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Filtering by Category: Respect the Shooter

Respect the Shooter Interview with Wilmer Martinez

Amanda Giordano

Wilmer Martinez

Wilmer Martinez

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in New York City and in the Dominican Republic. It was a bit difficult since I would have to keep switching schools every year until I entered High School.

How did you get into photography/videography?

i’ve always liked taking photos on my phone but never had a real DSLR camera until about 1 and a half years ago. Even looking back at the mobile shots I would take, I always felt that I had a bit of understand of what a “photo” should look like. Growing up I admire people who were good at taking photographs and could navigate the menus of their camera like the back of their hands. One of those people was my Uncle. He had a knack for taking landscapes and street photos with is Canon AE-1 Film camera.
Right before he passed away, it was given to me as a gift and I’ve kept it ever since as a reminder to never stop exploring and to keep being creative when it comes to taking photos.

What did you first use to take photos?

I first started with my iPhone 6, but eventually I saved enough money to buy my first DSLR camera which is the Canon t6i. I’ve been using this camera for about a year and a half now and I truly love everything about it. Like everything in life it has its pros and cons, but once you learn proper composition and exposure, you would then be able to use the cameras to it’s best capabilities.

@Jessica__saldana

@Jessica__saldana

Where did you go to school? Do you have any formal training/self taught?

I have a technical background and went to school for computer science. A lot of my photography training/knowledge is all self taught. I like to practice what I study and sort of go at my own pace. I use a lot of reference videos from youtube and look at online courses such as Lynda. 

Practicing different techniques at different hours of the day is a huge part of my training. I set goals and challenges for myself each time I go out shooting. Example for one day I may only look for a specific shape, color, pattern and only shoot that for the entire day. Some days I challenge myself to shoot in the day time which is out of my comfort zone.

Do you have any nicknames?  How did you get that name?

As of recently my friends have started to call me the "Cyberpunk Kid", since most of my inspiration comes from Cyberpunk films, books, and art work. I’m forever building reference boards on Pinterest, so they always catch me looking at Cyberpunk images.

If you could take photos of any 3 people who would it be?

- Harrison Ford

- Ryan Gosling 

- Ana De Armas

These are the cast members to my favorite film Blade Runner 2049. Everything about that film is perfect to me. The story line, the music, and the cinematography are all masterpieces. 


If you could take photos of any 3 people that are no longer living who would they be?

-Chris Farley

Growing up I used to watch a lot of films by Chris Farley and his SNL skits are something you could never truly forget. If I could have photographed him as the lunch lady, I would have been happy for the rest of my life.

- Satoshi Kon
Satoshi Kon is the creator of one of my most favorite animated movies called Paprika. It’s visually stunning and the story is very thought provoking.

-Steve Jobs

Who wouldn’t want to take photograph of Steve Jobs?

@muah_lay

@muah_lay

If you could take photos in any 3 cities what would they be?

- Guangzhou, China

- Macau, China

- Kobe, Japan

These 3 cities are what my childhood dreams are all about. Busy streets, Neon heaven, and tall buildings. I would be most excited to take photos in Kobe since it was the inspiration behind Ghost in the Shell.

What is your goal when you capture photos of someone?

My main goal is to make sure that the person is completely comfortable and relaxed. Secondly I aim to capture something that has a fantasy element but that can at the same time be very realistic. 

What music do you listen to when you edit photos?

I mainly listen to Vaporwave, Synthwave, Lo-fi, and chill step when I am editing or trying to think of new concepts that would work well with my photos.

What's your favorite app on your phone?

That’s a tough one. Lightroom Mobile would be my favorite app…but my most used is Instagram and Reddit lol.

Neo Times Square

Neo Times Square

What is your dream as a photographer?

To be able to travel and take the types of photos I love around the world. Continue to collaborate with amazing artist from all walks of life.

What is some advice you would give to someone with a dream to be a photographer/videographer?

Don’t pay too much attention to the negative comments/remarks people may say to you when you first start out. As you continue to practice, with time you will improve and you will find your own style. Don’t let ANYONE ever tell you that the photos you take is not real photography. What I love most about photography is that, YOU can bring YOUR vision to life. Wether it be fantasy or reality.

Where can people find you? (social media, website, etc)

instagram.com/wilmer.lens

Respect the Shooter Interview with Jessica Yesenia Photo

Amanda Giordano

AfterlightImage-1.JPG

How did you get into photography/videography?

I can trace my interest to photography, since I was about 5-6 years old. I received my first digital camera around the time I was eleven years old as a Christmas gift and ever since then it was a hobby that slowly turned into a passion and a small business. 

