We had the good fortune of connecting with Shakirah Abdul-Rashid and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shakirah, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
the main habit that I had to develop while building my photography business was continue to post my work on social media on a daily basis. In the beginning, I was trying to build my following, and the engagements were very low. I remember at times it was only a few friends and family members liking my photos. But I knew that if I stayed consistent my following would eventually grow- which it did, I really had to have tunnel vision and continue working hard even though it felt like no one was looking.I still try to post daily even now, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done for my business.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Since I was a child, I knew that I would be a creative. My favorite thing to do was to daydream, coming up with different stories and characters- living in a world of my choice. So when it was time to go to college, there was no question that I would be pursuing a career in the arts. In 2016, I graduated Valedictorian of Delaware State University, with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications. Just weeks after crossing the stage, I relocated to Atlanta, GA to begin a Masters program, and kick start my career. In 2018, I graduated from Savannah College of Art & Design- Atlanta, with a Masters of Fine Art in Television and Film Production. I knew at that point that what I was most passionate about, film wise, was documentary style filmmaking. That holds a special place in my heart and will one day impact the world. My photography journey however, snuck up on me! Catching me completely off guard, I found myself one day getting so much fulfillment capturing moments and displaying the beauty in people. I honestly feel like I did not choose photography, it chose me. If you would have asked me 5 years ago if I could see myself being a professional photographer, I would have laughed in your face. I didn’t see the value it is then… and I didn’t understand that I could do both.
Photography has empowered me in countless ways, giving me immediate gratification, knowing that I’ve captured something magical, and taken an image of a moment you’ll never get back.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my friends came in town for a few days, there are a few things that we would have to do! First off, anyone who knows me, knows that I love a good brunch spot! So I would definitely check out a few of my favorites around the city whether it be Breakfast at Barney’s, The Real Milk & Honey, or Toast on Lenox. Most of my friends are also creatives, so we love going to different spots downtown and taking some lifestyle and street photography of each other. Some of the fun things that I love to do with them is bowling, comedy shows, paint and sips, art galleries, etc.
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?
I would like to dedicate this shoutout to my son Quin. In 2017 when I learned that I was going to be a mother, I honestly faced so many internal struggles. I believed that it would be a setback and make life so much harder, having to raise a son before I felt fully prepared. I could not have been more wrong though. I was more prepared to love him than I knew, and he has motivated me more than anything or anyone else ever could. He has brought so much purpose to my world, and all the work I’m doing now will shape who he is as a human being. So cheers to you Quin! Thank you for making me better.