Keiko Michelle Williams, 24, is a free lance photographer who resides in the Bay Area. She is co- founder of La Baez Photographer and is currently employed full time at Yelp.Despite her busy schedule she took the time to chat with CSUITEMUSIC:
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a 2016 graduate of California State University of East Bay. Graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Communications and an emphasis is Media Production i have always had a passion for creating inspiration wherever i can find it. I have a big heart and love to make others smile, my priorities in life are God, my family and paving a legacy of success for myself.
2. What sparked your interest in photography?
It all started with a photo journalism class, previous to this course, I was gung ho for video production and even broadcasting. But a professor at East Bay opened my mind up to the endless possibilities that come with taking photos. You can illustrate any story and evoke many different emotions from one single shot.
3. Is there anyone in particular who inspired you to get into photography?
The cliche answer to this question is that my parents inspire me , which is true. My parents very much show support for all of my passions even ranging out of photography. But my inspiration to go after what truly makes me happy was my older cousin Erica Carter. My big cousin all of her life sacrificed her happiness for others and it wasn't until months before God took her away from us to be with him in the kingdom of heaven that she began living for herself. Truly living each day to the fullest and not allowing anyone to tell her “no”. Her spirit motivates me till this very day to give myself selflessly to those that need me and to put all of my energy into what makes me happy.
4. How do you find the time to take photos when you have a full-time occupation?
Honestly taking photos is more than just my side hustle. Its my peace of mind, my passion, my way of refreshing myself mentally and physically. You make time for what is important to you, no excuses.
5. In what ways do you promote your photography and do you feel like you have a good following?
More recently I have began doing event photography with up and coming entrepreneurs such as The Culture Junkies as well as my partner and cousin, Aliyah Ross and i being vendors in TrapXart LA. I am a perfectionist so I will always say there is room for improvement and to continually be moving forward and upward.
6. Do you have standard rates or are you open to negotiation if someone is interested in your services?
La Baez Photography does have standard rates , however just like any other up and coming brand we must tailor to our potential clients and partners.
7. What do you enjoy photographing the most and how does taking pictures make you feel?
Firstly, I love event photography, reason being because I feed off of the excitement of the people around me, Most , again not all but most people love being photographed at events, it makes them feel good and in return makes me feel even better. But my heart's desire is on street photography and photojournalism.
8. Besides photography, what else are interested/ involved in?
I love writing! mainly fiction inspired by true life events is my niche.
9. You are obviously a very busy lady. Can you describe a typical day for Keiko?
Oh lord. Well a day in the life of Keiko involves waking up around 5:30 am. fighting my way onto a busy BART train to San Francisco where I work at Yelp. Making sure coffee is heavily stocked is essential and then for eight hours I turn into The Wolf of Wall Street for Yelp. Sales is a difficult career , but I happen to be very persuasive so that helps. At about 5:30, I fight my way back onto BART, get home to San Leandro, and meet up with my favorite sister and gym it up for about an hour. Come home cook, and pass out by 10 or 10:30 if i'm feeling daring.
10. Where do you see yourself career wise a year from now?
In a perfect world, I see myself as a well established photographer traveling the world capturing the world by my lens and La Baez Photography being a household name. Having a gallery storefront in either northern or southern California.
11. Do you feel you will be able to flourish in the Bay Area as a photographer or do you plan to relocate eventually?
NO I have grown to love the Bay Area and feel that love back from it. I have no plans of leaving the bay, it is a part of me and more so a part of La Baez. The name came from a desire to incorporate my cousin's LA lifestyle into the Bay area lifestyle. The bay is La Baez and it's in my heart. )
12. What advice do you have for young adults who are interested in becoming a photographer?
Just start shooting, don't wait for an event, or something catastrophic to happen. You create the beauty , the ugly, the good and the bad by the direction and use of your own distinct eye and lens.
13. Do you have any upcoming appearances or gigs?
An upcoming event will be on Jan 21, .2018 at TrapXart LA at the Avalon Hollywood! The theme is “All Eyes on Me," catch us there :)
Want to work with Keiko and/ or stay in touch with La Baez Photography?
Michaela P. Shelton is Managing Editor of CSUITEMUSIC.com
Read more from Michaela at Darealmichaela1.com