hi there! am i right in assuming you get paid as a photographer? see, i wanna become a freelance photographer as well, but i'm kinda lost. where do i begin? would you mind telling me how you got your start, how did you get your first ever photog gig? who did you approach, and what did you do to get it? i just need a clue as to what i should be doing coz right now i've nada. thanks in advance, and i'm sorry i think i have about a million questions in here. hehe :)
I started taking pictures for undergroundhiphopartists that lived in Atlanta and I met either through myspace or Lenny’s Bar (a place I frequented at because of my ex boyfriend). From there I did free photoshoots, said I’d take their album covers or press kit pictures. Then my name started getting around, I started charging 50 dollars a pop, and then I got more clients, got better at taking pictures and then finally started charging in the 100’s.
It’s about networking your brand and being your own walking advertisement. For the guys I shot for free they spread my name around and at the time (myspace) put me in their top 10 and shouted me out every chance they could.
Now I stopped taking pictures of artists and now focus on taking pictures of what I love, sell them in small galleries in the city, or online. I walk all over DC asking who’d sell my prints and whore myself through every social media site. From taking small wedding gigs for friends, to big jobs of taking pictures of buildings.
The best advice I can give you, take advantage of social media networks and work for certain people for free that have a large audience. It worked for me.
Banksy has done an interview with the Sunday Times, which is an interesting read:
"I have a large collection of famous art at home, but they’re all fakes. I make them myself. If I like a picture I grab a photo, project it up and paint it. Sometimes I change the colours to fit with the curtains. I do it partly because I’m tight and partly because if the Basquiats and Picassos in the sitting room were real I’d be too scared to ever leave the house.
“I don’t make as much money as people think. The commercial galleries that have held exhibitions of my paintings are nothing to do with me. And I certainly don’t see money from the T-shirts, mugs and greeting cards. My lawyer calls me ‘the most infringed artist alive’ and wants me to do something about it. But if you’ve built a reputation on having a casual attitude towards property ownership, it seems a bit bad-mannered to kick off about copyright law.”
I know everyones thought about this one time another. I always said when I was a kid I was going to name my first son Batman, and after I watched the neverending story Atreyu was going to be the middle name. Batman Atreyu. I’m pretty sure I need to reevaluate my naming selections now at 25.
you inspire me to focus more on sticking to my goal of making my blog more personal. over the months i've strayed TREMENDOUSLY but I know that I can change the direction of it at anytime. It's refreshing to see a real blog. maybe in the future I'll be able to make my blog more productive, instead of posting random pictures...but it's hard. pictures are pretty lol. one day i hope to post pictures because they mean something to me, not just because of the asthetic. that's all. =]
:) thank you very much. I’m actually surprised by people who put up with my life to be honest, and don’t worry I tend to post pictures that are pretty as well that have nothing to do with me, lol.
It’s your blog, regardless if it’s pretty pictures or random reblogs its yours. That’s all that matters at the end of the day.
Three years ago when we met, we were different people. You, the suburban Korean that was trying to break into the hip hop industry. Then me, the NY accent foreigner that had hip hop running through her veins. We never agreed on anything, we had no similarities, but we were attracted.
I chased you for months, and then finally you told me you loved me. The heat of our romance was as hot as Atlanta. It was new, different and adventurous. We went every where together, and tried everything. I introduced you to the world from my view and opened you up. You showed me how to make love.
I was there from the very first show. Seeing this shy Asian kid walk bashful across the stage rapping his heart away to a now confident young man owning the mic. We didn’t last, your heart didn’t last and suddenly the support I gave you turned into being taken for granted. Your priorities changed and I didn’t make the cut, Rufio didn’t make the cut, we didn’t make the cut. I saw you change from the sweet and shy nice guy turn into the gritty on the grind jackass over night.
Hip hop changes people, but the music you were making wasn’t the music that once made me fall in love. We became strangers, you started to take everything we had and throw it away in the most selfish manner. I still dug deep to support you, care for you, love you. Every day our relationship turned into more of a liability instead of a necessity.
Finally the day came where we would honestly part. A break up that lingered over a year until I finally had to move 5 states away. You’ve moved on, and I’m getting there. I look at how much you’ve change since I’ve left you in Atlanta, how much I don’t recognize you anymore. We tried to maintain a friendship but I knew from day one I wouldn’t be able to stay friends for you, not even for the sake of Rufio.
It’s time for me to be the selfish one. It’s time for me to finally flush you out of my system and check myself into rehab. I told you tonight that I never want to speak to you again, that I want you to promise me that you won’t try to contact me in any shape or form, and with crass - you promised. This is something that had to be done, I had to move on for real, and I had to feel happy about myself. I had to burn the bridge that I continued to cross even though I knew every moment I stepped on it, it would kill me. I burned it to the ground.
You won’t even fully know how you effected me, how incredibly hurt and destroyed you made me. How you turned me from a confident person to an insecure little girl by treating me like a second class citizen. I won’t ever hate you, I won’t ever regret our relationship or how incredible you made Atlanta for me. But I will never forgive you, and I will never be able to look at you with the same eyes.
