Sharisse Daley



L+A: How did you get into photography, did you go to school for it?

No, I actually didn’t go to school for it. My first real job out of college was working at a library. I always had the idea of photography but I didn’t know how to do it or start it. I've always loved music and photography so I decided to combine the two. I took a course at CUNY School of Journalism and went from there.

L+A: How did you get into working for Hot 97?

They actually tweeted that they needed interns for their programming department. I reached out to them saying ‘Hey I don’t know what programing is but I want to work at Hot 97’ [laughs] I interened from 2013 - 2014 then applied for a job and was hired full time.

L+A: What’s a style of photography that you would like to learn or work on?

I originally was doing lifestyle photography and I honestly still love it, so I’m trying to figure out how to get back into doing that. As much as I love shooting music stuff, I want to work on other things, so it doesn’t limit me. I also would love to work on landscaping and street style.

L+A: If you could go anywhere in the world to shoot their culture and people - where would it be?

Japan! Japanese people are super stylish, creative, and really clean. I also really love their architecture. Somewhere in South Africa also, I would love to go and just disconnect.

L+A: Because you work at Hot 97 - do you ever get people ask you for favors?

Yes, all the time! I get requests to submit their music. I tell people I don’t have any control on the music aspect but they never believe me. People don’t realise there’s a system to it. Sometimes even Funk Flex can’t give his artists some airplay, and you can actually get fired for it.

L+A: What’s the challenging part about working at in your career field?

Being a woman honestly - there was an event I worked and a guy reached out to me saying he liked my work and wanted to connect, but once he found out I had a boyfriend, I never heard from him again.

Men will also come up to me and tell me how to do my work and use my camera. Some men also don’t take you seriously and think you’re just fucking around, and I don’t have time for that.

L+A: What type of challenges as far as race and gender have you dealt with in your career field?

The disconnect between the creative team and the upper management. Everyone on air is a person of color but the people making all the decisions and signing off on projects don’t necessarily look like us. Too often they tell us how things should be and how they should look like, but, they never ask us for our opinion. We just keep pushing through and motivate each other.

Something else is when corporate talks to their team they think they're joking or being cool and say “Yo, yo, yo” I’m like ‘we don’t talk like this. Where did you hear that?

L+A: What’s a dream project you would like to work on?

I would love to follow an artist for a whole year and document their life. Capturing them working, recording, as well as intimate and personal moments. A$AP Nast would be cool - he has a cool style. I would also like to document someone working on a specific project and shoot their whole process from start to finish. Maybe turn it into book or showcase it at a gallery space.

L+A: Where do you see your photography going in 5 years?

I would like for my personal photography to be my main source of income. Really find and build my craft. Finding a niche to what my style is and maximizing that.

L+A: What’s something you’ve made peace with?

Being okay with not having a plan. Sometimes things don’t go like you thought they would, but it’s okay. Also trusting and believing in myself more - because social media makes us over analyze ourselves so much, we tend to not give ourselves enough credit. Congratulating myself for the work i’ve done and celebrating the small successes.

The best advice i've recieved from a woman is to love and take care of yourself first.

Photo Credit: Sharisse Daley