We had the good fortune of connecting with Tayanna Nelson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tayanna, is there something you believe many others might not?
As a boudoir photographer and educator, I see a lot of educators selling the idea that you have to do everything the exact same way as them for your business to work. I think that’s ridiculous. Other successful people can lay the framework for you, but it takes your personality, your work ethic, and your own spin on things to become your own brand of successful. Taking anyone else’s business and just slapping your name on it won’t work.
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’m super proud and excited every day that folks seek me out because they see themselves in my images. People with all sorts of backgrounds, body types, etc. feel safe with me and it’s not anything I take lightly. It was a lot of work to get here and to become confident in my job, but now I cannot imagine doing anything else. This job has changed the way i view my own body, the way that I interact with others and the way that I carry myself in the world. I give myself and others a lot more grace. I also think that in doing this, it’s proved that you can start anywhere and change if something has enough influence on you. I used to think feminist was a bad word and that you had to be a certain size to wear certain clothing because that’s what I heard and saw growing up. When I exposed myself to people who had an open mind and who were more focused on helping others than spending that time criticizing themselves and others, it completely shifted my perspective.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a bit of a homebody. However, in KC I’d definitely take them to some amazing barbecue joints (I’m partial to Joe’s KC and Gates, like most of the city). We’d definitely hit up Missy B’s for a show and then go to the Nelson Atkins Museum because everyone should go at least once. I’m a huge nerd but also an introvert so Up-Down to go play some classic arcade games mid-week would also be amazing and then we’d definitely grab brunch someplace great. My favorite brunch place is actually in Overland Park and it’s called The Brass Onion. That feels pretty rounded off.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I wouldn’t have taken the jump into owning my own business and not working a second job without the encouragement of my friends and my husband. They pointed out that I was making the money, that I was miserable at my day job and that I was getting married soon anyway so health insurance wouldn’t be an issue. I finally listened because I’ve always been an overly cautious person. It’s been amazing ever since.
Other: I have a facebook group for women and non-binary folks! https://www.facebook.com/groups/goodbodiesvip