Meet Ludwig Araujo: Fitness Photographer Extraordinaire
I first met Mr. Ludwig Araujo in 2008 when he had to interview me for a Sales Consultant position. After he hired me and acted as my direct manager from 2008-2010, I was able to build a friendship with him. He turned from a manager, to a role model, to now a lifelong supportive friend. I hope you, as my reader, can gather my ability to establish connections that build up to amazing personal and professional relationships in my life, from my blog posts. Due to these incredible, maintained friendships, I am able to feature all the colorful dreamers I have in my social circle, such as Ludwig!
In 2008, Ludwig had his first daughter, Eva, and at that time, he was working those full-time, sometimes dreadful, retail hours as a sales manager for a telecommunications company. After Eva’s birth, Ludwig quickly realized that he would need to start taking pictures of his daughter so he wouldn’t miss a thing. “So I picked up one of those point and shoot cameras and started clicking away. I have always been the type to delve into new projects full force and this was no different. Upon seeing those first pictures I was disappointed that my images did not look like the images I’ve seen on the internet or in magazines. I was looking to create those perfect baby portraits that we all want to hang on our walls but I was failing miserably.” So, rather than giving up and hiring a professional photographer to take pictures of his newborn daughter, Ludwig decided to learn how to be that professional photographer, instead.
Naturally, Ludwig looked to Google and YouTube to research and learn photography, and since he decided to take this seriously, he then upgraded his camera equipment and signed up for an online course on his new passion. Soon enough, Ludwig realized that he had developed a passion for creating art that made people say ‘wow,’ and became obsessed with learning the skills, art, and technique used in photography by shooting as much as possible. “There is a famous quote by Henri Cartier-Bresson that says ‘your first 10,000 photographs are your worst’, so, early on in my career, I shot pictures at events, nightclubs, for fashion, while also shooting street and nature shots to ensure I shot my 10,000 pictures. I was fortunate to have a full time job which gave me the freedom to continue to practice my photography even though it wasn’t earning me any income at that time.” I can imagine that his first 10,000 pictures were not the best but became better with each picture taken, which would make Ludwig’s 10,001st photo, perfect.
Approximately 4 years into Ludwig’s photography journey, a friend asked him if he could photograph her in the gym as she was getting in shape for a fitness competition. He agreed, purchased a cheap lighting set, and went to work like a true person of purpose does! He joined Facebook to share his images, and it did not take very long for other fitness competitors to see those images and request their own photoshoots by Ludwig. "I quickly developed a niche in a sub-segment of portrait photography that I never intentionally sought to do, and 7 years later, with multiple magazine covers and countless images created, I am now considered one of the top fitness photographers in the country!" Ludwig properly leveraged his access to the internet and social media, and by doing so, he was able to learn a brand new craft that he has now turned into a career. He decided he wanted to do something, put in the time to learn how to do it, failed fast at it, perfected it, and is now considered one of the best at it-- so impressive. This is why Ludwig is this months' Colorful Dreamer! Eventually, Ludwig got so good at his new craft of photography, that he was able to quit his full-time job at a well known telecommunications company, to invest full time, in his new craft, and now brand, Arawell Media.
His company is not limited to only photography and video services, but also matches those same services to businesses that lacked those capabilities. Ludwig discovered in his new career that although we are in a social media age, many companies were operating at a disadvantage because they did not know how to make the transition from traditional marketing to social media marketing. So, he decided to take his management skills from his full time job and create an Influencer management arm to his company. “With this extension to my company, I am able to partner influencers with large social followings, with brands that needed marketing help, all while delivering the content (photos & videos) they would need to deliver their message.” Ludwig decided to be more than a photographer, which seems to be the norm with most creative entrepreneurs. This seems to occur in order to maintain their relevancy as well as competitiveness within their respective industries.
When asked what is the mission of Ludwig Araujo Photography and Arawell Media, Ludwig simply states, "the goal is to help." The same passion he has for creating great images for his clients in order to create THE digital experience for brands and influencers, is the same passion he brings to those who can’t do it alone. He understands that by bringing photo and video production, graphic design, and more, brands and influencers are able to increase engagement and increase results. This is why it is very important for him to produce excellent work; the reputation of the influencers he works with along with the brands, depend on it! By operating from a place of service is what, I believe, has assisted with Ludwig's success. He is not chasing the money or accolades, he simply wants to help by providing the best digital content needed to help take an influencer or brand to the next level.
In the next few years, Ludwig's vision for Arawell Media will always be to strive to be inclusive rather than exclusive. "I’ve met with countless people over the years that need business help, but have no idea where to go, or they can't afford it. My goal is for Arawell Media to not only provide the services I’ve described, but also to provide educational services as well." Informing others on what it takes to become an influencer on social media is one example of what the educational leg of his business would look like. Another goal is for Arawell Media to be a resource for brands that need ongoing photo and video content for social media. Ludwig wants to ensure Arawell Media is able to keep its finger on the pulse of how things are changing digitally within the photography and branding industry. By staying ahead of the curve, the company will be able to withstand any changes that will take place digitally in the years to come. Ludwig is well aware that it will take a lot of drive, determination and hustle to take his brand to the next level.
“They say your network determines your net worth, and in order to grow any company it will take hard work, time and perseverance. Arawell Media is no different. It will take all of the above, but I am confident if we continue helping others grow, we in turn will grow as well.”
– Ludwig Araujo
Outside of photography, Ludwig, like me, has had a lifelong dream to be great at whatever he decided to do in life. He simply dreamed of greatness, and now that he is older, his dream has turned into a desire to be able to help others be great and find their greatness. "I think we all win when that happens."
Images Provided by: Ludwig Araujo Photography