Q: First tell us something about yourself?
I am Cedrik “CJ” Reaves, a newly published, children’s photography book author. Inspired by my passion & journey as a self-taught photographer of nearly 10 years. Currently, I also work full-time as a Sr. Live content operator, streaming live games for ESPN, and many other major sports TV networks to name. Born & raised in the Northern, VA area, 30mins outside of Washington, DC. Graduate of Old Dominion University. Owner of Shots Of Lyfe Productions inc. (photos/videos)
Q: How and when your journey started as a writer?
Randomly was at work one day, a coworker sitting next to me… I jumped up, as if a big play happened on the television set and expressed loudly, “I should write a book!!!” while startling my neighbor. My coworker looked at me and simply said, Go ahead!! I did some research and within 24-hours found my illustrator, i shared my storyboard, and it’s been history now selling 400+ copies
Q: When did you write your first story? Is it published or not?
The journey and original thought behind my first book was in February 2019, then officially attacked it & began finalizing production during the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. Yes, It is published, as of Nov. 2020.
Q: Tell us something more about your books?
This book is my first and only as of right now, but 1 of many will come fromthis format of introducing photography to more kids in an adventurous way.Point & Shoot with Taj and Cam, is an interactive/activity book & ‘picture book’ for children of ages 3-9. Some reviewers have labeled it as a scavenger hunt style book. A character named Taj, who doesn’t go anywhere without his blue camera, Cam. Their mission is to capture specific subjects listed in the book, while also leaving room for the readers & aspiring photographers to insert their own images, building their own portfolios.
Q: Why do you choose kids as your reader ? is there any specific reason?
For this specific subject matter, photography, I believe more kids can be reached & educated, while being able to express themselves creatively through photography, but in a creative and interactive way. This book could be used as homework or classwork assignments, in addition to reaching libraries, daycares, homeschooling, etc.
Q: How did these stories and characters come to your mind?
I wanted my character to resemble me, more specifically have my skin complexion & my hair. I originally sent a reference photo of my Godson, who has such a beautiful tone, and had his curly fro at the time, but I made some changes over time after putting more thought into my vision. I was once told I couldn’t work as a photographer in a retail Photography store unless I cut my locs(hair), a certain length… Boom, months later I became a photographer.Now authoring a photography book.
Q: Do you want to give any message for your readers?
Try things! Step outside your comfort zone sometimes and explore.Explore your talents! Network! Find a Way! Sometimes what we thought our ‘LIKES & DISLIKE were, they’re maybe vice versa Now!