We had the good fortune of connecting with Candace Brown Portait Photographer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Candace Brown, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Coming from being in healthcare for the last 16 years, I knew that it was changing and not in a good way. The pandemic helped me realize that I needed to leave the systems that were in place that seemed to no longer be about helping and healing patients. They became like a number. I foresaw some things that were coming to fruition and it was literally a fight or flight feeling I was getting and decided to take the leap. I’ve always enjoyed taking pictures and I’ve always been a crowd pleaser and easy to talk to. So I married my passion for seeing people smile and them trusting me to putting it on a canvas for them to pass down through generations. Photography is poetry actualized.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As a creative, sometimes it’s hard to put your work out there and know that it can rival the likes of the greats. So some of us go into our shells and keep it to ourselves. Just like Erykah Badu said, “I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my s***.” I know for me that’s one of the truest statements. I caught a case of the “do it anyways” or “do it scared” as I’ve heard. I had my support system in my ear telling me I can do it all the way up until this point and they just pour into my creativity, sharing my business and all forms of any support that you can think of. The biggest challenge for me was deciding to go full time and what was my game plan. I’ve always relied on a steady paycheck since I was 16 years old. I kept a job, so this would be totally different. I also knew that this had to work. I decided I had no other choice. This decision was going to make me, breaking me was never an option.
I’ve learned that the support and people you have around you is one of your biggest assets when you are a creative and not the normal 9 to 5. Art is subjective and not everyone is going to like what you produce and you have to learn to be okay with that. I’m okay with that, but those who get to know me and all the love I put into the universe will always come back to me tenfold and that’s what I rely on to continue doing what I do. When I see my clients see and choose their images, that’s what sustains me to push further. These images will last them for their lifetime and nothing says love like capturing a moment. I want the world to know that B Radiant Photography prides itself on great customer service and providing each client with a curate experience that they will cherish, and tell everyone they know. I want them to know that I invest my heart into capturing that breathtaking image and I want them to love seeing themselves. So many people hone in on their insecurities instead of celebrating themselves as a whole, insecurities and all. I want people to feel like a million bucks after they leave a session with me, and that’s how I know I’ve done my job.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We would first visit one of the black owned ice cream shops that also has vegan options. I would do a photoshoot of her because, she’s never had one done and I know it would be something she would love to do. We love to do hikes and trails, so walking along the James River and possibly putting our feet in the water would be something to do. Hanging out in Shockoe Bottom is always a vibe to bar hop and just walk around in the area. I would try and see if there was a poetry slam going on depending on that date and or we would drive out to Buckroe beach to sit by the water. She and I both are on a spiritual journey so based on which cycle of is occurring we can do a meditation in the park or at a yoga studio that I like to go to. Last but not least, try out some of the newer restaurants like Hook and Reel.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have gotten to where I am with many people, but these people deserve so much praise. My supportive family have pushed me to live in the truth of my passion and been there with me every step of the way. My mother, my godmother Sheri, my aunt Tangia.
My mentors/coaches: Maya Harris of W.O.M.B, Tamieka Smith, Rhonda Lewis, Dr. Curtis Brandon of CVERP
My business partner: Ivory Akeisha
Facebook: B Radiant Photo
Ivory Akeisha for the branding image of me.