We had the good fortune of connecting with Tanisha Everett and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tanisha, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Every since I was kid, I was fascinated with the power of words and pictures to capture a moment. Whether it was poetry, hip hop, rock, still and moving pictures, I was always fascinated by how these things shaped the world around us. It took me until I was forty-one before I realized my childhood dream of working in film, in this case photography.
A mentor of mine asked me to take pictures of her with my new DSLR that I bought to make Youtube videos in 2018. And what was created was magic. I have been taking pictures since around the world. From Houston, to LA and SFO, to Thailand, Vietnam and New Mexico. I decided that life was too short to not do what I loved and make money from it. I became a full time photographer in 2019 because I wanted to make beautiful, inspiring and impactful art. I also wanted to showcase the stories of women particularly WOC. For me starting my company was my way of creating space for stories that are rarely told, but I also love money so for a while I was afraid to take the risk of starting Tanisha Everett Media. But I think when you hit your forties you get a burst of energy that pushes you to just do it.
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.
I am a photographer. I love capturing the divine and beauty in my subjects. I use pictures to capture moments and in those moments many people are able to see themselves and sometimes transform.
I am extremely proud that I am now a published photographer. I created a coffee table book of my first three years of photography that took me across three countries, several states, to capture women. From the Hmong women in northern Vietnam to the relationship editor of Essence magazine in New Orleans, the book is a literal celebration of my creative endeavors and the beauty and strength within the feminine.
One of my biggest challenges is trusting and being confident in my abilities and then charging and marketing accordingly. I have learned that skills and talents translate across several mediums. I started this journey as makeup artist for Mac Cosmetics. I spent six years behind the counter before I left to go live in Bologna, Italy for a year. There I became a co-creator with an amazing photo-journalist from Florence that I did several projects with. One of our projects ended up on the Italian Vogue website back in 2011. It was one of my crowning moments. From there I wanted to push my skills and I have always wanted to do film or pictures. It was a friend who got me to pick up my brand new Nikon DSLR 3400 to take photos of her. We learned together that the eye that I once had to capture someone’s essence and beauty through makeup, translated in pictures.
I want my brand to be transformative. I don’t want to just create pretty pictures, I want those I photograph to be able to see themselves fully and appreciate their own unique beauty and essence. At some point I want to become a cinematic documentarian or move into a role of being a DP. At the moment those are skills I am honing so that I can use my skills to bring stories to life in other ways.
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.
I am bicoastal. I spend half my time in Houston and the other half in L.A. county so this is a tough one. I would take my friend to Silver Lake Ramen and Korean BBQ. LA has some of the best Japanese and Korean cuisine outside of those countries. I would also take my friend to Olympic Korean Spa on W. Olympic Blvd. I am all about international travel within my town, especially now that it is international travel is less accessible due to COVID. I would also take my friend to Stuff I eat and Janga Derrick’s restaurant as they are black owned. I always look to support my community as well. I would of course do all of the touristy stuff because that is what my friends and family would want to do. So the Chinese Theatre, the Walk of Fame, the Hollywood sign and Rodeo Drive. That stuff never gets old.
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?
Yes, I would like to shot out my friend and mentor Sylvia High, CEO of Aiming High Inc. If it weren’t for Sylvia I would have never had the courage to pick up my camera and start taking pictures. And to my friend Bill Broyles for encouraging me to make my first coffee table book. And to my friends Charreah Jackson, Cherise Charleswell, Dr. Mellody Hayes, Silja, and so many others for allowing me to take pictures of them so I could hone my skills.