We had the good fortune of connecting with Jon M. Dailey III and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jon M., what do you attribute your success to?
I would say the most important factor behind my success and my brand would have to be losing my mother at the age of 15 in 2008 on Thanksgiving night. When that happened I knew I had to grind ten times harder to make a name for myself and never give up. Because the one true person I knew I had in my corner was gone. But it turned out that I acquired an entire village that was dedicated to my success. My village instilled love, patience, understanding, resiliency, into me to the extent that I put that energy into every aspect of my creative being.I would like to think my loss allowed me to gain even more in all aspects of my life’s journey.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art, my drive, and my passions truly stem from a void. I’m not sure what the void is, where it comes from, or what it looks like but I know its there and I feel it. But because of that void I’ve accomplished things I never imagined and has pushed me to be the best version of myself I could be. I am excited about connecting with new people and capturing them in the most raw and pure form and constantly explore this world of Film Photography that I picked up during the pandemic has been most rewarding! I originally started out at Jackson State University where I obtained my degree in Electrical Engineering. While on campus I started my own Photography company called “JMD Photography” taking graduation photos, university functions and videos. The journey to becoming who I am today has not been easy, there’s been a lot of highs and lows working in in the creative industry while trying to maintain life as a full time college student back then. I overcome a lot of my challenges by talking through things with my friends, mentors, and keep doing what I know is right while knowing everything will come when time is right. I’ve learned that loyalty and kindness will take you very far in life and to never take that for granted. The things we take for granted are the things we want/need most in life. I would want the world to know about my story is that I am the youngest of seven children with a twin brother. I’m a first generation college HBCU graduated from Memphis, Tennessee with a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering. Upon graduating from Jackson State I worked for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as a Parts engineer working on multi-million dollar aerospace programs while growing my passion in photography. Also, I worked for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as a Systems Engineer for the NextGeneration Program team. Being one of very few black people, let alone only black man in my position showed me that I am powerful beyond measure and anything I want out of life I could get. With my brand I always want to tell a story by the work that I produce and not just a random shoot that has no value or meaning to that person or myself. Since then my photography business is still operating ,I’ve help start an art magazine called ColorBloc Magazine, started a clothing brand with my brothers called Built On New Dreams (B.O.N.D.) for short while working for a digital marketing company my friend owns. My brand is forever evolving as I evolve and that my hard work and resilience will make me the artist and entrepreneur that I want to become.

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.
If my best friend visited me in Los Angeles I would first take them to Big Rays in Compton for a good burger and fries because we all know the best food is located in the urban neighborhoods. I would then take them to see LA at night, at the Laurel Canyon overlook and just talk, have a couple of drinks and just bond with them. I would take them to brunch, lunch, dinner etc. at my favorite spots in LA; Leo & Lily’s, HOME, Joey’s in Woodland Hills, Yard house, and Laurel Hardware to name a few. Being that I’ve fell in love with film and the beach I would take them to Malibu Beach to one of my favorite spots on the beach and take photos of them, have some more food, drinks, and fun as well. I would hope my best friend came on a weekend where “Every Day People” party was held thats one of my favorite parties in the city! But with being that I’m a recent transplant to Los Angeles shortly before the Pandemic I haven’t had the opportunity to see the city in entire glory. But I know we would have an amazing time.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My village deserves the credit and recognition ! I would first like to thank my church Youth Sunday school/Church media director Mr. Rodney Jeffery for giving me the opportunity to purchase my first DSLR camera from him the summer going into my Sophomore year of college! If it was not for him seeing and entertaining my strong interest in Photography I’m not sure if I would be where I am today! Secondly, I would like to show appreciation to eldest sister for fighting for custody of me an my twin brother after losing our mom to keep our family together! Lastly, my God Family the Thompson, for also taking me in during that time as well to groom me, show me what unconditional love feels and look like in the family aspect! And never giving up on me through all the trials and tribulations I put them through and after all of that they still showed me what it was to have a village and to accomplish anything I put my mind to! So thank you all for the very important role you all played in my life.

Website: www.jonmdailey.com

Instagram: Jondailey_

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jon-m-dailey-iii-5555411b4/

Twitter: _JonLennon

Image Credits
Self Portraits: Corey Myers IG: @Cmyers1105

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