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

Hi Kayindae, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Well, believe it or not, risk-taking is important. Taking risks is the only way you learn and grow as a person and an artist. I take chances on people, places and things because you never know when your next lesson will arrive or where your next boost will come from. I know a lot of people afraid to make the next move in life because they don’t know what will happen next. But, that is the beauty of life! You do not need to be in control all the time, so, take the chance to do whatever it is you need or want to do, life is too short. In life I take chances because it keeps life interesting and so far it’s been entirely rewarding. I’ve created a space to create my images and earn money simply because I said “Why not”. Soon I will be starting up a podcast which can be pricey to do but I believe the rewards are worth the risk. Risks and chances have lead me to meeting the love of my life, to buying my first home, and to dedicating my time to my passions (photography, graphic design, audio engineering). I would not be here talking with you today if I never took that first step! My life is infinitely better since I started believing in myself and giving myself a chance to shine in areas I am passionate about. To those out there thinking about starting a business, pursuing a hobby as a full-time career, moving abroad, buying a home, asking that person on a date, etc… I say this: JUST DO IT! Why regret what might’ve been later on? What is supposed to happen will happen.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My photography is all about documenting moments in time. I want my work to feel authentic and to invoke a pattern of thought. It doesn’t matter what the pattern is as long as you are thinking about it. I am disabled, a veteran, and a black woman living in America…sometimes my work features these subjects which are constantly on the forefront of my mind, sometimes I prefer to work on my street photography, other times I prefer to photograph sweeping landscapes, while some other times I choose to photograph mundane objects like lipstick or bananas in new/creative ways I do not specialize in one particular style of photography because I would prefer not to be limited in that way. Looking at objects, people or things behind the lens is enthralling because you are in control of the story you want to tell…EVERYTHING has a story if you pay close enough attention. Getting to this point has not been easy; My disabilities have prevented me from getting as far as I would’ve liked to be at this stage of my life but I am a firm believer that it is never too late to start believing in yourself and your capabilities. That has been the single most difficult part of being a photographer…believing that I had the skills needed to even compete in the game but I’ve learned that baby steps are still steps! I want the world to know even though life hasn’t been easy for me, I still have a story to tell and its worth telling. Are you ready to listen?

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Currently I reside in Tacoma, WA! I love the outdoors and traveling so I would take them on a mild overnight backpacking trip through Mount Rainer to start, then we would head over to Leavenworth, WA which is a beautiful little mountainside town styled like homes in Bavaria. We would check out the Enchanted Park and stop by one of the many beer houses for a lager and a pretzel. After this we would spend some time in Tacoma where I live. I love stand up so perhaps we would go to the Tacoma Comedy club to see a show. Top of Tacoma Bar & Cafe is an awesome little punkish dive bar with a diverse set of patrons and great music so that would be a bar we would call home for the few days they are visiting hahaha. I’d also bring em over to House of Records and Turntable treasures to help me find some new tunes. Then swing over to Original House of Donuts for some fresh and tasty blueberry donuts! On the final day we can hit up Tidbitts at Fern Hill for some classic brunch with a twist!

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?
Corey Pierce, my mother, father, sisters, and my brothers Thank you for being there for me. Thank you for helping me. Thank you for telling me “Just Do It” more times than I can count. Much love! To my friends Niesha, Margie, Christine, Andrey, Annakaye, Nashota, Ivan, and Nicole Thank you for the lifetime of support. You guys have shown me what true friendship/adultships look like and I love you all.

Instagram: www.instagram.com/kayindae_
Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/aleenah-james
Facebook: www.facebook.com/akjtm
Other: stay tuned for my website and podcast launching soon!

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