Aretta Baldon is an Illinois native but Atlanta has been her home for nearly 25 years. She’s what you call an honorary peach, “corn bred but peach fed.” With a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and a Minor in Economics from Spelman College, she is not your traditional media professional. As comfortable with a calculator as she is with a camera, Aretta also has a firm understanding and appreciation of research, marketing and media and their symbiotic relationships. In short, she is exactly what is needed in today’s media environment that demands both analytics and creativity.
Aretta is the owner, lead photographer and marketing consultant for Shades of Light, LLC. Photography is her passion, her profession, and her gift. She doesn’t take pictures. She captures moments - the flow of energy, the emotions, the unspoken words. Aretta doesn’t photograph subjects, she photographs the feelings and connections as seen through her lens. With a patient, empathetic, photojournalistic style, Aretta specializes in portraits, events, concerts and sports photography. She is currently expanding her travel, wedding, fashion and film industry portfolios. Photography clients include Spelman College, Georgia State University Foundation, The Community School, Imhotep Academy, Reigning Hope Foundation, The Embry Law Firm, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Atlanta Alumnae Chapter Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., National Alumnae Association of Spelman College (NAASC), as well as many loving families and budding artists.
In the world of media and marketing, Aretta has served in both the Research and Media Director roles within Turner Media Group, Turner Broadcasting’s in-house media team. Responsible for leading a team who created disruptive communication strategies that promoted the Turner’s Entertainment Networks, she ultimately drove ratings. Additionally, Aretta consulted across all Turner properties (CNN, Turner Sports and Cartoon Network) to identify and execute multicultural marketing opportunities.
Prior to Turner, Aretta worked with WestWayne as a hybrid communications specialist. By blending her media skills with brand strategy, Aretta became WestWayne’s first (as well as one of the industry’s) media brand strategist. While at WestWayne, she provided strategic direction for clients like SunTrust, Florida’s Natural and BellSouth. Demonstrating her commitment to diversity, she co-founded WestWayne’s pioneering BlackSheep, a multicultural division. While at Leo Burnett USA (now Starcom Worldwide) in Chicago, she developed multimedia brand communications plans for Pillsbury, Rockport, Green Giant and Sealy. She also helped to develop the agency’s first African-American Media Day.