We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Arshley Emile and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. Arshley, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The thought process behind starting our company was that we wanted to see more positive images of our community. We grew tired of seeing the usual traumatic images found in media as well as Hollywood that portrayed our community as slaves, dope dealers and one who was always struggling. Instead, we wanted to show the other side of our community that the world either chooses to ignore or is not privy to. Through our images we wanted to convey to the world that black people were beautiful, successful and dope as hell. As a father to black sons and a beautiful black daughter, I felt it was our responsibility to control the narrative and show our kids that black people were more than what their history books portrayed.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I believe what sets us apart is the mere fact that we are consistent, we are truthful in our stories that we convey but most importantly, we are unashamed of the community we represent. In regard to how we got here it is very simple, it was a divine intervention with the help of my wife, who consistently encouraged me to follow my passion. She saw that I had the potential and knew that I was more passionate about film and photography than I was being in the classroom. Fast forward 5 years and we’ve been fortunate to be featured in Magazines, various media outlets, worked with fortune 500 companies and Africa. It was not always good. In the beginning we struggled a lot. We even considered closing our doors but God’s will prevailed. We decided to move to Atlanta a couple of years ago and we haven’t looked back since. For anyone pursuing their dream or passion, I would say don’t give up, learn to be patient and learn to trust the process, even if the process seems to be at a standstill. Through our images we want the world to see God. We also want the world to know that black is beautiful.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Atlanta is definitely a place that all people should visit. I love the diversity and culture and the food. Whenever my family or friends come and visit us I always take them to downtown to grab some food that they would most likely not get in their hometown. I would definitely take my non-vegan and vegan friends to Slutty Vegan for some burgers. Another good spot to visit is Ponce City Market. I love going there for 2 reasons The Village Market and their food! A good spot to just chill and enjoy the scenery is Piedmont park. I can’t forget Georgia Aquarium, it’s one of my favorite spots. For historical purposes I would recommend visitors to go and check out Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First and foremost I have to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, without Him I wouldn’t be here talking to you all today. The second person I want to give a huge shoutout to is my beautiful black queen Stephania Emile. She’s the one who pushed me to make Timberhouse Films an official business. She always believed in me and sacrificed so much in order for us to be where we are now. I will be forever indebted to her. Also, I want to thank my brother and God mom, Ms. McDuffie for always believing in my artistic gifts. I love you all. Lastly, I want to thank all the black women who trusted me to capture them in a way that is authentic to them. You all inspire me everyday. I appreciate you all from the depths of my soul.
Dr. Arshley Emile