I met today’s #FearlessWoman back in college and to our surprise we reconnected, thanks to social media, a few months ago to work together on a project. Ruby Melton, the woman behind the lens, has quickly taken her love for photography and storytelling and created a business that’s thriving daily! Ruby’s images have been displayed on Travel Noire, Jetsether, and she’s been featured on Geotraveler’s Niche. Ruby has also founded Brown Girl with a Camera (#BGWAC) and Brown Guys with a Camera (#BGYWAC) in hopes to empower, “connect and celebrate both women and men of color photographers worldwide.”
From lifestyle, travel, head-shots, and more this Maryland native captures it all! Being able to tell a story through images is something I will forever be a fan of. Take a read below to find out even more about this Maryland based photographer and entrepreneur on a mission.
What’s a typical day for Ruby?
A typical day starts out around 7 a.m., as my boyfriend is getting ready for work my son is either up or close to it. Once he’s wide awake, I clean and feed him and we watch some of his favorite shows together. Since I work from home and have my son during the day, I have to be very organized if I am to accomplish anything. I refer to my journal to see what’s on the agenda for the week and for the day and start hammering out each task. My son usually takes a nap right before noon and that gives me free time to answer emails, update my blog and post to social media. Once he’s wake I’m back on mommy duty until my boyfriend gets home from work. I get a lot of work done late at night.
Ruby Ella Photography was born out of a nickname my volleyball coach gave me in college. One day she just started calling me Rubella, which is short for Ruby + Cinderella, and it caught on. Fast forward to when I was deciding on a name for my photography business, I thought it would be cool to use the nickname my coach gave me but add the “y” back to my first name. Thus, Ruby Ella Photography was born. I’ve always loved taking pictures and documenting parts of my life always appealed to me – this was way before there was a thing called social media. I knew it was time to step out on faith and start my own business when I was working on my own thing more than working on what I was getting paid to do.
I created Brown Girl With A Camera within weeks of returning from a volunteer trip with Girls Going Global in Costa Rica. I accompanied the non-profit as a chaperon and photographer on their yearly trip. I’m a huge Instagram head and follow a lot of photography themed accounts. The more accounts I came across the more I saw the lack in diversity for those featured. I realized how cool would it be to create something just for women of color photographers. I wanted to give us a bigger voice, a space where we could be celebrated, inspired and uplifted. Since its inception we’ve hosted meet-ups in NYC, D.C., and Johannesburg, SA.
Who are your top 3 women inspirations, famous or non-famous, and why?
Serena Williams is the epitome of what driven looks like. She has all of the traits that I want to embody, like discipline, focus and a great work ethic. Coupled with her raw talent she is a force to be reckoned with.
Evita Robinson, creator of Nomadness Travel Tribe. She’s created an astounding travel community that truly embodies the word family. She’s the definition of the woman who didn’t take no for an answer. I had the opportunity to do a short film where I followed her around for a day as she and her team were putting on their 3rd Year Tribe Anniversary party in NYC. It was an amazing experience!
Danielle Finney is an amazing natural light photographer out of D.C. I came to know of her last year after I created #BGWAC and I’ve been a fan ever since. She is where I’d like to be in 3 to 5 years. Very business savvy and her brand has truly become a staple.
One piece of advice you have for women entrepreneurs?
Trust and believe in yourself and what you are setting out to achieve. The journey will have highs and lows and on the lows and that’s when you have to remember the most why you’re doing it in the first place.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I would love to continue to make an impact as an advocate for women of color photographer’s through #BGWAC, expand to other platforms and collaborate with brands and organizations that are in line with our values. I have a huge heart for giving back and would like to help mentor the#BGWAC in the making. My goal is to be a go-to lifestyle and travel photographer and a public speaker, using my story to inspire women alike world wide.
Keep Up With Ruby