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Check Out Cleve Brown’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cleve Brown.

Hi Cleve, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I started getting into media industry my sophomore year of college, I needed a summer job and this Christian camp in Etna California needed a photographer for the summer. I had taken a photography class during my sophomore year to fulfill an elective requirement and decided to apply for the summer job since I had some knowledge. They hired me two days before my start date and I joined their media team. I didn’t have that much field knowledge on how to shoot photos I kind of stumbled my first couple of days on the job trying to figure out the camera gear but I eventually got the hang of it. While I was on that media team, I realized how much I loved working in the media field and decided to dabble in video work. So I asked my coworker who was the main videographer for some tips on how to shoot and edit. I used the pointers and the extra financial resources I obtained from the summer job to upgrade some of my camera equipment. From there, I started registering for any media/video class I could take for my final two years of college. During those two years, I shot many student films and I also applied for an internship working for a marketing agency doing videography and photography work. I got this internship my junior year and it gave me the push I needed from being an average film student to becoming a professional at least on the marketing side. I learned how to work under pressure and under time restraint which helped me become more creative and come out with ideas and solutions quickly.

Also during this time, I was freelancing and I met my first client Brandon Leake before he got famous, he needed video content for his poetry, I shot many of his first videos featuring his poetry. Brandon believed in my talent always hired me out and actually invested in me. Much of the content I produced for him helped me obtained many gigs and to be honest if it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t be at where I am today. My internship ended my senior year and I focused mainly on schooling my last year of college and barely shot anything unless Brandon contacted me. When I graduated, I mainly freelanced but I wasn’t getting as much constant clientele I needed to do it full time so I decided to apply for companies who needed videographers and photographers, I wasn’t getting any hits on my resumes/applications so I asked my old professor for some advice he told me I needed to make a website to have as a portfolio, for companies in media like seeing the work that you could possibly do for them. So I took $200 I had saved and used it to make a website using Wix which still exists today and when I made that website, I filled it with mostly content I shot for Brandon and eventually a company called me in for an interview and I got the job. It was part-time but it was more stable than I was before, I also figured I could use my experience working for this company to apply for a better company with better pay and benefits. Which eventually happened, I got hired to a bigger company for their media team with better pay and benefits. I eventually upgraded my gear from consumer to more professional and to this day, I don’t work for a company anymore. I mainly freelance full time now.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Trying to make it financially that has always been a struggle until recently. Sometimes in my past, I doubted my creativity, dealing with that mental battle was a challenge to overcome.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I specialize in video shooting/editing/motion graphics/photography work. I’m proud of how diversified I am in the media world and what sets me apart from others is how diversified I am in my skills and trade in video work.

What matters most to you?
What matters most to me is my faith and my family because I believe without God I wouldn’t be blessed to be at where I am today and I push myself everyday to be better personally and professionally for my God and my family.

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