N.C. A&T student creates photographic experience for peers


Courtesy of KayBee Smiles Photography, LLC

Te'A Knight and Falesha Brodie, Contributor and theCULTURE Editor

Photos are the memory books of life.

Each year, countless students hire photographers for graduations and proms to help them celebrate some of the most important and fun times in their lives.

And Rekyiah Clifton, a sophomore sports science and fitness management student, is recognized as a hard-working student who captures those innocent and special moments.

Clifton is on the rise to becoming a photographer and a pediatric physical therapist.

As a young child, Clifton knew she was destined to become a photographer. Taking pictures on her disposable Kodak cameras, made room for the idea.

It was not until she was in high school that she was sure of her career path. The inspiration came from her high school journalism teacher, Mrs. Blackwell.

After joining the yearbook committee for fun, she ended up gaining a vast knowledge and respect for photography due to her mentorship.

Clifton saw her mentor’s strength and creativity, which then lead her to want to begin her own highly respected photography business.

Photographers have their own unique styles, expression methods and preferences. That is why no photographer is the same. Clifton defines photography as a way to express herself through art.

Although Mrs. Blackwell inspired Clifton, she also shares deep admiration for Hope Taylor.

Hope Taylor is a wedding photographer in Charleston, South Carolina. She too realized her calling in high school and took a photojournalism course.

Clifton could not only relate to her, but also loved her photographs. Taylor’s photographs are described as vibrant, lively and able to truly captures the essence of her clients.

She also appreciates other local photographers in the area.

“Seeing other A&T students working hard to excel with their own businesses is an inspiration for me,” she said

Clifton likes to take pictures of people outdoors in nature.

“People and nature are both undeniably beautiful and diverse,” she said. “The two coincide because they both have a story to tell.”

Clifton thinks the special moments in people’s lives are the most captivating and it must be captured. This pushes her to be the best version of herself.

“I don’t usually take pictures, so having someone who was so experienced taking pictures really helped me get the photos I was looking for,” said Abeku Abercombie, sophomore biology student.

As a photographer, she believes in capturing a person’s full essence in each and every photo.

“Rekyiah provided an enjoyable experience. I felt comfortable, confident and beautiful,” said Anderlyn Smith, a junior professional theater student.

Not only does she produce the photos of the outside, she gets to know the client on a personal level. Knowing them this way allows a unique photography experience.

“Photographers are like fingerprints. No two photographers are the same. Each photographer has their own unique style,” she said.