We had the good fortune of connecting with NaTeneshia Renée and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi NaTeneshia Renée, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
Awwwww that’s a tough but everyday question that entrepreneurs and everyone trying to achieve a dream or goal goes through. I started my businesses, NaTeneshia Renée Photography and Design, rebranded from Capturing DREAMS by NaTeneshia, and my Entrepreneurial Magazine, Modestly Bold Magazine, from a childhood dream. Although I was in the 7th grade, I knew that I wanted to be a photographer and due to my opinionated nature, I wanted to be a writer of some sort. When I was growing up, I only knew of a few entrepreneurs but I never really thought about all that they went through to maintain their businesses because let’s just face it, I was a kid and my only focus was ME! But now that I’m older and thinking back, I know there had to be many times that they wanted to give up and throw in the towel when sales wasn’t what they needed them to be or investments into the business didn’t turn out to what they needed them to be to get ahead. I’m quite sure things were good too and it’s easy to think about things when they are good but the challenge is when things are stacked against you that the doubt creeps in on should I keep going or just give it all up! Now that I own businesses, I truly understand the struggle of that loaded question. When I started my photography business, I had no clue of what to charge or what forms I needed or even who my target market was. I just knew I loved to capture a moment that can be relived for years to come. In 2015, I set my sights on starting Capturing DREAMS by NaTeneshia to start my entrepreneurial journey and things were great in the beginning but I was overworking myself and getting underpaid. I was exhausted due to shooting and not having a strong foundation for the business side. So in 2017, I took a step back and knew that if I had no clue about the business side, I can’t be the only one going through this. I wanted to start a magazine that could answer those hard questions and also showcase my photography as well. And that’s when Modestly Bold Magazine was born. Now don’t think just because I have the magazine that answered the questions, that’s it been an easy journey…….Oooooohhhhhhh nooooooo, it hasn’t. I think I added another challenge to my journey. If you think I had no clue about the photography business, the magazine business is even worst. But through it all I’ve never given up because I believe that my journey has a bigger purpose than just ME, unlike my 7th grade self! I’ve said all of this to say this, things are going to get hard and things are going to look IMPOSSIBLE but when you change your focus from looking at the struggle and focus on the reward, the word IMPOSSIBLE will change to IM POSSIBLE!! If you think that your dream or goal is not achievable, think of all the many times that you could have given up and you didn’t and things turned out just fine. When we focus on the negative of things, then negative is what you get but when you focus on the possibilities just imagine what can happen. If you can dream it, then there is definitely a way to achieve it so focus on that and I would love to hear how your journey turned out. “Life is like a camera. Just focus on what’s important and capture the good times, develop from the negatives and if things don’t work out, just take another shot.” — Unknown
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.
My brand story has some bumps and bruises in it but my determination to achieve the impossible drives me down that road 100mph. Although my photography and writing dreams were a childhood dream, it came much later in life when I could afford to pay for my first camera myself. But I wouldn’t call that a bump or bruise now that I’m thinking about it because it made me appreciate it so much more. My brand story comes from all of the people that told me that I couldn’t do this because of one reason or another. Yes it has been hard but yes it has been worth it. The challenges I’ve faced is not doing my research before I try to complete something. For example, the first issue of my magazine was jacked up. It had the margins all off and some of the words were in the binding so you couldn’t read them and the pictures were distorted and the list goes on. But after I saw my mistakes, I researched layouts and how to ensure that doesn’t happen again. The biggest part of my brand story is that I’ve learned to take every mistake as a life lesson and to grow from it and build upon it. And with my photography I’ve overworked myself, because I love to capture every moment, by doing the quantity over quality and had more photos than needed for the client. In business there will always be challenges, but how you deal with those challenges determines if your brand story continues or ends! What sets my photography apart is my keen eye and how I listen to the clients and can bring their vision to life. When I’m behind Beyla, my camera, I turn into my alter ego The Artistic Photojournalist! I love to capture the moment so that it can be relived for a lifetime. What sets my magazine apart is we allow the features to tell their story in their own words but we also allow them to help others along their entrepreneurial journey. And the best thing about my businesses is that they work together to provide amazing products for others.
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?
I’m more of a home body but when I do venture out, I would take them to River Street. River Street is where my mom would take us when I was a child and show us all of the amazing statues and culture that the city has to offer. My favorite statue is the Waving Girl. My mom told us the amazing story of how the lady would wavy at the ships that went by waiting on her love to return. That statue to this day is one of my favorites and I try to visit it often. I would also take them to Forsyth Park because they have so many activities out there sometimes like hearing performances near the Cafe, or the many vendors making the flowers out of various things or just sitting next to the fountain watching and talking to the many people that pass by. I also love street art and murals, so if I would plan anything, it would be to see as much art as possible. And finally we would just relax and enjoy the moments as they unfold so planning a weekend would mostly consist of going where the mood takes me.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My success goes to everyone that has ever listened to my ideas and given an input, who has listened to my worries or fears and comforted me, who has been their pushing me to the finish line when I’ve tried to jump over a hurdle and missed a step. In my success there is not just one person because life lessons come from everyone that is around you. But I do want to shout out my family and friends, because I can count on them giving me the real and not hyping me up and not saying “Yes” to everything I say.
Youtube: Modestly Bold Magazine
Other: Clubhouse: NaTeneshia Renée
Photographer Photo: Rayvon Creates
Other Photos Credit: NaTeneshia Renée Photography and Design