We had the good fortune of connecting with Monica Kearse and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Monica, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
Being in sports media as a black female is extremely difficult. Many coaches won’t give people like me a chance. This industry is male-dominated and it’s not as easy as it looks. You have to get the angles correct, the lighting has to be on point, thousands of dollars is spent on quality equipment, you have to show up extremely early if you want to get good pre-game footage (video), and if you’re taking pictures, by the end of the night you’ll have at least 400 pictures in your roll.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a sports videographer/photographer. I am also a black woman who just graduated college. Being in this industry is not easy. Doing everything I could to afford equipment while in college whilst maintaining a high gpa was difficult. I used whatever I could get my hands on to film my boyfriend doing his sport. When I finally got some of the equipment I needed to progress, I ran with my craft. I contacted schools, coaches, trainers etc. trying to find a team or something to film. I did not hear back from anyone. One day I contacted my old neighbor (Trevion Gray), who put me in contact with Miss Churchwell. Miss Churchwell is a sports photographer from my high school and she gave me a press pass for the 2020-2021 school year. I used this to my advantage and started to film multiple sports. This was the start of my business formerly known as ‘MAAK Productions’, now ‘The Blackprint LLC’. This name originated from Nicki Minaj’s Pink Print album, but I put a twist on it. Throughout theses last 10 months I learned how to come out of my shell and network with others. I thought that college would have helped me with my journey, but being at Georgia Southern did nothing for me. I had to step up on my own and get it done. Youtube has helped me tremendously and I definitely would not be where I am today without it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I just moved to the city, and my best friend already lives here lol. But despite all of that, I would definitely take her out to The Pirate’s Boil to eat. They have some of the best seafood I’ve had here. I’m from Savannah, down by the water, so I know what good seafood tastes like. Then we would head to my house because I haven’t explored much of the city yet.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Shoutout to my significant other, Stedman Waiters, for motivating me throughout my process. He has always been my model in college and after college. Because he is an amazing athlete who works extremely hard, he made way for me to experiment with my talents. He played football for Georgia Southern University and after his last season there, he trained for pro day. The Pro Day process made way for me to see other athletes in action and meet more of his athletic friends, who also allowed me to shoot for them. He is still helping me build, and I really want to give a shoutout to him. Also, my momma, she has motivated me and supplied me with the money to afford my equipment. She has brainstormed with me and pushed me to be the best I could no matter the odds that are against me. I love both of them! Shoutout to y’all!