Six Questions from GBA summer intern Amalia Liu-Idenburg.

Amalia: What does it mean to be a modern Black woman?
Shaniqwa: I think it means paying attention to all the things without killing yourself. Not allowing technology to create obstacles for you but to connect back to your ancestors and allow them to help guide you through.

Amalia: Shooting from film to digital, do you think advancements in camera/photography technology are good or bad?
Shaniqwa: While studying at Parsons, I was in the first digital photography class and had no idea where the technology would go. I often talk with friends about this because almost everything within photography has had an advancement except for the way photo shoots are produced. So, even though I mostly shoot in film, I think the technological advancement is great and allows more people to access the medium, but I also wish there had been more advancement in how shoots are produced. From the effects, most shoots have on the environment to the mental health of the staff and crews.

Amalia: Live in the moment vs. document a moment, when to do which? 
Shaniqwa: I always let my intuition guide me. I think I remember a lot because I photographed it, BUT I really enjoy my time when I don't have a camera in my face.

Amalia: How do you prepare yourself and your subjects before a shoot? How do you make your subjects comfortable? 
Shaniqwa: Before a shoot, I do as much research as needed. Sometimes that means working with my team to see what would be the best approach. I often find that being myself works best to get people comfortable. Knowing who you are and having confidence — which comes after years of experience — sets people at ease. People can sense it and relax into themselves.

Amalia: Where do you think you would be if you were a white man? 
Shaniqwa: Maybe the same place but with way more money.

Amalia: Growing up in NYC, what’s your go-to deli order? 
Shaniqwa: Toasted garlic bagel with mustard, oil & vinegar, chopped lettuce, cracked pepper turkey, and cheddar cheese.