Originally from Harlem, N.Y., Gwendolyn Ashley Richards, 28, is an ambitious young person in the LGBTQ community. She has a number of creative talents and has a professional background in photography and videography.
Richards said she is currently in the process of producing a web-series she’s struggled to get off the ground since writing it three years ago. “I wrote this series three years ago and have tried to produce it multiple times,” said Richards. “I believe it wasn’t able to be done during those times because I was not yet ready,” she added.
Portraying a number of LGBTQ themes and references, “Oblivious” is a coming-of-age story about a young girl who struggles to find herself in the midst of coping with the rejection of her family after coming out.
What kind of higher education have you completed?
I am currently pursuing a degree in broadcasting and production technology at Central Piedmont Community College.
What projects have you worked on professionally?
I have modeled and participated in photoshoots for Dekad Lifestyle. I worked for JC Penny as a photographer and Life Touch photography as a toddler photographer. I also worked at Act Photography as a photographer for grades K-12 and currently run my own business called A.Rich Entertainment.
What do you currently do for work?
I am currently a freelance photographer in addition to producing my own web series.
Where all have you lived?
New York City and Charlotte, N.C.
What is your current family dynamic?
I am in a relationship and have a 12-year-old son.
How has COVID-19 impacted you?
COVID-19 has stopped me from working in the schools doing portraits for school pictures for grades K-12. I loved my job but due to COVID-19, I have been furloughed.
What sort of things do you enjoy doing in your downtime?
Reading, trading, and researching.
What inspired you to produce “Oblivious?”
I wanted to do something different. I wanted to see if I could write it, and it just ended up getting more realistic each day. I actually wrote the script while at work in between breaks.
When did you know you wanted to work in the film and photography industry?
Since I was a child, I have always wanted to work on the big screen. When I was in elementary school I can remember practicing signing my autograph for when I would become famous.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
At first, I thought I would become an actress. I took acting classes with the late Titus Walker, a great director from New York City.
How is your life in Charlotte different from your life in New York City?
My life in Charlotte is calm. I am able to breathe, get the support needed to be successful, and I am allowed to live my dreams. In New York City, everyone is fighting for the spotlight when we should all be working together to make one another better.
What is your favorite food?
I love chicken wings and seafood. Those are my top two choices for food any time, any day of the week.
What is your favorite color?
My favorite color is red.
What is your favorite place to visit?
Las Vegas is a great place to visit.
How do you like to decompress or relax?
Light a candle, listen to some binaural beats, meditate, take a bath, and read.
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