@therealkaygod is a photographer from New Jersey. I hope you’ll enjoy the interview;
How did you fall in love with photography?
I first started out in fashion as a designer in high school, then after 2 years I put my design career because I felt I needed to develop my craft and knowledge of fashion before I continue. I decided to then create my own magazine to provide people a new, raw, and modern platform while gaining my own knowledge in fashion. While I created my magazine i then became a creative director almost by default. While being a creative director I picked up the craft of styling almost unintentionally. Later on, I began freelancing my creative director and styling skills to establishments and artists. However, while being a creative director and stylist you’re still sometimes conformed to the photographer’s vision and I didn’t really like the conformity too much, even though I work and have worked with many great photographers. I’ve always been enthused with fashion and photography in high school and I knew I had the vision so I decided why not buy a camera and go full speed with fully my own vision. Fun Fact: Most of my photo shoots have not been released yet because I am new to photography and I’m editing a lot.
How important is having a unique style as a photographer? How would you describe your style?
Highly important, It’s what makes or breaks your career as a photographer. Nobody wants to buy from a new bagel shop that makes the same exact bagels like all the older bagel shops around the corner. If you want to make a name for yourself provide different bagels or make your bagel shop glow in the dark at night. Besides using bagels as a metaphor, I would say my photography comes from a mix of vintage 80’s/90’s aesthetic mixed with modern appeal since I use and stick to film, but I use modern editing, lighting, and wardrobe. Although as a photographer, It’s not really just how you shoot, it’s also what you shoot. These elements go together like peanut butter and jelly. You can be the worst photographer on the planet, but if you take a photo of Barack Obama on top of an elephant wearing a dress, it’ll sell, and that’s how I see it. I like my shots to be bold, modern, with a hint of “wait, what decade is this?”.
Where did you grow up? How have your roots influenced your sense of style?
Paterson, New Jersey, a big urban city about 30 minutes from New York City. I would say this city didn’t really influence my sense of style as most people from this city dress kind of sporty with a hint of “I don’t really care about fashion”. Paterson isn’t really the most fashion forward place also as most people can’t really afford the nicest clothing. Paterson is the type of city where only the drug dealers dress the best. Paterson, I would say, inspired me to be as different as possible from everyone else.
What advice would you give to aspiring photographers out there?
To never follow trends. They will hurt your creativity and the hype will never last.
Have you ever run out of ideas?
Plenty of times, I think this a normal thing for most creatives no matter how great you are. I feel like this Universe has spit out so many artistic ideas that there’s a scarcity in the amount of ideas left. The creativity levels these days are only unique if it’s weird. I feel like that’s where the fashion industry mainly is at this point. You have to literally become an alien at this point to be different because the box of ideas has almost run empty. For me, I usually close my eyes and visualize the most dramatic and ridiculous thing ever and think “okay, how can i make that idea possible and realistic” and then i execute.
How do you find places and models for your shootings?
For places I use Instagram, google maps, and movie scenes based in New York. For models, I either go to agencies and look through their “boards”, “rosters”, or catalogs. I also use Instagram to find models sometimes.
What’s the one piece of photo gear you couldn’t live without?
I’m not a big “gear” photographer. I’m not heavy on using gear. I have a lens, a camera, and a standard portable flash for my film camera.
Do you edit your photos? If yes, which programs do you use?
I love VSCO and Photoshop. They are like bread and butter together. I am also starting to get into Adobe Light Room, but I’m new to it so I have much to learn with this program.
We would like to express our gratitude to @therealkaygod for this great interview.
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