What did you first use to take photos?

I first used a camera from the Canon Rebel series. I believe it was a Canon Rebel T3i. 

Where did you go to school? Do you have any formal training/self taught?

I'm a proud alumna of The University of Texas at Arlington. I studied communications and specialized in public relations. Some of my coursework involved digital photography and learning the Creative Suite. I also worked as a photojournalist for UTA's newspaper where we received some formal training from professional photographers. Even though I've been fortunate to have some formal training from extremely qualified individuals, I also started self-teaching myself Photoshop around age fifteen and have spent countless hours self-teaching.

Do you have any nicknames?  How did you get that name?

This is kind of embarrassing but I will be candid. My boyfriend started calling me "Chubby" a year or so ago and it completely stuck and I love it. And in case you are wondering, it came about because I am always saying I'm chubby. 

If you could take photos of any 3 people who would it be?

Chrissy Teigen

Michelle Williams

Beyonce

If you could take photos of any 3 people that are no longer living who would they be?

Eddie Sedgwick

Freddie Mercury

Selena Quintanilla

If you could take photos in any 3 cities what would they be?

Paris, France

Trang, Thailand

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

What is your goal when you capture photos of someone?

It's cheesy and it's simple but it truly just is to capture someone's "essence." I believe we rarely get to see ourselves in the best light with the true smiles that others can see us in. I get told so many times by my clients or models things like "omg thank you for making me look so good!" and that's exactly what I mean. What they see is how others see them and I think it takes a true moment in time frozen for them to see it as well.

What music do you listen to when you edit photos?

I listen mostly to classical music. Anything with lyrics or intricate beats is too distracting. Sometimes if I'm getting bored of classical I will listen the "Lo-Fi" playlist on Spotify.

What's your favorite app on your phone?

Afterlight- I use this to edit all of my personal photos and some of my work photos.

What is your dream as a photographer?

I want to be "in demand" by clients in major cities and live off photography. For example some of my friends who now live in New York City have mentioned they'd want me to take their pictures there so this summer I'm booking a flight and scheduling some photoshoots. I want to do that in a lot of places, LA, Seattle, Mexico City, Paris, etc.

What is some advice you would give to someone with a dream to be a photographer/videographer?

Practice practice practice! You will be nowhere near where you want to be when you first start, even with the most expensive gear. But make a plan to stick to it for at least a year and you will see a huge difference with just one year of dedication.

Where can people find you? (social media, website, etc)

Website

https://www.jessicayesenia.com/

Instagram (business) 

https://www.instagram.com/jessicayeseniaphoto/


Instagram (personal) 

https://www.instagram.com/unepamplemousse/

Respect The Shooter with William Leigh

Amanda Giordano

How did you get into photography/videography? 
I never thought about picking up a camera until my breaking point with depression.  Failed relationships, trust issues, unwillingness to communicate, etc… all led me to seeing a therapist.  After about 2 months of weekly sessions, my therapist recommended that I keep a diary.  I told her I didn’t have anything to write about except for depression… She then suggested as a weekly assignment, that I get a camera and take photos of things that were of interest to me, then write about how the images made me feel or related to past life experiences.  I started taking photos at first with my phone just to kind of do the assignments and shut my therapist up, but after a couple months of doing this with my phone, I found myself walking around more and more searching for things to take photos of that I could use to represent the hurt and pain I was expressing in my writings.  Before I knew it, I was researching actual cameras to buy so I could take better photos to go along with my journal writings I had to turn into my therapist. From there it just kind of turned into a passion.

What did you first use to take photos?
I started off using my iPhone 6.  I frequent a lot of antique shops and vintage stores searching for records, and I would always come across interesting items and artifacts, so I would pull my iPhone 6 out and try to get an interesting photo of whatever it was that caught my attention.  It worked for awhile until I wanted better results and more detail in my shots.

Where did you go to school? Do you have any formal training/self taught?
I did undergrad at Old Dominion University in Norfolk Virginia where I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology.  Then I went on to complete graduate school at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania where I received my MBA.  I said all that to say this… none of this education helped me in any way shape or form with my passion for creative arts and studying photography.  I learned everything from just watching Youtube videos.  If I could do it all over again, I would have went to school for media arts.  

Do you have any nicknames?  How did you get that name?
Most people call me Dee.  I think because that was usually the final grade I got in most of my classes in grade school.  (hahaha.. just kidding).  I was named after my Dad and they needed a way to differentiate between the two of us.  So I was called Dee.

