In Her Own Words
devotee of fashion since an early age, Drexina Nelson began her career in Atlanta as a makeup artist for some of the city’s most prominent photographers. Upon completing both her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Business Administration degrees at Clark Atlanta University, she opted to pursue a career in photography where she could combine her love for beauty and the arts, her keen eye for composition and style, and her knowledge of business.
Since beginning her career as a photographer, Drexina has had the privilege of capturing some of the most beautiful and talented people in the world of fashion and entertainment. Her recent clients include Universal Music Group, Sony Music Group, Jezebel magazine, Vogue, Nike NY, Gospel Today magazine, Elite Models, Major Models, recording artists & producers: Ludacris, Kanye West, Akon, Big Kuntry King, Young Dro, Tboz, Dj Toomp, DJ Drama, Idris Elba, Devyne Stephens, Kandi Burress, Mario, J. Moss, Konvict Music, Grand Hustle, Badgley Mischka, Essence.com, and Bravo among others. She works not only to produce great images, but also to inspire future generations through photography.
The inspiration for her work ranges from fashion and beauty to the appeal of human interaction. Whether it is the way a person moves, dresses or laughs, Drexina’s aspiration for each shoot is to capture the essence and individuality of the client with her lens. It is her ability to successfully achieve such a goal that has earned her a reputation as a premiere fashion, beauty and commercial photographer. I had the chance to ask Drexina about working here in Atlanta.
“As a photographer in the beauty and entertainment industry, I have worked with some of the most remarkable people,” Nelson says. “Working with celebrities in this industry can be both challenging and rewarding. When you connect with a celebrity and they are willing to flow with your creative vision, it makes the shoot more beneficial to both me and the celeb. Every so often, I will encounter a difficult high profile client. To be honest, if someone is difficult to work with, it can kill the creative energy and neither party will get the best out of the shoot. I love shooting with celebrities. However, my focus is bringing out the beauty of all of my clients and making them all feel like superstars.
“Of course with any business you may have bad with the great, but all in all my journey as a photographer has been amazing. The main challenge of working in Atlanta has been that the point of industry within the industry is really low which makes it a place where established creatives end up competing for opportunities with people fresh out of school or with less experience because overall the industry here is relatively new.
“One major tip that I would give to an aspiring creative is to stay true to your vision. Don’t allow anyone including your clients to cloud your vision. They’ve hired you as the professional for a reason. Lastly, I would advise all creatives to get a mentor or take business courses. It will help to conduct business more professionally.”