noun || yəNG ˈhefā
Vizual Ape is a full-time photographer.
YJ: Has what you’re doing now been a life-long interest?
VA: No! I started photography about two years ago and during my Sophomore year of college, I put college on pause to pursue my photography as a full-time career. Prior to that, my partner and I, Rico, would take iPhone pictures on campus. It's a funny story people would laugh then after a while people would ask for us to conduct photo-shoots or what cameras did we use . After a while, we invested in real cameras and started to shoot every day after our classes. I would shoot parties or models for little to no bread. I would let people step on me and charge them cheap. I kept progressing and finding out more and more. There was days I even skipped class to shoot different projects I had in my head. It took me some to realize that I didn't have time to juggle both. So I eased into lighter classes and the rest is history. And don't get me wrong, I was scared. I knew I was meant for this and I knew my vibes were different
YJ: How would your categorize your body of work?
VA: As a body of work, I'd categorize it as culture lifestyle.
YJ: What do you think is different about your creative process vs other photographers?
VA: I'm very detail oriented. I make sure everything is clean and the subject or focus of my image looks presentable. I have my times where I take ten hours to edit a photo just because I leave it alone and come back to it to add more edits little by little instead of forcing a vibe. I feel like a lot of other photographers might take two hours editing a mass group of photos just because its easier.
YJ: What would you say to someone who may think that their talent is not an ideal career path?
VA: If you think your talent isn't an ideal career path, then it isn't your talent. You shouldn't be scared. Keep pushing and be (very) patient.
Also, don't look at other people in terms of progression. Everyone has their own timeline. You will win too!
YJ: What’s been your favorite photoshoot/photo moment so far?
VA: I love them all! But if I had to pick, my favorite it was the first time I shot Christian Combs during New York Fashion Week of last year. Around that time, everything was moving so fast. I took a picture, it made its way to him, we hung out and now were cool. That week was when I realized how important it is to be fast and efficient and that's when I got to test out my new style I was working on at the time . Everything started picking up and things went my way. The lesson I took away from that experience was that "Everyone is always watching so perform like its your last time."
YJ: What would be photo project you’d like to cross off your bucket list?
VA: Travis Scott! His energy is crazy. I shot with him before at his birthday last year, but we have to do more.
YJ: What are you still looking to achieve?
VA: I'm looking to become one of the greatest artist and directors there is in the world. I want to deliver vibes and hope to people who struggled like I have. I want too be the voice of people from small towns with big dreams. A matter of fact! I want to show the world a kid from a small town can make a huge difference ! I also want to model and design my own Merch in the near future. I want to achieve pure happiness.
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*The photography featured was taken by Vizual Ape.