We had the good fortune of connecting with Akili Anderson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Akili, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I am so grateful to have the opportunity to monetize from my deepest passion. However, starting a business is not easy by any means. Before embarking on this journey, I made a commitment to myself to stay consistent with my pursuit throughout every season. There is a lot of uncertainty as a creative and entrepreneur, but you can never truly fail. A failure is always a win from my perspective, because with “failure” comes wisdom, and you are able to use that knowledge to pivot in a direction with a more attuned focus. I’ve endured many battles with fear before and during this journey, but I know with every fiber of my being, this is what I am meant to do. With that understanding, I never stop creating, connecting and building, even if it is only one brick a day.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
A photographer has many tools, props, and techniques that go in to creating a single image. There is so much freedom within this craft, and like any art form, it is all perspective from the beholder. Photographers are essentially scientists that stimulate emotion and feeling through the images they capture. My style of photography thrives in capturing feeling through composition and location. Whether it is a simple family shoot or an editorial piece, there is always an emotion tied to the image. I am excited to see how that evolves over time. As a young girl, cameras were my obsession. I had a cute little Canon Coolpix that I took everywhere just so when I saw something exceptional I could capture it. What really encourage me to make my passion a full time business was picturing not doing this for the rest of my life. It was terrifying at first taking a risk and becoming an entrepreneur. However, reading books, listening to podcasts, joining business seminars and having business savvy friends is what helped guide me through this journey. I have learned that you should never stop exploring your creativity and lean in to the things that may scare you. Delegating well, maybe even hire someone to do the tasks that you aren’t the best at or aren’t in love with so that is gets done efficiently.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
One of my favorite breakfast spots on a Saturday morning is in downtown phoenix at this cute restaurant called the larder + the delta. So yummy. Then while in the area, make our way over to the Japanese Friendship Garden to walk off some of that delicious food. The Phoenix Art Museum is a must see if you are new to the area as well. One of my favorite hiking trails in Phoenix is Piestewa Peak near Paradise Valley. It can be a challenge but the view at the top is incredible. For night life, one of the best cocktail bars, also downtown, is Bitter & Twisted! Some of the best craft cocktails I have ever consumed. Clever Coi is my favorite ramen spot, and if you want some mouth watering modern Jamaican cuisine, Bread Fruit & Rum Bar will treat you right! There is a local guitarist, older gent with beautiful long locks, that you will spot around downtown at different venues and events, he is so talented! Don’t forget to support your local artists.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would not be in this position without the supportive community of creatives and friends that kept me going throughout this journey. Whether they gifted me with their presence and allowed me to photograph them to build my portfolio, or gave me valuable advice on marketing and social media content. Without their support this road may have been more challenging. I am so grateful for them.

In addition, I am a podcast enthusiast. We all love free education, and I made sure to utilize as many resources as possible. One of my favorites along the road is “The Goal Digger Podcast”, hosted by Jenna Kutcher. She is a kindhearted midwestern boss lady who has created her own photography business that is wildly successful, and that is just what earned her the platform that she continues to nourish today. Grateful to Jenna for sharing so many golden nuggets with her listeners, I’m listening girl!

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You

Website: www.akilistheory.com

Instagram: @akilicaptured @akilianderson

Facebook: @akilistheoryphotography

Image Credits

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