Dr. Monique Balthazar

I met Dr. Monique Balthazar August of 2020.

She found me through one of her good friends who is a blogger (s/o to @scottystyle). Her friend vouched for me and figured we’d hit it off. Boy was she right.

She was looking for a photographer who could capture the “beauty of yoga” and could bring out her artistic side. I had never shot a yogi before, but I was up for the challenge. We met at a crossfit gym and she brought along her sister and brother to check me out. Talk about pressure. I was so nervous, but I leaned on the fact that I knew the basics. We started our trial shoot and everything went great. 

As time went on, I learned so much more about her. She’s a Nurse Scientist, Double Board-Certified Nurse Practitioner, a Professor, and a certified Hatha Yoga Teacher. Whew!

Above all else, she’s an amazing person who I have the absolute pleasure of calling my friend. She is incredibly intelligent, hilarious, witty, confident, socially conscious, and just an overall awesome human.  She’s always pushing me to be my best self. She constantly reminds me of my worth and value, not just as a photographer, but as a black woman. 

I’ve come to know her family and I love them as though they were my own. I’m totally in love with her brother and sister that she brought along when we first met. We’ve been over to each other’s homes for dinner. After shoots, we’d just hang out to grab a drink and just bond even more. I’ve had the pleasure of finally meeting the parents and I gotta say, they are just the best. They are so kind and of course her mom made sure I ate whatever she cooked when she was down for a visit. Charlie is absolutely obsessed with “Ms. Mo” and “Ms. P”. They are so kind to her which makes me love them even more. 

Shooting Mo for almost 2 years has been incredible. At first we started out shooting every Wednesday and Thursday. I would drive to her home or we'd meet at a location that was conducive to what we talked about what we wanted to shoot. Eventually, she hit 10K on Instagram, brand campaigns started to come in, and it took off. I have learned so much from her, both personally and professionally. I made a lot of mistakes, as she was my first retainer client on my own. Mo allowed me to grow as a business owner and she made me feel safe to learn from my mistakes. What started out as a passion project, we were able to turn our shared love of creativity into something magical, challenging, and inspiring.

Erica J. Simmons