Featured Photographer: Tanisha Watkins

"While patience and friendliness keep clients happy, it's the personal relationship that brings them back."

Model Citizen App is the platform where we recognise fashion models, photographers, designers, makeup artists, hair stylists, creative directors, bloggers, stylists, and labels around the world. Every day, we feature an individual on Model Citizen Interviews. People get to know each of them - their hopes, challenges, aspirations and inspirations in life.

Tell us about yourself, why you are passionate about what you do, and your journey so far. Starting as a model, as soon as I entered the industry, I fell in love. I love the positive energy that being surrounded by creative-minded individuals brings, I live for the pressure of always desiring to be better, and I soon realized that my true role belonged on the other side of the camera. While I specialize in natural-light portraiture, I've recently began venturing into fashion photography for local boutiques, as well as expanding into the editorial side of the industry. What are your goals and how do you see yourself progressing in the field? My short-term goals include upgrading cameras, expanding my role as a fashion-photographer, & booking 2-3 more shoots weekly. My long-term goals are to make it to NYC & CA in the next 5 years, book with several big names, and to obtain quality studio materials. How do you communicate with people? Are you patient? Are you friendly? How open are you to clients’ requirements? One of the most important things I had to learn as a photographer are outstanding people skills, & being incessant when it comes to making my clients' experience one that they holistically enjoy. While patience and friendliness keep clients happy, it's the personal relationship that brings them back. Remember the small things, and bring them up later. Feel them out and build a professional relationship with them. Make them feel comfortable, make jokes, make small talk. These are the things that they go tell their friends about. "My photographer takes really good pictures" and "My photographer kept me laughing so much, that I'm surprised we got such amazing pictures!" Which one brings more interest? Always try to keep them happy, always try to leave a lasting impression. And to do that, sometimes you have to accept fun challenges. I'm virtually unlimited in the risks that I'm willing to take to keep my clients happy. And that's what makes me an exceptional photographer. If you had to do it over again, what would you change? If I could do it again, I'd certainly learn my camera before picking it up to shoot. I shot for so long in Automatic, and when I finally learned my camera and shot in Manual, you can see a drastic difference in quality. Who is your hero, and how have they helped you get to where you are? My hero is, classic-as-may-be, my mother. She was a single mother, and she went to the end of the Earth to make sure that I was happy, always. She worked hard to make sure that my needs were met, and never gave up. And I certainly carry that with me in my photography. If I'm unsaitisfied, I work harder. If the client is dissatisfied, I'll go to the end of the Earth to make sure I am able to show them that even if I may not be able to fix what makes them unhappy, I'll at least give it my all to try. How important are creative education courses? Have you taken any, and did you find them useful? I took photoshop and art in high school. My school wasn't huge on arts, so I received a sub-par education in those subjects, but I do believe that finding ways to keep your creative energy going is essential to the art of photography. Do you have any tips for someone who is just starting out in the industry? My tips would be to invest in yourself, first and foremost. Don't expect a huge turnout with a low grade camera. Invest in quality gear. Invest in educational courses if you need to. I'd also advise that everyone find their own style. If your goal is to be just like someone else, you're in it for the wrong reason.

Photo Credits: Photographer for all: Tanisha Watkins Photo 1: Polina Sitnova model Photo2-6: Jonnie Ann Daniels model, MUA madeline jones Photo 7: Model Sydney Casey Contact Details: Instagram: @tit.jpg Email: photobytw@yahoo.com


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