Today we’d like to introduce you to Tiffany Thompson.
Hi Tiffany, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work life, how can you bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I am Tiffany Thompson, born and raised in Baltimore, MD. I developed a passion for the arts and sports from a young age. Every day I would draw in my sketchbook before bed and expect my dad to finish the drawing I started. Along with my hobby of drawing, I quickly played basketball and softball from the age of 8 and continued through high school. I attended Stevenson University for my undergrad degree. I admit from the beginning I wasn’t sure what I wanted to major in. I was interested in so many things. I started in Biology (which I loved and planned to be a doctor), but then I was introduced to organic chemistry. After deep consideration, I decided to change my major to Visual Communication Design – Photography Track. At this point, I realized how much I missed the arts. This is where I discovered my love of photography. I learned studio lights and fell in love with the film development process. While at Stevenson, I decided to study abroad in Spain on a photography trip, and this changed my life. I begin to enjoy the art medium even more. For that trip, I had my first DSLR camera (a Nikon D3000), which I still have. From that point on, I have freelanced as a photographer and designer. About two years ago, I was introduced to a photography collective known as Black Women Photographers. Polly Irungu founded this collective as a global community and collective of black women and non-binary identifying photographers. BWP provides resources, workshops, meet-ups, grants, training, and more. Since becoming a member in 2020, I have benefitted greatly from this community. One of my dreams is true of being able to photograph my first WNBA game. As a former athlete, this was a dream come true to combine my love of photography with my passion for sports. I have received numerous contractural and freelance opportunities as a member of this community. The community has helped me establish a photography business for myself; I couldn’t be more grateful.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Struggles would include people already in the field not wanting to let others learn from them or assist them. It is so refreshing to meet individuals now who love to network and share opportunities instead of gatekeeping.
Please tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others.
I am a full-time production coordinator at a local print shop. I oversee all projects in and out of the shop and ensure the client is happy with the final product. Regarding my freelance work, I am a multidisciplinary designer and photographer. I have experience in graphic design, web design, social media collateral, branding, print design, packaging design, apparel design, and typography. I have 14 years of design and photography experience and continue to love what I do. I am mostly known for my music photography and sports photography. My most proud moment is a touchy one. It was between photographing my first WNBA game and photography TLC; both were unforgettable moments in my career that I will never forget. When it comes to design, I have a style influenced by the late 80s and early ’90s that I feel is very recognizable in my work (Inspired by growing up playing video games, bright, bold ads, music, and vivid colors).
We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
I have learned a lot from Covid-19. During the crisis, I decided to further my skill set and work on my career goals. The crisis was eye-opening, with everyone getting sick knowing tomorrow isn’t promised. I took that time to reach out to various schools to “shoot my shot” and strive to achieve my goals by inquiring about sports photography at local games. It was a blessing to have opportunities like that that helped me get to where I am now.