We had the good fortune of connecting with Adley Haywood and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Adley, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I was born in New York but I moved to Charlotte, NC when I was 4 years old and spent most of my life there. I moved to Greensboro, NC for college when I was 18, a year after graduating from high school. My mother really had a great impact on my upbringing as she was a single mother of me and my 2 brothers. She would always reiterate to me and my brothers “you should be SOMEBODY, not just ANYBODY” which really helped mold me into the person I am today.
My mother was really big on education and we would get into trouble if we made any grades less than A’s and B’s. To be honest, she’s the reason why I went to college and went back to get my Masters in Computer Science. Anything that I do, I try to put in effort so nothing will just be mediocre and it will stand out from the crowd. That saying bleeds into my day job and also with my photography as well.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a creative portrait and fashion photographer. I would describe my art as bold, colorful and cinematic. When I should people my work, they frequently say that it looks like something in a magazine. I strive to create high quality work that deserves to be on billboards and makes you stop scrolling on social media.
I am most proud of having my work being featured in various magazines including Elegant, Faddy Magazine and Bonheur magazine. Yes, you probably never heard of them but they are really great magazines that only display high quality work and are highly regarded in the photography community.
I got where I am today professionally by not quitting. I am consistently learning more about my craft and putting in the work to create better and better photos. Youtube university is one of the best teachers but actually practicing what you learn from the videos is more important than just watching. Also I make sure to reinvest the money I make back into my business. This includes camera gear, education and networking events / photography conventions.
One of the best lessons I learned along my journey is setting a price and sticking to it. I do not have to appeal to everyone and everyone should not be able to afford your services. Everyone has their own skill level and in time that will increase. Those who see your value will gladly pay your price and support you where you are at.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Hmm, a week long itinerary for Greensboro?
I would first make sure we visit the best wing spot in the city, American Deli.
They hands down have the best lemon pepper dry rub wings by far! The combo comes with 10 wings, fries and a drink and not that expensive for the taste and flavor they offer. We would also hit up my favorite Mexican restaurant, Kiosco’s. I absolutely love their food, especially the Arroz con pollo and the chicken and shrimp fajitas. They also have a $5 Margarita special and it gets you right.
Downtown Greensboro also has some cool spots to visit, including Fat Tuesday for drinks, the Box Arcade which is basically a “bar-cade”, they have arcade games and serve cold drinks, Vintage to Vogue which is a thrift store for mid to high end fashion, they always have a few good pieces that are in style. We could also take a walk around elm street to see the other nooks and crannies, see the graffiti art on the walls of buildings and sculptures of the jeans (wrangler is headquartered here).
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to recognize my late aunt Alicia Davis, she was the first person to support my photography journey by booking me for her daughters graduation photos (my cousin). She has always cheered me on, shared my work with her friends and social media from the kindness of her heart. Always gave me confidence and reassurance to keep up the good work.
I would also like to recognize the North Carolina Photographers Group (NCPG) on Facebook. I joined this group shorty after getting my first Nikon camera and had a blast at various meetups. The members of the group taught me so much about off camera flash, composition and are the people that I still work with and speak with to this day.