By Taroue Brooks
How did you get started as a photographer?
I actually got started with photography by accident. Back in high school I was that kid that didn’t really go to parties. Though I had my reasons, clearly my friends having had enough of my excuses, literally dragged me to a party they were going to. On the way to the party one of my friends needed to stop at Sears Portrait Studio to pick up some pictures she had taken. As I waited, I noticed they had a stack of blank applications. Out of sheer boredom I doodled on one and filled out the other. Two weeks later I was working there as a photographer. Its crazy how life has a way of nudging you exactly where you’re supposed to be. At the time I thought I was being dragged out to a dance, I now know I was being pushed towards my destiny.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
From that moment in high school throughout college, I mainly looked at photography as a fun side hustle. It wasn’t until I moved to Atlanta that I started to see the doors that photography could open for me. My first couple of years here I worked as a photographer for a high school photography studio. Though I was good at my job, I couldn’t help feeling like I was devoting more time building a dream that someone else was courageous enough to go after, than my own. I decided that I needed to be just as brave with my life. It was July of 2015 when I quit my last 9-5 and stepped out on faith to build PHEAUXTOGRAPHY full time. Though this journey has been everything but easy, it inextricably is tied to every win, every opportunity, every blessing I’ve experienced.
Tell us what makes your photography unique.
Its a simple answer but my photography is unique because it’s coming from me. I don’t base the value of what I create on a lighting setup or specific equipment. The value of my photography isn’t placed on things. I place value on the experience I get to create with my clients. I bring my love of color, drama, and clean aesthetics while giving permission to my clients to bring all that they are. The art happens in that magical place where all of that meets.
What advice would you give someone who seeks to have a photo shoot?
Just do it! Everyone is waiting for that next 5 pounds loss to feel worthy of being celebrated. I get it. As someone who is on his own personal fitness journey, I understand that it is healthy to have goals. I just think sometimes we forget to dance when we let the steps get in the way. We are all worthy of being celebrated now! Then when you lose that 5 pounds celebrate then too, but don’t delay your dance.
Share the experience of your favorite photo shoot.Impossible.
I don’t have a favorite. I can’t. Asking a photographer that is like asking a parent which kid is their favorite. I will say that I am extremely happy with the art I’ve been creating this year. It’s weird because that happiness isn’t exclusively tied to the quality of my output but more so my outlook. When covid hit earlier this year I thought that was the end of everything. I went 2 months without being able to create or build an income for myself. Going into month 3 I found myself job hunting for a new full time opportunity that would create the wealth that my business no longer could provide in a covid world. Right when I was about to give up and accept a severely under compensated offer, photography leads started piling in.
It wasn’t some full time position that came in and saved me when things got scary, it was all the amazing people that I’ve worked with over the last 5 years that came to my aid and supported my business in a time where I could barely support myself. I now have so much more gratitude behind what I do. I wake up everyday not drained or stressed from the work, but blessed that there is a photoshoot to show up for, a picture to edit, a call to return. So I don’t think I have a favorite photo shoot, but this moment has been my favorite season in this journey so far and its been amazing watching that spill over into my art.
Where would you like to see your career in the next five years?
I’ve been saying this forever, but I would love to be signed to an agency within the next few years. I want my photography to reach a bigger audience and be considered for larger projects, so having someone actively pushing for my success with me would be incredible. Outside of that, I don’t want to limit my path based on what little my eyes can see. From Sears Portrait Studio in 2007 through quitting my job in 2015 to the craziness of 2020, I’m finally learning to just trust the process. When it’s all said and done I hope to see myself just as grateful and excited in 2025 to be continuing with this journey as I am today.
Blair Devereaux is a Brand Pheauxtographer who has been servicing the Who’s Nows and What’s Nexts of Atlanta since making the jump in 2015 from enthusiast to full time entrepreneur. Hunger only matched by his humility, he attributes his fast tracked trajectory to the amazing people who have blessed him with the opportunity to do what he loves for a living. Never one to create a hierarchy over any of the experiences that have colored his path, you would be hard pressed to see a difference in enthusiasm when he shares his favorite work from his ever growing portfolio. Though some of those projects includes his time contracted with Nordstrom as their official social media photographer, being prominently featured on Lifetime’s The Rap Game, and shooting some of his favorite TV Personalities and Entertainers for different magazines, his most fulfilling work comes from creating for the start ups of today that will surely become the brands dominating the industry of tomorrow.
As a self proclaimed “Huge Marvel Nerd”, Blair always wondered what type of superhero he would be if given superpowers. Now as he prepares for another year of unblocking fellow business owners from having impactful content for their brands, it’s becoming all too apparent that he has already found his superpower. Though if you let him tell it, he would say it’s those same individuals touching his journey, that save him daily.
Pheauxtography by DeVereaux, LLC
Cell: 708-497-0869instagram: @pbd