Eventually you will read this entry, and I wish you nothing but the best in your future and in your future relationships. I hope the woman you end up being with treats you right and you finally get the grasp of being in love, especially since I wasn’t the woman who was able to show you.
I poured the gasoline, I lit the match, and I watched our memories go up in flames. You were my first love, and my first heart break. I am finally over you.
I had a pretty late night skateboarding and taking pictures, I ended up walking in the house at 8 in the morning. This fact was overlooked by my mother who insisted on me going with her grocery shopping, granted she did throw in an iHop trip to entice me.
After breakfast we headed to Sam’s Club. I for one hate Sam’s Club, nothing against the chain - i’m just lazy and I feel like I’m walking forever. At this point I start getting sluggish and groggy once we get to the check out. My mom turns around and tells me she forgot the milk and to quickly go back to get it. (ಠ_ಠ)
[this part of the story is handed down to me by my mother]
As I left, the woman in front of my mother asked how old I was. She retorted that I was 25, but I act 10 (yeah thank’s mom). The lady then started telling my mom about her son, how he was a recent art graduate, full of tattoos, and had a nose piercing. Basically he was the male version of me apparently. They gabbed about both of us back and fourth like they were on the view (and really, how slow is Sam’s Club with check out? I mean dang.) I’m obviously the slowest walker in the world because by the time I came back to our cart my mom was meeting her son (who was sent to fetch bananas) and our mothers were already on first name bases.
Tall, light skinned, sleeve tattoo, and an obvious thrift shop spender. If I had a hipster alert it would be sounding like this. His mother introduced us, “Damian, this is… KC.” I was mortified, just because I didn’t know who these people were and I felt like I was being set up for something. My mom interjected me before I could say something sarcastic, “He’s an art institute graduate also, maybe you guys can work on something together?” (ಠ_ಠ).
At this moment I had three options, I could just sit there silently and make him believe I was remedial, walk away from the cart and go to the car or engage in this conversation. He smiled and started laughing, stuck his hand out to shake my hand. Our mother scooted us to the side so we can have a small conversation while they checked out. “I’m sorry about this entire thing, I had no idea when I went to go get bananas we’d be in this situation.” I slightly giggled like I was scared, “Yeah I went to go get milk.” He told me that he was 22, a tattoo apprentice in DC and has aspirations to move back to cali (he’s San Diego breed). I gave him my quick tumblr biography and kept the conversation as short as possible. I mean, in the back of my mind I was completely embarrassed and trying to compose myself from Harry Potter references.
We exchanged numbers, he’s fresh in the Metro area and wanted some friends to hang out with or go out and do things. At the end of the conversation he waved bye to me pushing his mom’s cart in the opposite direction I was going. Once I got to the car I slowly put my head up against the glass and sighed very deeply. “Oh my goodness KC he is gorgeous! and his mom liked you! maybe you guys can start a friendship or something?” My mom was far more excited than she should have been. I sat in the passenger seat, buckled my seat belt and closed my eyes. My mom asked what I was doing, “I’m holding a candle light vigil for my life right now. There goes the pastor wishing my pride a happier afterlife. Dad brought daisies, I always loved daisies. Amen.” She just huffed and started the car.
I learned a big lesson today, a lesson that will carry on for generations until I have children of my own. I learned to never leave my mother alone in public, and no matter what never go back for a carton of milk. My mom bought groceries, dabbled in match.com, found the only tattooed boy in all of Sam’s Club, and convinced a mother that I was normal. She’s like a fucking Jedi to me right now.
But he did text me today, I just haven’t responded…don’t know if I will.
Footnote: (ಠ_ಠ) <— I couldn’t express my feelings through words, but this face says volumes for what I was feeling at that moment.
If and when I do get famous, I always thought about the first thing I was going to do with my new found fame. The obvious choices were with the money I’d pay off my parents debt along with my brothers, pay for my nieces & nephews college education and secure the rest of the money in savings. Family always comes first.
But then I started thinking about today how honestly if I made it with photography in some form or even just being a kick ass writer, I’d turn my place into an artist safe haven. I’ve met so many people who are struggling illustrators/designers/ect that are incredibly gifted, but don’t have the means to even showcase it. We all network and whore ourselves out over every social media outlet possible, lord knows I spend a good amount of my time networking than drinking vodka (which is a lot might I remind you.) So the least thing I could do if I end up making it modestly famous is to take all the people I struggled with, with me. Or at least let them crash on my couches, guest rooms, air mattresses and provide endless amounts of lucky charms and hot pockets.
One thing I learned from going to art school is that you want to collaborate with people who aren’t in your field. Make friendships, partnerships what have you because when you graduate, they might just make it big and have a spot for you on their projects. So even if I don’t have projects for people, I’ll still take them in until they get one.
So if I go big, I’m taking you with me (well, some of you.)