Today we’d like to introduce you to Yogi Taji.
Yogi, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started Soul Dreamin in 2014 in New York. It began with finally finding my love and passion for photography. After experiencing some life-changing moments, I moved from South Florida to my hometown, New York City. There, I spent months exploring the city. Myself and the craft of photography. I decided then that I wanted to pursue this as my career and help others achieve their dreams by providing a visual service. I ended up returning back to South Florida where I launched my site SoulDreamin.com in 2015. Since then, I have traveled back and forth to continue pushing the brand and evolving as an artist.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has been anything but a smooth road. The early struggles were with my family not agreeing with my new found life choices. This caused a shift within that has allowed me to find strength and belief in myself whole-heartedly without needing the approval from others. Though it was hurtful at that time, it turned to be the fuel I needed to keep going. Three years later, they are beginning to support because it has grown and I have not given up or changed the path. Some other struggles were financial stability, as a young woman, being a freelancer and being of color, there are many obstacles already designed for us to face when starting a business of your own. Also, on this road to freedom, for lack of words, you will lose friends and family, it is a sacrifice, a lot of sacrifices have to be made which isn’t easy.
Advice for other young women who starting their journey, I would say to stay consistent, persistent and do not stop no matter what. Trust in your vision and listen to your Soul’s Dream because it will get exactly where you need to be. Take risk but listen to your intuition as well, no rush and create the life you envision because you can.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Soul Dreamin – what should we know?
I am a visual artist and I specialize in photography and cinematography. I began with capturing photos first and only for 2 years and in my 3rd year, I began incorporating video work. I am a one woman team so I shoot, edit, style, visualize, location scout all on my own unless it is a collaborative project. I am known for being a light worker. I focused on keeping my subjects natural and raw, to really emphasize their soul and not just the external image. Over time, that style of work has grown and inspired many to capture and share themselves naturally. It also helps promote self-love which a lot of my subjects come to me for, to help build that self-love and care with the art of imagery.
I am most proud of the fact that people can feel something with my brand, services, imagery, and art. As the creator, I know the intent and meaning behind a photo or project and sometimes it is hard to execute or explain that so when it is received by the viewer just because it is felt that definitely is something I see as an accomplishment each time.
What sets me apart, as cliche as it may sound 🙂 is that I stick to being me and following through with my vision and not what is “poppin”.
Finding a mentor and building a network are often cited in studies as a major factor impacting one’s success. Do you have any advice or lessons to share regarding finding a mentor or networking in general?
Hmmm, a mentor is something I would ideally like but also don’t see it happening so my advice for that will be to trust that if it is meant you will receive and if not you already have the mentoring you need within.
Networking in general, be real with yourself and flow. It is necessary and a key to do but don’t force any connections because it can cause damage in the future.
Being sincere and genuine has worked for me. I am a wallflower more than a social butterfly. At first, when I had no mission I would attend events just to party you know but when I started pursuing my business I kinda had to switch the mindset to actually talk to the person standing next to me and not just stay in my own party zone world. So, as I began opening myself up to talking to strangers, approaching people, starting, continuing AND finishing a conversation I realized that just being me is all I need to do. If it is accepted then great, a connection is made. If I am judged then this isn’t the person to interact with. So, I keep that in mind as I grow in the whole networking experience. OH and business cards, lol, makes it all easier haha!
- Photography only ranges from $80 to $150
- Cinematography only ranges from $100 to $200
- Photo and Video ranges from $100 to $350
- Brand Development ranges from $150 to $500
- Website: SoulDreamin.com
- Email: YogiTaji@souldreamin.com
- Instagram: @souldreamin
- Facebook: @yogisouldreamin
- Other: Youtube – Soul Dreamin
Yogi Taji of Soul Dreamin