Rashida makes moves in the leopard print Champion sneaker

POWER IS taking control
of your life

A Q&A with Rashida ZagonA Q&A with Rashida Zagon

Self-made photographer, DACA recipient, hustlerSelf-made photographer, DACA recipient, hustler

Photographed in NYC by Saphir NiakadiePhotographed in NYC by Saphir Niakadie

We think it’s so badass that you’re working as a successful photographer without formal schooling, can you talk to us about this? What was that journey like? 

“I’ve always loved photography and knew I had a natural eye for it but my older sister, Janille, is the person who pushed hard for me to take it seriously. As soon as I decided that it was worth me doing, everything sort of started falling into place.

I’m a DACA recipient. This journey started in my senior year of highschool when I found out I couldn’t receive government assistance to attend college and my parents were not in a place to help. I knew I had to take my life in my own hands and that’s what I did. 

“If you have a gift, USE IT!
Everything else will follow.”
Alana Mayo drives change at the Warner Bros. Studios office in Hollywood in the navy Champion sneaker.

My journey has consisted of working in the restaurant industry, being a babysitter, working at a startup company and so many other random things, but always working toward becoming a photographer. I’ve never believed that formal training is the trick to making it in anything. If you have a gift, USE IT! Everything else will follow. 

The hardest part for me was actualizing the title that I chose to give myself. Being naturally good at anything for me has made it sometimes difficult to see it as a career. Deciding to tell the world that I’m going to make a living doing an art that I never officially trained for has felt both powerful and terrifying, but this journey of life will always be a form of school, the realest, hardest school I’ll ever attend.”

Saphir Niakadie, Photographer, NYC

Power is authenticity and knowledge of self.

“I find power in knowing that my eye and creativity are unique. Every picture I take will have a touch that cannot be found elsewhere. For me there is power in just trusting myself and my creativity when I shoot.”

Saphir Niakadie

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