If you could take photos of any 3 people who would it be?
-Spike Lee
-David Beckham 
-Lady Gaga

If you could take photos of any 3 people that are no longer living who would they be?
-Muhammad Ali
-Jesus Christ
-Jimi Hendrix

If you could take photos in any 3 cities what would they be?
-Sydney, Australia
-Havana, Cuba
-Prague, Czech Republic

What is your goal when you capture photos of someone?
I think the best photos are the ones that weren’t meant to be photos, so my goal is to capture individuals in a way that doesn’t look staged and appears to be part of their normal every day life.  It helps give a glimpse of their story and can sometimes invoke emotion or an emotional attachment from the viewer.  It’s all about the story and the emotion for me.

What music do you listen to when you edit photos?
Depends. It’s usually something with a little bounce and a little soul. I love hip hop with dope samples.  Editing photos can get boring sometimes so I need that soulful energy.  Drake, Meek Mill, Cousin Stizz, Jay-Z…. To name a few.

What's your favorite app on your phone?
Outside of Instagram, I would say my favorite app on my iPhone is the VSCO app.  It’s the first app I ever used to edit photos before I started using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.  VSCO has some pretty dope editing options. 

What is your dream as a photographer?
My dream is to create a multimedia company/platform consisting of fashion, art, music, and photography that exceeds the normal boundaries of what and how we see, hear, and consume creative media/arts.  I would go further but I can’t divulge too much due to the confidentiality agreement I am bound to.  This dream is currently in the process of coming to fruition with a small team of like minded creatives.

What is some advice you would give to someone with a dream to be a photographer/videographer?
My advice to someone with the dream to be a photographer is to not be a photographer, be an artist.  I don’t consider myself a photographer, I consider myself an “artist”.  There’s a difference.  I don’t just take pictures, I create art.  Create visions with video.  The camera is a tool, sort of like a paintbrush.  Use people and the elements in the environment to create art. If you’re just a photographer and you only take photos you will be left behind and soon obsolete. But to answer the question, whether you want to be a photographer, an artist, videographer, dancer, director, doctor, lawyer, etc.., these are some of the rules I live by (and these can go for anything in life)…  Always quality over quantity.  Be yourself and create what you like, not what you think others like.  Act on your dreams, otherwise you’re just sleeping.  Don’t be afraid to fail or mess up.  I’ve made so many mistakes in life, and the one thing I know how to do very well is fail, but with failure comes loss and with loss comes a lesson and with lessons come learning and with learning comes experience… (get the picture).

Where can people find you? (social media, website, etc)
Currently I live on Instagram and Facebook.  I’m in the process of getting my website up which will be announced on Instagram once its up, but in the meantime, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook @byWilliamLeigh

Respect the Shooter interview with Derek Johnson

Amanda Giordano

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How did you get into photography/videography? 

That’s a bit of a story, I’ve always loved making videos. I remember back when the Xbox one came out and they had a feature that let you put clips of your game together. Add a little music from in the background and i had little game clip videos haha i got creative, but i really got passionate about a few years ago when i started attending church again. I started taking pictures for the church. Was nothing more than a hobby, wasn’t until this year that i decided to take It serious and pursue It as a career path. 

What did you first use to take photos?

I had first started using my churches Camera ( Canon Rebel T3 ). Had no idea what i was doing. Use to just point and shoot, but people kept telling me “you have an eye for this” 


Where did you go to school? Do you have any formal training/self taught?

Never went to school, most of It was studying people/Influencers. How they took pictures, what they took pictures of etc. A lot of self learning by just doing It. Trial and era for the most part. Always asking questions, always looking to learn. Still a student... 


Do you have any nicknames?  How did you get that name?

No nicknames, just a ton of people that i “look like” hahaha smh. Jason Derulo, 50 cent, Tim Hardaway jr. And the list goes on 

If you could take photos of any 3 people who would it be?

Any three? It would have to be Mack Wilds, Nigel Sylvester and Zoē Kravitz. There’s just Something about them and they’re all dope influencers in their own way 

If you could take photos of any 3 people that are no longer living who would they be?

Frank Sinatra 

Robin Williams 

Brittany Murphy 

If you could take photos in any 3 cities what would they be?

Los Angeles ( without a doubt ) 

Toronto 

Detroit ( Motown ) 


What is your goal when you capture photos of someone?

Feeling, i like to capture feeling when It comes to taking photos of people. I want you to be able to look at my pictures and feel the vibes coming from that. 


What music do you listen to when you edit photos?

Smooth music, not too loud not too soft. Childish Gambino ( feels like summer )  comes to mind when i think about it. I can have that one track on repeat and get lost for hours 

What's your favorite app on your phone?

