Hometown: Valdosta, Georgia
Degree earned at Valdosta State: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art, December 2016
What did you pursue after your graduation from VSU?
I stayed in Valdosta a little bit longer working on getting myself to Atlanta. I moved to Atlanta around September of 2017. I tried looking for a restaurant job to work part time while assisting and shooting, but everywhere I went needed someone full time. I made the tough choice to start freelancing a month into being in Atlanta. Work slowly came with smaller jobs, but my first “professional” job came from Atlanta United in February of 2018. Since then it has slowly grown to working with the NFL and MLB to shoot Falcons and Braves games. I’ve also recently started shooting games for the Hawks.
Of all of the mediums you studied in your degree program, why did you favor photography?
Photography stood out to me before I even became an art major at VSU. It has been something that has shown itself to me in small pieces throughout my life and has given me so much joy.
What would be your dream job at this stage in your life?
I wouldn’t say there’s a dream job out there for me. I’ll always strive to work with great teams of people. The shoots I’ve been on where everyone respected one another always turn out to be the fun ones.
Have you captured any special sports moments that stand out to you?
I always get these feelings of disbelief when I’m working for some bigger teams. The most recent moment was shooting for the Hawks on their first-ever Peachtree Night where they released the new Peachtree City jerseys.
What advice would you give to other students who would like to pursue their passions?
Continue to be a student. No one ever “figures it out.” To maintain a healthy and thriving career in photography you always have to be learning. That could mean technical things or personal things.
Understand who YOU are. I’ve come across plenty of photographers who shoot for a paycheck. Doing this can deprive you of that which you fell in love with from the beginning and which allowed you to create. Understanding who you are can help you strive for the things you like and separate you from the rest. When you are first starting, you do end up shooting a lot of things you’d consider not for you. If you continue to check in with yourself and shoot for yourself when you are not shooting for work, you’ll gravitate towards those bigger and better jobs.
Let your ego go. Ego has a way of ruining people in photography. You want to have a reputation for being a good person. We always see the clichéd egotistical photographer in movies and TV shows, and yes, there are a few of those in the world. But that doesn’t fly with the culture. Work on being a better version of yourself every day.
Something I read recently for a better perspective on the word “passion” is to replace the word with love. Anything that comes from a place of love is well-intended.