We had the good fortune of connecting with Shaquaveya Brooks and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shaquaveya, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Imagine it’s 4 p.m. on a Friday, and your parents take you to rent some movies from Blockbuster (the nostalgia, right). Most of us had that early 2000s television set with the hump in the back. I’d turn off my room lights to get that theater vibe going and watch the movies all night long on that TV set and VHS player. I had a box full of VHS tapes and DVDs, and my favorite movies were Titanic and Baps. I’ve always admired how movies can make you feel sad, happy, or hopeful. Film was my escape, but I didn’t know it was my passion until I got to college. Initially, I didn’t know what to major in; I just wanted to go to college. My parents suggested journalism because I could write, so I chose communications with a concentration in journalism. I saw three more concentrations during my freshmen orientation. One was film & video production, and it stood out the most. So, I changed my concentration, which was the first vital decision I ever made without my parents. I got a creative high once I started interviewing students, filming around campus, and learning the equipment. And knew I was home. Since then, I’ve been eager to learn everything I can about film.
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 mentor says I watch details like a hawk. Friends say I’m relentless during any project I face. I don’t give up, afraid I’ll miss the answer that’s right around the corner. Others say I see beyond the moment and aggressively pursue more knowledge. All of this is true, but I believe what sets me apart the most is my circle of friends and family who tell me these things. Not many people can say they have a mentor, great friends, and family who encourages them. This has been crucial for me these last two years. In 2019, I graduated from college without a clear plan for my life. I applied to graduate school because school was familiar to me. I excelled in elementary school, middle school, high school, and college for seventeen years. It frightened me thinking I wouldn’t have school to lean on as a confidence boost. I didn’t get into graduate school and moved back to my hometown, where I worked retail. I was ashamed and upset with myself because I felt like I failed. My lowest point hit when a customer got upset because I couldn’t sell him tobacco products without seeing his driver’s license. He became irate and spat on me. I quit a few months later and moved back in with my mom, an essential person in my circle who helped me see my worth. She’s always been hard on me, but it comes from a place of love. I realize now that I needed that tough love to push me in the right direction. Within a few months, I got two videography positions at WRBL News 3 and Ogletree Photography & Videography. Overall, I’ve learned two important lessons. First, everyone needs people in their lives that’ll push them out of their comfort zones. Second, where there’s darkness, there’s light. The difficulties I’ve faced give Quay Videography its inspiration and foundation. My brand focuses on overcoming obstacles, taking risks, and discovering new things.
It’s funny how a rejection from graduate school seemed like a sad ending, but little did I know God was setting me up for the beginning.
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 know my bestie. She gets off the plane, and we say we’re going home. Why are we now on 85 headed straight to Lenox Square? Now, we are in the mall acting like we’ve never been anywhere. Later, we arrive at the Cheesecake Factory, where bestie orders an appetizer, entree, and two desserts. Still full of energy after, we walk through Piedmont Park to catch up on each other’s lives. It’s day two, and we’re having fun searching for murals around the city. We stop on Piedmont Road and take at least fifty photos in front of the Disco Wall Mural; my best friend loves being on camera. Now, she won’t stop talking about the Georgia Aquarium, so that’s our second activity of the day. To finish off the day, we head to a restaurant we’ve never tried before called Slutty Vegan.
It’s the end of the day, and I think I will let bestie decide our locations for the rest of the week.
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?
First, shoutout to my Uncle Kevin for recommending me for this article. Shoutout to my mom, LaQuita Brooks, for always pushing me to be better and forcing me to go out of my comfort zone. Shoutout to my dad, Carlos Brooks, for the encouragement and for recommending my videography services to people. Shoutout to Jamillah Warner, aka HOT Prayers – Spoken Word, for mentoring me. Shoutout to Ogletree Videography & Photography (OPV) and Faith by Hearing Christian Center Church for giving me the opportunities to work and grow with them. Lastly, shoutout to everyone who has hired me and found my work worthy.
Other: Vimeo Page: https://vimeo.com/quayvideography
Jamillah Warner Kris10 Media (Kristen Kinder) Mercedeez Byrd KVP images (Keesha Hooks)