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It is with great sadness that we report the passing of photographer, cinematographer and WPPI educator Anesha Collins, who died of cancer at the age of 35 on September 27, 2020.
The Winter Springs, Florida, resident had battled two previous cancer occurrences before succumbing to this most recent one. Just last year Collins told Rangefinder, “Having Stage 3 breast cancer, I learned how resilient I am. It also taught me the value of time. I used to be scared of death in general. I’m no longer scared of death, and I do my part to have a healthier lifestyle to reduce being sick for the rest of my life. I have a lot of work to still do in life, so being healthy is the priority.”
Collins got her start in the medical field as a nurse—which she said helped her develop the people skills she would later come to rely on when working with couples—before forging a wedding business. “With nursing, I didn’t feel completely in my purpose. I would eat, sleep and dream of owning a visual media company. But nursing taught me a lot of things that I brought into my business like listening, empathy and organization.”
Despite her on-and-off battles with cancer over the years, Collins remained strong and determined, and was always quite generous with her time and with sharing her expertise. She recently shared her insights with us on harnessing Instagram Stories and IGTV, and also sat down with us for a conversation on her expertise and more personal topics that spoke to her development as a creative. As an enthusiastic supporter of WPPI she recently taught the class Motion Evokes Emotion: Wedding Videography Essentials and Sorytelling, at the 2020 show while also participating in attendee portfolio reviews.
Throughout the industry, Collins was recognized as a forward-thinking, new-school educator who wanted to help other creatives understand new forms of marketing technology and help them reach clients on a more personal level. She did so through her platform, LearnWithAC, which focused on video marketing and content creation, as well as through Unashamed Imaging, a business which specialized in weddings and events, and commercial promotional videos. In 2017, she was the recipient of Central Florida’s Best of Weddings Award for Best Videographer & Best Photographer.
Collins is survived by a broad and loving base of family, including her parents, Thomas and Paula Collins, her brother David T. Collins, sister-in-law Delia M. Collins, nephew Jordan T. Collins, and nieces Aaliyah R. Collins and Isabelle M. Collins.