Hard to say but I’d have to go with Instagram. That’s where most of my influence comes from. So many different types ofphotographers, all types of creators and almost nothing is the same. 


What is your dream as a photographer?

To be an entertainment photographer, example i follow Dj Pauly D on Instagram and he has a videographer that edits his videos of a lot of his gigs. I want to be THAT, i want to be a personal photographer/videographer. Traveling all over the place, dope pictures of performances, meeting different people, collaborating with other photographers. 


What is some advice you would give to someone with a dream to be a photographer/videographer?

Be CONSISTENT ! But with that also comes patience. As i mentioned earlier, this year is when i decided to take this serious and follow through. People say you become a perfesstwonal once you get paid for your work but idk i don’t feel that way. I’m going to keep being consistent and patient, I’ll eventually get to where i want to be. 

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S U M M E R T I M E F U N

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Where can people find you? (social media, website, etc)

Instagram - @Captain.Charisma

Facebook - Derek Johnson 

Snapchat - Captain Charisma

Respect the Shooter Interview with Gabriella Iacono

Amanda Giordano

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How did you get into photography/videography?
The medium itself caught my eye. I've always had a great interest in digital media, and my father also has a career in cinema, and it had a large influence on me ever since I was a child. Ever since then, I knew I wanted to pursue the art of photography for the rest of my life (as an artist along with the business aspect of it.)


What did you first use to take photos?
My very first camera from when I was really young was a film Barbie camera (I believe it was film), as I was just shooting my family, and my surroundings in my neighborhood. As I grew up in my preteen era, my grandmother purchased me a Kodak snap and shoot digital camera. Later on, along with other cameras in between, I finally purchased my first beginners professional camera (pre-DSLR) which was a Sony DSC-HX400V.


Where did you go to school? Do you have any formal training/self taught?
Was I formally trained or self-taught? Id have to answer with both. 
I go to school at the College of Staten Island, with majors in Communications and a minor in photography. I've also worked for photography studios, in which I've gained experience in the hands-on aspects of photography. This allows me to pursue photography as both a business and artist standpoint. Even though I've gained experience in these ways I do have my own techniques I use for my art to have the style I strive towards.I will always be learning as an artist (No matter what type I am doing).


Do you have any nicknames?  How did you get that name?

GabbleRabbles is my current nickname (though I do have many). I have with my friends and boyfriend. My boyfriend coined it and it just sort of stuck. Another nickname I have is Gubby. Gubby is how you say Gabby in Hungarian. Though it is spelled differently in the Hungarian language, they are verbally pronounced the same. Both my friends and some of my family have been calling me this since High School. 


If you could take photos of any 3 people who would it be?
Bethany Hamilton, Carrie Underwood, & Dick Van Dyke


If you could take photos of any 3 people that are no longer living who would they be?

Gene Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, & Elvis Presley

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Tic tac toe your way through life 😊

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If you could take photos in any 3 cities what would they be?
That's a hard one because there are many places I would love to go too. But my top three would be... Paris, France, Budapest, Hungary, Giza, Egypt


What is your goal when you capture photos of someone?
It depends on what kind of photos I am producing. If I am taking documentary photography it would be to capture a person position along with emotion to tell a story. If I am taking pictures for an event my main goal would be to capture the perfect lighting along with the beautiful moment they are trying to freeze in time because there will never be another. I've taken pictures of some heartwarming stories and captured moments that will last a lifetime. 


What music do you listen to when you edit photos?

Country music

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Let your mind ESCAPE 😁👣

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What's your favorite app on your phone?

I have the Galaxy s9. Within the photo app they actually have a pro version that allows you to physically change almost all setting that a camera has. I love this because just in case i do not have a camera on hand i can still use my phone if needed. Though the phone still does not have a photo quality that a camera has. I also love Instagram along with Instasize to pursue my social media.

What is your dream as a photographer?

My dream would be to be a CEO of a photo studio. Along with having book publications on the photos I produce.


What is some advice you would give to someone with a dream to be a photographer/videographer?

Always stick to what you believe in and create a style that works for you! Photography is about taking as many photos as possible to receive only a few great ones, but thats how perfection is made.


Where can people find you? (social media, website, etc)

https://www.instagram.com/gabriellaiaconophotography/

Respect the Shooter Interview with Naheem Brooks

Amanda Giordano

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How did you get into photography/videography? 

I got into photography a little late, it was a birthday gift from my wife. We would be at my parent’s house and she would watch me use my father’s camera the following year she surprised me with a canon rebel.

What did you first use to take photos?

