We had the good fortune of connecting with Christina & Antoine Keels and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christina & Antoine, what do you attribute your success to?
In the beginning, one important factor for us, always, was to make sure that we had fun while doing this. The stress of constantly traveling to events/photoshoots and trying to find a balance between being a parent and being a photographer with thousands of photos to edit, can definitely take its toll. For us, we always said when it’s no longer fun, we will stop. With that being said, regardless of the hardships, it’s STILL FUN. We’re married and we get to travel and experience all of this together. In addition, we love what we do and we love making others happy.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
We love to think what sets us apart from others is the fact that we are a duo, husband and wife, who both have the same passion when it comes to photography. We travel together, we plan together and we essentially grew together. We love that! Was it easy getting here? Definitely not! We still have so many goals that we want to achieve with our photography. And we still get “No’s” but that isn’t going to stop us from finding a new path to take towards accomplishing those goals. Challenge comes with the reward and we embrace that. Lessons we’ve learned along the way? Spend your money wisely! When it comes to photography equipment it can be quite expensive. But if you want something, be patient, and save enough for it. Also, DO NOT let others’ opinions stop you. This goes for anything in life, not only photography. If you are doing it right, you will have people who will hate on your work, simple. Keep being great.
We want the world to know that no matter how much of a “beginner” you are, if you want to learn, you can. We knew nothing, we were able to teach ourselves, and learn a few tricks along the way. PRACTICE! You’re not always going to get it right, and that’s okay. Soak up all the knowledge you can. Even knowing the things we know, we still have plenty more to learn.
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?
Within our area, we love places like the Wharf, National Harbor, Old Towne Alexandria & Downtown DC. We recently stumbled upon a restaurant in DC called “Crazy Aunt Helen’s,” which is comfort food and it is delicious! Especially their Fried Green Tomatoes, which we ordered 2 servings of. Yardbird has become a favorite of ours, which also located in DC, it’s amazing. The food, drinks, atmosphere & service, its a great place to hang out with friends and unwind. We also love Mi Vida, which is a Mexican restaurant with a great atmosphere as well as food. Captain Gregory’s is a speakeasy located in Alexandria, and their drinks are delicious! Succotash is located in the National Harbor and we love their appetizers and drinks. There are many places to choose from! There are plenty of museums and shows, which we really enjoy, located in DC as well. Hiking is also an option! Last year we went hiking in Great Falls located in Virginia and it was a great escape and the scenery was beautiful. We’d never be bored, that’s for sure.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Honestly, there are many people who have supported us throughout this adventure of ours. However, there are two people who come to mind. The first, is a woman named Faye Jackson, she is an indie wrestler. We were at a show that she was wrestling on, and we had probably only been to a handful of shows at the time. We had been taking photos from our seats and posting them on Twitter, that’s it. We were completely new to wrestling photography and didn’t know what to expect. At the show, we took a chance and asked her if she would be willing to do a photoshoot with us and surprisingly, she said yes. That’s where everything truly started for us. She trusted us and gave us that opportunity, which helped us to get through that barrier. Looking back, those photos were terrible! We knew nothing about lighting, we barely knew the functions on the camera. But don’t worry, we’ve made up for it since then.
The second person, is our friend Nagier. He is the sole reason why we even know about indie wrestling to begin with. We didn’t even know it was a thing and certainly not within our area (DMV). One day he asked us if we were interested in attending a wrestling show and we haven’t looked back since. We still hang out and make those road trips together. He deserves all the love & thanks!
Website: Currently working on our website – Keep a look out for that! Until then https://jayleephotosac.smugmug.com/