Today we’d like to introduce you to Sonya Fort.
Sonya, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I have been a graphic designer and web designer since 2000. For 17 years I worked as the sole in-house graphic designer, web designer and information technology assistant for two Massachusetts non-profit organizations. I ventured into photography in 2013 at the behest of one of my nephews who refused to do his senior yearbook pictures unless I photographed him. I have always had a love for photography but I probably would never have picked up a camera if it were not for Jo’Rai. Though I had never formally done photography before, he believed in me. He said: ‘You can do it! I have faith in you. I’m telling you, you got this’…I couldn’t let him down. With no notion of what I was doing and a friend’s borrowed camera, I took my nephew to Borderland State Park in North Easton, MA and began shooting pictures. I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome but he wasn’t. He said: ‘I knew you had it in you.’ The rest as they say is history! I have been a shutterbug ever since, and cannot thank my nephew Jo’Rai enough -I owe it all to him. In July 2017, I stepped out on faith and, with the help of family and friends, and opened my own professional graphic design and photography studio, S. Tanae Designs & Photography.
Great, 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?
As with all new businesses, starting out is a struggle. However, it is a choice that I am committed to and the work is truly gratifying. I did not know much about the business side of things when I first started out. I also did not realize how much about photography that I did not know at the time. So it has been quite the learning experience. Fortunately, I have had the help of my photography mentor James Boykin of JB Studio in Dudley, my fine arts mentor Martha Tepper Takayama of Tepper Takayama Fine Arts, and SCORE business mentors. I am also a member of the Professional Photographers Association of Massachusetts (PPAM), who have also been instrumental in guiding me throughout this journey.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about S. Tanae Designs & Photography – what should we know?
S. Tanae Designs and Photography assists businesses, organizations, and individuals with bringing their graphic design and photography needs from concept to fruition. “From Vision to Visibility” – that’s my motto. S. Tanae Designs & Photography strives to provide quality graphic design, web design and photography services. I also have available for purchase a wide-ranging body of fine arts work including portraiture, landscapes, still life and conceptual work. Versatility and insatiable artistic curiosity is what sets me apart. I am most proud of realizing a 20 year dream that I shared with one of my brother’s, who is no longer with me. We promised each other to someday own our own businesses. I know that he would be proud of me. Which in my mind makes me an automatic success.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Tenacity, attention to detail, a strong sense of responsibility. Everything I do is colored by my boundless desire to learn and improve.
- Address: 2 Canton Street, Suite A311
Stoughton, MA 02072
- Website: www.stanaedesigns.com
- Phone: 508-535-5138
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
My First Fine Arts Exhibition “Life On the Vineyard” will be featured in the Blanche Ames National Juried Art Exhibition in the Ames Mansion at Borderland State Park in Easton, MA from September 18th thru October 6.
Sonya Tanea Fort, S. Tanae Design & Photography