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Conversations with Kenneth Davis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kenneth Davis.

Hi Kenneth, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My name is Kenneth, but most just know me as KD, or KD The Shooter.  I’m a Long Beach based Videographer, Photographer and Web Developer.  To be honest with you I’m actually a real tech nerd, and I have no problem saying that haha.  I can shoot a commercial for you, but also design and code an app / website.  In other words, IM ALL IN!

I’ve always had an interest for cameras since an early age. I would love to see some of the footage I recorded in high school on my Sony Handy Cam with the Mini DV tapes. So technically, I’ve been playing with cameras for almost 20 years now.

I got my first real introduction however in 2012 when I began working as an IT Specialist at Columbia College Hollywood in Los Angeles, I was a Computer Science major in college, so that led me to the film school. I wasn’t really thinking about cameras and video equipment at the time, just focused on my IT Career. I supported the staff with their IT needs but also was tasked with troubleshooting various with the Video Editing Software. So even before I actually had my own camera, I knew how to edit and fix various issues in AVID, Final Cut, and Premiere Pro.

Some of the students noticed how proficient I was with Adobe Premiere, and they started to hire me to edit some of their short films for them. I enjoyed this so much that I eventually to start creating my own content. That led me to buying my first camera, a Canon 6D. I loved this camera and everything about it. I shot various projects and then would sit in the editing room for hours, toying around and finding new features in the editing software. I eventually had some unforeseen circumstances with my car at the time which needed repairs. Long story short, I ended up selling my camera for cash. It was one of the hardest decisions I had to make, as I felt I was letting go of something that I loved.

Even after I sold the camera, the creative work still followed me. With the skills I learned within the Adobe Creative Suite, I created a side hustle making flyers and Snapchat filters for friends. In 2018, after I had shown my girlfriend some of my previous work, she was amazed by my previous projects and encouraged me to get back into the creative space. I was working a full-time job at the time and it wasn’t at the top my priorities but I appreciated the recognition. Within a month or so, she took it upon herself to help me get a new camera and MacBook. Once I had the resources I needed to create again, it was like second nature and I began creating and tapping into my creative side. I was not planning on opening my business at the time, I just wanted to get back into the creative space. I love music, and whenever I would watch music videos, I would catch myself saying,’ “ I would have shot it this way, or I would have shot it here.”

In 2019 is when things got serious in my relationship, my girlfriend and I took a trip to Cabo. I decided I wanted to document it and capture our memories. I brought the camera to Cabo (Canon T6 rebel) and my drone (Mavic Air). I grabbed some cool shots of us in the pool, at the beach, and hitting some fancy restaurants in Mexico. Once I returned home, of course, I started playing with the footage in premiere. I eventually created a vacation recap and threw it on my Instagram, just thinking it would be cool to show our vacation. The response was massive! People absolutely loved the video and began to inquire if I could do various projects for them. Even though I wasn’t ready, I started my videography business soon after. My business is now over four years strong now and continues to grow every day.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I wouldn’t necessarily call this a challenge, but maybe a lesson. I did have point where I was unsure if I wanted to continue to do this type of work. I had a bad experience with a Grammy-nominated client not paying for the work that was provided. No money at all. This was also a rookie mistake on my part by not having contracts and invoices in place at the time. I went above and beyond for this client, and for them to ghost me at the end was insane and really discouraging. I definitely learned very quickly to always have some sort of paper trail when doing business if things need to be handled on a legal level.

In March of this year 2022, I ruptured my Achilles. This was an extremely scary experience for me as I did not know when I would be able to walk again and operate a camera without crutches. I am currently 4 months in rehab from my injury and I am moving much better as a result of extensive physical therapy and rehab. I definitely have to thank my girlfriend Anastasia who was a huge help during this time.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
While I have shot numerous different projects, I must say I love shooting sports. Between my connections from College Sports to me just being a fan, sports has been my bread and butter. I also do drone work for various real estate projects and events within the Long Beach Community.

With me being a former athlete, I shoot sports with a sense of knowing what is appealing to the eye. I can tell when the athletes miss keys and make mistakes, so it makes the editing process a bit easier. I also like to move with my athletes during training to get more raw camera movements.

I also have a love for music, so a lot of my social media projects will feature some of my favorite west coasts and down south hip hop artists. You can always tell when KD shot it!

Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
I am actually completely self-taught. That includes videography, photography, and web design. I am someone who can see or learn something once and instantly pick it up.

I also recreate movies and music videos in my head as I watch them the way I would have actually shot them.

Oh yeah and fun fact, I am also ambidextrous.

Contact Info:

Image Credits Instagram – @kdtheshooter_

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