This past year has been INCREDIBLE! I turned 10 years old this year and I have truly accomplished a lot! It was so hard to choose 12 images to represent each month of the year, so I decided to choose 25 of my favorite moments and a few of the amazing people I met.
Starting from the top and going left to right, I will give you a little background on each photo and why it is special to me. You don’t have to read them all, if you have a favorite, just go straight to that one!
One. This year I met Gabrielle Jordan, a 16 year old entrepreneur who owns her own jewelry company and is a keynote speaker. I was so honored to do a photoshoot for her while I was in Washington, D.C. She also interviewed me for her YouTube channel. What I love most about Gabrielle is that she is an example and a mentor to other young kidpreneurs like myself. Gabrielle created a program called ExCEL Youth Mentoring which stands for: Excellence Created Through Entrepreneurship and Leadership. If you’re a kid who has been thinking about starting your own business, but you’re not sure what you want to do, CLICK HERE for a copy of her eBook, “41 Business Ideas for Young Entrepreneurs”.
Two. In August, I was featured on the Steve Harvey show. The Extraordinary Kids segment was chosen to be on the “Season Premiere”. Meeting Mr. Harvey was amazing, definitely a highlight of my year. I am so thankful to him for gifting me with a brand new Canon EOS 80D. I am excited to see what 2017 holds!
Three. Along with photographing the President Obama and appearing on the Steve Harvey show, interviewing and taking selfies on the Red Carpet with various celebrities may have been the most exciting time in my life! This first photo is the selfie I took with John Legend. Here is a clip of our time together on the red carpet.
Four. This past summer, I sent a letter to President Obama along with the photos I took of him at the United State of Women Summit. It was hand-delivered by a friend of a friend who has breakfast with him every month to discuss really important things. In November, I was TOO EXCITED to receive a letter from him!
Five & Eight. At the United State of Women Summit, I took a photo of Ms. Oprah Winfrey. It meant a lot to me to take Ms. Oprah’s picture. [Last month I sent her a WeMontage of the photos I took of her in Washington, D.C. and in Los Angeles, thanks to the CEO James Oliver for working with me to make that happen.] I hope you love it Mrs. Oprah. She’s accomplished a lot of the same things that I’d like to accomplish. I never thought I’d have the chance to meet her, however thanks to Mr. Steve Harvey, I was able to not only meet her, interview her and take selfies with her, I gave her my business card! OMG! Selfies with the one and only, Ms. Oprah Winfrey! How cool is that? Photo number twenty two is a photo I took of Ms. Oprah’s best friend, Ms. Gayle King. I met her as she was leaving after Ms. Oprah and First Lady Michelle Obama finished their discussion. She was kind enough to allow me to take her picture.
Six. This photo is representative of two special things! First, it was a special photoshoot for my 10th birthday. Thank you to one of my photography mentors, Sarha Rush. Second, the blazer that I am wearing was designed for me by my friends, 9 year old designers, Almond Eyez Designs.
Seven & Nine. In October, I was hired to be the keynote speaker at a girls conference in Rochester, New York. It was such an amazing experience. I spoke to about 50 girls about believing in yourself and believing that your dreams can and will come true. The most amazing part of this trip was all of the amazing people I met; two of which have become more than just friends. I met Jordan West, the 6 year old author who wrote a book that inspired me to throw a princess party for 20 little girls for my 10th birthday. I also met, my friend, Shiona “Shi” Curry, “celebrity” chef and CEO of Snac It Up. I love meeting other little girls who are kidpreneurs and making their mark on the world.
Ten. This is a photo of me on the set of my first FASHION EDITORIAL PHOTO SHOOT for KIDFASH MAGAZINE. I was so honored to be chosen by Mr. Damon Ross, the owner and publisher to take photos for the March 2017 Anti-Bullying issue. Six models travels from as far as Miami, FL to be photographed by me, a ten year old photographer! The goal of the magazine is to INSPIRE, MOTIVATE, ENCOURAGE, and HELP models and photographers in the industry. We met at Red Door No. 5 in Tampa, Florida. The owners were kind enough to allow us to use the space to meet, change and chill out! It’s such a beautiful event space/gallery. I was so thankful to Mr. Jose Gomez, photography mentor and owner of Gomez Innovations for being there on site for me just in case I needed him. Also, Mrs. Jamila Anderson-Nicholson of The Hoaj Events and Design helped me to style the models. Special thanks to Izzy Be Clothing for providing the wardrobe.
