Hey Michelle, you are a creative person with a passion for style and travel. Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?
I am 27 years old and I live in Atlanta, Georgia.
Can you describe yourself in three words and can you exemplify these words?
Self-assured, aesthetic, and fiercely loyal (to my people, to my vision, and to my dog). Visuals are really important to me, and my confidence in my aesthetic voice is what empowers me to be myself with wild abandon.
What are your roots?
My dad was in the Coast Guard so my family moved around a lot. The experience of re-locating multiple times has given me my love of the ocean, a hankering for adventure, and the ability to become fast friends with anyone.
Scrolling down your Instagram account you are a photographer, art director and part of Tropico Photo. Celmatique is very curious to your career journey in the creative world.
How is Tropico Photo started and can you define the work that you guys are making?
My husband Forrest and I started making work together when we started dating more than 5 years ago, but Tropico didn’t come about until 3 years later. Forrest and I met in art school where we shared similar interests in photography and as we each ventured into making our own work, it became increasingly difficult to find where Forrest’s work ended and mine began. We finally decided to make it official by creating our company together which has been so incredible!
Where do you find inspiration to shoot photos and how do you hope to inspire others with the work that you guys are making?
We find inspiration in everything. Painting, textiles, interiors, travel, and fashion are all huge for me. So much of our work is about a special color and light sensibility, so we keep our eyes open for anything that gives us a little chill of excitement. We hope our work inspires others to make art and explore color in their own lives! We’ve heard from a lot of people that our work makes them happy so that’s definitely a good start.
What was the most successful project Tropico Photo has worked on and what made it so successful?
That’s a hard one! I honestly can’t pick just one. Our different projects have all been successful for different reasons. One great part of being a team is that we can each bring our different strengths and resources to the table to solve whatever problems come along and really elevate each project.
What are the biggest challenges in your career and how do you deal with that?
Being freelance is challenge in itself! Sometimes it doesn’t feel like anyone will ever email you again and sometimes we are totally overwhelmed with work. We’ve had to learn to appreciate the different seasons and look at the big picture.
If you look back into your career, what would you do differently?
What is your most valued accomplishment in your career so far?
Most recently we are really proud of the campaign we did for Postmates. Being published in the New York Times was so cool. Shooting covers for Bitch Magazine and Atlanta Magazine this year was big. We have a lot to be excited about!
In your career as a creative you can combine photography and fashion easily together. As seen on your Instagram feed you show an amazing mix of fashion and artwork. Celmatique wants to know more about your vision of today’s fashion industry.
What is your vision on the fashion industry nowadays and what would you do differently in this scene?
I’ve moved to almost exclusively focusing on small and ethically-made fashion brands. The fast-fashion mentality is the worst part about the industry to me. We need to be valuing and investing in our pieces instead of treating them as disposable.
You were asked before to describe yourself in three words. How far do you think that these words are reflecting your fashion style?
Self-assured and aesthetic really describe my fashion style as well. My style is loud and refuses to ask permission. I’m proud of that.
How do you describe your own fashion style?
Eclectic. Right now I’m really into color-blocking and adding bits of pattern to compliment my outfits. I love mixing big silhouettes with little-fitted touches.
As a creative, you have the opportunity to combine fashion and photography together. What is the most amazing thing that you get out of this?
They are my two greatest loves! It’s a combination that never gets old.
Which fashion movement or era inspires you the most?
The ’60s are really fabulous and uninhibited. Also, people love to hate on the ’80s but I love that people took risks and were loud in their everyday outfits.
What is the biggest compliment you received for your fashion style?
People tell me that I can pull anything off. To me, that means that my confidence is my best accessory and that’s a big compliment.
And the last question but not least; Why do you think that you have been approached for Style Feature?
I think that my social media content does a good job of showcasing my style in the world of our colorful photographs and that’s an eye-catching combination.