Women of Wednesday: Chanel Jaali on Capturing Moments and Shifting Perspectives
WOMEN OF WEDNESDAY is a micro-interview series featuring women of color in various industries and walks of life, focused on highlighting their pursuits and making it easy for readers to support their endeavors. If you would like to be featured, please submit your answers to the below five questions here.
Chanel Jaali, Photographer and Small Business Owner
1. Tell us about the work you’re doing and why it’s important.
I am the creator of Glow Photo Series, a traveling photo project aimed to highlight the beauty of Black and Brown women. I ask women of all hair textures, body types, abilities, and complexions to pose in a predetermined color in an attempt to shift the perspective of what the standard of beauty should be. I wanted to create something I wasn’t seeing while scrolling through social media. Everyone deserves to be represented and everyone deserves to know that they are beautiful. I started photography relatively recently, out of the necessity to take product photos for one of my businesses, and quickly fell into a passion for capturing people and moments that are authentic. Throughout my life as a mental health counselor, photographer, and even professional dancer, I have encountered people who have struggled with self-esteem, body image, and overall worthiness. This series is one small way of combating negativity and inserting a greater perspective of beauty into the world.
2. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in pursuing the work that’s important to you?
I’m a one-woman operation who handles everything from scouting locations, to recruitment and marketing, to any financial necessities. I do this project in conjunction with running three small businesses (Jaali Co., FAMEousJ, Chanel Jaali Photography), so time management and resourcefulness is key!
3. What do you need in order to continue your work in the way you envision?
I’m seeking partnerships and collaborations, both with smaller and larger brands/businesses, with the intention of creating increased visibility and engagement for all parties involved. I’m also looking to make connections in cities all over the world so Glow Photo Series can make an appearance!
4. Where and how can we support you to make #3 happen?
5. What is your favorite quote?
“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” – Audre Lorde