Today we’d like to introduce you to Latori Williams.
Latori, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am a country girl from the small town of Bainbridge, Ga. In high school, my time was always limited because I cheered for all three squads Bainbridge High had to offer and cheered at Murkerson’s Dance Academy. While doing so, I also was on the Gymnastic team for the high school and I trained in the next city over-under Gymnastic coach Terry Cooper. I like to think this is what help mold me to become the hard worker that I am. When I was old enough to get a job, I was not able to because I was involved in too many things there was just not enough time in the day. So, I had to figure out how I would make some money. I was always interested in Photographer so, for Christmas, my mom bought me a camera. At first, I only used it for recording new skills so I could practice at home and then I started to take pictures of my friends. And one day, it hit me I was like I am getting really good at this let me do a little research and see what else I could learn. I began to fall in love with Photography and I wanted to learn how to shoot every style. Of course, once you enter the real world, life starts to move fast.
My freshman year of college, I attended Savannah State University where I cheered for Football, Basketball, and Competition. I shortly realized that I kept pushing photography aside. After that year, I transferred to Georgia Southern University where I took up Therapeutic Recreation with a double minor in Health Education and Promotion and Psychiatry. While at Georgia Southern, I began to get more connected with my camera. Started networking, doing more photoshoots, building my brand MEDIA AND MORE BY TORI and getting my name out in the community. At this period of time, I still did not know exactly what I wanted to do with photography. So, a couple of years flew by meanwhile, I obtained my Degree in Allied Healthcare moved to Columbus, Ga and finished up Medical Coding and Billing. While living in Columbus it just made my decision for me to move to Atlanta a lot easier. Because I would work at Massage Envy til 10 P.M and drive to Atlanta at least 5-8 times a month. While living commuting back and forth, I began networking in the fashion industry. Me coming from little Bainbridge, Ga this was like another world to me so I had to teach myself the different styles.
While networking, it introduced me to many industry people helping me build personal and professional relationships. While still commuting I came to Atlanta to shoot an event for Tokyo Vanity where we built a working relationship and became friends. I moved to Atlanta in January 2018 and got a job selling life insurance shortly after that I was in a car accident where I sprang my hip and had Sciatic nerve damage. This caused me to be out of work and made it harder for me to do Photography. Tokyo called me a month later asking did I mind getting some behind the scene footage of her and Lightskin Keisha and she heard I was out of work due to the accident so she would also pay me to work the set. A couple of weeks went by, she called me again and asked me how would I feel being her Assistant. I took the job and love it.
This brought me to my next venture which is I am a manager to a couple of new artists that is now located in Atlanta; Young Jewls, 14kShawng, 14kFoo, Chop Bailey and Brutal Youngin. I also manage Maiadaplug she has her own business where she sales keychain grenades that includes: foldable scissors, towelettes, lighters and glass tips. She is also in the process of launching her website where she sales Plug Snack Packs which includes anything you may need while in the studio or at an event. I work with these two labels which are Loyalty Sealed and Money First Team.
While continually learning and building my brand, I recently invested my money in something I love. I build an online boutique called What and Wear Fashion right now it is only on Instagram but I am for the website to launch by mid-October. What and Wear Fashion right now is just a boutique but eventually will turn into a blog where you can find what to wear and where to. The concept of What and Wear came from my two favorite things shopping and traveling. I could never figure out what outfit to wear when I was going to take a trip. I always searched the internet months in advance just to find different looks for the occasion. I came up with What and Wear as a blog so it would be a faster and easier shopping experience for everyone to find that perfect outfit for an occasion and destination.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The road has had so many potholes in the way. Some of the struggles that I faced were I was new to the city and not only that my sister had passed three months before I moved to Atlanta. I did not want to leave my family but I knew I needed to.
Not having the funds is an ongoing struggle, but I feel like this will bring the beast out of you because if you want something bad enough, you will find a way to make it happen. I did everything worked for free for many projects, made different concepts with things and location from around my house and my friend house. Not having business cards so I would go to events and airdrop music, photos, Instagram name and everything for free.
Another thing I struggled with was feeling like I was not good enough yet I did not want to post pictures at a point because I just felt like they were not up to standard and I struggled with feeling like I was not doing enough. What I did to get got out of the funk was I started shadowing photographers. Working alongside them where I could learn more.
The advise I would give is to make sure your love for your passion is stronger than any and everything. Keep supportive positive people in your circle. Make sure you celebrate small victories and keep God first.
Please tell us more about your brand, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
What makes me proud of my brand is the fact that people acknowledge my work. I started as nothing and it’s still not where I want it to be but my work is getting noticed. What set me apart from others is that my love for photography, my willingness to learn and my dedication to Media and more by Tori has opened the door for so many other things that made my brand different. I am doing all styles of a photographer and still learning more. With my artist from Loyalty Sealed and Money First Team, I do come up with some of the content that they need. With my boutique since it is only on Instagram at the moment, I do all of the photos and video concepts.
What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to a young woman just starting her career?
The most important advice I could give to a young woman is to listen and absorb any and everything someone is telling you. Use everything as a learning experience because there is knowledge everywhere. Do not be afraid to ask questions and to ask for help. Save your money, so you can invest in yourself! Always keep God first. Always follow what you believe in and give it all you have every time and never give up because you never know who is watching.
- Phone: 2297264747
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @Mediaandmorebytori
- Facebook: Latori Williams
- Other: @ls_dalabel