Now this is an artist that I have been knowing for years. I’ve seen her go from a blogger of a great site to a very dope photographer. Now she has shot for YesJulz, Jadakiss, Tony Williams and more. Check out Sabrina and get to know her.
What is your name and what do you do?
Sabrina Vaz-Holder, I am a photographer and chief creative officer (creative director) for a company my husband Quinelle Holder and I own – Medium PR Agency, LLC
Where are you from and how has being there affected your creativity?
I have no home haha. I grew up in a military household (USAF), and both parents from Brazil – dad immigrated when he was 12, and my mom was born shortly after her family immigrated in 1963 while moving back and forth between countries. So when I was born, in Tampa, Florida, I didn’t remember a thing, because we got stationed in the Philippines for 2 years, and moved to Israel (4 years), Argentina (3 years), Egypt (2 years) and Thailand (2 years) was the last move until my dad decided to retire from USAF in Virginia. I finished college at Old Dominion University, in Norfolk, VA and then moved to Silver Spring, MD soon as my husband (Quinelle) and I got married, and we just recently moved to Northern, VA – 5 mins from DC which is perfect for us! So the question really should be…how did all that change and moving affect your creativity? And I’d answer, It helped me surround myself with different cultures which gives allows me to adapt to my surroundings, enjoy traveling and pay attention to detail, while appreciating what comes my way.
Explain what initially got you into shooting?
Just watching my dad take pictures and holding the camera he used to have in the 90s (Nikon) during our trips overseas. I always wanted to be just like my parents (dad in the military, mom as a personal fitness instructor), so I always had my hands on my dad’s photo camera and video camera when he wasn’t paying attention. I would make home movies with my dogs and just take cool pictures of my surroundings – which led me to learning how to develop film while living in Cairo, Egypt. I stopped after moving to Virginia, but got back into shooting after I met Quinelle in Richmond, VA at a Tabi Bonney concert in 2010. That’s when me and him teamed up for his site Red Tag Society and I was taking pictures of concerts and shooting video for interviews we did with Kendrick Lamar, Lupe Fiasco, A$AP Rocky, etc. We were super broke (me being a college kid working in McDonalds and Journeys and Q pretty much going through a rough patch) It then started putting money on the table for us. God definitely brought me back to photography.
Explain what does an average day look like for you?
Praying before getting out of bed and thanking God for his favor over me and my husband, making breakfast/feeding Q and our fur baby Tabi Bonney-Samson Holder (he’s a miniature schnauzer), going to the gym, editing photos, doing a photo shoot outdoors in DC/NYC or sometimes in House Studios in Hyattsville, MD, spending time with family, cooking some more (I love food), and just networking with other amazing creatives.
What things do you look at or watch for inspiration?
Other photographers in similar fields (concert, lifestyle, product, editorial). I also watch documentaries/interviews and read articles of photographers who started out in the 90s and took such great shots of Tupac, Biggie, Jay Z, etc. such as Janette Beckman, Jonathan Mannion, etc.
What is a quote or motto that you live by?
“Faith Fuels Finesse”, words by Quinelle Holder.
What camera setup do you currently use (camera, lens, other accessories, etc)?
I use a Canon EOS 60D, and will sometimes use a Canon 7D/5D. My go to lens is 50mm, but I also love the 24-70mm. I rarely use flash, only for studio shoots.
What do you specialize in or what do you enjoy shooting the most and why?
Concerts/tours, and lifestyle in festivals. I also enjoy shooting candid shots of artists interacting with their fans or crew. I also specialize in portraiture and product photography. I enjoy shooting concerts/backstage interactions most because I always get the most powerful candid shots and the craziest moments with fans. I can help others witness the excitement of both the fans and the artist. Let’s not forget about the insane lighting!
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?
1. Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City – Kendrick Lamar
2. Seeing Sounds – N.E.R.D.
3. Graduation – Kanye West
Each of those albums gets me in this creative zone, because these were the albums that I listened to before I knew what I wanted to do and had nothing to fall back on (as far as experience). Kendrick and Kanye motivated me with their powerful lyrics, and wanted me to make a difference in this world with my art. While N.E.R.D. just brought that edge into my creativity.
Who are some shooters that you follow and what do you admire about their work?
Aviva Klein, Brian Freeman, Ravie B, Toure Ali, Jabari Jacobs. I love how they each bring something different to the table, and how you know who shot what, because of their unique styles.
What is one tangible piece of advice that you would give somebody who has just started shooting? (besides shooting more)
Always be prepared for the worst – bring extra batteries, lights, memory cards, laptop, cords, lenses, flash. Don’t ever feel like you can’t get good shots if you don’t get that press/photo pit pass – be creative and get shots inside the crowd, etc. And don’t ever expect to get into an event for free…ALWAYS invest in yourself, buy a ticket, then meet people/management who you can build a relationship with and who will be able to get you the access you need to cover for media outlets or for the artists. Also one last thing…never get mad when people don’t help you out at first. Just step your game up, do things on your own and bring something valuable to the table so they can’t turn you away.
Random Question: What is your favorite day off activity?
Binge watching a Netflix show, and eating comfort food with Quinelle. We rarely get to do that.
What is next for you?
You’ll just have to wait and see 🙂 God moving mountains.