Hello and welcome back to another edition of “Cameradventures”, the Photography side of Kenny’s Camera, Kitchen & Crazy Confessions.
Back in June of 2015, I received a call my friend George, whom I’ve known for most of my years here in Columbus, OH. He asked if I’d be interested in a gig, shooting the indoor portion of a music video for gospel/rap artist Dan “Radikal” Hughes. Of course, not having any experience, I jumped at the opportunity.
When I got there, I saw that I was part of a hired crew of photographers, who took one look at my retro-look Fujifilm X-E2 camera and thought I was shooting with film instead of digital. One of them even looked me up and down with that “Really?” face. Sadly, in the photography world, “size matters” to some photographers and more important, customers. My response, as it always seems the way with potential customers was/is, “Don’t worry, it will get the job done. It’s digital and cosmetically designed as a tribute to the cameras of yesteryear, but being a Fujifilm product, it specializes and excels in color reproduction”. And once I show people a few shots from previous shoots, it puts them at ease.
After answering the usual questions, I found a spot in the dark setup, away from the other photographers. I didn’t separate myself out of anger or frustration, I just wanted a unique perspective to segregate my work from the others. At this point, though I didn’t, I DID have something to prove, especially since flash photography was not being used…
Enter artist Dan “Radikal” Hughes
As he reviewed his early takes, I wirelessly transmitted my camera shots to my smartphone, then created a quick collage of his silhouettes and the girl doing the high kick. I waited for my opening, then introduced myself and thanked him for allowing me to participate in the project. He was extremely kind and gracious. I then showed him the collage and he went nuts! “You did that just now?!?” he asked, to which I confirmed with a smile. He immediately called his crew over and showed them what I had done and said, “Make sure this guy gets whatever spots he needs! I want to see more of his stuff as we do this! Keep following up with me, Kenny…”
I didn’t consider myself to be in competition with the other photographers, in fact, I was cool with them, but I got what I needed – respect from the artist. My buddy George gave me a proud wink and pointed to me with that, “You got it, baby” expression. I was in like Flynn.
I made sure to find a nice floor-level spot, halfway behind the crowd for a new vantage point when they told everyone they were going to do the crowd-surfing portion of the video. Dan looked over at me and said, “I can’t WAIT to see your shots during the next break.”
I couldn’t help but smirk and chuckle to myself when some of the other photographers followed me there to shoot from my perspective. I knew then that I had indeed earned my respect.
…and I made sure to deliver!
I had an awesome time and an unforgettable experience. And I was REALLY happy when they brought in the neverending boxes of pizza for all of the extras (shhhh). What I HADN’T anticipated was the work that materialized from the people I met during the shoot and after my photos went public. But that’s another story.
Working with “Radikal” was a true blessing and an honor. He made me feel even more encouraged when he told me that he wanted to work with me on future projects, specifically upcoming events.
Special thanks to Dan “Radikal” Hughes and the man that made it all possible, Mr. George Chatters. Thank you George, for all of the concert work you’ve given me, as well as the privilege of shooting your anniversary gift photos with your daughters for your beautiful wife. Love, you man. But not your Rams.
If you’d like to see the actual music video, “Alive” by Radikal ft. Criston Gray, click HERE.
Check out more of my work on my ZootShoot Photography page.
If you’d like discuss how I can help you capture your own memories, contact me at KDPhoto580@hotmail.com or call me at 614-282-5813.
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