What (or who) inspires you?
"I am inspired by the fear of not trying. For a long time in my life I let others tell me what was possible. And let society tell me how to live my life. The fear of what others would think of me stopped me from pursuing my dreams. And if I got past that then the fear of trying and not succeeding. When I first started my Instagram I didn't know what it would be and I didn't really have a vision for the future I just knew I liked what I was doing and every day I wanted to be better at this craft. Dr. Martin Luther King said "Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step." And I guess that is what I did and that is what I am continuing to do even now. But in the beginning not only was the learning curve of photography, posing, editing, social media, and everything that goes with it, but also a personal struggle as well. Many people questioned what I was doing and that hurt, but I had to push through and decide that being who I wanted to be was more important than being who they wanted to be. Becoming a better you comes with struggles and tribulations. I had to choose myself over being who they wanted me to be every day when it got hard. Now I see most challenges as a blessing of better things to come. I don't want to tell my grandkids that I should've done this and I never got around to going there. I want to tell them their grandmother was a badass."
Causes you advocate for?
"Alzheimer's Awareness - both of my grandfather's had Alzheimer's and my grandmother's sister had it as well. It is also a reason that I have always loved photography. Because if one day I can't remember all the things I did then I will have the photos to always remind me."
Where is your favorite place to be creative?
I mostly work in bed or my couch. Rarely my desk... although that is what it is for. I work from bed because as soon as I get up I grab my computer and start working. Usually a couple hours pass before I think I probably should eat something. Which is not good but also great at the same time. I don't think I have ever worked so hard in my life until now because I love it.
What do you love about the state you live in?
"I mean what is not to love? First of all, I am born and raised in Brooklyn so you know I love NY. Second of all, it's NY! How many people dream of living in NYC? Or even just visiting? It's an honor to be from NY and live in NY. I mean it's New York for cryin' out loud!"
Feature: ShaunMara Begley
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