I start taking photos of my different types of flowers and family. Flowers are still and beautiful to look at I figure it would be a great way to start.


Where did you go to school? Do you have any formal training/self taught?

I went to Mastbaum high school in Philadelphia it is trade school and my trade was graphic design/commercial arts. So I had some formal training but, I’m mainly self taught. I had to learn the meaning of iso, fstop and what the shutter speed can do for an image.

Do you have any nicknames?  How did you get that name?

I have a few nickname depend who I am with. My family mainly cause me Nah it stems from my name Naheem. I’m also called Heem by some of my friends and Nah-Nah (lol) by younger family members.


If you could take photos of any 3 people who would it be?

The 3 people I would take photos of would be Childish Gambino, he’s beyond creative and one of my favorite artist. Kendrick Lamar would be another one for the same reasons and my last person would be Chanel Iman, she is unique and dope model.


If you could take photos of any 3 people that are no longer living who would they be?

The 3 people I would take photos of that are no longer with us would be Martin Luther King that would a great honor. Huey Newton would be another one in his black panther gear and my last one would be Mac Miller just to witness what he was actually going through. 

What is your goal when you capture photos of someone?

My goals when capturing photos is to capture that moment and make that moment last forever. Another goal is to make the client comfortable so every image is natural feelings.

What music do you listen to when you edit photos?

The music I listen consist of hip hop and R&B. Lately its been a lot of Mac Miller , Childish Gambino , J.cole , The Internet and  Sza. That’s just a short list of what I usually listen to when editing it puts me in a zone.


What's your favorite app on your phone?

My favorite app on my phone would have to be Instagram. I can share my recent work and just watch for laughs because the internet never lose.

What is your dream as a photographer?

My dream as a photographer is to leave a mark in photography I want to do it all. I want people to remember the moment I capture for them, I want my images in people’s home and I want to spread light on different photographers in different areas. It beautiful world and I feel like everyone needs to see it and these different areas get out of the box.

What is some advice you would give to someone with a dream to be a photographer/videographer?

My advice is not to let constructive criticism discourage you and find your own unique style that make you different. The criticism will help you grow when you find your style you will standout amongst others.


Where can people find you? (social media, website, etc)

People can find me on Instagram @snapshotace and Facebook snapshotacephotos

I’m working on a site that will be on my Instagram.

Respect the Shooter with Christopher Carre

Amanda Giordano

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What's your name?

Everybody calls me Chris. Being Haitian-American most don’t get my last name right (Carré) so a select few call me Carr.

How did you get into photography/videography? 

My fiancé was graduating with a Masters degree in HR, and didn’t want me using our little point and shoot camera. So off she sent me to get a upgrade. As she would say I came back with a new toy. What I really came back with was an outlet of my creative side. Up to that point me creativity was mainly pushed into my cooking skills thanks to a family of women and culinary schools.


What did you first use to take photos?

After much debating with myself my first camera was a Nikon D5200 with an 18-55mm, 55-120mm lens.


Where did you go to school? Do you have any formal training/self taught?

I have no formal training total self taught, I was lucky to find a few great guy’s and ladies on Facebook social groups: Staten Island Photography Group and The NYC Image Group, that took their time to give me pointers. Also with the amount of free information that is out in the world there is nothing that you can’t obtain information on, and that what I did - researched hours and hours of free information.


Do you have any nicknames? How did you get that name?

Nope not unless you’re one of the people using my last name. 


If you could take photos of any 3 people who would it be?

Lets see, my three would be President Barak Obama, Erykah Badu & Winnie Harlow. I think by me taking the photo of Barack, it would be over shadowed by the conversation that could possibly happen during the shoot would be worth the price of admission. Winnie Harlow just to hear her story, and capture her beauty. And Erykah Badu, is Erykah Badu nothing more to say.

If you could take photos of any 3 people that are no longer living who would they be?

First would be Malcom X, Biggie, and Bruce Lee. I know the list seem random AF, but if you know me it makes sense. 


If you could take photos in any 3 cities what would they be?

One would be Rome for the architecture, Morocco for the people, culture, and food, Los Angles, for the feeling.


What is your goal when you capture photos of someone?

Emotions, simply emotions. I want that person’s shot to have some of their emotions at that time of taking the shot. I think that’s missed sometimes when in the moment of shooting. I get too caught-up in the lights, camera setting, wardrobe, make-up.  


What music do you listen to when you edit photos?

