Early Beginnings | The Queen Photographers of SC
There’s always existed a sense of community when I’ve wanted to excel at anything. Nothing happens by circumstance and I truly believe you get nowhere on your own. Photography was no different. I’d been shooting for a little over a year and was wanting to connect with other photographers in my area to learn and grown alongside them. I’d reached out to a few and probably had better luck than many: 2 of the 3 photographers whose work I grew to appreciate replied to my inquiry with welcome arms. To this day, I am thankful for their selflessness.
I’d browse Instagram to view the work of others using local hashtags and happened to come across an intriguing account. She reminded me a lot of myself: 20-something, African-American female, who was also a photography novice. Better yet, she also lived in the city of Greenville, where I’d recently moved. Her name was Sierra Collins (@cecenaturally). I sent her a DM to introduce myself and invited her to go shoot together sometime.
Here was the result of our subsequent meetings:
Later, through Instagram, I also found out about Brown Girl with a Camera (BGWAC) and saw how Founder, Ruby Melton’s vision to bring resources to women of color photographers was being used to share beautiful content.
That’s when I decided to bring BGWAC to Greenville, SC. Sierra & I contacted Ruby and pitched the idea to her; she was on board. This was the early beginnings of the Queen Photographers of SC (QPSC). To bring BGWAC to South Carolina and be represented well, I’d reached out to all the women of color photographers in SC that I knew and asked around extensively to invite more. I’d asked my male photographer friends, looked on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, stalked my friend’s online albums for photo credits; whatever it took. I scouted locations, contacted make-up artists…I was determined to make this meet-up a success for my state, use it as an opportunity to meet other photographers in my area, and build relationships. Little did I know that this was the start of something greater.