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Archetypal Woman Series: Lisandra Vazquez

The old one-dimensional female archetypes -- the soccer mom, the starving artist, the successful-but-lonely boss lady -- are dead. Women are creating new, multidimensional archetypes and defying stereotypes. The most fulfilled women are constantly creating in multiple areas of their lives, whereas burnout often happens when we feel like the routine of our day job is all we have time for. The Archetypal Woman Series is a tribute to inspiring women who rearrange time and space to explore and excel in a range of activities. May their stories encourage you to expand into your own uniqueness for the benefit of you and everyone in your orbit.

Editor's note: As a professional photographer, Lisandra has captured celebrities, luminaries, and entrepreneurs all over Los Angeles and beyond. A true multidimensional woman, Lisandra also created Auraology, an aura photography business that offers people a glimpse into energies--and a connection to something bigger--we can't always see. Lisandra shares some thoughts for other entrepreneurs, including an evolved take on TikTok! ~ Mary Margaret

In my observation, people are absolutely fascinated by the aura photos you take of them through your business, Auraology. You have a line around the block any time you set up your booth somewhere. Aside from their visual beauty, why do you think people are so drawn to them? I believe people are drawn to having their aura photo captured because it is an easy entry into the spirit world. It’s tangible. To have something that you can only feel but not really describe shown to you by a photographic system is pretty fascinating to the people I meet--even the skeptics.

You’re blowing up on TikTok! And you have some thoughts for other small business owners and how they can use the platform. What’s your advice? Do we all need to be on TikTok? So I look at all social media platforms as just another pipeline for energy to flow into your life, and we know energy begets energy. If you think about what Instagram was like a few years ago, it was more organic. People actually saw your content, you were able to really reach people without paying. My followers barely see/interact with my posts on Instagram anymore. I turned to TikTok because I saw how much time young people were spending on it. Sure, the under-18 market might not be my target demographic--but their parents are. If you have a message to share, I highly recommend that you start to build your audience on that platform now. You’ll be way ahead of other people in your category before everyone else (aka the grown-ups) join. I wouldn’t expect too much as far as monetization at first. Consider it more of an offering. Spend time on the platform and see what you and others are drawn to, then work your specialty into that format.

Aside from the aura photos, you’re a highly sought-after professional photographer. Here in Los Angeles, many people are pros at having their photos taken. But for most people, it’s a highly vulnerable situation. Why do you think people get so nervous? Allowing someone to see you is an innately vulnerable process. Trusting someone to not only capture you in a way that you want to be seen but to be worth the investment can be tricky. If anyone is looking to invest in a photography session I would recommend: Getting to know a photographer’s work, their process, and seeing how generous they are with their knowledge. This is always a good way to gauge how your experience with them will go. Also--even professional actors and models are more stiff in the first few frames, so you got this.

Do you believe it’s part of your mission to capture people at their best? How do you explain the value of a great photo?

I believe it is my mission to reflect the light and beauty I see when I look at each person I photograph. That might sound like a cliche, but we can be our harshest critics sometimes. A portrait of my mother (for example) is priceless to me. It’s capturing her light in a moment that will never happen again in that same exact way. Life is so precious and short, so to capture this moment in your life (whether it is triumphant or challenging) can be a beautiful way of measuring your life’s story.

Before you photograph someone for their business, you take a lot of time upfront to understand the intention, how the photos will fit in with and/or inform their branding, and how the environment will help tell the story. It seems quite natural that you now advise business owners on content, branding, and social media strategy.

At a high level, where do you see small businesses succeed? What do they do right? And what causes other small businesses to falter, from a branding and content perspective? I feel like people are afraid to be specific. Like: I’m afraid that I’ll alienate men if I only work with women. Truth be told, when I fully embraced my niche with my aura business, is when I got a real strong response. So taking the time to really work out an ideal client avatar either by yourself or with a coach/guide is SO IMPORTANT.

Before you start with any copywriting, getting photos, planning a website--you have to know who you’re talking to. I look up to small business owners that get super specific and talk directly to their audience consistently without wavering. People like Jenna Kutcher, Jasmine Star, and Amy Porterfield are some of my personal boss crushes. If you want an archetype of people who really know who they are talking to--scroll through their stuff.

You’re an extremely creative person and you always have new ideas. Personally, I feel like I have more ideas than I have the capacity to execute on. Do you feel that way? What lessons have you learned about avoiding burnout when you have so much important work to do in the world? I do feel that sometimes. When I have an idea (a big one) I will write it down and ask myself how that will feed my needs right now and in the future. That will help me determine the urgency. It took me a year to finally take the plunge on the podcast when I wanted to do it all along, but I had other pressing things (like building the business) that were more urgent. I’m not perfectly balanced by any means, but I do try to keep some long and short term goals on my radar, then I take a few small action steps daily/weekly to get me closer to each one.

What’s next for Auraology, Radiant Entrepreneur (your entrepreneur advising business), and your photography business? And any other offering that I’ve missed that you somehow squeeze into your day? Haha, yeah I’m always growing. I’m moving into the online education space with Auraology. I feel like there is a demand to understand the aura and energy field that grows every day. Like I said earlier with social media, creating a platform like an online course is a pipeline for energy. As yogis, if we do our clarity and energy work, that’s all good--but we also have to take aligned action to create systems for the universe to channel all of that energy we are conjuring. For example, the people that are learning from my TikTok might never meet me in person, but they can get the benefits of learning how to access their intuition, feel energy, and know what their aura means in a short online course. Through my meditations, I was guided to create the online course (aligned action) so all of my Tantric Har meditations have a channel to operate through. Personally, I feel myself opening up and being ready to own my authority. (I’ve had a bad case of Imposter Syndrome for years.) That’s going to look a little less polished, a lot more vulnerable and hopefully people will be able to benefit from taking a peek behind a real curtain--not just the polished curated image.

Lisandra is a Puerto Rican photographer, aura reader, and entrepreneur. She runs an Aura Photography pop-up business called Auraology which travels all over the country to capture the radiance of anyone who is curious to know more about their energy.

You can find Auraology on Instagram @_auraology_ and on TikTok @auraology. You can also check out the podcast Auraology: The Study of Auras on all platforms, and the Aurology online course here.

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