We had the good fortune of connecting with Emerald Arguelles and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emerald, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I believe that risk is necessary, no matter what your occupation may be. I have taken many risks in my career. For example, in 2019, I worked as a photo editor for the Harlem Globetrotters in Atlanta while still living in Savannah. I spent many nights driving back and forth and sacrificing my comfortability to achieve this goal. I quit a job in Savannah to stay true to the vision I had in mind for myself. Also, while still working with the Harlem Globetrotters, I was granted the opportunity to intern for NBCUniversal in New York. I had to figure out how to find an apartment in New York and pursue college full-time while working full-time. Those times were the most to juggle but also the most rewarding.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started photography shooting concerts, and after a while, I found it to not be what I wanted my life to be like. I shifted my focus to telling the black experience through my own eyes. What I am most proud of is work as it shows a black perspective from the eye of a black artist, which secures our story to be determined by us. I think telling your own story is the essential aspect of being an artist of any medium. I believe that I got to where I am by trusting my instincts. I am intuitive, and if something feels right, then it is the right thing to do. I have maintained professional practices in my interactions with others and always utilizing good intentions in every aspect of my career and artistry. It was not easy; there were many risks and sacrifices that had to be made to ensure that my morals and vision were never compromised. I think I am always reminding myself of the higher purpose and who I want to reach. The lessons that I have learned along the way never compromise your vision, yourself, or your community. Also, to always aspire for more. Never allow anyone to limit you or tell you what your goals should be. I have always wanted to convey the black perspective and to tell black girls that you can do whatever you want to do in this world. Any dream or goal that you have is obtainable.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
My favorite place is Little Five Point and Stone Mountain Park. The people and the overall energy that is in Little Five Points is something that always warms my soul and hiking up to the top of Stone Mountain and seeing the entire city is such a beautiful view and a time to reflect in the mountains.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I believe that my Shoutout would go out to Nakeya Brown. I will forever sing her praises due to the impact she has had on my artistry and my confidence as a black photographer.
All image credit: Emerald Arguelles