Born in 1996, I currently reside in Houston with my partner, Ryan, and our three beautiful fur kids, Hana, Komi, and Goji but am native to central Texas! I've always considered myself a creative kid versus being book smart so naturally, I gravitated to drawing, dancing, crafts, and any other artistic outlooks. I picked up my first camera in high school when I took photojournalism and instantly fell in love with playing with a camera by taking portraits, pictures of my pets, and anything else I could honestly capture!


After I graduated high school in 2015, I pursued one of my other biggest passions: color guard, the flag spinners with the marching band. That's where I performed alongside professional independent color guards in Texas for a few years until I decided to retire. After retiring, I asked myself "What was next?" and had to do some deep thinking about what I wanted to do for a career.


*Click to watch this video of color guard*


Long story short, I choose to do photography! Not gonna lie bestie, I didn't really know if it was possible and I wasn't sure if it would even be something achievable but a firm believer that if you can dream it, you can do it. I've been shooting since 2018 and have worked alongside professional photographers, amazing companies, and local Texas schools as a photographer and videographer. I knew deep down in my heart (of Texas) that I had always wanted to be a photographer and run my very own business, so here we are, owner and photographer of Manuel Ayala Photography! Also as a queer business owner, inclusivity and diversity are so important to me as I love celebrating all love! Eventually one day I would love to own my own wedding venue and be a full-time wedding photographer.


Other than photography, my hobbies include DIY crafty projects, falling more in love with Sam Smith's music, and color guard. I also love to visit plant nurseries or the zoo, go to local coffee shops to try everything on the menu, and shop at Target. I'm a Gemini (I knooow), my favorite season is fall, and I want to move to Seattle one day so I can live my twilight fantasy lol I like to consider myself a very outgoing, chatty, and funny person who loves to make others laugh and have a great time.


I hope that wasn't too long but I cannot wait to hear your story.

-M