What’s going on people! Today i’m giving you a 2 in 1 post. The first part of this post will be displaying a photoshoot I recently did with my homie Kay, while the second part will be an interview we did together. Make sure you check out both parts, i’m really excited to show this one to you guys. Also thanks for everyone who has been looking at my blog, not even 2 months into this and i’m already pushing near 700 views! Thanks for all the support, when I first created this, I had no idea people would even check it out, so honestly thank you!
So first lets start with the photoshoot. I had created this concept based off of all the emotions I had been bottling inside of me for the past couple of years. I got to this dark place mentally and really wasn’t in a creative mode. I felt stuck, constantly creating these dark fantasies in my mind. Being an artist, we are constantly overthinking, and overthinking, and overthinking some more. I knew I had to create something new in order to close this chapter. Spent days and nights figuring out ways to portray the emotions I felt in an artistic way. I felt as if a photoshoot would be the easiest way to see the emotions I was feeling. I reached out to Kay to shoot this for me because I really liked his tones. I wanted this shoot to be very dark and grimy looking. We connected, I brought to him the concepts and from there we went with the shoot. This isn’t a feel sad post for me, it should be a wake up message to other people out there who feel stuck in this thing called life. You can and you will get through it, don’t be so hard on yourself, just go with the flow. This quote really helped me and I hope it could guide you as well. “It is only in our darkest hours that we may discover the true strength of the brilliant light within ourselves that can never, ever, be dimmed” Doe Zantamata. I hope you really enjoy these photos as much as I do. so here they go 🙂 Thanks Kay, once again, honestly.
Now you’ve seen some of his work, check out the interview I did with Kay where he explains why he got into photography, the success he has gotten from social media, and all of the hard work he had to put in to get to where he is now! Check it out
*What’s going on man introduce yourself, tell us who you are & what you do
What’s up man, my name is Kay and I am an Artist based in Chicago slowly working my way around the world.
*What geared you towards photography? Were you into any other kinds of art before? Did photography open you up to any new kinds of art? Also what influences you to continue to shoot?
Lets take it back to 2009. The only thing that geared me towards Art itself was the struggle to escape gang violence, growing up in my neighborhood you were either with them or a rival gang member. It was then when I took the initiative to become a self-taught artist; besides that, the first thing that caught my attention was how amazing you can capture a moment that wont ever be repeated. That’s the beauty of it. I Graphic design, Photograph and occasionally paint canvases. What truly motivates me to continue to create art is to… die a legend.
*What equipment are you using these days? What do you prefer to shoot with? lenses and all
Nikon D3100 with a 35mm f/1.8 prime and Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6. Although equipment comes secondary to the eye, the 10-20 has to be my favorite because it is super wide and it allows me to have a wider photo to work with.
*While going through the day, do you ever stop and think to yourself, I wonder how this would look as a photograph?
Yes, I occasionally find myself visualizing without having my camera at hand. Although the moment may be gone, the closest thing I am able to do is trying to re-create a moment.
*Do you think about certain things before shooting a flick? Or do you just point and shoot?
Every time I am looking to photograph something, I envision what I want it to look like and keep shooting it until I am satisfied. There has been times where I have just clicked the shutter button and have turned out to be really great art pieces.
*Are you into collabs with other artists Or do you prefer working solo?
Collabs… haha that’s an interesting term. Well, to be honest, when out shooting I like to stay inside my comfortable circle. Given the fact that my editing preferences are father out there, I have a difficulty surrounding myself with people whom don’t understand my way of editing. To make that short, I wont shoot anything and everything; therefore. I prefer to work solo but nonetheless be surrounded by people I trust and whom I’ve spent my entire summer shooting with.
*When it comes to a lot of your photos and edits, you use a lot of darker tones, is there a specific reason, or just your preference?
Good evaluation and observation. Haha. To be frank, there is no specific reason behind my tone work. I am just a huge fan of the color black and a suspicious feeling to my work. I find it hard being able to photograph a fake emotion.
*What do you want the everyday viewer to take away from your art?
Creativity and Freedom. It’s simple. I’m always trying to create stuff that people have not seen before.
*Over the years, you’ve obtained a big following on Instagram, take us back to day one before the followers. Do you remember that first post that really took off?
Day one… Shit… haha. Before my Instagram following even reached 2K – I was shooting cliché natural and city street photographs. Very minimal editing with Vsco filters and all. When Interest sparked up was when I began shooting with My V for Vendetta mask then transferred over to my clown mask.
The first post… haha yes. Ironically, I remember part of this night perfectly. It was a week night and I just had popped 2 Xan bars… if you know, you know. Haha. I hopped on my iMac and started editing a photo I had the shot the night before. A Photograph of the skyline with a crazy cloud above it. I started messing with the sky a bit and then I just decided to add Moby Dick flying through the cloud. Haha. I had a great time editing this photo and I was literally laughing and texting my friends about it. This was one of the first few photos that I published that contained Photoshop work. I reached good feedback at the time and it was the first time I hit over 400likes on my photo.
*Explain to those how much work you had to put in to get where you’re at today? People think obtaining a social media following is pretty easy now-a-days. Also explain how social media played a huge role in your photography
I have not stopped working since 2009. Everyday is a workday. Sacrificing your time for something you love, time flies when you are doing something you love and it doesn’t matter. There were times where my brothers and I would be out shooting up until four in the morning. We would come out when the wind chill was -10 in Chicago. The advantages with that were, we were out creating moments and living while others stayed at home drinking hot co-co. I do not edit photographs I shoot right after. There are photos that I took 2 years ago that I probably wont release until next year but there is no day that I’m not up editing or creating late at night.
To be frank, my Instagram takes care of it self. The more I travel, the more I have to share with my followers. People want to see stuff they haven’t seen of experienced. I only post from Monday – Thursday once a day. My following has built up from my Sky work and unique edits.
Instagram has played a huge role in my Photography and personal life. I have met some of my best friends through Instagram. I have been able to meet Artist all over the world. One of my favorite things to do is link up with Artist who visit Chicago who have the same drive.
*For those who have known you, we know you were the creator of Golden Visuals. Explain to us why you decided to create the group? Explain the name behind it as well. Although you’re not apart of GoldenVisuals anymore, what were you able to take away from it?
The main reason why I wanted to create Golden Visuals was simple. A movement. I wanted to grow as a creative group and become known worldwide. Although we had our run as a creative group, the Instagram Hash tag is pushing 70K+ tags and continues to grow. What I took away from it was loyalty and consistency. There was not one day that somebody did not inspire me and gave me feedback. We grew as a family and although we are no longer a creative group we still remain family and try to shoot as much as we can together.
*You’ve been able to travel to a lot of cool spots so far, where has been your favorite spot to shoot at?
Santa Monica / L.A. … It holds a special place in me and that’s all I can say! Haha.
*What life lessons has photography and being an artist taught you?
You are only limited to what you limit yourself to. Sometimes you just have to take that No and pretend it is a Yes. Take it as you wish.
***smirks and laughs.
*What advice do you have for any new artist or photographer trying to come up and turn themselves into a brand?
Volunteer, work for free, never stop practicing and RISK FAILURE. One of the hardest thing to understand is being able to take criticism and turning it into a positive thing. As far as becoming your own brand – set yourself apart from everybody else.
How can people reach you if they’re interested in a photoshoot with you? Drop your social media/email