Photos Courtesy of Anesha Collins of Unashamed Imaging
The following piece is a part of our On The Radar series including individuals that have been placed on our radar, and we encourage you to have them on yours.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters …” -Colossians 3:23
If there is any verse that Anesha Collins is encouraged by, it is Colossians 3:23. Focused on operating in excellency for the Kingdom and unashamedly sharing her faith, Collins is making a name for herself not only in the Orlando/Tampa area, but in the Christian Hip Hop Industry as well.
Collins is the founder of Unashamed Imaging. A photography and video company she started in September 2011. The company is primary ran by Collins, but she does seek the help of fellow photographer Little Sailor, to assist her with wedding shoots. As Collins has gotten more exposure, she has reached out to photographers Lee Hodge and Edz as individuals to gain guidance from and are producing dope work and photographers she highly recommends.
A native of Staten Island, New York, Collins moved to Florida in 2008 and a few years later connected with Nehemiah Weaver, CEO of Kingdom Promotions, and served under different areas within the organization. Currently, Collins works as KP’s Media Coordinator and has worked on projects like the ReachLife Institute Orlando. For fun, Collins began taking pictures in her late teens, and when she joined Kingdom Promotions in her early twenties, she found “so much joy in capturing the moments and memories that you only get one snapshot of.”
Collins is one of the few women behind the lens who is gaining the respect of her male counterparts within the Christian hip hop industry. She has captured images of Reach Records artists, Da’ T.R.U.T.H., Flame, Sho Baraka, Benjah, Thi’sl, LOS of HGA, Jasmine Le’Shea and many others. She is thankful for the opportunity to be valued as a female photographer who not only takes her craft and company seriously, but her faith as well.
Mikaela: Does your clientele only consist of Christian hip hop artists?
Anesha: I have to say it’s mixed, but I will tell you that I will not shoot anything that goes against or will jeopardize my Biblical standards, and I don’t feel like I’m being unfair. Every avenue I have social media wise, including my Unashamed Imaging Facebook page, my personal Instagram, Twitter, and my personal Facebook page, I use as avenues to share the Gospel, and encourage people whenever I can. I don’t want to compromise my position when it comes to being a believer or sharing the Gospel.
Along with being a photographer, Collins is also a Nurse educator. She educates on all of the disease processes like diabetes, depression, cancer, HIV/AIDS, mental health issues, etc. And though her position is not stressful, Collins believes that God has been present in every conversation she has had with her patients. “I think it kind of helps because I have, you know, my Biblical standards and the Gospel as my guide. Even though I went to school for nursing, having the Gospel as a guide helps me have empathy for people as well. People are hurting.”
Collins didn’t originally start behind the lens, but behind the mic. She actually sings and raps and went under the name ‘Unashamed.’ The same name her company derived from. Collins is also “a very big advocate for female emcees and females really being valued and presented in Christian hip hop.”
Mikaela: You do both Nursing and Photography. Which one would you say is your passion?
Anesha: It’s neither. I know that’s going to sound weird, but my passion really has always been music. Believe it or not, a lot of people don’t know, but I have my own music studio equipment. Everything I need to create, it’s just I don’t know why I’ve had such a hard time with it. I’m a person that believes in God being a God of order. Like 100%. So I believe that there is a reason why I am not fully able to launch music wise, as of YET. I’m not saying I won’t, but yet. I don’t know what that reason is, but my passion has always been music. I value the opportunities that I have been given, and I like capturing images and videos, but, my passion is music. But ironically, if you look at it from another point of view, I’m still involved in music and entertainment, I’m just not the one on the mic.
Being a fan of Christian hip hop, Collins’ first heard of Da’ T.R.U.T.H., but her first introduction to the genre came from Lecrae’s ‘Prayin’ for You.’
Mikaela: Who is your favorite male and female CHH artist?
Anesha: Trip Lee. He always brings theology to his music. For someone who may not read their word, it’s like an audio Bible, but with lyrical finesse. My favorite female CHH artist HANDS DOWN is Suzy Rock.
Collins is also currently attending a seminary course and is an avid reader. She recommends several books that have impacted her life.
Anesha: Has Christianity Failed You? by Ravi Zacharias. Awesome book. That book tore me up, because I was dealing with that. The way Zacharias writes, it’s almost like he’s speaking to you as you’re reading it. He really connects with you. The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler. Quitter by Jon Acuff. I’ve read G.O.S.P.E.L. by D. A. Horton and I’m still working on his book DNA: Foundation of the Faith. I’m using The Potable Seminary by David Horton. And Priscilla Shirer’s Discerning the Voice of God. It’s a really good book for those who lack intimacy with God. When you don’t have that intimacy, you really aren’t hearing what you think you’re hearing, and it might be you.
When it comes to creativity and expressing herself, Collins looks to other videos for shot references and lighting to help her with her creative thinking. She also believes that investing into her work and equipment is what helps push her company further.
Collins is not alone though, there are other female photographers like Nikeya Williams, Rikki Ellis and Marcia Bradley who work in excellency for the Kingdom.
Collins sees Unashamed Imaging as a platform to not only be creative but as a platform to uphold Biblical standards, display strong work ethic and share the Gospel. If you can focus clear enough, you can see her passion for the Lord and creativity is clearly shown through the lens.
To view more images from Anesha Collins, please visit her Business Facebook page: Unashamed Imaging (Photography)