I met photographer, digital content creator, and overall creative powerhouse Shakira Hunt on a retreat in Mexico last summer (see related post about the retreat leader Melissa Romero). She was the retreat photographer for the group of 16 goddesses, and I was absolutely blown away with the beauty and power she was able to capture in these women, not to mention the beautiful way she put images and video together with music and text to create amazing digital content. She also offered empowering one-on-one photo sessions on the beach, which I nervously participated in. Definitely follow her on IG @shakirahunt.creativestudio and check out her website www.shakirahunt.com to see more examples of her stunning work.
First things first – what would your walk-on-stage music be?
Ohhhh, this is a good one. If I had to choose currently, it would be “I’m That Girl” by Beyonce.
When did you start your business, and why did you create it?
I started by biz January 2019, just after I essentially fired myself from my full-time design job. I took the chance into full-time entrepreneurship, which I had called in, and finally got to lean into. I started as a full-time branding and lifestyle photographer, and have been in practice since then. Since taking the leap, I have expanded into other realms of photography and documentation and have shifted my work to focusing on women entrepreneurs within the wellness, beauty, coaching, creative, travel, and interior spaces. I stepped into full-time practice and decided to niche into branding photography and digital content creation because when I was working as a designer, I realized the gap and misrepresentation of talent and culture within the design community.
Tell us about your business and what makes you unique in your field.
I’m a branding and lifestyle photographer and digital content creator based in Philadelphia – serving entrepreneurs within the wellness, beauty, coaching, creative, travel, and interior spaces. Apart from my full-time photography practice, I have also developed a separate body of work that is much more personal, also through the medium of photography and has grown to be sooo healing and actually very fruitful.
What do you feel makes your audience special?
Truth, authenticity, and connection are what every single client experiences when we work together. I love curating experiences for folks based on their energy and true needs, and I find that folks appreciate the level of openness that I provide.
If you could magically give all of your community members one thing in this world, what would it be, and why?
I would give them Spark! Spark is different for everyone, but is so necessary to do the work we are called to do, and as a photographer, I am in service of pulling that to the surface for many.
Has anything surprised you about starting a business?
Yes, how reflective the practice is to self! I am a direct reflection of my biz and vice versa….lots of accountability there lol.
Did you create your own website or hire it out? Do you use WordPress?
I have a website through SquareSpace.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting their own business?
Be ready, but make the jump.
If you could go back in time and do something differently, what would you do and why?
If I could have changed anything about my initial experience, it would have been to prepare more on the financial side to give myself more of a cushion. Thankfully at the time of taking the leap into full-time entrepreneurship, my partner was able to support our lifestyles for a bit until things started to pick up for me with projects.
Do you have an email list? If so, did you start it when you launched?
I do, and have developed it each year. Working more on this as well going into year 4.
Is this your only job? Did you launch your business while working another job?
Yes this is my full time.
How do you promote your site?
Not enough – it needs a lot of updates.
Who are your favorite bloggers or podcasts right now? Or what is an influential book that you’ve read lately?
- Goal Digger Podcast
- Supersoul Conversations
- Work Your Magic
- The Side Hustle Pro
- Gettin Grown
Anything else to share with us?
I offer Content Strategy Power Hours for entrepreneurs and folks in business who lack social media or content structure, have little to no direction on how to create content, or folks who have worked with a brand specific photographer on creating it but have no idea on how to use it!