Lately, I have been listening to Afro Beats play list when i edit, or Kendrick.  Kwesta’s ‘Spirit’, D.W.Joe\Gunz Hollewood “God Like” are great song and keeps my brian energy going, mental fatigue while editing is a big problem. If I don’t have the right mood when editing I have gone back to the images the next day and started them over from square one, mad at myself like what the hell was I doing.

What's your favorite app on your phone?

Funny question, I really didn’t, know until you asked. But the answer is Crunchyroll and Spotify, I always need my anime and music.

What is your dream as a photographer?

To create that next great image. Once I have that great image I’ll move on to create the next great new one. 

What is some advice you would give to someone with a dream to be a photographer/videographer?

Practice, practice and practice never think there is nothing left to learn. Seek out a mentor, and establish assistant jobs with other photographers. Payment is more than monetary, it is the experience that is a greater goal.


Where can people find you? (social media, website, etc)

www.8gphotog.com

www.instagram.com/8GPhotog

www.facebook.com/8GPhotog

www.twitter.com/8gPhotog



Respect the Shooter with Adrianna Najchow multidisciplinary artist

Amanda Giordano

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How did you get into photography/videography?

It started with my interest in fashion, and my attempt to work in the modeling industry. Once my “modeling carrier” was cut short, I realized that I not only loved standing in front of the camera, but also in back of it.

What did you first use to take photos?

Pentax K-x

Where did you go to school? Do you have any formal training/self taught?

I finished a Photo-technical school in Europe, but if I have to be honest, I wouldn`t say I learned much. I’m still figuring things out and learning new techniques every day.


Do you have any nicknames?  How did you get that name?

Yes, haha. I have multiple!

The most popular being ‘Ada,” which is the short version of my name in polish.

My friends use a sweet version of it which is “Adusia”.

And then there are also some people who call me “Jordan” because of my height.

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If you could take photos of any 3 people who would it be?

Christy Turlington

Freja Beha

Natalie Portman


If you could take photos of any 3 people that are no longer living who would they be?

James Dean

Bridget Bardot

Gia Carangi

If you could take photos in any 3 cities what would they be?

I think every place has something unique and beautiful to offer. I don’t even know where to start when it comes to photography in New York, but I couldn’t think of a better place.

But to answer your question, I wouldn’t complain if I had the chance to shoot in: California, Japan, and France.

What is your goal when you capture photos of someone?

Capture their real emotion.


What music do you listen to when you edit photos?

It varies so much :

Indie/alternative, electro, deep house, 80s/90s, new wave, post disco.

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What's your favorite app on your phone?

Without question, I would have to say Instagram

What is your dream as a photographer?

Working for a re-nowed fashion magazine.


What is some advice you would give to someone with a dream to be a photographer/videographer?

The same advice I would give myself: shoot more!

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Where can people find you? (social media, website, etc)

Ig: americanadny

Website: https://www.najchowadrianna.com/


Respect the Shooter with Yasin from YFM Photo

Amanda Giordano

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How did you get into photography/videography

Accidentally. It’s a very unfortunate story with a very great ending, but I’ll keep it brief. 
Before I was a photographer I was an artist manager, and before that a teacher. I really wanted to help artists as much as possible by using the skills I already possessed. Photography and videography had been something I was interested in as a child only so far as it would allow me to present my ideas visually. I knew what I usually wanted to see from the director’s side of the lens and it was pretty much just intuition at that point. 
One day a musician that I was working with put out a song that fed me instant inspiration for a video. I knew exactly what I wanted it to look like and play out like. I said to him “we’re going to do this video, what do you think of this concept.” And he thought it was great. Only problem was that I didn’t yet have a video capable DSLR. So I went online, purchased a body, lenses, tripod etc. until I had enough to get the video done. About a week before we were going to shoot, I see him post a video for the same song on his facebook, which was shot by someone else. I was furious, dealing with a breach of contract, and I was also about $2000 shorter than I was before I started, so I decided I’d learn how to use the freaking thing. Through all of that somehow I became a photographer.

What did you first use to take photos

I think there’s three answers to this question. The first time one ever takes a photos is a special experience, and as someone who didn’t grow up with smartphones, I can remember my first photos ever were taken on a disposable film camera on a class trip to Washington DC. 
The first time I ever took an attempted professional photo was with a camera my mother had let me borrow, an Olympus E-40
I took my first truly professional photos on a Sony A77, a camera that I’ve stayed with since then.

Where did you go to school. Do you have any formal raining/Self taught?

I went to school in many different places. The tail end of my education was completed in both public and private schools, and I went into university studies at Hunter College, majoring in French and Spanish back when I thought I wanted to be a teacher. 
I don’t have any formal training, but I’m also far from self-taught, or rather I don’t like the phrase. Every youtube video I’ve watched has been made by someone who effectively worked as my teacher, and their influences have made me who I am today.

