We had the good fortune of connecting with Chanel Jaali Marshall and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chanel Jaali, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Glow Photo Series is not my first business so I feel like I didn’t have to start from scratch for this one. I wanted to create something that brings joy and directly affects people. It was important to focus on Black and Brown women and femmes specifically to create a body positive community and in a way, combat negative stereotypes placed onto them. This initially started as a project that was supposed to be a one-time photoshoot with friends. It’s now been 3 years and several cities later!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Glow Photo Series travels the country uplifting Black and Brown women. I ask women of all hair textures, body types, ages, abilities, and complexions to pose in a predetermined color in an attempt to shift the perspective of what the standard of beauty should be. I love the connections that are made during the session that carry on long after we’re done. This project is special because it is body positive, inclusive, and centers joy and community. Even though I’ve always loved to take photos, I feel like I am relatively new to photography because there is always so much to learn! It can be easy to fall victim to “imposter syndrome” looking at all of the amazing photographers out there. I do believe in a “why not” mentality; this means I will go for it and try new concepts and apply for shows and exhibitions. Rejection is certainly part of the process. I’ve learned to allow myself to feel what I need to, then move on. The key is to be persistent and not be afraid to try again.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
The cool thing about Atlanta is that though it is spread out, there are so many cool places to see and visit. Feeling like being active? Walk part of the Beltline and look at the murals. Take in the sights at Little 5 Points, then head over to Apex Museum or Auburn Avenue Research Library for some culture. Lunch at Mango’s or Delia’s Chicken Sausage Stand. For evening, drinks at Parlor or Cafe Circa before dancing at Soundtable or MJQ. After dancing, Felini’s for the late night win!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Glow Photo Series could literally not exist without participants! The people who’ve chosen to participate have brought such good energy and creativity to each session. This project grew solely from word of mouth and each city has been a unique experience. They often share posts, bring friends along to shoots, and really rally around the meaning of the series. I also have a support system that is out of this world, and they have truly kept me motivated to keep going.
Linkedin: Chanel Jaali Photography
Facebook: Glow Photo Series
Chanel Jaali Photography