We had the good fortune of connecting with Anaiah Simons and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Anaiah, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I was born and raised in Redlands, CA. I immediately jumped into dance classes and theatre at 3 years old. Next came modeling, vocal coaching, and piano lessons. Shortly after, I was a part of the classical and show choir for all 4 years of high school. Finally, I was enrolled at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy at 18 years old. Therefore, I moved to LA in 2013 and have been here ever since. I guess you could say I was meant to end up here. Rightfully so, my parents and their parents were all part of the arts at some point and the legacy still continues. I am incredibly grateful to be born into a family who believes in the arts whole-heartedly and has lived in it and experienced it themselves. I am now a photographer and have been for about 3 years. I love capturing peoples essence and telling a story in a single frame. I am so grateful to have experienced so many different parts of the industry throughout my life. Being able to connect with other artists and bring our minds and bodies together is one of the most beautiful parts of it all. I could not imagine life without those moments of emotional and artistic expression.. I have learned so much about humans and the world through art. I honestly feel it teaches you everything you need to know about yourself. Art brought me to where I am today and I would not be me without it. 

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think what sets me apart from others is that I am genuine and level headed while simultaneously being emotionally invested. I approach most things logically but also efficiently and in hopes of keeping everyone happy. I avoid conflict and negativity but in doing so I always see the silver lining. I love making things as original as possible while meshing together everything that inspires me. Its all about balance. For me, creating a vision in photography just takes trusting yourself and the people you are working with. Producing a space where they feel like themselves but also feel safe within that. I read into peoples strengths and utilize that to both of our advantage. Encouraging them to do what feels good and what feels right in the moment. But also pushing each other to try new things and collaborate. In this case we can both be motivated to create something organically which then leads to full satisfaction of the product. I love that about art. It is just an extension of you.

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?
Ideally I would go to Tokyo or Hawaii but neither of those are realistic nor have I been to either. My favorite place to hang out in the LA area is the beach. I really love Zuma beach for a nice sun tan and warm sand. Then I think we would go get sushi. Im obsessed with salmon sushi and I also know how to eat good on a budget. I’m not a fancy girl at all but I know how to have a good time! Which would next lead to a quick thrift shop top to check out some second hand goodies. Lastly, I would suggest going to a bar in Hollywood called Good Times. Always playing groovy music and usually its live and such good vibes. Next, we could possibly stop to get ice cream after. However, I have never been super into night life, so I would end up at home by 11pm at least.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are way too many people who have made an impact on my life to choose just 1 or a few. I honestly have never had 1 specific mentor who really affected me significantly more than the others. I feel I have learned to take every relationship in general as something to learn from. And in doing that I have learned so much from too many people to count. But of course, shoutout to my parents and family for supporting the arts in general. I mentioned it before but it really makes a difference. I can’t imagine having to pursue any other field or industry. Academics are not my strong suit and neither are sports so I am very grateful.

Website: https://www.instagram.com/papayashotthis/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anaiah.papaya/

Image Credits
I took all of these photos 🙂

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