Firefighter Ruben Zuazua Finds Balance With Boudoir Photography Side Hustle

Zeta Photography Studio Ruben Zuazua Boudior Photographer in Flagler

Firefighter paramedic and Flagler Beach based Zeta Photography Studio co-owner Ruben Zuazua finds balance and peace using the transformative power of boudoir photography, while capturing the beauty, inner strength and sensuality of his clients.

When he’s not fighting fires or helping people as a paramedic, Ripple Coworking member and community hero, Ruben Zuazua, is pursuing his true passion: photography. Together with his wife, Ruben is the co-owner of Zeta Photography Studio, a premium studio specializing in black and white boudoir photography based in Flagler Beach.

In a recent interview for our monthly publication, The Ripple Effect, Ruben generously told us all about how he manages the stress of his demanding firefighter paramedic job through his work at Zeta Photography.

This interview was part of a series that explores the Side Hustle economy with some of our members (current and former):

What is your main gig, and what is your ‘side hustle’ (business name and business description)?

I am a firefighter paramedic and my side hustle is photography. Zeta Photography is a woman-owned, co-operated husband-and-wife photography studio. We specialize in black and white boudoir photography.

Boudoir photography captures intimate and sensual images in a private setting, meant to empower and celebrate the client’s beauty and sensuality. We emphasize that boudoir photography can be a form of self-expression and a gift for special occasions.

Zeta Photography Studio Ruben Zuazua flagler beach boudior photography backlit

What inspired your side hustle (was it born out of passion, or necessity)?

I’ve loved taking pictures since my father handed me his camera and I developed my first roll of film. Zeta Photography Studio is a premier bridal boudoir, boudoir fashion, maternity boudoir photography studio based in Flagler Beach, Florida.

I adore the art of boudoir photography, not just for its beauty and allure, but for the profound impact it has on women’s self-perception and empowerment. As a boudoir photographer, I have the privilege of witnessing firsthand the transformative power of this art form. When you step in front of the lens, we not only capture your physical beauty but also the essence of your inner strength and sensuality.

Do you see your side hustle ever becoming your main hustle, and is that the goal? What would need to happen in order for your side hustle to replace your day job?

Being a firefighter paramedic is a noble profession that comes with significant challenges. The constant exposure to traumatic events and the pressure to perform under duress can lead to stress and PTSD. These conditions can manifest in various ways, such as nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety, and depression. Over time, the emotional toll can make it difficult to function effectively both at work and in personal life.

Photography can serve as a powerful outlet for firefighters and paramedics struggling with stress and PTSD. It provides a creative and therapeutic way to process difficult emotions. The act of framing a shot, capturing a scene, and creating art can be grounding and help firefighters reconnect with the beauty in the world around them. Photography can also offer a sense of control and accomplishment, which can be helpful for those battling feelings of helplessness.

In my case, photography has become a way to maintain balance and cope with the stresses of my firefighting career. It’s a passion that allows me to express myself creatively and find peace. As I continue to develop my photography skills and explore this artistic gift my father left for me as an outlet, it has the potential to transition into my main career. This shift would allow me to pursue a path that aligns with my continued passion and provides a healthier work-life balance.

Zeta Photography Studio Ruben Zuazua flagler beach boudior photography bikini

How does your regular job impact your side hustle, and vice versa?

Firefighting schedules can be erratic and demanding, making it challenging to find dedicated time for photography. The stress and trauma experienced as a firefighter paramedic does affect my creativity and motivation for photography.

On the other hand, my work at Zeta Photography Studio serves as a healthy outlet for processing the stress and emotions I encounter as a firefighter paramedic. The discipline and focus required to be a firefighter paramedic does translate into being disciplined and focused during the planning and execution of a photo shoot

Zeta Photography Studio Ruben Zuazua flagler beach boudior photography feathers

What tips do you have for someone wanting to start a side business in terms of getting started, time management, and expectations?

Pick a business idea that uses your skills and interests. Try and schedule dedicated work hours for your side hustle. Be realistic about what you can manage. Don’t expect immediate success. Be patient and persistent!

How can people interested in learning more about a boudoir photography shoot get in touch with you?

Zeta Photography offers fixed price studio sessions starting at $995, which is an incredible value considering it includes a two-hour shoot, hair and makeup, a 30-minute pre-shoot consult, professional magazine style editing and reveal session.

Phone: (386) 244-9209
Email: [email protected]
Gallery: Boudoir Photography Gallery



*Copyrights for all photography displayed in this article are owned by, and such images appear with the permission of, Zeta Photography Studio LLC and its assigns.

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