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Rising Stars: Meet Deja Proctor

Today we’d like to introduce you to Deja Proctor.

Hi Deja, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
Growing up, my dad was always taking pictures of my mom and I. I got my first phone in the fifth grade and I’ve been snapping away ever since. As I got older, it became a passion my dad and I both shared. It wasn’t until my sophomore year in high school when I realized photography was something I enjoyed and wanted to pursue long-term. I started taking photography seriously back in 2018 and throughout those three years, I’ve learned so much about the industry. I’m grateful for those I’ve had the opportunity to work with so far. There has been a lot of trial and error but I believe it will all pay off in the end.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I’d be lying if I said any of this was easy. I live in a city where there isn’t much of a creative scene, so I think I can speak for all artists within the Raleigh-Durham area when I say it’s a challenge to get your name out there. The resources here are limited therefore, it requires a lot of networking, word of mouth, and research. So far, I’d say being able to fund my creative projects and finding a team that I feel can help me accomplish the look I try to achieve has been the biggest challenge. I learned quickly that I was gonna have to come out of pocket for a lot of things. It can be very discouraging at times. There are a lot of talented people within the industry who are from NC and doing well for themselves. However, those same people have moved to bigger cities, they hardly mention where their from, and because they moved, they are no longer accessible. That’s why it’s really important to me that I stay within the RDU or travel back here often. I want people to know where I’m from and inspire those who can relate to believe in themselves. If you want something, go get it.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a portrait photographer with a primary focus on Black subjects. I use different mediums of photography to express my creative ideas. Within my work I aim to highlight the aesthetics, love, beauty, and creativity within the black community.

In terms of your work and the industry, what are some of the changes you are expecting to see over the next five to ten years?
Within the next five years, I see myself doing what I love full time and being financially stable doing so. By then, I will have my creative studio space based here in the RDU. I see myself traveling doing commercial work, shooting campaigns, and working with more artists in the music industry.

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