Santana Wood Large
Started her own business, Nowhere Girl Photography
Santana Wood. High school senior. Talented photographer. Entrepreneur. “It all began in my living room after a photo shoot with my mom,” the young artist said. “We sat there and literally said, ‘Hey, let’s start a business.’”
The two decided to name the business Nowhere Girl Photography, inspired by the Beatles song “Nowhere Man” and the fact that the 18-year-old is, in her own words, “just a girl living in a small town in the middle of nowhere taking some pictures.”
“My mom has always been the easiest person to shoot and is one of my favorite subjects,” Santana said. One of her favorite sessions with her mother was the vintage-inspired shoot where her mother wore an “old-timey looking dress” and a hat that had belonged to her great grandmother.
Santana is attending Troy University in the fall where she plans to major in Early Childhood Education. “My dream job is to be a pre-school teacher. Kids are my absolute passion, and the thought of teaching them their shapes and colors and everything else their little brains need to know makes me so excited.”
in her heart
“I watch ‘Wheel of Fortune’ every night at 6:30 and scream when I know the answer.”
PG (parental guidance) rating
“My mom is my totally my sidekick. I couldn’t do it without her. She has always inspired me to be the best at whatever it is I’m doing, and her confidence in me is what gives me my own confidence. Never in a million years would I have thought I could start my own business at 17, but she said to go for it, so I did.”
Traci Davis recognized her daughter’s knack for photography and encouraged her to pursue it as more than just a hobby. “It’s something she’s good at, and she puts
her heart and soul into it,” she said. “Whenever you have a passion for something, that’s what you should be doing in life.”
Traci and Santana’s stepfather, Jim, note that some of their proudest moments have been times their daughter didn’t win a competition or something else she’d entered. The couple believes it’s more about the willingness to try and putting yourself out there. “We encourage Santana to be confident, especially when she’s not feeling it because that’s when she needs it most.”
While photography is one of her greatest passions, she has an even greater heart for children and plans on majoring in early childhood education.
“I don’t feel like I’ve done anything special as a parent. I’m lucky that Santana is wise, mature and makes good decisions. Trust your children to make the right decisions, too. And if they don’t, count the bad decisions as life experience. We all have to learn and grow, not just when we’re teenagers, but throughout life.”