I came off a call with my amazing publicist Tequilla White and the request was really clear, imagery that showed me as the founder of =SPACE.

Up until now many of my images were styled shoots with photographers I respected but the aim was to collaborate and create a fashion editorial story. It was always a personal narrative and form of expression for me.

Fashion has been the way to tell my story without saying a word. My looks have been my sword and shield when going into spaces.


Sitting down to create a shoot that spoke to the principles and mission of my company was a very different experience.

The creative direction had to:

  • Create a sense of leadership
  • Maintain my cultural heritage
  • celebrate multicultural leadership
  • Keep it real and authentic to my approach to business while maintaining professional standards
  • Make sure Oprah would approve

The interesting part of the process was that I felt uncomfortable trying to water down my identity to fit into mainstream media, Tequilla counseled me that it wasn’t about homogenizing as much as it was about controlling the narrative. If I was going to be on the pages of Forbes or Black Enterprise, I need to command the image and be seen as a leader.

This led to me connecting with an amazing photographer, Chantel who has a keen eye for bringing the best out in her models. When Chantel plans the shoot she knows the goal and target media outlets, and she brings you into the shot.

We had a really amazing time at multiple venues, the first being Blueprint Cafe, which is one of my favorite spots, and Carole is such an amazing owner! We then ran over to The Studios at =SPACE, which boasts podcast studio, shooting spaces, and a multimedia suite.

About Chantel

I am a creative director, fashion and portrait photographer based in the NY/NJ area.

Available for events, engagements, maternity, lifestyle shoots, and photo campaigns. Small weddings such as a courthouse or under 60 guests are also my speed.


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The author citimedina