Sweatsuit: Baby Phat
How do you empower or encourage other women?
I think how I encourage them is by loving them. Simply showing them love and respect. I feel like that in itself, is me encouraging them. I don't judge them, no matter what. I think that's the best way that I try to encourage them. When I do that it encourages them to do the same for other women. Like really loving someone a soon as you meet them I feel is super important. It's kind of hard for some people to do that. When it comes to women, there's always a lot of jealousy and competition, so I really just try to show them that I love them from the start. When I shoot with girls, I usually like to shoot girls who have never really modeled before, because through my love I can encourage them to just feel comfortable and beautiful.
Did you find yourself styling before you started doing photography?
At first I didn't think I would actually ever get into photography. I thought I was only going to do styling but then I just fell in love with film photography. It's simple and just natural. And I love the fact that it doesn't require any editing!
Did you teach yourself how to do film photography?
Yeah I did. I learned pretty quick. When I first started photography, I didn't shoot people, but after a while I started shooting my friends and then styling them. But nowadays I just like taking pictures of people. Like I really want to capture people's lifestyles and just the rawness of humanity. I want everyone to see life for what it is. I don't want to cut out any of the sadness or hardships. I just want my pictures to depict everything that is real.
I probably should've asked this in the beginning haha, but better than than never right? Haha. Tell me a little about yourself… That you haven't told us already.
Well, I'm a Libra haha! Just kidding. Honestly, I'm unsure of how to answer this question. I feel like I'm just constantly changing. I'm still learning about myself. Like I can say that I like photography, styling, and modeling but how I feel about those things is always changing. I start to like new things a lot. Like recently I started getting into cinematography, so I started my YouTube page. I want to start creating short films and vlogs. I LOVE music. It's definitely one of my biggest inspirations. Music inspires a lot of my photography and even how I style.
What exactly about music inspires your style?
I like 90s music. So I try to take a little bit of the gangsta 90s music vibes and incorporate it into my style. I also like being girly so I’ll incorporate the gangsta style into my girly looks. I grew up listening to Tupac but also Etta James. A sound or vibe definitely inspired me more than a person.
Do you have a style icon?
Yeah I really like TLC, Aaliyah, Erykah Badu, and even Tupac. Out of all of them I’d have to say I really love Erykah Badu the most. Her style can’t really be defined. She just does what she wants and that’s what I love the most about it.
What do you feel most accomplished for in your life right now?
I feel like there’s still so much that I’d like to accomplish. I’d have to say the biggest accomplishment I’ve had thus far is just 100% loving myself. I feel like that has been so hard to do. Especially now with social media. However you have to just look at yourself and just tell yourself that you are perfectly fine the way you are.
By: Jen Joseph