Courtney Montford knew she wanted to be a professional photographer when she started a college side hustle selling hair extensions but spent more time polishing her brand than making actual sales. “I started working at a photo studio part-time, and the owner was letting me shoot my hair photos in her studio,” said Montford, who received her B.A. in media studies in 2016.
Explore her work at www.22production.com.
Montford’s passion for perfecting her photos and becoming an expert in photo editing soon landed her a job as the photographer for Atlanta business mogul Ming Lee, the creator of the online brand Snob Life. Lee used her social media savvy to transform herself from a hair stylist into a million-dollar virgin hair extensions company owner.
“Once I started working with her, I ran with it, and my career took off,” said Montford. “I felt like this was God telling me that this is what I’m supposed to do. I’m so glad I went to Fort Valley State because I know I wouldn’t be doing this if I hadn’t gone.”
Montford has worked with companies including BET, Sheen Magazine, Spike Communications, and KissWorks Studios. She credited FVSU with teaching her to become more focused and the importance of never quitting.
The encouragement of professors and friends helped her through academic challenges. “It is just different at an HBCU,” she said. “They are like a family.”