With terms like “boss chick” or “boss” becoming the new standard for female empowerment and success, it’s always refreshing to see women who aren’t conforming to the world’s standards; women like Anesha Collins, the CEO of Unashamed Imaging.

Originally from Staten Island, New York, Anesha has deservingly become one of Florida’s rising stars in the field of visual media.

She is a published and award winning photographer and cinematographer.

Her portfolio ranges from the modern-day family or person to well-known clients like the NFL Corporation, Nina Sky, and Martha Munizzi to name a few.

Her company is also listed as a preferred vendor for various premiere venues.

While Anesha could easily brag about her bossness (let’s pretend that’s a word), she’s one of the most humble and down to earth women you’ll meet.

I recently caught up with Anesha to chat about life and of course business. Check out our interview below to meet the brain behind the brand, Unashamed Imaging.

THIS IS HER JOURNEY: Photography was not the plan for your life.  How did you go from being a nurse to one of Orlando’s top rated photographers and videographers?

ANESHA COLLINS: After moving to Florida from New York, I started volunteering with an urban Christian organization in Orlando. I couldn’t figure out what I was passionate about but I remember having a camera and going to one of their local events to take pictures.

I remember an indescribable energy from shooting pictures at that event.  Being able to capture people’s emotions and freeze time with my camera, I loved it!

That was the beginning of my love for visual media.

THIS IS HER JOURNEY: Take us back to your last day on the job.  What was that like, leaving your 9-5 to pursue photography full time?

ANESHA COLLINS: I worked full time and would go back and forth between nursing and visual media. Depending on the season, I would reduce hours in one to do the other.

Even while at my nursing job, I found myself thinking nonstop about photography and ideas for shooting.

After volunteering for some time with the urban Christian organization, I started praying and talking to God about taking the next steps. I struggled with thinking I couldn’t be successful without being connected to that organization.  But God spoke three words to me, “JUST DO IT”.  God had to remind me that my success didn’t come from being connected to that organization but from being connected to Him!

I didn’t have the resources. I didn’t budget or do any major research. I just listened to those three words from God, got on the computer, saw a special happening at BestBuy and purchased a camera and lens bundle. That was the launch of my business.

I started with a Canon T3i (which is not a professional camera at all) but I just kept shooting and practicing.

THIS IS HER JOURNEY: What role or influence does your faith play in your business decisions?

ANESHA COLLINS: I am a Christian and I won’t deny my faith. I may not agree with certain lifestyles but that doesn’t mean I will mistreat anyone.

With any client, if it’s something that will make me uncomfortable, then I just won’t do it. PERIOD. If it is something that is totally outside of my company’s branding or shooting-style, I know photographers or videographers that I can refer that client to who can deliver what they’re looking for.

THIS IS HER JOURNEY: What advice would you give to a woman getting ready to step out in faith to pursue her dream or passion?

ANESHA COLLINS: I would say first assess your debt ratio.  Ask yourself if you quit your main source of income can you survive before you really start generating income from your business? Evaluate how the financial change (if any) will impact your lifestyle and your ability to take care of all your responsibilities.

I would also say decide if you can be full time in your dream job and have a part time job as a backup or have another source of income at the same time. Some people get caught up in pursuing their full time dream, whatever that is; they think that success will come automatically. The reality however is that most people aren’t truly successful until five years or more into their business or whatever they are pursuing. Having more than one business venture means having other streams of revenue to fall back on in the event that one fails.

Lastly, never stop learning. Don’t ever get to the point where you’re maxed out on your knowledge because the minute you get there is when you’re going to fall apart. There’s always something to learn to improve your craft, skills, and to increase your knowledge.

THIS IS HER JOURNEY: You’ve worked with quite a few well-known celebrities, like Lecrae, Andy Mineo, the NFL Corporation – what’s the secret behind your success and how do you stay grounded?

ANESHA COLLINS: Networking is big, but also the time I spent volunteering taught me a lot in the beginning stages.  I couldn’t rely on that alone though, I had to go out there and do the work. I took a lot of risks but with wisdom, meaning assessing the benefit of each opportunity.  Even if my visuals were not used for a project I was hired for, it still helped to build my portfolio.

As far as not getting “caught up in my own hype” I’ve never been that way even before having my own business. I realize that all the clients I’ve worked with, no matter how famous, are just people.

I also hate name dropping.  I ABSOLUTELY HATE IT! It’s corny and in my opinion it shows that you’re relying more on the person’s fame and fortune and less on your ability to deliver, be professional, and confident in the gift God gave you.

THIS IS HER JOURNEY: What’s next for Anesha & Unashamed Imaging?

ANESHA COLLINS: I want to transition Unashamed Imaging into more of a resource company. I want it be a place where people can find various photographers and videographers for different projects and booking.

I also want to teach and mentor.  I want to help others grow in their creative careers.

There’s also a desire to create a film; stay tuned.

For now, you can view my most recent projects on my website, Unashamed Imaging.


One of my favorite moments of the interview was when I put Anesha on the spot with these rapid fire questions to get her candid response.  Check out her answers to get to know the real Anesha!

 

Anesha Collins @unashamedimaging

Anesha Collins
@unashamedimaging

Heels or flats? Flats

Jeans or dress? Jeans

Favorite song right now? “You Know You Like It” by DJ Snake & AlunaGeorge – this is what I’m listening to while I edit

Favorite TV show?  I have two – “Castle” and “Supernatural”

Person (past or present) you’d want to photograph? Alicia Keys (because I swore I was her in high school, I even had the braids) Aaliyah (I always wanted to see her perform in concert; she didn’t use her sexuality to sell records), Beyoncé (because of her professionalism and drive to seeing her franchise grow)

If you could do a shoot anywhere in the world, where would it be? In the jungle or tropics of Africa

If there was a movie based on your life, what would it be titled? Phoenix…because in spite of all I’ve been through in life, I keep rising

Most memorable photo shoot to date?  Nina Sky – by far they were the nicest people I’ve worked with

Least favorite photo shoot of your career to date? Let’s just say that one particular incident was a lesson in disguise

In front or behind the camera? Behind!

Be sure to follow Anesha on her journey and look out for more stories of inspirations about everyday women who dared to step out in faith in pursuit of their calling!

 

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