 

Do you have any nicknames? How did you get that name?

Aside from the embarrassing family nicknames everyone has, I often remark that Yasin (my birthname) is actually my professional nickname, since people pronounce it in correctly. Typically people pronounce my name “Yah-sin,” but it’s actually pronounced “Yah-seen.” I stopped correcting people and just began considering it a work moniker. Recently Frank Knight has resorted to calling me “budget guy,” the idea behind that being that I’m always the person to look for when you want to shoot a great video/photo on a very slim budget.

If you could take photos of any 3 people who would it be?

I actually don’t really have any celebrities or people of that caliber who appear interesting enough for me to want to shoot. The one exception might be Janelle Monae in the early stages of her career, as I really would’ve liked to apply a Salvador Dali-esque approach to her black and white get ups. 
Kola Rai and Rakoon are two individuals who have still never sat down in my studio and I’d really like to finagle that one day. Sadly that’s not 100% in my control.

If you could take photos of any 3 people who are no longer living who would it be?

This is a much easier question since all of the greatest people are dead! Prince would definitely have been a favorite for me. I’m amazed by his presence, the mere idea of him was larger than life for me as a kid. Audrey Hepburn is another person who comes to mind. She reminds me facially of Ariana Grande actually…but her ability to be an icon is in truth what entices me more. Her whole persona exuded true celebrity. 
The final one is a tie between Yasuke, the only known African Samurai to serve the emperor Oda Nobunaga and Toussaint L’ouverture, the liberator of Haiti in his prime.

If you could take photos in any 3 cities what would they be?

I’ve got two thirds of them down already and It’s undoubtedly still: New York, Paris and Tokyo. Tokyo is the only one I haven’t hit yet. It’s cliché as hell but the reality is that hundreds of thousands of photographers have been shooting in these cities for years and never do I ever think to myself “eh, we might be running out of ideas here.”

What is your goal when you capture photos of someone?

Hard to say. It really is different every time. Sometimes you want to capture their essence, sometimes you want to illustrate them as larger than life, or tell a complex story. The only thing that is consistent at all times is that I want to make my clients happy. I’m a service before I’m anything else.

What music do you listen to when you edit photos?

The same thing I listen to whenever I’m doing work that doesn’t require the whole of my creative mind: 24/7 chill hop radio on Youtube. You can never go wrong with that. 
In the likely event that the chill hop starts putting me to sleep, Jazz is normally my alternative.

What is your favorite app on your phone?

Tie between Keepsafe and Textra. Keepsafe lets you keep all of you incriminating material in a separate password locked gallery completely isolated from the rest of your phone. Textra is just a messaging app. But it has an amazing function which is the ability to schedule text messages. Saves me a lot of effort with regards to having to remember to message people.

What is your dream as a photographer?

My dream is to just reach the point where my budgets are a non-issue. I’m always in this constant battle of having art that I want to create but not enough staff/equipment/time etc. to finish the job. I hate that finance still continue to be a limit (although not a huge one) when it comes to my ability to express myself.

What is some advice you would give to someone looking to be a photographer/Videographer

Learn! Really learn. Even if you have a great eye, you don’t know everything. Go out, be inspired, you are not an island. Let the work of others influence you just as much as you influence others.

Where can people find you?

Head over to www.yfmphoto.com and the links will handle themselves from there! It’s the best way to let my work really speak for itself.

Respect the Shooter with Chris Kelly from Eyeconicvisions

Amanda Giordano

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How did you get into photography/videography? 

Throughout the years my family always documented birthdays, going to the zoo, and some other events like when we had extended family or company over. We would have prints developed and over time would fill up box after box. Back then I didn’t have the fascination with photography, but it was always in my life. I started to document when I would go to car shows with my dad and my family vacations and gradually it became more interesting to me. In middle and high school, I started to make montage videos with friends and other random videos and the love for creating started to grow. In high school I took a graphic design class and film class simultaneously and I decided that was what I would pursue in college. It was when I was in college that I purchased my first DSLR and shot my first music video for Arnow. Shortly after that I got a call from Swavthevisionary and we chopped it up and both had a desire to build something, which is how EyeConicVisions was founded. Ever since then we’ve been learning, building and creating.

 

What did you first use to take photos?

I used a Keystone XR308 as one of the first cameras when I was younger, never realizing that this is the career I would pursue. I found that I still have this camera while digging through my prop box.

 

Where did you go to school? Do you have any formal training/self-taught?

