San Diego resident Chris Wojdak said she fell in love with the art of photography at just 10 years old. When she made her way to Southern California 17 years ago, she quickly developed a reputation in the business for her complex, yet stunning photography.
But, now like others, the single mom of two children said she is struggling to keep food on the table and pay her rent. Most recently, she gave up her Little Italy studio of three years to save money.
“I feel grateful I could restructure my budget to work through this, when I know lots of folks can’t,” Wojdak said. “I don’t feel safe shooting folks indoors right now with our coronavirus cases as high as they are, but thankfully the majority of my work has always been outdoors, so much of my work is more impacted by the financial struggles my clients are facing.”
Wojdak said she had a year full of weddings to photograph but those were rescheduled. Regardless, she’s thankful for what she does have.
“My family has worked in public health for many generations and I have a very deep-seated respect for, and desire to prioritize, public health issues,” Wojdak said. “I worried about how we would handle the economic impact of things, and was grateful that unemployment was extended to folks like me who normally wouldn’t qualify for it.”
Wojdak said she’s also thankful for the financial support she’s received — no matter how small — and the longtime clients who are helping her through this troubling time. She’s also taking the time to give back to the community, such as working on a project with the Black Chamber of Commerce.
Most importantly, Wodjak said she’s using her profile in the city to speak on issues that matter.
“In a time where lots of businesses are afraid to stand up for what’s right and risk alienating customers, I am grateful to have been able to build a business that is a safe and accepting space for folks from all walks of life,” Wojdak said. “Being able to speak out for racial justice and social equity is important to me, and being able to do it without fear of losing my job is a privilege I appreciate deeply. That is probably the strongest motivation I have to keep fighting for the survival of this business.”
For more information about Chris Wojdak, go to chriswojdak.com/.
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