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Daily Inspiration: Meet Jedah McGee

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jedah McGee. 

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I think for me, like many others my passion for Media Production started in high school. I am originally born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, but I spent a large part of my life growing up in Dearborn, Michigan which is where I went to high school. I was first introduced to the world of Film as a sophomore and from there it was all things media. I was blessed to have a program that could give me experience working on set of live and on-location productions that people don’t get the chance to experience until maybe after college. I got involved in whatever I could to feed my creative drive. from Business Professionals of America to Film Festivals, to Summer Film Camps at Northwestern University. I went to Columbia College Chicago for my freshman Year Studying Television Production/Directing. My last three years is where I moved back home to study Media Communication at the University of Toledo and graduated 2020 with my Bachelor’s of Arts. Today I am a Video Producer, Photographer, Storyteller, and as my aunt loves to call me a DocumentarianWoman (and yes, it’s all one word). I feel like we are whatever we determine for ourselves, and that is why these titles are so important to me because it confirms not for anyone else but for myself that I do this, and am proud to embrace all of what makes me who I am today. I can’t wait to continue to add more titles as I grow more into my career. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Whew! Let me just start off by saying if we do not make mistakes or have to struggle to get to where we want how can we ever learn and grow in whatever we set our hearts out to accomplish!? So, no! It has not been smooth the entire way, it has had its smooth moments though and I appreciate both. I think that most of my struggles have been because of external factors that are sometimes out of my control and I have learned many times over to dust myself off and keep going. I think the most important struggle though is internal. Naturally, as an artist, I have doubts about myself and capabilities sometimes. To the point, I forget that I’m not new to the game I just face new challenges. But you grow through what you go through and I truly believe everything happens for a reason. So long as I know where I’m headed, I’ll always be grateful of where I am. 

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am A Video Producer, Director, Editor, and Photographer! I like to have a hand in every part of production and give as much creative direction as I am allowed especially with my own projects. Photography has become in these past few years an important part of my work especially most recently. 

I think a lot of people associate me with taking photos before they realize I do so much more. I would like to be known for my ability to start conversation within very diverse communities. Whether it’s about art, life experience, or society. My style in video is more documentary based. I like to tell stories that are true, near, and dear to the experiences and interests of those who surround me or to just shed a light on those who inspire me so that they can be an inspiration to others. In discovering this I have found the editing process to be my favorite part of production because of my ability to control the overall narrative and outlook of the story. 

When it comes to my portrait photography fashion and beauty play a huge role in my style. It is how I best feel I have the opportunity to add my artistic touch in a very editorial way. I like to imagine how my images would look in magazines or in ads and how I can make my subjects feel more confident in themselves after a session. Fashion and beauty especially in my culture as a black woman is so important to me so I always do my best to express and celebrate that, given the chance. 

I think I’m most proud of my ability to push myself for more, even when I don’t always feel like my work is good enough or that people will gravitate to it. I’ve found that every time I put myself in a headspace that keeps me from doing what I do best it’s because I’m forgetting why I’m doing it in the first place. Sometimes all it takes is that one person to say that what I created has made a difference in their life or that they appreciate the story that I told because of how they can relate it to their own experience, or a photo that I’ve taken of them made them feel even a little more confident than before. And so, all that time I took over analyzing and criticizing myself in my work becomes insignificant because the reactions are always greater than the result. I have learned to give myself grace in this process because if I don’t allow myself room for error, I will be stuck in the space that doesn’t allow room for growth and I never want to stop growing. 

What sets me apart from others in my field besides the different mediums in which I am able to create, is my ability to truly make the best out of what I have. I don’t let my limitations and lack of something keep me from making my vision come to life. If there is a will there is a way and if I want it bad enough, I will find it. 

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
My advice for someone who is in search of a mentor or would like to network and is finding themselves stuck is to surround yourself with people who are doing the things that you want to do. Be very specific and intentional about who you choose to work with because not everybody wants what you want and not everybody wants you to be able to get what you want. 

Networking can be difficult when you aren’t always in the right spaces at the right times. My friends and I always joke around about how networking events are very intimidating spaces to be in if you’re not the most extroverted individual. It’s not a space that I personally always feel comfortable in and is something I am constantly struggling through. I am fortunate to have been able to make some of the connections that I have through work and just being put in spaces that allow me to connect with other creatives and business-minded individuals on a more intimate level. But another way to connect with other like-minded individuals is through social media. On a more attainable scale follow the people in your city and around your town that are doing the things that you wanna be a part of and see how you can get involved in the things that they are doing. You create that level of support and show up, they will see that! Reach out and see how you can come together with others to achieve something greater as a team rather than by yourself. 

Contact Info:

Image Credits

Brittany Pettaway
Emma Jones
Ailene Joven
Ambrea Mikolajczyk
Tiyana Kiner
Conor Schall
Stephan Henshaw

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