We had the good fortune of connecting with Beth Brown and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Beth, what do you want your legacy to be?
As the founder & CEO of the small business directory The Big Black Book NYC I want to leave a legacy of social entrepreneurship. My goal is for the directory to change the traditional perceptions & stereotypes of how black & brown people are portrayed in the mainstream media & to tell a different narrative of power & unity. I hope to be remembered as a connector. A woman who connected entrepreneurs with one another as well as with customers so that families & communities experience social, economic & political power. As a professional photographer & the owner of Babs Photography LLC I want my legacy to be that of empowerment. Over the past couple of months, I have been redesigning my photoshoot offerings to include self-love & wellbeing sessions. I hope to be remembered as a photographer who not only took unique & stunning portraits, but gave her clients a photographic experience that inspired them to see themselves in a new light.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Even though I’m an urban photographer based in Brooklyn, NY, my roots are small town, upstate NY. To acknowledge only one aspect of who I am would be a betrayal to my beginnings. Being an atypical small town/big city lady, it should be expected that I am also an unconventional photographer. My roots in photography are not technical a passion, but rather a deep fascination with and love for people. To give these statements context, my earliest photographic inspiration goes back to childhood. One way I entertained myself was by looking through my father’s National Geographic magazines. I was enthralled by people and places my imagination hadn’t dreamed existed. I never wondered how the photographer technically got the shot, what I always was curious about was how the photographers physically gained access to document such gorgeous, textured, rich images of life. The technical aspects of photography I’ve acquired over my 9 years of experience to provide my clients with high quality professional work. Love is what gets me out of bed in the morning. Photography happens to be a tangible medium through which I can create love.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Anyone who has ever visited me knows there is usually a lot of walking with frequent stops for eating & that my tours are sort of spontaneous. My favorite places to take out of town guests are Brooklyn Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Museum (especially their 1st Saturday events), movies at BAM, or in the summertime an outdoor concert in Prospect Park. If a Playtime Worldwide or Conveaux social event happens to be going on while my guests are in town, I would take them there. Also Brooklyn Bridge Park has fun activities to choose from & gives guests a great view of Manhattan. My best friend & my family & I spend a lot of time chatting so we would go for coffee at The Hungry Ghost or Little Zelda. The Bushwick Collective is a great area to walk around & take photos of street art. There are also some yummy spots to pop in for a quick bite. My favorite is Falansai, which is a Vietnamese Kitchen. One of my favorite dinner spots to take people to is Brooklyn Moon or Sol Sips for lunch. Also, a simple picnic in the park when the weather is nice out is always relaxing or putting together a small dinner party at my home with music & a game is a fun way to kick off or wrap up a week long visit for my guests.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Dasheil Gables Jr & Cynthia Lundi who encouraged me to just pick a date & launch The Big Black Book NYC. Their support gave me courage to embark on this journey. Shawn Bennett of SB Imagin who has partnered with me for almost 3 years to provide entrepreneurs with professional headshots during The Big Black Book NYC directory building events. Schanica Pickens Beauty who has gone above & beyond making entrepreneurs feel welcome at The Big Black Book NYC directory building events by offering headshot prep powder touch-ups. Natalie Hall who over the years has challenged me with some hard business questions. Carl Michel, who in part, inspired me to create a solution to the way black men, in particular, are portrayed in mainstream media & treated by some law officials. Sofya Beckerman & Tricia Clyne who have been amazing & supportive team members.
Instagram: @thebigblackbooknyc @babseyespix @babsisluminous
Babs Photography LLC