     More importantly, what do you do that you love?     I feel so fortunate to actually do what I love for a living.  I am shooting all the time!    Another love of my life is dance.  I have been dancing since I was nine years old, and still take class and perform regularly. The grace, discipline, and body awareness that comes from dance definitely translates into my work as a photographer as well. 
     How and where do you find inspiration throughout your day, and what has that inspiration compelled you to do in your life?    Eccentric performers have been a constant source of inspiration for me. I have learned so much from them about vision, confidence, creating a theatrical lifestyle, making masterpieces from scraps and hot glue, and sharing energy with an audience.  I also find so much inspiration in the models themselves!  I am constantly inspired by the people I shoot and what they bring to the table.
  What challenges have you met in chasing that inspiration?   As is true with most artists, there are moments of feeling stuck or without a clear goal.  The ups and downs of creating.   Do you have a specific space that helps you feel inspired? What does it look and feel like?   My dance studio  - Westlake Dance Center – is the closest thing I have to true spirituality. The nostalgia of dancing within those walls for so many years really grounds me and makes me feel connected to my deepest self.
  Who do you have a girl crush on?   Marion Cotillard   If you had the opportunity to ask her anything, what would it be?   I would be speechless.
  Who/what is your “spirit animal”?   Liza Minelli’s character, Sally Bowles, in the movie ‘Cabaret’.   What’s a fantastic piece of advice you have been given in your life, and who gave it to you?   “NEVER..EVER….overcook pasta”  -My Italian father
  Who is the person in your life that helps fuel love and creativity, and how does he or she do so?   My grandmother was a flashy woman, and I was opened up to self-expression and fashion because of her. She loved shows, dressing up, and the lights of New York City. She encouraged me to be bright.
  What challenges have you encountered in your life that are linked to your gender?   At times it has been a challenge to be taken seriously as a female running a small business, but for the most part it hasn’t been an issue.   Do you consider yourself a feminist, and how do you define what that means?   YES. I believe in complete equality of men and women.
  Tell me something pretty. A quote, a lyric, whatever it is that inspires you.   “What good is sitting alone in your room?  Come hear the music play.  Life is a cabaret, old chum.  Come to the cabaret.”   Do you have a website or blog that you would like to share?    www.fionapepe.com
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