I went to Hofstra for a year for Television/film and then transferred to St. John’s to continue my bachelor’s. While I have learned a great deal at those universities it wasn’t until I worked on an independent film set that I came to the realization I didn’t learn the basics, didn’t have enough experience on productions and technical aspects so I kept learning through self-education and eventually found myself back at SUNY Orange, a community college in upstate New York. The college developed a program called New Media. It was there that helped me gain more confidence in my work, my abilities, gained a new family with the community aspect of content creating. It was Professor Carranceja who built the program so that students have an atmosphere where brand development was essential in this new age of media production and consuming media.

 

Do you have any nicknames?  How did you get that name?

Yeah, my nickname has been Kellz for the longest, basically just switching the “y” in my last name to a “z,” it started as ckellz in my track and cross-country days and then just dropped the c as time went on.

 

If you could take photos of any 3 people who would it be?

I think J. Cole would be at the top of my list to collaborate with because his music, demeanor and how he approaches life is something that I really vibe with.  I feel his personality isn’t an act or façade based off his stardom because he came back to St. John’s to perform and he was just kicking it on campus outside of our dining hall. This was at the beginning of his career and his humble attitude was apparent just being there in that moment and taking a photo with him and watching him interact with the students who knew who he was.

I would also love to photograph Bruno Mars as well. His positive energy is infectious and to be able to spend time and vibe off his creative energy would be something that I would enjoy.

Another influential person who I would love to collaborate with at the moment is Anderson .Paak. In my opinion, there are those “eyeconic” voices that come along once in a generation and he has that. His stardom is just beginning and as his career continues he will become that household name.

 

If you could take photos of any 3 people that are no longer living who would they be?

I would love to take photos of Tupac, I feel that he is extremely photogenic and would not only to photograph him but pick his mind. Things he said 20 years ago are still relevant today and he is a true visionary. I would love to get his take on the political climate today and how far we have “progressed” as a nation.

Heath Ledger is someone else I would love to photography in his “eyeconic” role as the joker. It would be fun to finesse a joker shoot with different elements of the batman franchise like the characters and tones.

The last person I would photograph would be Robin Williams. I think it would be an experience to see him in his natural element creating and I’m sure there would be plenty of hoots and hollers had.

 

If you could take photos in any 3 cities what would they be?

I think for me I would love to capture different cities, but 3 locations I’m interested in shooting would have to be Mount Fuji in Japan.  There is a photo that I love where the Milky Way is passing right behind the mountain and it would be amazing to get anything similar.  My second location would be the Lavender fields.  I also want to travel to capture the Aurora Borealis, most likely in Iceland.  This is on my bucket list and something I am looking to make become a reality relatively soon.

 

What is your goal when you capture photos of someone?

I want to capture the essence of the moment and transcend time. I want to evoke emotions and help expose artists, models, musicians and help them reach platforms/peaks they dream of. 

 

What music do you listen to when you edit photos?

When editing photos, I listen to hip hop, R&B, sometimes pop. Right now, album wise it has been KOD, Daytona, Ye, Kids See Ghosts, beerbongs & bentleys

A lot of music from Russ always pops up and other artists like Anderson .Paak, Madison Beer, Qveen Herby, Jorja Smith, Buddy, Khalid, Solo Jones are go to’s to just vibe and edit.

 

What's your favorite app on your phone?

I would have to say it’s a tie between Apple Music and Instagram. I love to listen to music daily and that’s the streaming service that I have pledged my allegiance to, and Instagram I enjoy viewing the content that is created and being inspired by other’s creativity.

 

What is your dream as a photographer?

To continue to bring art and positivity into this world. I would love to inspire other artists to follow their dreams, even in times of adversity.  I want to bring happiness to people who view my work and create a timeless moment that can transport people back to a certain emotion/feeling.

 

What is some advice you would give to someone with a dream to be a photographer/videographer?

Research everything, don’t necessarily jump into any “college/university” if that is the route you want to take. Find somewhere, where your money goes into teaching you the history of photography/film, the necessary technical elements and where you will gain production experience. 

There are also a lot of classes online, and tutorials where you can learn from other photographers/videographers. I think it also boils down to taking chances. I don’t believe there are overnight success’. Those overnight success’ have been putting in work for years so if you want to achieve a certain level of success you’ll have to put the work in as well. 

 

Where can people find you? (social media, website, etc)

On social media my personal account for Instagram and twitter is @kellz55 and my business account is @eyeconicvisions

Our website is www.eyeconicvisions.com

Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVskcvMtaXVEcVyXPieH1DA

Like our Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EyeConicVisions/