Another Shooter’s Profile feature with another dope photographer. This one features young ATL photographer, Marcus X Whitaker. I feel like we are going to need to get down to ATL and do a Photo Walk with some of the dope photographers that we have had on this feature over the year. Check out this good read with Mr. Whitaker.
What is your name and what do you do?
My name is Marcus X. Whitaker and I’m an aspiring photographer. I’m currently working at a hospital as a Transporter/OSA & saving up to go back to school for photography & film.
Where are you from and how has being there affected your creativity?
I’m from McDonough, GA. I was raised in a christian home with my dad & stepmom. My parents got divorced when I was only 7 years old. Plus I’m the middle child so my mind has always been in the clouds & always looking on the positive side of things. Being from McDonough didn’t truly spark my creativity at all. It was my friends that I’ve made over the years & just the experiences I made with them. We would go to so many bizarre places that really opened my eyes & have me reminiscing daily about the moments that were made yet slowly forgotten. I began to have a craving to capture moments & people so that specific moment could last for a lifetime.
Explain what initially got you into shooting?
My Grandpa and my Aunt definitely had a lot to do with me wanting to start doing photography. They both have Nikon cameras & would occasionally let me take pictures for fun at family gatherings and other events. I started saving up so I could buy my own someday. I finally bought my first DSLR Camera off of a friend of mine. It has helped me grow as a photographer and help me learn the basics of operating a camera and taking good quality pictures. I have truly grown so passionate for photography.
Explain what does an average day look like for you?
When I’m not working, I explore Downtown Atlanta with either a model usually or just by myself. I walk around with my T3 in hand, listening to music. Music really helps me get in my own creative zone & feel my surroundings on a different level. I always do my best to take pictures that I feel I haven’t seen on Instagram or any other social platform. I capture shots that I know are original & make you look at life with a different perspective. After a long day of shooting and exploring, I grab something to eat, head home and start editing the shots from the day of to post later that week.
What things do you look at or watch for inspiration?
I watch SkillShare videos of other amazing photographers that have made a big impact on me. They give a lot of tips on how to use your camera whether it be Canon or Nikon, etc. Very helpful steps on how to better your photography with the equipment you have & how to use your camera & settings. It’s not about having expensive equipment that makes crisp and colorful images but the individual behind it & how you make it your own style.
What camera setup do you currently use (camera, lens, other accessories, etc)?
I shoot with my Canon T3 Rebel. My go-to lens is my Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 for street/nature/portrait photography. I occasionally use my Canon 75-300mm f/4-5.6 for long range landscape shots of the city. I’m currently saving up for a Sigma 50mm f/1.4 or .7 for better quality.
What do you specialize in or what do you enjoy shooting the most and why?
I specialize in nature & street photography the most. Although I am beginning to get more into portraits. I enjoy shooting nature because it brings so much peace and joy to my mind & soul. Just watching how the leaves move when the wind blows or watching the sunset & seeing the sky’s change of color within minutes is just so unique. It’s so interesting to me how such a beautiful moment that will never happen again can go unrecognized by so many people that don’t even acknowledge how breathtaking the world really is. I hope to inspire others to create what brings them joy & makes them feel at peace with the world.
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?
My 1st album that I adore more than anything is “Trilogy” by The Weeknd. He has come a long way and he’s not slowing down anytime soon. His voice & music will always be one of my favorites that I can enjoy and do literally anything & everything to. My 2nd album that gets me in the zone to create nothing but pure dopeness is “Ego Death” by The Internet. Their sound hits the soul deep. It’s like I can feel the colors that they’re creating with each live instrument. I recommend everyone to listen and give them a chance & just vibe to their sound no matter what you’re doing. My 3rd favorite album all time would have to be “Cherry Bomb” by Tyler the Creator. He has been a huge influence on me since I was in high school. He creates such dope visuals with such a diverse sound that nobody can copy. He is his own person & he is already a legend in my books. I know whenever I’m listening to him, I’m going to create something off the wall & that I’ll be proud of.
Who are some shooters that you follow and what do you admire about their work?
I follow quite a bit of shooters that I am proud to be following because they never fail to astonish me with their impressive work. Those who come to mind first are @sanjifilms who is a dear friend of mine that I can’t wait to shoot with more & learn from him because his gallery is simply amazing and belongs in a magazine. His work is truly one of a kind. @nvbilll is one of my favorite portrait photographers. His style is genuine & mildly authentic. Check him out if you ever get a chance. And @brando5k is literally a slept on genius. His work is real art and will have you wanting more. I hope to work with him someday & learn whatever I can from him.
What is one tangible piece of advice that you would give somebody who has just started shooting?
Don’t start off with the most expensive equipment out there. Start with the something basic and learn how to use it manually. Perfect your craft and practice with each camera mode whenever you have time. Trial and error is meant to grow you, not discourage you. You can’t fully mentally prepare for when your dreams begin to come true. Success is overwhelming, but it’s highly important to renew your gratitude, and stay humble. Good luck.
Random Question: What are your top 3 websites that you check out on a pretty frequent basis?
My Sallie Mae, KYC Vintage and Crystal Meanings & More.
What is next for you?
Prayerfully I am able to attend Georgia State in the Spring. Start working towards getting my B.A. degree in Film & Media and make more connections throughout the photography world, travel & create.