A Day As A URBAN Photographer

Well let me start by saying I know I am "limiting" myself calling myself an "urban" photographer but I am ok with it, I'm a niche photographer. That is what I call myself. I think there should be more people that embrace the urban community. Especially in times where it may seem that the urban community (more so African American youth) is under attack in American. I stand proud, fist to the sky, smiling, knowing I made it from St. Louis not far from where Mike Brown was shot (if you don't know this story, do your kids a favor and look it up). I LOVE to capture the youth, who in many ways wouldn't have the opportunity to hire a photographer and dress up, show off their Sunday's best and look nice. Not a selfie, not a picture with the "homies" or a shot in the mirror on a cell phone but a professional photographer (or I would like to think of myself as one since I made my first $50s a little while ago, lol) who takes them on location and do about a hour worth of shooting. Many of the people I have photographed are not models, actors, rappers or are in the entertainment industry at all. They are your everyday people from, maybe not the nicest areas and I photograph them. They are usually nervous so I tell them to bring a friend along someone they are comfortable with. Some of the best shots that I get are the ones that they didn't even know that I took. I tell them to talk to their friend about who could beat who up. They get loud "no you couldn't", "man, remember when we wrestled and you lost" and in mid sentence I snap, I capture the laugh. It's a good time for them and a great time for me. The first 15-20 minutes I ask them how is school? Did you eat today? if not we grab a burger, I tell jokes (most not funny, very cheesy but it makes them drop their guard) then I act like I'm setting exposures, apertures shutter speed, white balance (sometimes I really am) but really I'm taking their pictures. Afterward I scroll through and I see so many good shots sometimes its hard to pick the ones I want to color. That is what the day is like with me. I will continue to blog so stay tuned on my photo journey.


Troy with his friend Dexter at our photo shoot in North Hollywood.