We had the good fortune of connecting with Nandi Nefertiti Mooney and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nandi Nefertiti, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The most important factor behind the success of my brand is family. Not just the one I created but the ones that are not bound by blood. There are literally people who have opened their knowledge their doors their hearts to me and I cannot begin to mention my success without that. I am still growing obviously but the rocket fuel that’s propelled my success forward is my family my community. The support I have received is unbelievable , not only has my family ( my husband and sons) honored me in the best way by believing in this crazy dream of mine, but they are my biggest cheerleaders, Hell, my son asks every time I sit with my laptop am I going to start editing. And the amazing community in San Diego, wow Courtney Henderson owner of Hendo Studios not only was he integral in the clients being sent my way he also was a mentor, teaching me about the craft. San Diego took a bet on this Midwestern girl and I cannot thank this city for welcoming me.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a portrait photographer and creative director. What sets me apart from others is my love of vibrant colorization and my passion. I know that probably sounds corny, but sincerely I love this, I love cameras, posing planning shots organizing makeup concepts, and creating memories that transcend. When I first started I had a lame point-and-shoot Fuji Film camera that my dad bought. I took pictures basically whenever I could whether it was architecture in my neighborhood or a friend I just wanted to make memories. If I could keep a moment forever that was good enough for me. It was not easy in the slightest, My siblings and I didn’t have much growing up so when I had monies from work I bought what I could. Any photographer can tell you these lenses are not cheap, so imagine a 17-year-old working out of a coffee shop trying to afford this equipment. Eventually, I was able to buy my first DLSR a Nikon 5300. It was not much but it was mine, and that is when I started taking pictures of events of my friends of everything and people started to pay me. As things got better I was able to build clientele and from 2013 to the current, I have been shooting. The challenges I faced were 75 percent mental the other 25 percent was being broke lol. I ended up going to the navy and taking pictures of my crew and events too. BY ANY MEANS rings true when struggling, If you want it you get it, because no one has got you like you. The biggest takeaway from my struggles is that it will make you stronger. You are more than the struggle and you are more than what is currently in front of you, you have to give yourself credit because there is someone who is wishing for exactly what you have in front of you. I want the world to know that I am living proof that you are given gifts from above and you will always find a way back to it. I left for the navy and ended up in California a place I wanted to be in since I was a girl. You control your destiny and if you love it, the rest will come. My brand is just creating a tangible thought that what is thought can materialize.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend was visiting I would take them to eat. I love the art and scenery in North park. I would likely take them to StreetCar Merchants and the milk bar for a fruity pebbles milkshake, After eating I would take pictures of them just walking around because the art and the color in north park are magnificent. I constantly wander into communal coffee and Pigment, just to pick up something to eat or a nice t-shirt. I for sure recommend north park for a nice colorful experience.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Kendall Mooney, Kendrick Mooney, Uri Mooney are the support system behind the scenes, Kendall My husband for believing in me and supporting this dream of mine. Kendrick and Uri my baby boys for giving me a reason to capture a moment. Kendrick and Uri are my favorite subject matter ( whether they know it or not lol). Courtney Henderson Owner of Hendo Studios San Diego, my mentor, and my dear friend. He has lent me a lifetime of advice and I cannot begin to express the opportunities he’s sent my way and continues to do so. Alexcia Brown, the MUA and best business friend you could as for in San Diego, she’s helped me with several projects some of which ending with publishings, we work so well together, and most of all she’s my friend who laughs and brings joy to every session!
Facebook: photos by Nefertiti
Models Momo Alexcia Brown Carly Greenhouse Sydney