Eleven. I was so happy to meet Bishop TD Jakes on the red carpet of Tyler Perry’s movie, BOO! A Madea Halloween. My parents watch him on TV and they own quite a few of his books. He is a very inspirational man. My mom teared up when she saw him. I wish she was able to meet him. Maybe one day…
Twelve. This is my Auntie TeeJ, well, not my real auntie, but I did adopt her as my Auntie because she is so awesome. She is the owner and founder of Media Mavericks. She is also my Media coach. When I went on the Steve Harvey show, she flew from Los Angeles to Chicago to be with me. I did not know she was coming, it was a surprise! She prepared me to do my very best on the show. She waited backstage for me so that my mommy could sit in the audience and watch me. If it wasn’t for her, I would have just froze. She prepared me so much that I felt confident and I knew exactly what to say and how to say it. When I was nervous, we danced together! I really love her. She is so perfect for me and I like how she always helps me whenever I need help.
Thirteen. MY DREAM to PHOTOGRAPH THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES! That link will take you to my blog where you can learn more about my experience. This photo represents how working hard and never giving up pays off!
Fourteen. It was SO COOL to meet Daymond John from Shark Tank! He was so nice and seemed sincerely interested in me and my business. He took my business card, signed my POWER OF BROKE book and even took a copy of my article where I was featured in the Tampa Bay Times, Florida’s largest newspaper.
Fifteen. Every year for my birthday, my mom always has a BIG birthday party for me. She’s an event designer so she usually just uses things that she already owns and makes it fabulous! This year, I decided I wanted to throw a princess party for foster girls. I was inspired by my friend Jordan West who is pictured under number nine to celebrate little girls and foster girls. CLICK HERE to read more. about my experience.
Sixteen. I photographed Mikaila Ulmer, CEO of Me & the Bees when she spoke at the United State of Women Summit. She introduced President Obama to 5000 women attending the summit. I was so proud of her and inspired by her as well. I felt so good when I went to Washington, D.C. and I was able to meet her and hang out with her.
Seventeen. In August, I met, interviewed, photographed and took selfies with Parker Sawyers on the red carpet for the movie premiere Southside With You. Parker played Barack Obama and Tika Sumpter played Michelle Obama. He was so very convincing. I really loved interviewing him. He was so nice. I appreciate that he follows me on Instagram and likes my photos. That’s so cool.
Eighteen. Oh my word! I had the best day in October when I spent the day at Mr. Tyler Perry‘s house. That was a cool surprise! Seeing him again on the red carpet for the movie premiere, BOO! A Madea Halloween, later that night was so much fun! He introduced me to Oprah and we took selfies too! I love his story and everything that he has accomplished in his life so far. I hope I get to work with him again in the future!
Nineteen. In August I attended the Tom Joyner Family Reunion so that I could meet Gabby, 9 year old CEO of Gabby Bows. What I didn’t realize is that I’d also get to meet author Natalie McGriff, who wrote, The Adventures of Moxie McGriff and Miles Brown, who plays Jack on ABCs Blackish.
Twenty. Meeting and interviewing Laya Hayes of Doc McStuffins for my blog was so very AWESOME! I loved meeting her. She was so very down to earth and love all that she’s accomplished. She made me feel like I could accomplish anything I put my mind to!
Twenty One & Twenty Four. I photographed Marley Dias at the United State of Women summit in June. She participated in a discussion with Sophia Bush, who I photographed as well. The way Marley spoke really inspired me. I was so proud of her. I used to be so scared to speak publically but seeing Marley do it with confidence, made me feel like I could do it too.
Twenty-Three. I met Mr. Andre Hall on the red carpet of the movie premiere for BOO! Madea Halloween! He was an actor in the movie. I enjoyed interviewing him, but what I really love is that he follows me on Instagram as well. He likes my photos, comments, shares and supports my business. It means so much to me when adults respect and support me. It’s so very encouraging.
Twenty-Five. I loved photographing First Lady Michelle Obama! Although my dream was to photograph the President, I am so happy I was able to take her picture as well. I really like Mrs. Obama. She is such an inspiration to me. She is doing what I want to do, she’s making a difference in the lives of girls everywhere. I also like that she makes dreams happen for other children. Mrs. Obama is kind, loving, smart, a great public speaker and she’s also very beautiful.