Today we’d like to introduce you to Raleigh Gambino.
Hi Raleigh, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
What’s up! I moved around a lot as a kid and settled in Colorado for high school and college. There, I went to film school for four years and shot as many things as I could from music videos to corporate videos to documentaries. I didn’t make much money back then with it. I would have been stoked to earn $400 from a shoot & edit, that was a high rate. About three years ago, I moved out to LA and have been “hustling” as much as I can.
Mostly, still shooting music videos, some short-form documentary work and branded content. If I would have told my younger self that I would be making a living doing what I do, younger me would be super proud.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No way has it been smooth! When I first moved to LA, I nearly ran out of money. I had like $800 to my name. I did whatever I could to keep paying rent and keep my opportunities open. There was a point when I shot some OnlyFans. I’m not that into that style but it was income so I took it.
Money is always a factor in filmmaking. More money – nicer camera, more art direction, better and bigger lights, more time to shoot. But with money becomes more pressure, more expectations, more cooks in the kitchen. I’m still searching for the balance between both in my work.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’m a freelance cinematographer and shoot stills on the side. I shoot music vids, docs, commercials like a lot of other DPs. But what I think is different about me is that I am not my career path. Sure, I act as the director of photography on set, but that’s not who I am. I am me. I am Raleigh. I have other interests, desires and find happiness in many other things besides my work. I rock climb, I snowboard, I travel, I surf, I have a small and growing cacti collection, And next month I’m leading a 25-day rafting trip down 277 miles of the Grand Canyon for 15 other people which I am incredibly stoked on. I pull inspiration from all of these life experiences and they fuel my work, my happiness, and my relationships with others. I’m most proud of the life I’ve been able to live and the people I’ve been able to share it with.
Do you have any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
Timelessness. In middle school, time wasn’t as precious as it has become for me then. So when school was out and summer break was on, it lasted forever. I had few responsibilities and all the time in the world to explore, hang out with friends, and one of my most overlooked treasures, being bored. And my friend lived on a lake and had a jet ski so the possibilities were endless.