Connect
To Top

Conversations with the Inspiring Fiya Niya

Today we’d like to introduce you to Fiya Niya.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Fiya. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I got into photography when I was young. At events with family or friends, I was always the one with the camera, capturing moments. My cousins and I used to create videos just for fun. But I didn’t take photography seriously until college.

I attended Georgia State University in 2013 with a major in marketing. I always envisioned myself as a high paid executive for a Fortune 500 company like Nike or AT&T.

After a couple of semesters in college, I started to learn more about myself and realized that I am a creative and a desk job is the last thing I would want to do with my life. In school, I always enjoyed writing and my English/Language Arts teachers were always my favorite teachers. So in looking for something to change my major to, I did some research on Journalism, looked at the classes I would have to take, and I knew I would enjoy that major way more. So, I then changed my major to journalism, and I feel like that was one of the best decisions of my life.

Journalism and Marketing are actually similar in the fact that they both require great communication skills, which I have always possessed. I’ve always been good at talking to people and understanding them.

When I started to take photography more seriously, I used to rent cameras from school because I didn’t have a good one yet, just to practice and get better. I’ve also always loved Hip Hop, so my focus on writing and photography became music based. In my senior year, I secured an internship at Patchwerk Studios where I was able to write about music, recap events, handle social media accounts, get comfortable with artists and studio life, and sharpen my photography skills.

Upon graduation, I had a full-time job, but after a couple of months, I couldn’t ignore the feeling that that wasn’t where I was supposed to be. I made my mind up, quit, and have been focusing on my craft ever since.

Has it been a smooth road?
The road has been bumpy, but you’ll never get to your destination if your turn around at every obstacle. The first struggle was the decision to change my major. I had to deal with pushback from my parents and their idea that “newspapers are dead”. I had to explain to them that journalism is so much more than newspapers and that I am doing what feels right. They weren’t happy about it, but I had to follow my heart.

 

Post-college depression can be very real. When you’ve spent four years of life to get a piece of paper, and then spend hours and hours every day behind a computer applying for jobs that keep rejecting you, you can start to lose hope. But everything that is for you will be for you, even though it may not feel like that at the moment.

I have gotten so many No’s, I don’t bat an eye to them anymore. I don’t let anyone else’s actions deter me from my pursuit of happiness. They used to get me down, but then I realized I had to work on my confidence in my work. And confidence comes from continuously putting the work in and gaining knowledge about your craft.

Don’t feel like you need someone to endorse you or your idea. We’re in the age of everyone having a platform. Do research on what it is you want to do and start following the steps.

As for photographers, don’t worry about getting the latest greatest camera out, because if your skills aren’t there yet, you won’t be able to use the camera to its full potential. Now that I have strengthened my knowledge, I can go back to my first camera (Canon T3i) and get way better shots than I could when I was using it. I now shoot on Sony A7.

My biggest piece of advice would be to do your best at every opportunity that you do get.

Financial security and being a creative/pursuing the arts don’t often go together (in the beginning). You have to have faith in your gift and know that as long as you are pushing forward towards your purpose, God will look out for you.

What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of? What sets you apart from others?
I am a photographer and a writer and my work is usually music-based. I’m known for having a great eye and capturing moments, especially in low light (which is my specialty.) I have also been told by many people that I have a strong voice in my writing.

I’m most proud of the care I have for clients I’m working with. Usually, they are music artists so I want to show them that I care about properly representing their work, just like I would want someone to do mine.

I’m most proud of my progress and my growth in confidence that now allows me to take on anything that’s thrown at me. Whereas before I might have been apprehensive to agree to certain opportunities because I felt like I wouldn’t be able to perform well enough.

What sets me apart is my voice, my eye and my love for lowlights and colors.

It would be great to hear about any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve used and would recommend to others.
The Adobe Creative Cloud allows me to do my work.

The Magic of Thinking Big was a great book that helped me see my vision more clearly as well as the path to it.

Contact Info:

Suggest a story: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in

  • ATL’s Most Inspiring Stories

    Every neighborhood in Atlanta has its own vibe, style, culture and history, but what consistently amazes us is not what differentiates...

    Local StoriesDecember 2, 2021
  • Hidden Gems: Local Businesses & Creatives You Should Know

    Every day we have a choice. We can support an up and coming podcaster, try a new family-run restaurant, join a...

    Local StoriesDecember 1, 2021
  • Community Member Spotlights

    It’s more important to understand someone than to judge them. We think the first step to understanding someone is asking them...

    Local StoriesNovember 29, 2021
  • The Folks Solving The Problems You Need Solved

    One of the most important benefits of a thriving small business ecosystem is the myriad of problems and niche issues that...

    Local StoriesOctober 31, 2021
  • Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories: Episode 4

    Voyage is excited to present episode 4 of The Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories show with our wonderful host and sales expert...

    Local StoriesOctober 3, 2021
  • Heart to Heart with Whitley: Episode 4

    You are going to love our next episode where Whitley interviews the incredibly successful, articulate and inspiring Monica Stockhausen. If you...

    Whitley PorterSeptember 1, 2021
  • Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories: Episode 3

    We are thrilled to present Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories, a show we’ve launched with sales and marketing expert Aleasha Bahr. Aleasha...

    Local StoriesAugust 25, 2021
  • Community Member Spotlights

    It’s more important to understand someone than to judge them. We think the first step to understanding someone is asking them...

    Local StoriesAugust 19, 2021
  • Community Member Spotlights

    It’s more important to understand someone than to judge them. We think the first step to understanding someone is asking them...

    Local StoriesAugust 9, 2021