What is your name and what do you do?
My birth name is Devin McAllister. I’m currently a Graduate Student at Clark Atlanta University.
Where are you from and how has being there affected your creativity?
I’m from Charlotte. Growing up I didn’t know any photographers or videographers. The only photographers I knew were the ones coming to take school pictures. Once I was exposed to the field it was like a whole new world.
Explain what initially got you into shooting?
Initially, I was taking photos from my iphone. I started to follow a lot of photographers who I knew were into “iphonography”. It didn’t take long for me to realize these people weren’t only using a phone to take pictures!
Explain what does an average day look like for you?
In addition to being a Graduate Student, I’m also a tutor at a local elementary school. I spend half of the day there and then I’m in my own classes. The rest of the time I’m listening to music (or writing it) or reading.
What things do you look at or watch for inspiration?
Instagram always inspires me. Watching other photographers and videographers use their gifts to change the world is a beautiful thing.
What camera setup do you currently use (camera, lens, other accessories, etc)?
My personal favorite is a Nikon d750 and a “nifty-fifty” (50mm) lens. If I’m working on video then the Panasonic Gh4 is my go-to.
What do you specialize in or what do you enjoy shooting the most and why?
I’ve only shot one music video but I definitely enjoyed it. I don’t have a specialty at the moment. Give me some time, give me some time.
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?
Top 3 albums? That’s always too hard to answer. I’ll have a different answer within the next 24 hours.
Marvin Gaye- I Want You
2Pac- Me Against the World
Nas & Damian Marley- Distant Relatives
Growing up my parents played a lot of “old-school”. I have an appreciation for soulful music. It always made me want to be cool. I heard Tupac and that changed everything! I was already one of the most laid back people I knew so that didn’t change. Pac spoke to me though. There were a lot of times where I did feel it was me against the world. Tupac has a sermonic way of delivering a message and making you feel like you can always overcome. Then there was Nas. The master-storyteller. Haha! Nas motivates me to always be true to myself. Always.
Who are some shooters that you follow and what do you admire about their work?
One of the first photographers I ever followed was @grittystreetsofnyc (instagram). Her work always has such a raw feel to it. My favorite portrait photographer is @a_kid_named_trav. The shots are so distinctive. From the colors to the models, they’re all amazing. My favorite videographer is Atlanta-based JoeYungSpike (Owner of House of Shoots). I had never been around serious film equipment until I went to one of his workshops. I’ll always admire and respect him for that. So many people selfishly don’t share information and he did.
What is one tangible piece of advice that you would give somebody who has just started shooting?
Go through the process. If you consider your photography or videography art then go through the process. Learn as much as you can. Ask questions. Most importantly, don’t feel like you’re competing with any one else. Run your race.