Celebrity Photographer Raven B. Varona Shares What It Takes To Thrive As A Creative Entrepreneur

Many people believe that to be an overnight success; it takes ten years. However, celebrity photographer Raven B. Varona (also known as Ravie B.) has taken that myth apart six years later. She is a celebrity photographer best known for her determination, ambition, and unmatched eye. Bronx native Raven B. Varona spent 10,000 hours documenting events and concerts in New York City. Her work has been recognized worldwide by working with celebrities and some of the most famous artists in the world. Varona has had great success and a deep love for her art, and she is now focusing on the next phase of her life and career. Varona is also determined to make it easier for creative entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams and become financially independent.

Varona’s work is bold, feminine and culturally relevant. However, she will speak for herself and say that her work revolves around joy and happiness.

Varona stated that she is most happy when making people happy. So, when she’s on the set, Varona tells happy stories and makes people look royal. But, she added, “I know you Your best side.”

Varona, a woman of color, is deeply connected to her community and committed to spreading stories of joy. “There’s so much trauma in our daily lives. Photography has always been a way for me to escape from my daily life. There’s also a touch of fantasy. But, Varona said, “I’m inspired to create those stories for people and make them feel and look their best.”

You can put in 10,000 hours – and then some.

Varona is a well-known photographer. Varona has made it clear that her main concern is her business, even though Varona admitted that it could sometimes feel like a rollercoaster ride. Your highs as a freelancer are so high. Even your lows can feel low, even though they aren’t always lows. It can feel overwhelming to try and tie in the idea of freelance work with social media’s instant gratification and the way that we share our stories.

Varona spoke about the joys of being elevated and how it is important to be kind to yourself. She shared how being kind helps you to feel better as a creative. Both being a good businessperson and a good steward of finances is equally important. Varona recalls encounters in her past when she was less confident and more open about her dealings. As a businesswoman, Varona is very clear about the rates and non-negotiables she sets for her workspaces. She creates them for herself and clients.

As she conducts business, Varona asks herself and others the following questions: What is your worth? What are your values?

Varona stated, “You should set your value based upon your work ethic, who and what you are, and what you have accomplished.” There will be people who don’t want you to pay your rate. That’s fine. Transparency and belief are the most important things. You won’t do a good job if you don’t like what you get paid.

Partnering with people who are invested is key to your business success. Varona decided to partner with a friend because it was a smart business move for them both as women working in their respective industries. “Ramya has been a crucial part of both my life and my business. She wanted to help me, so we developed this plan together. It’s a lot of trial and error, learning from the mistakes and continuing to try,” she said.

Varona hopes to assist other women in advocating for their rights as she grows in experience and resources. We underestimate ourselves. It isn’t easy to value yourself when you don’t see yourself in these spaces. You believe you are replaceable because you don’t see the representation. But the truth is that you are rare and worth more. Women are so fixated on not asking for too much. What happens if they refuse? What if they say no? There is always money. There is always money to make in America.

Relationships are currency

Varona believes that relationships are more important than the dollar. She shared in a New York Times article how she was connected to a top producer through Twitter. The rest is history.

“In all my years in the workforce, I have never had a problem asking for help. So when people hire, I’m happy to be kept in mind. Varona said she would also like to be connected with other people interested in working with her. Varona’s journey is a great example of how the business started to flow smoothly after asking for help. “I was replying to emails in third-person and first-person. It wasn’t working!” According to the business saying, “Hire my weakness.”

Varona has found many opportunities by being open about her goals and needs with others. As she practices self-preservation, it has helped Varona to set healthy boundaries.

It is crucial to be able to say no when you don’t need it in this industry. Varona said that it’s important to know your worth and not think you are too qualified to take on a job that might open up a new opportunity. Toni Jones affirms that “I trust that my no’ will take good care of me.”

Varona said that being kind, professional and someone people want to work for is fundamental. Being kind to people is my greatest thing, as is being respectful. “I don’t believe anyone can say they had a bad shooting experience with me.”

Varona stated that it is easy for the lines between professionalism and customer service to blur in the creative industry. However, it’s important not to lose your footing. “In the creative world, there is the notion of what it means to be a professional. However, this idea is constantly changing for some. To be a successful entrepreneur and boss, you must respect people’s time and allow them to express their creativity.

The reality of having to be twice as good

Varona is creative and understands that women have their own set of rules. This motivates Varona to be twice as talented as her male counterparts.

There are many layers to being a black woman. There are layers to being a black woman. There were three of us on tour and two men. They are amazing, brilliant, and super nice men. As a woman, I felt that I had to be as active and as dedicated as possible. I had no time to relax.”

Her uniqueness is in her ability to work hard and think smart.

Shining a Light on The Bronx

Since the pandemic, Varona taught portrait photography classes and hosted her first solo show, and The B Is for, in New York City. It also exists online as an art gallery. Her show has been called “A love letter to Bronx.”

When I began the project, I was still trying to figure it out myself. Just coming off my first tour, I was at the peak of my career. Then, I wondered, “What’s next?” which led me to feel depressed. So many people think that the journey must be like a staircase. It seems like everything is about the next step. This is a dangerous way of thinking. Varona said that success is more than a lateral move.

She realized it was time for her to tell a unique story after reflecting and being still. and The B Is for were born. They quickly became a huge hit in New York City.

“Volume 1 [of the show] was cathartic. It was a personal journey that was more important than the thing it was for others. Varona said that I haven’t yet posted photos to Instagram. “The Bronx is where I got all my inspiration. It has been the heart of everything that has shaped and shaped me. The variety, the people I love dearly and the people with whom I interact every day… I wanted to pay tribute to them.”

and The B Is for did exactly that. The first issue’s portraits and photos are bright, heartwarming and inspiring for Bronx residents who are often forgotten. Volume 2 is in progress.

Ravie B has created her lane.

Like many creative entrepreneurs, Varona is determined to be her best and produce the best work possible. “In year six, I am asking myself: ‘How can I make more money from my art?’ This is a result of how I started. It’s still something I am trying to figure out. But, Varona said, “I hope other entrepreneurs and photographers will see this and realize they are not alone.”

“Even if you are super successful, there is always the worry of ‘What’s next?’ Being a freelancer means that you live in the future. I have been learning to live in the moment. Varona said, “You have to live in this moment to be happy, sustainable, and grow.”

Varona admits that she sometimes struggles with this, but her advice to others is to “Enjoy what’s yours and give yourself credit.”

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Samatha Vale
Samatha a senior writer for HC's entertainment team. She is an entreprenuer, mother and an excellent writer. She's also an avid reader, music enthusiast and all around inquisitive person - which is just a nice way of saying she's nosy.

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