Why do you focus a lot of your photography on hip-hop?
A lot of the people I work with are my friends, but I do like hip-hop and I’m drawn to that culture. The [creative] process is really cool to see.
What’s your favorite camera to use?
I have a bunch of cameras I’ve been using lately. I used to shoot on a Canon 5D. I was living in Beverly Hills with Vic and a bunch of other people and shooting with the same camera every day, and I was like, “This is f---ing boring. I’m not even having fun doing this because it’s the same perspective.” So I was like, OK, I need to get some weird cameras. Now I shoot Polaroid [and] I shoot with a lot with point-and-shoots. I still shoot on the Canon, but I change it up with cameras I have.
What kind of aesthetic do you look for when you’re shooting artists?
I don’t like stuff that’s doctored. I edit stuff a little bit depending on my mood. Some things could be more saturated, others could be black-and-white, but I like things candid and natural. I use flash sometimes, but I really like natural light. Even if the room is super dark, I’ll make the shot really grainy and leave it like that. I really like shots that are how they are in real life -- how I see it in that moment.
How do you create a relationship with the artists where you can get casual, candid shots of them?
People are weird about cameras sometimes, which is fine. I understand that. The only way to make people comfortable with you is to be nice and be their friend. You also have to know your place. When I first started working with Vic, I wouldn’t say anything during his [recording] sessions because, at that point, I didn’t know anybody and I wasn’t going to overstep my boundaries. I recently got a couple of shots of Mr Hudson, who’s super f---ing talented and one of the nicest guys I know. I just befriended him and was like, "Hey, is it OK if I shoot?" and that was it. I just become a friend in the room with a camera. That way, you’ll get stuff that’s a lot more genuine.
What's your favorite photograph you’ve taken?
I have so many, but there’s this photo I took of my friend Parker, who produces for Injury Reserve, and it’s crazy. It’s just his eyes coming over his laptop and there’s this crazy reflection. I also have a portrait of Bieber in France that I like, and then another one with Vic and Bieber together. We were turnt at the club very late, and it was pretty funny. Another shot I like is of Pharrell on the keys. But my favorite might be the picture of Kanye reaching down to the crowd [during his Saint Pablo Tour]. Once I got that shot, I was like, "Oh sh--, that photo is going to be insane," and I just turned my camera off.
What’s the best event photography has taken you to?
The first thing that comes to mind is when Vic opened up for Bieber this year. I was shooting a whole Bieber tour with point-and-shoots. To be a part of that was absolutely insane. It was like six shows all over Europe. I never thought a camera would take me there.
Name a few of your biggest inspirations for photography.
There's this really crazy French film I watched in college called La Jetée. It’s a silent film and it’s all photographs. One of my favorite photographers is Brock Fetch. He shot all of A$AP Mob’s early stuff. I’ve got to know him recently, and he’s probably one of my biggest inspirations. His perspective is really crazy, and I feel like a lot of photography in street and music culture now is definitely derived from his style.
Where are you planning to take your photography?
I did a lot of stuff in 2016 that I hadn’t done before. I’m making a platform for people to be able to purchase photos I shoot. I want to direct more videos for artists that I believe in, do more photo shows [and] shoot more album covers. I really want to make books too. I have all the content for it, but I just need to decide what looks best. I just want to do bigger and better things every time and keep moving forward.