I’ve been a creative long before I knew exactly what that entailed. I remember way back in 2011, I would draw a lot of inspiration from the incredible artists I would see on Tumblr. I always found myself amazed by the art that would flow endlessly down my feed. I felt moved. At the same time, a few of my friends were also taking their first steps into creating, and in turn, inspired me. Devon Crump, Brian McClendon, Evanelle Palamoa, and Brian Rojas were the ones who opened my eyes to the power of photography and videography. I would always shoot with them as a model in addition to them documenting our everyday life. From that point on I unconsciously picked up their habits, and I began to document my life in interesting ways just by using the camera on my phone.
Fast forward five or so years later and I’m spending some time in San Diego on vacation with my closest friends. Twice now, I’m seeing just how powerful the shots they were creating of our lives were and how impactful you could be. I realized it at that moment. It was time for me to dive in.
From the moment I started until now I’ve gone deep and narrow into trying to carve out my niche. Trying to portray my life and my work in a way that I can be appreciated and be happy with. I wanted to capture moments and portraits that felt real to me. That I could relate to and reflect on. My passion for my art stems from a genuine place.
When I started in 2016 I never thought about what it could be or what I could become. I only cared about the moment, and what I was working on at the time. What felt right for me. Interestingly enough, living and starting my creative career in Salt Lake City, I’d like to believe that I stood out from the start. I’m originally from Jacksonville, but I moved to Salt Lake two years after finishing college. My lifestyle is very different from the norm here.
I’m big into street style and urban environments so that’s where I’ve tried to thrive with photography. My videography work lives in the same environment: creating travel films, music videos, and more cinematic work. I continue spending time studying, experimenting and learning by trial and error.
I got to a point where I wanted to establish myself as a sole proprietor in Salt Lake. And through a lot of hard work, I did just that! I glossed over that quite a bit because that’s just the surface level stuff. It’s obviously important that you want to continue to hone in on your craft, but that solely doesn’t keep you busy as a creator if you are seeking to be compensated for your work and want people to hire you.
Personal branding and being different in the form of selling yourself and conveying the value you can provide to a client is what can set you apart. There’s always going to be better gear or someone who is the better creator, but ultimately we have to control the things we can control. Communicate with your peers and clients constantly. Be confident in yourself and your work (not arrogant). And always understand what needs to be delivered. I think having this mindset has helped me out tremendously. I think as creatives we can’t become overly focused on the technical side as there’s a business side as well.
Even with my work that is collaborative I always approach it as a professional and respect the person’s time. This all comes back to personal branding. If you are someone people like, can gravitate to, and relate to, this will allow you to excel therefore helping you get even more opportunities. This is something I’ve seen to be true time and time again.
I’ve been coast to coast with much of my travels and I always find time to collaborate with creators in many cities and build relationships I wouldn’t have had if I didn’t have a camera. I’m so thankful for all the opportunities I’ve had. I think creating has been such an escape for me and an outlet. I love supporting creatives. I think as much as we put out it’s our job to make sure we are giving twice as much back. At the end of the day, it’s all about the people and once you understand that you’ll better understand the community.
I still have a ridiculous amount work to do before I get where I want to be, but ultimately it’s my passion that gets me through the tough days. I’ve gotten to this point in my creative career with the help of so many people! I can’t thank you all enough. There are so many people that gave me a chance before I was even capable. Thanks to my team for pushing me.
Thanks to the Hub for having me. And most importantly, thank you to everyone who contributes to this community. It makes me proud to be apart of it, and it’s the thing that keeps me going.
Creatives will heal the world!
View more of Vince’s work here.