Today we’d like to introduce you to NaTeneshia Renée.
Hi NaTeneshia, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today.
It was all a dream that became my reality. When I was in middle school, I took a photography class. This was back before digital photography but when we had dark rooms to develop our creativity. I loved the concept of creating beauty by turning a blank piece of paper into a masterpiece in that room. It also taught me to appreciate the time it takes to allow that beauty to develop. And that’s when the idea was formed. But just like most dreams, they may have to take a backseat to life. In 2015, I was asked to photograph my cousin for her senior year photos. I was super excited and went out and bought my first “professional” camera.
Now I had no clue about what I was doing so I found a photography class through a local university, joined photography Facebook groups, and talked to other photographers. This awoke a fire inside of me and brought back my love of photography. Being asked to take her photos was the greatest thing that could have happened to me and for me. Photography has opened so many doors, allowed me to meet some amazing people and travel to some exotic places. How I got to where I am today is through constant prayer, being forever grateful, and continuing to learn new things while following my childhood dream!!
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Being an entrepreneur has its benefits but also challenges. My entrepreneurial journey is like a hiking trail. Through my trail, I’ve had some hills to climb, some smooth paths, a few rocky roads, and a few valleys. I’ve had many walking partners, some I’ve lost and some I’ve gained along the way. But through it all, it has been a scenic and beautiful journey. Challenges will come and go but it is how you look at them that makes a difference. I believe challenges are needed in order to learn that you’re stronger than you thought you were. And that challenge is only there to allow you to defeat it so you can have your success story.
This way of thinking by no means came in the beginning. In the beginning, every challenge felt like a failure to me. And my ego and mental health took a beating for it. I watched other entrepreneurs and measured my lack of success off of them. Oh, how wrong I was for that. This set me up for failure because someone else’s success in your eyes may have had many missteps behind it. We don’t know what someone else had to go through to get to that point and when we focus on the success part we miss out on the journey it took to get there. Challenges and tough times will come but you will defeat that moment.
“Life is like a camera. Just focus on what’s important and capture the good times, develop from the negatives and if things don’t work out, just take another shot.” — Unknown
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
The name of my company is NaTeneshia Renée Photography and Design. I am a photographer, graphic designer, and entrepreneurial magazine owner, Modestly Bold Magazine. I specialize in Branding and Portrait photography but have also shot weddings and fashion. I’m most proud of even starting my dream of becoming a photographer. To know that I have overcome so many challenges and am still standing, despite the odds, is one of my greatest accomplishments.
I’m also most proud that my children are proud of me and everything that I have accomplished. Knowing they are proud makes all of my struggles worth it. What sets me apart from others is simply ME!! I love to try new concepts and ways to be creative. I love to capture your story through photography so that you can relive that beautiful moment for generations to come.
The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
Covid has taught everyone a lesson, been a blessing or both. This pandemic has caused everyone to stop and appreciate the small things because tomorrow is not promised. When covid shut the country down, it either slowed, paused, or destroyed businesses but for me, it was a blessing in disguise. For NaTeneshia Renée Photography and Design, I actually evaluated my businesses, partnerships, relationships, business skill set, and a few other areas for the pros and cons. With the cons, I decided who or what to keep that could be improved upon or if it needed to be left behind. This helped me take a hard look at myself and how I was running my businesses.
Not that I had bad business practices, but it was some things that were weighing down the ship to progress that I needed to let go of. The pros get evaluated too because everything you think is good for you may not be good for you.
That time was needed to reflect and improve not only myself but my skills, by taking online classes and webinars but also reflect on all the goodness God has blessed me with. So when I say COVID has been a lesson and blessing for me, I just meant, I had to do some business spring cleaning and it helped me strengthen my business foundation as well as myself. Be true to yourself and do what makes you happy while continuing to shoot for the stars. But know achieving the stars is just the beginning of your amazing journey.
“I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you.” 1 Chronicles 29:17
- Website: mynrpd.com
- Instagram: Instagram.com/mydreamphotos912
- Facebook: Facebook.com/mydreamphotos912
- Twitter: Twitter.com/NaTeneshiaRenée
Rayvon Griffin, NaTeneshia Renée Photography and Design