First before we get into this next Shooter’s Profile interview, I must say that I apologize to the people who have been digging this interview series. The TRS site had some complications and had to be taken down for a couple of weeks. So for this one I wanted to give an interview that we did with Virginia photographer, Dawit N.M. Do yourself a favor and check it out.
TRS: What is your name and what do you do?
My name is Dawit N. M. and I am a director and photographer.
TRS: Where are you from and how has being there affected your creativity?
I was born in Ethiopia and later moved to the states around the age of seven. I was living in Norfolk, VA for seven years and then moved again to Annapolis, MD. After residing in Maryland for four years my family moved back to Virginia, to live in Virginia Beach this time. My family moved a lot since my father was in the Navy. Since I moved a lot, I was exposed to different people, different lifestyles, and different social classes. Being around all types of people and places made me view life in a different perspective. Talking and interacting with other people gave me an idea of how they viewed life. If it wasn’t for me moving a lot and meeting so many different types of people, I do not think I would be as open-minded as I am today.
TRS: Explain what initially got you into shooting?
My interest in video games was really the first thing that got me into film. All of my 9th grade and early 10th grade years of high school I would record video game play footage, edit, and upload it to YouTube. After my recording device broke, I decided to get a real camera and start shooting real life footage instead. So my senior year of high school I saved enough money to purchase my first DSLR camera and from there I would start making short films with my little sibling, friends, and even by myself.
My freshmen year in college I came across an ad looking for videographers for the school’s newspaper. Unfortunately, they stopped doing the video section of the newspaper and the only thing I could do with my camera there was photography. Before this I never tried or thought about doing photography, but after doing a couple of assignments for the newspaper I started to like it more and more.
TRS: Explain what does an average day look like for you?
An average day for me usually consists of waking up early in the morning and making something to eat. While I drink my tea I write down all the stuff I need to do for the day. I leave my place around nine or ten in the morning and I won’t be till late at night. If I have the time and energy at night, I would watch a movie and then call it a night.
TRS: What things do you look at or watch for inspiration?
This answer might be cliché, but for me life is where I get my inspiration from. I feel that is essential for creators of all kind to live life and try new things. I also get inspiration from videos I watch and music that I listen to.
TRS: What camera setup do you currently use (camera, lens, other accessories, etc)?
Right now I mainly use the Canon 6D with a 17-40mm lens. This setup is my favorite at the moment solely because I can easily go from shooting landscapes to close up portraits.
TRS: What do you specialize in or what do you enjoy shooting the most and why?
I enjoy portrait and fine art photography. These two styles intrigue me because of the vast amount of things you can do with them. I personally feel as if they are not as limiting as the other types of photography are.
TRS: Since we believe that music is the center around all things creative, what are your top 3 music albums, and what about those albums that gets you in a creative zone?
To be honest I don’t have an all time top three album list mainly because I listen to a wide variety of music. However, at the moment I do have a couple of artists that enjoy listening to a lot and they are: Skepta, Vic Mensa, Blood Orange, The Neighborhood, The Weeknd, and recently the Internet. These artists have a sound that is different then most and I have a great time listening to their music.
TRS: Who are some shooters that you follow and what do you admire about their work?
Some photographers and filmmakers I follow are Danny P. Shea, Lee Jefferies, Gordon Parks, Ropert Capo, Alex Turvey, Nabil, Dennis Villeneuve, and much much more. These photographers and filmmakers provide viewers with a different perspective of life, and that is one thing I hope to achieve with my work.
TRS: What is one tangible piece of advice that you would give somebody who has just started shooting?
When it seems like you are stagnant with your work and career, you should stop and observe what you are doing and change something if you have to. Other than that keep working on your craft everyday and study as much as you can.
TRS: Where can people find you?
You can find me at @dawit_nm on twitter and Instagram, and also you can check out my website at www.dawit.co . Thank you for taking your time to read this and thank you to The Rebel Society for having me!