I had the honor of interviewing Tomayia Colvin who is a Houston native, best selling author, educator, nationally-published and award-winning senior portrait photographer. Her career as a full-time photographer and entrepreneur, stemmed from her being a former teacher in a high school which led to her passion and expertise in creating senior year portraits for students. Tomayia is also the owner of Tomayia Colvin Education (TCE) which is an online education platform for photographers and newly added for a second year, The Cookout which is a photography conference for black photographers. The mission of this conference is to help empower and diversify speaking opportunities for black photographers.
As you can see, Tomaiya is a busy woman doing great things and she has two beautiful children. As a creative and my love for photography as a hobby, I conducted a brief section of the interview in regards to photography:
FTS: I noticed that the kick-off to your conference The Cookout, begins with an actual cookout. Usually, events or family reunions begin with sessions or activities and end with a special dinner in a banquet hall. Why did you choose this order of your conference itinerary?
TC: The Cookout Conference is about building community first amongst photographers. I want attendees to come to the conference and network first, before the business sessions because we all know what it's like when you attend a conference and you don't know anyone so your whole experience is different.
FTS: As a photographer, what tools and/or equipment do you think that photographers should have in their bag?
TC: Every photographer is different. I use a Sony A7RII. My favorite lens is a 85mm and I would say that photographers should have a memory card, wipes to clean their lens and a nutritional snack of value (particularly a protein snack for those long hours).
The number of businesses owned by African American women grew 322% since 1997, making black females the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S. (The Fortune, 2019).
As I mentioned above, Tomayia has two children which led me into the next segment of my interview which prompted you to click on this blog post......DATING! Being a full-time entrepreneur and creative is different and sometimes difficult in some ways in the dating world because of the non-traditional career choice. Also, most entrepreneurs work from home and are not engaging with people daily in physical locations such as in an office setting or within rush hours commuting to and from work and their only social life is typically when they are attending an event or conference. This is a part of entrepreneurship that people don't often get to see.
FTS: Being a full-time entrepreneur, would you say that it has enhanced or affected your dating life?
TC: It has definitely enhanced my dating life because I have the freedom of time during the day to go on dates (ex., lunch dates while the kids are at school) and I have a flexible schedule that doesn't disrupts my home life with my children.
FTS: Are you opened to dating men who are also entrepreneurs or have a 9-5? What is your advice for someone dating a creative?
TC: I'm open to dating both, an entrepreneur or a man that has a 9-5. Dating another creative is usually a good thing. My advice is that whoever you date, make sure that they understand your schedule.
FTS: What's the craziest thing you experienced dating?
TC: Nothing really crazy but I will say the funniest thing would be when you meet a guy and he becomes your client.
Tomayia mentioned to me that her dating life is partially based on a goal sheet that she created with the help of her dating coach, Tracey Ready, who also offers Dating Masterclasses. I thought that was very interesting to have in your arsenal, a dating coach and a goal sheet for dating! On her goal sheet, she lists her non-negotiables, what she defines that's important to her and the things that she's not willing to compromise on. Now those are real relationship goals. Her goal sheet template is set up in two categories that she always refers back to when needed: (1) What do you want? (2) Why do you want it? Her confidence was felt through the phone when I asked her this last question to conclude our interview:
FTS: Are you open to having a long distance relationship?
Being a creative or a full-time entrepreneur is a journey in and of itself. A lot of times you're dealing with being frustrated, crying tears of sadness and happiness, making sacrifices and so much more. Finding a person who can understand your non-traditional lifestyle is great to have. When asked for any final advice to someone who may be starting out as an entrepreneur, dating and have no direction or just need some encouragement, Tomayia stated the following, "Stay true to who you are even on the difficult days."
If this post was helpful to you, share it with someone who you know who is a FT creative or entrepreneur and dating.
Tomayia Colvin Education (TCE)