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

Hi Cherlynne, 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?
I personally have struggled with this question a lot over the years in terms with my photography. In 2015 my only camera got stolen right as I was about to start my business as a photographer. The wind got taken out of my sails, so to speak. I gave up on photography what I thought was forever. In hindsight, I’m glad that happened because it caused me to move in a direction and changed my life in ways that I needed in order to grow as a person and as a photographer. I continued to shoot photos with my phone, enjoying doing that as a hobby for a few years while I pursued other endeavors with my life.

Only recently have I started pursuing photography again, and I’m glad I have. Taking photos has been a light in a lot of dark times though my life. I’ve gotten a lot better technically, where if I had really started my business back in 2015, I really wasn’t all that good. I needed the new light and experimentation that came with being limited. I made friends who were also creatives that helped me learn what I was doing. I met people who were also my age starting their own businesses, who could help me find a place to start.

I think the most important takeaway from this is that when I thought that I was “giving up” so to speak, I never really did. That drive to capture the world the way I saw it was always with me, even if it was through the lens of my phone for a little while. Now that I have the equipment and skills to really be a professional (skills I did not have 6 years ago), that drive has taken a mind of its own. I can see myself continuing to grow and learn in a completely new way, as well as finding what being a photographer means to me.

When I think about giving up–about the failures I’ve encountered over the years–I remember one of the main morals of the movie “Meet the Robinsons”: Keep Moving Forward. The only way to grow is to learn from the experiences you encounter, whether they are good or bad.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art has always been something prevalent as an outlet for a lot of emotional events throughout my life. I think a lot of people can relate that when nothing else seems to help, going for a walk and taking photos of nature can be a cathartic feeling when you need to let some emotions out. Until the last year or so photography has been more of a hobby, and going from hobbyist to professional has been incredibly daunting but rewarding. It takes a different approach from going to “hey friends lets shoot” to “I would love to help you represent your brand”/”Let me show you how I see you, ya beautiful creature”. The most difficult has to be the starting point, asking people for money to let you do something you feel like you’ve never been good enough to get paid for. This challenge is something I’ve struggled with for a long time but I have gotten through it with the help and encouragement of everyone in my life.

I’ve learned that you can be picky with clients, especially if you feel they are not a good fit for you and your particular brand. It might be hard to say no to people when you’re first starting out, but that future you will thank yourself for refining your brand. Of course it’s still important to say yes to scary projects, because that is how you find out what your niche is and it also helps you learn more about your craft! I’ve found that I’m still learning what I want my own brand to be, but it has always circled around things I enjoy: One on one moments with people, and my love of architecture. I strive to show as many people how beautiful the human condition can be, whether that’s with photographing people for their friends and family, or documenting the evolution and uniqueness of structures humans can create!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in the Pacific Northwest; in a city called Spokane, Washington. It’s definitely a must to go to Bowl and Pitcher: a quaint area to hike through but not too difficult if you have someone who doesn’t want to really struggle to climb a mountain. There are many food places I love to visit, most of them being breakfast spots! Dolly’s Cafe is one of my favourites right now, their breakfast is always to die for every time I go. Satellite is a diner open until 4am most days (before coronavirus hit), that has good brews and is great as a stop after a few bars. I love this little tequila spot in the Brownes Addition neighbourhood called El Que, and is owned and operated by another favourite restaurant called the Elk (which is right next door!) El Que has a wide variety of tequila and even makes some of their own flavors. The Elk is a great american restaurant and has the best reuben in town!

Spokane also has a really great comedy club (the Spokane Comedy Club) that even many famous people come and perform at, if you love to have a good laugh. And of course if you want to go to a concert, the Knitting Factory is a must! Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I wouldn’t have learned as much about photography if it weren’t for my closest friends Jayla Padula (@radiationexposure) and Angus Meredith (@thebeeffalo). The encouragement I got from the love of my life William Carlisle is so valuable and important to me, my drive to create would have probably simmered away without it. And of course I must thank Richard Kroening (@rak_camera), who despite our short encounter has been incredibly helpful and even referred me for this interview!

Website: somewhatnomadic.com

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