(KALB) - Taylor Hunter never thought her love of photography would take her this far. It began about seven years ago when she was a senior at Avoyelles Charter School. That's when she got her first camera.
Taylor Hunter grew up in Marksville and graduated from LSU. She was the only women of color to be an official photographer for Tyler Perry's studio unveiling gala.
The Marksville native carried that passion to LSU where she graduated with a psychology degree. While she studied the human brain, she says she desired a career in the arts.
She briefly worked at a non-profit organization in Baton Rouge but she knew she wanted to pursue photography full-time. That meant leaving the bayou state.
"When you just go out there and put yourself out of your comfort zone, I think everything else will be attracted to you,” Hunter said.
Her attraction led her to Atlanta, more than 570 miles away from home. Being in the city gave her the chance to network with other creators and grow her brand.
That ultimately led to her big break, shooting a red carpet event for Tyler Perry.
On October 5, Perry unveiled the new Tyler Perry Studios at a black-tie gala. Hunter was among the slim list of photographers who captured the historic moment.
The 330 acre-movie complex features dozens of sound stages named after black Hollywood icons.
Hunter photographed celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Denzel Washington, Halle Berry and Spike Lee
She says when she saw the star-studded lineup, she was in awe. However, she didn’t get star-struck.
"I felt like I was supposed to be there. I never really got nervous,” she said. “I was in my zone working.”
She wants people with big-city dreams, living in small-town zip codes to pursue their interests. She says life is about more than red carpets and glam.
“It's really important to me that I can go out there and inspire others,” she said. “For so long I wanted this, but I got in my own way.”
You can click here to check out her gallery.
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