Welcome Keisha Grissett to the She Hustles Talks lady boss covergirl gang in Rochester Woman Online.
I had the pleasure of chatting with this “hustler” about her business, what makes her hustle, her photography and so much more. Here is what she had to say.
Tell our audience a little bit about who Keisha Grissett is and your where you come from.
Keisha Grissett is a wife, a mother, a sister and a daughter. I was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey but was raised in Newark. I went to West Side High School ( where I met my husband ) and graduated. I use to homeschool my kids for about the last 5 years.
I would say Keisha Grissett is a laid back person that loves to relax and eat all kinds of food. I also love to spend time with my family. That is basically who I am and a little bit about myself.
When did you launch K. Victoria Photography?
I launched K. Victoria Photography in 2019. I decided to look into photography more when a good friend of mine and my brother, Chris Summner came to my home and told me I should make it a career. I told him I was scared to get into that business, but he and I made a deal and I agreed to give it a try. This led me to being a photographer today. And actually, my husband told me I should use my middle name for my business. So, thats how K. Victoria came about.
What kind of gear do you use?
The gear I use most is a Canon T2I and a Canon T7I, with lenes including a 40 mm, 18-55m, 85mm,and 70 to 200mm Canon lens.
Why did you decide to become a photographer?
I decided to become a photographer because I realized how incredible I felt when taking pictures. I was always into art, so photography to me was another way to express myself. I love how I see a picture through my own eyes. Plus, I love to be a part of someone else’s memories whether it be with a business, or their family, or showing their creativity and talents. Being a photographer is not my job, but my passion. I wake up thinking of ideas on how I can take photos of people.
How do you educate yourself to take better pictures?
I educate myself by actually looking on YouTube and watching alot of videos. I also ask other photographers questions. There is always something new to learn in photography. I can watch the same photography video 5 times and get something new and different from it ever time. Then when I’m studying my passion, I would put what I learn into my own images, but do it my own way. I love to learn new ideas and lesssons on photography because that’s how I’m going to get better.
Which photographers influenced you, and how did they influence your thinking, photographing, and career path?
This is a good question. Well, there are a couple of photographers who I really like to work with and inspire me. Let me say, all photographers are amazing in their own way, but the ones that have inspired me, or have given me advice in Rochester would have start with Albert Jones. He once told me if I came to a fashion event to always wear all black. I also asked photographer Rob Daniels one time about which camera I should purchase and he told me his favorite and I bought that camera. Chris “Goodknews” Cardwell let me come to his studio once and watch him do a photoshoot and gave me tips. Let’s not forget my brother Blank Kanvas who is always giving me advice on my passion.
But the one who has been teaching me about lighting, pricing, and what kind of gear to get to shoot better photos, plus showing me how to use my camera the correct way is my mentor, Jay Ceaz. So the photographs you see today are because of that man there. I truly appreciate all his advice and his mentorship.
I also watch alot of photographers on YouTube like Manny Ortiz and Jessica Kobeissi, I love the way they take pictures and how they teach me how to make my photography passion even better.
What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?
I just wish I knew more about my camera and equipment before I started actually taking photos. I was learning as I would take pictures. I didn’t know much about a Canon at all. but as I started taking photos I would start noticing more things about my camera more and more.
What makes you hustle?
What makes me hustle is definitely my kids. To show my kids they can be and do whatever they want to do when they grow up. Yes it will be hard, and you will lose sleep sometimes, but if you want it that bad you will work hard and it will happen. I want to show them that if I can do it, they can too. Being their mom will always make me hustle.
What has been your biggest challenge being a female entrepreneur in the photography field?
My biggest challenge would have to be when I first started I was intimidated by other male photographers’ work. But as I start doing my own thing, I realize we all take pictures in a different way, and that’s what I love. Being a female in the photography business I see all kinds of photographers now. I see women and men doing what they love to do.
What do you feel is your specialty and why?
I would have to say I love taking photos outside. You can use natural light most of the time and I like the wind blowing in someone’s hair to give me a certain look. I like the different kinds of backgrounds you can put your model in when you’re outside, rather than having a plain backdrop I can have a park, or beach, or downtown in the city.
What is your favorite thing about working with your subjects?
Working with my clients means alot to me to get to know them as a person and their different personalities. This will show in their photos. I want them to feel confident and be able to be comfortable with me to pose them and feel free.
That’s why I ask them what kind of music they listen to and more about themselves. I like to find out there likes and their dislikes, that way they can trust that I will not have them looking crazy or out of their element. It is more personal.
What is one thing you would like to learn?
Wow. I dont think it’s just one thing. I know there are things I want to learn about, but if I could choose I would have to say it would be learning more about taking photos at night. I would love to learn more about lighting for nighttime photoshoots.
What are three things that have helped make you successful?
1. Keep studying my passion.
2. Being confident in my work.
3. Being humble .
What would you say is your primary style?
My primary style is what I call K. Victoria Style. I love colors and trying new things. but mostly I love colors. I also would say I have an urban style, but then again whatever I feel that day, that week, that month works. So, thats why it’s K. Victoria Style.
What do you like to do when you are not working your business?
I like to go to different restaurants and taste all kinds of food. I love sushi and ethopian food. I am a foodie, or chill at home with my family and just relax, watch a good movie, or play a game with my kids.