Anj of Her Light Studios shares her thoughts on self-love & acceptance

We’re so honored to feature an interview with the beautiful soul that is Anj Angeles. Anj of Her Light Studios is the creative force behind Private Storey’s photos—she’s our lovely model, photographer, and stylist extraordinaire. For this Private Storey blog, we asked Anj some questions on self-love and acceptance, and here’s what she had to say…

Anj ☼ Creative Femme Photographer
  1. What is self-love to you?

Growing up, the concept of self-love didn’t exist, and I didn’t realize how much I struggled with negative self-talk and a low self-image. I first learned about self-love as I discovered my passion for portrait photography. Capturing the best in others also inspired me to work on my own self-confidence and self-love. Now I’m learning that it’s not just about finding the beauty in ourselves but also learning to love the ugly parts too. It’s about self-compassion. 

  1. What do you love about yourself?

My favorite strength is my empathy. I used to see it as a weakness that I was too emotional and sensitive, but now I’m proud of it. I love that when I meet someone for the first time, I can make them feel comfortable enough to open up to me. I love that I feel so deeply that it translates into my creative work, and that I can connect easily with others.

  1. What fulfills you?

When someone tells me that my work has inspired them, or when a client tells me that they feel more confident in themselves or in their business, when they say thank you for my help, that’s when I feel most fulfilled. 

  1. What do you do to make yourself feel better?

My art is my therapy. When I’m feeling down or when I’m feeling lost and burned out with my creative work, ironically, the answer is to get more creative. I do creative things that are not necessarily related to my work but still allow me to express myself. I love to journal, to cook, to do DIY projects…to create something, anything, haha! That always opens my heart again and lets the light in. 

  1. What is something you have always wanted to try but never have?

Skinny dipping! Scuba diving! Wear a mermaid suit and try other water sports, haha! 

  1. How can you show others more love and compassion each day?

Be a better listener. Sometimes we’re too concerned about how we appear to others, if we say the right thing, or do the right thing. We forget to be truly present with them and meet them where they are. I’m still working on this, to be a better listener.  

  1. If you could relive one moment, what would it be?

Any moment with my dad! It would be nice just to see him smile (he was usually grumpy, haha) and hear his nagging voice again, even if I used to find it annoying! Haha, another reminder to be present with the people we love here in the now.  

  1. Who inspires you the most and why?

So hard to choose from the people I love! My family is my roots and north star to all the hard work I do. My friends keep me sane. My partner is my rock and my doggos are my happy pills! I’m so grateful to be surrounded by so much love and support; thinking about it makes me very emotional, haha!

  1. How do you embrace your flaws?

By accepting them and not trying to change them. I’m learning to change the narrative about them and learning to talk to myself more positively. I’m learning to catch and correct myself when I say something negative about myself. And I never photoshop my flaws (nor anyone else’s) in my photography work. 

  1. What is your most unique trait?

I think flaws make us most unique! Like how I used to hate my curly hair and brown skin, but now I love them! Like how I used to hate how sensitive and emotional I am, but now I embrace those traits! I used to hate my clumsiness, but now I think it makes me quirky, haha! And I think those traits that others could call “flaws” are what make me unique, and make me me! :)

Follow her photography work as well as her journey to self-love and inspiring others at @herlightstudios ✨