MEET Tiayrra Bradley

@aBrilliantDummy || art director & photographer || based in PHL

"Play your part no matter what. If money comes, then great, but if it doesn’t come, keep playing your part. True creatives, create whether they are rewarded or not. The best rewards are not monetary anyway."

Tells us about yourself! Where are you from? What do you do and why do you do it?
Hello, I’m a Tiayrra Bradley! I was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. I’m a full-time photographer and art director. I have been doing photography for about three years now. Sometimes it feels weird saying I’m a photographer because really I think of things I want to physically create and then I just take pictures of them once they’re created. I love bringing my thoughts and ideas alive for others to enjoy and to hopefully come up with their own ideas; this is why I do it.

What was it that drew you to 100cameras?
I’m just so excited to be teaming with 100cameras. For a while I have wanted to use the gift of photography to help others in a more intimate and hands on way and now, I have this opportunity with 100cameras. I love their approach in bridging the gap between art and humanity needs. Being able to tell your story in a personal and creative way to shed light on real issues and needs within communities is so brilliant to me.

How has the power of storytelling impacted your life?
Storytelling keeps legacies going and traditions fresh and more importantly I think it can lift others. I don’t think people know how beautiful their stories truly are and how much it can help others if people see how you overcome certain hardships in life. There is nothing new under the sun and once you start hearing other people tell their stories, you realize that you are not alone. You’re not the only one going through certain circumstances or upbringings. I think all of our stories connect in someway. Its like someone else’s story is the missing link to your story or vice versa.

Tell us one fact about yourself?
I love Math. I got my undergrad degree in Math & Computer Science.

What advice would you give to other artists and creatives that are hoping to live out their passions and change the world?
Once your passion becomes a job, you’ll want to quit. The key is to never allow your passion/purpose to be diluted to a job. I hear a lot of creatives say they just want to be paid for doing what they love or be paid for their art, but the truth is once money becomes your reward and not the art itself and how it serves others, you’ll begin to devalue your art. You’ll start taking on projects or working with people that don’t really respect your art or your visions and because they are the ones paying you they can now have a say in your craft and alter it to fit their needs. Play your part no matter what. If money comes, then great, but if it doesn’t come, keep playing your part. True creatives, create whether they are rewarded or not. The best rewards are not monetary anyway!

What inspires you and your work?
My influences: my faith, family, friends, and music inspire me! Inspiration comes to me in moments of reading something, having a conversation with one of my friends or while I’m listening to some smooth Jazz. My ideas are sparked from those things.

One tip of your trade?
If possible, take the scenic/longer routes when traveling, or even just running simple errands. You find the best walls, people, and places to photograph when you go out of your way a little!

What are you passionate about?
I’m most passionate about my faith, or the Object of my faith rather. Everything that I do is planted in that.

Do you have a favorite 100cameras project or photo?
I really enjoyed seeing the images from the South Sudan project with St. Bartholomew’s Orphanage. The children did an amazing job capturing the nature state of their people. You see these glimmers of hope in the midst of crisis and that just gave me joy to see the kids being able to capture those moments.

If you could launch a 100cameras project anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?"
Hmm, I think New Orleans would be a great place to start a 100cameras project. I was able to visit earlier this year for the first time and the culture is very strong there. I think you would get a lot of colorful story-telling as well as beautiful aesthetic backdrops to capture through photography.