Chances are, you’ve probably seen Yvonne Rew-Falk around town. She’s the gal behind the lens, photographing happening events for Santa Cruz Waves—and she has a way of capturing everyone’s best side. Yvonne isn’t just a fly on the wall; when she’s out in the community, she’s interacting with a glowing smile. The first time I saw her, at an Event Santa Cruz, she was beaming and mingling in between photos. She makes everyone feel like a rock star.
“Santa Cruz has so many community pieces. The more events I go to, the more these pieces connect,” she explains.
Yvonne is the head event photographer for Santa Cruz Waves, and she manages their photography team. She also does freelance work on the side. She grew up in Santa Cruz and has lived here for most of her life, aside from a two-year stint in Switzerland with her mom when she was nine and ten. Although it was challenging to be plopped down in a new country at that age—the language barrier made it difficult to make friends, and just when she was getting used to it they moved back to Santa Cruz—she’s glad she had the experience.
Photography came naturally to Yvonne. Her mother was a photographer, so she grew up with photos being taken all the time. After her mother passed away, when Yvonne was 18, she took it up herself. She became known for taking photos, most notably of people and sunsets.
“I was always the friend with the camera.”
Inspired by the beauty she sees everywhere, in nature and in people, Yvonne loves being able to share the little moments in life that can so easily pass us by. She wants people to see what she sees in them. “I want them to see their own beauty and to be in wonder of themselves.”
When she’s not snapping photos at an event or editing said photos, Yvonne enjoys getting some quality down time. An introvert at heart (although you’d never guess it, seeing her in public), she needs her alone time to recharge. She loves being in nature, walking on West Cliff, and doing yoga.
It might surprise you to learn that Yvonne never finished high school. Because she was 18 when her mom died, she didn’t have anyone telling her that she had to go to school. I certainly wouldn’t have gone without anyone making me! But she obviously didn’t need to; she got her life together on her own. Then she trained as a life coach in 2002, before becoming a professional photographer.
“I’d like to encourage people to do what they love, whether money comes from it or not, to feed that part of themselves.”
I think that about says it all. So do what you love, people. Our Woman of the Week says so!
Thank you to this week’s W.O.W. sponsor: Santa Cruz Skin Solutions and Integrated Wellness