Tyrone, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. If you could go back in time do you wish you had started your business sooner or later
Knowing what I know now do I wish I started my business sooner? No, what I do wish is I explored different avenues a lot sooner to confirm that this was indeed what I wanted to do. I stumbled across photography based on the financial ability to afford a camera. The repetition and growth in the area created an interest and seeing myself go hard for this medium made me love it. Like any relationship the love had to develop over time because the initial pursuit was genuine curiosity. The transition into being an agent was natural and a love for the teaching and growth of models was a secondary love for me. I believe the primary love is the building of a business from an idea, understanding the ins and outs of it’s infrastructure and seeing it blossom.
So do I wish I started my business sooner? No, I do wish I started a business sooner..
Tyrone, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
I initially got into my industry by purchasing a camera because I can afford it only to put it down for 6 months and pick it back up after my significant started to use it. Ego is a hell of a thing and I didn’t want her to get better at me in a medium I decided to invest in. It’s been 13 years since that pivotal 6 months put my life on a uncertain but lucrative and education path. I started with just photographing anything and that blossomed into photographing people and I landed on portraits, fashion and beauty. I do photograph anything that I am able to tell a story with using images but my favorites are the three aforementioned.
I wouldn’t call what I solve as “problems” but I feel I give more clarity to a clients overall “vision” helping them understand that what they think about has substance and it just needs to be molded into reality. I am proud at the fact that I didn’t give up, I’ll be honest I still have a lot to learn even after 13 years in the business, but I want my clients to know that your vision is my vision and I will do absolutely anything to make sure that we see it through together. It’s also important to know that this particular sentiment also melds into 208 Management.
Can you tell us about a time you’ve had to pivot?
I’m pivoting now to be honest, I am a serial pivoter, it’s actually a really important skill that I acquired throughout the years but it’s been most effective in the agency setting. I have started to pivot towards the influencer space, this in no way changes what I want and am currently doing with the models on the roster. This was done because of one of the models on my roster who is an amazing and effective influencer, we spoke one day and she mentioned how the influencing was a more natural foundation for her career. This didn’t mean that she didn’t want to model which she clarified in the conversation but with her hectic schedule the influencing just made way more sense. So me not knowing much about the space that’s when my pivot point began and I sought out the thought leaders in that space currently in my existing network. Started working with Taija Thomas of Zoe Elle Co. and we are making dynamic strides to increase the presence of the influencers currently on 208 Managements roster.
We often hear about learning lessons – but just as important is unlearning lessons. Have you ever had to unlearn a lesson?
I am still unlearning lessons about the market that I am currently in, because over the years the DMV market has been full of gatekeeping and clique based energy. The power of networking is real and I do believe this wholeheartedly, however understanding how to network and who to network with can be tricky and sometimes disingenuous. I personally have a certain type of energy and it’s just my individuality. Honestly, I seek out likeminded individuals who are looking to make strides in this industry and others. I am determined to partner with those individuals and work together to usher in the next phase of a slowly growing market. Deciphering through those who do it for growth, those who do it for clout, those who do it for money and those who do it for love is what can place one into a discerning headspace. To bring the conversation back to the original question, I am unlearning how to be another persona and learning to be a person specifically my authentic individual introverted, 50% social battery but will do anything to help someone else self.