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Check Out Tanisha Everett’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tanisha Everett.

Hi Tanisha, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
Since I was a child, I dreamed of pursuing a career in film or arts. However, as I got older, I felt that pursuing an artistic career was not feasible. I spent my first few years out of high school serving in the U.S. Navy but was discharged after several injuries that kept me from fulfilling my duties. I decided to continue working as a surgical technologist, the job I was trained for in the military for several years. However, I wanted to do more so I decided to move back to Texas from New York City to attend university where I received a Bachelor’s in Fashion Merchandising and a Master’s in Mass Communications. Somehow, I found myself back in the arts industry. During my Bachelor’s I begin working as a make-up artist at Mac Cosmetics. I spent seven years in this career, eventually moving to Italy where I joined forces with amazing photographer Pasquale Maria Salerno. Pasquale and I did several amazing photoshoots together. One of which ended up on the Italian Vogue website for a contest. It was then that I was bitten but the photography bug because of the beautiful images that he and I created together. It would be another seven years before I actually pick up a camera to take my first picture.

In 2018, while living in Oakland, California, my friend and mentor Sylvia High asked me to come over to film a few videos for her business, Aiming High Inc. At the time, I had just purchased my first DSLR camera. a Nikon D3400. After we finished filming, Sylvia asked me to take a few pictures of her. I initially scoffed at the idea and I told her that I just got the camera and didn’t really know how to use it. With a bit more prodding, we took several pictures in different outfits. When we begin reviewing the pictures, we both became very quiet. I think we were both in shock at how fantastic the pictures came out. I initially said the camera was the reason the pictures came out so well but Sylvia wasn’t having it. She told me that a person can have an amazing camera but it takes a good eye to produce the pictures that I snapped. This encouragement gave me the courage to start taking pictures and I spent the next two years traveling around the United States and the world, taking pictures of women in particular.

Eventually, I moved back to Houston in 2019 where my business ground to a halt due to COVID. While in Houston I was encouraged by my friend to print my first photography book. The book consisted of many of my prints of women from around the world that I had taken three years prior. After producing my first book, and a year of lockdown, I begin traveling between Houston and LA to photograph clients. I eventually moved to Los Angeles in the summer of 2022 after completing a program in filmmaking at New York Film Academy in New York City and photographing the team of the documentary film “Master of Light” at SXSW in March.

Now I am permanently in LA and I am currently working on a pictorial-mythology book called Archetypes: A Goddess Anthology while also making my clients happy.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
The road has neither been smooth or rough, However, building a business in a new city has its own challenges. I personally face any challenges as a new way to experience my craft and my business. Challenges are a yellow light, a way to grab my attention so that I pause and change the lens through which I view my business and my art. I feel optimistic and I look forward to the new book I am creating and the new clients I am gaining.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am an editorial photographer and visual storyteller. I have always loved telling stories since I was a child and I had hoped to go into the film industry as a cinematographer. However, since picking up my first DSLR, I feel more drawn to still pictures. That does not mean that I am not pursuing the film industry, I am just doing it through a different lens.

Personally, I enjoy using my camera to tell the stories of women of color because our stories are rarely told or heard. Or in this case, seen. One of the things I enjoy doing with my business is goddess photoshoots. Helping women see the beauty and power they possess and bring out their true selves that they rarely see. It is absolutely something to see a woman transform in front of my eyes. I personally do not edit my photos except to change the lighting or brightness of the colors in the picture. I prefer that my subject is viewed in a raw sort of light.

At some point, I would love to be a film set photographer as well. In the meantime, I am enjoying retelling mythological stories through my photography with the hopes that people see these stories in a new light while also seeing themselves anew as well.

Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
The biggest risk I have taken so far is moving to LA. Sometimes, pursuing a career in the arts can be counterintuitive. As humans, we seek low-risk and stable situations but nothing about a career in the arts is safe or low-risk. With that said, I wouldn’t change the work I am doing or the art I am producing for a more stable pursuit. I have always been a bit of a risk taker, however, pursuing a career in photography has given me courage that I feel I never had despite being a risk-taker.

I feel that I am worth the investment in myself and my art is worth the risks I take. If anything, I hope I inspire those around me to do the same.

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