Meet Monaie Diamond, the Photgrapher Blazing Her Own Path
Chermetra Keys is more than a photographer and visual artist, she uses the beauty captured through the lens of her camera to change the world around her. She’s used photography to heal her own heart and lead her movement of beautiful and impactful images. In a world where few are being told their dreams can actually come true, it’s a sheer act of resistance and revolutionary self-love to create using oneself as the ultimate canvas.
Keys says she’s learned more about seeing the bigger picture than she ever could have known years ago. Like many women, she suffered from imposter’s syndrome and thoughts about being “good enough” or “pretty enough,” or willing to see her worth as an advantage. “I was way too dependent on wanting a man’s love before realizing that love starts from within.” Growing up, Chermetra didn’t have the confidence or understanding of who she was meant to become and was often criticized for not being your standard “beauty.”
We all know, men are supposed to be strong and women are supposed to be beautiful. Two society imposed norms that are of the most difficult to live up to. Creatives and especially black women creatives often have to work harder for their place in industries and have to fight to be taken seriously. Nevertheless, she persisted through failed relationships, changes in family, friends, becoming a single mother of two and finally quitting her full-time job to pursue photography as her passion. This leap of faith was the full evolution into Monaie Diamond Photography and unsurprisingly her mission has taken off.
Monaie Diamond Photography is the culmination of a single mother’s hard work, self-healing truth and determination to become internationally known with the lens. Stories like hers are important because it gives face to the voiceless who have often been forgotten in the quest for artistic expression.
It hasn’t been easy for her to create a brand that stands on its own but through her bevy of clients, creative evolution and natural love of photography, Keys believes her brand will grow and her story will inspire others.