Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Montreal-based fashion and travel photographer Ver Sepasi, who turned her childhood dream into a fulfilling career that allows her to do what she loves every day while seeing the world. We caught up with her to find about the most challenging part of her job and what advice she would share with other young professionals…
Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
I’m a Montreal-based fashion and travel photographer. I started a little over two years ago with no background in photography and have turned it into a career I absolutely love. I also run a travel/lifestyle Instagram account, @versepasi.
What was the inspiration for your career route?
I’ve loved photography for as long as I can remember. Growing up, my dad was always filming home videos and taking a ton of photos of my brother and me, and I remember always asking him for the camera because I wanted to take photos too.
There was a specific point in my life where I remember telling myself that one day I wanted to be a photographer. I was eight years old and in Vancouver on a family trip. My dad had just taken some photos of me at the park and I remember walking back up to him and thinking to myself that someday I wanted to be a photographer. As children, we want to be everything and anything, but to actually have a career in what I envisioned myself doing when I was a child is something dreamlike to me.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
When I started traveling for work. I’ve always been very passionate about traveling and photography and being able to combine both has been unreal.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
5 years: Besides having a family, I want to be travelling on a regular basis for work and have my own studio with a great team.
10 years: Along with continuing to grow my photography business, I’ve always dreamed of having my own jewelry store.
20 years: I don’t want to plan that far ahead, but building a sanctuary for rescued animals is something I would love to have done by then.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Learn from your mistakes, don’t procrastinate, and be proactive; don’t wait around for opportunities to come, but actively seek them out. Also, listen to people’s advice and be open-minded.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
I support a few charities, but mainly WWF and Humane Society International. I’m very passionate about animals and their well-being. I’ve become way more aware of what actually goes on in the world of cosmetics and how poorly animals are treated, let alone the fact that they are still tested on. I feel that this is something that isn’t discussed enough.
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Self-doubt is something I deal with on a daily basis. I’m still trying to figure that out and I don’t know if it’s something I’ll ever overcome, but it keeps me humble.
What does the word notable mean to you?
It means something worth mentioning to someone else. Something remarkable. Standing out and making sure you’re not just one of many.
Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
Oh boy. There are so many places I love in Montreal, but I think one place that just never gets old for me is Café Parvis. Their décor is very rustic and their food is always SO good. I never go without ordering the beet salad with extra goat cheese when I’m there.
What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser? The most played song on your phone?
My most visited website is YouTube. I’m a very curious person and there’s an endless amount of stuff to learn, from how-tos to documentaries on anything and everything. And the most played song on my phone is Buzzcut Season by Lorde. She’s amazing!
Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
Everyone needs to follow @blackjaguarwhitetiger if they are animal lovers. The founder has rescued and rehabilitated now over 200 animals from zoos, circuses, resorts and breeders (both legal and illegal). What he does is incredibly admirable and to see some of these animals so up close and personal is amazing. I look forward to his posts every day.
What’s your favourite country to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
Oh wow. That’s such a hard question! I think my favourite country (so far) would have to be Spain. I love everything about it, from the vibrant culture to the people, the architecture, and the incredible food! I plan on visiting Iran next. My dad is from there and it’s a place I’ve been dying to visit ever since I can remember.
What gives you the greatest FOMO?
Missing out on family events gives me the greatest FOMO. We’re all very close and anytime I miss out on anything, even just a family dinner, I get sad.
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Binge-watching Netflix. And anything involving chocolate!
What’s something you wish you didn’t spend so much money on? What’s something you wish you spent more on?
I absolutely love going out to eat, but I probably spend a bit too much money on that. It adds up quickly! I don’t wish I had more of anything you can buy with money, but I definitely wish I had more time.
And finally, what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise…
I think success looks like happiness and being content with what you have and who you can share it with. And that applies to both work and play.