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Meet Brian Clevesy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brian Clevesy.

Hi Brian, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
Thank you for the opportunity to share my story! I grew up in a small town in the north shore of Massachusetts that has roughly 7,000 residents. I lived my whole life in New England; even went to college there (Merrimack College), got my first job out of college in NH, so at that point I was a lifer. Growing up, I used to mess around with camcorders with friends and would cut terrible edits in iMovie. About 4 yrs ago, I had some fundamental shifts in my life: I was hospitalized with Valley Fever and was told they weren’t sure if I was going to survive. Then, I got laid off from my job. The relationship I was in fell apart. I felt pretty lost and unsure of who I even was; basically what made me, me. I became more anxious than ever in the most comfortable and familiar place I could possibly be. That’s when I felt something had to change. When you’re given a second chance at life, what do you do with that second chance? I spent most of my savings on a Sony camera and a drone. Then I started annoying my friends to go adventure with me so I could experiment with filming and photography. After about a year or so of building my skillset with a camera in my hands, I packed everything I could fit into my compact car and started the drive out west to LA. I’d never lived outside of New England, I’d only ever driven through LA for the most part, and I didn’t know anyone out here. It was this chance I just had to take on myself, and I was pretty shook. I think I cried every day on the drive because I just couldn’t believe I was leaving my lifelong friends, family, nieces and nephews behind to chase a dream. I was fortunate to meet some amazing people early on who really took me in and showed me the lay of the land. I networked as much as possible. Then one person took a shot on me. Then another. Then a few brands. And the rest is history!

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’m usually an optimist, so I’d like to say so. The early months were definitely a struggle mentally more than anything. As an adult trying to break into established friend groups without making it seem like you have some agenda or motive, especially in a city like LA, can be tough. Being humble and respectful can open doors you didn’t know we’re in front of you. Making a name for yourself in the photo and video game can be tough as well. It’s super competitive, and the bar is constantly being raised for content creators and artists in their craft. While that’s an obstacle, it’s also a blessing because I’ve been surrounded with some people that I’ve looked up to when I first picked up a camera again. To start seeing some of those people as peers went from an internal struggle of comparing myself to their work and skill level to being inspired by their work and find ways to push each other creatively. Being away from family is always tough, especially in the current state of the world, but we’ve never been so close and the support system is full force.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I actually started my career in Marketing for bigger tech companies. Then went the start-up route, and I’ve been in that since I graduated college. What I’m more excited about, however, is my creative work that has been picking up. It’s the side hustle that’s quickly becoming the main hustle… I’d say I’m more known as a “Swiss army knife” of creative work. My passion lies in photography and videography, but something about videography instills this ethos on every project of “create with purpose”. Photography: I love capturing people and places. That’s been my thing for a while. Whenever I can combine the two, it’s total peace for me. I’ve been really excited and proud of my progress with both portrait-style shots with some bigger names, but some of my landscape shots have been featured on some bigger syndication accounts on Instagram, and that’s when you know the years of grinding, studying, experimenting, and editing are paying off. Videography: I am obsessed with telling a story, and like I said earlier, creating with purpose. I’ve studied endless hours of documentaries, music videos, feature films, indie films, etc. to see how different visionaries interpret different stories.

I’ve been fortunate enough to structure my video content in a way that brands trust me in interpreting their values and message, as well as various influencers. Getting to work with brands like BMW is a total dream, but none of it would be possible without my friends who have helped get that exposure and bring opportunities like that to me, trusting me with that vision. What sets me apart from others: It’s an obsession. I started with nothing. I didn’t go to school for this, my parents couldn’t help me get started. I’ve learned early and often in my life that if you want something, go get it because no one is standing there, hands-out, ready to give it to you. Maybe some people are fortunate in those ways, or their family can support them financially in whatever ways they can to ensure they’re successful. And it’s not a knock against people who have that blessing at all – it’s what any family wants for their own. But I think it’s instilled this hunger in me that doesn’t quit. For me, it’s all about working hard, remaining humble and remembering where I started, honoring those who support me, and getting after it like there’s everything to lose because I almost lost it all.

We all have a different way of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
Success is elusive. We all set goals, but what happens when you hit that goal? You set another. To me, success is discovering your purpose, not caring what anyone else thinks about that, and truly living it daily. The rest falls into place. When you feel that peace of mind of, “I’m really doing me”, I think that’s when you’ve really succeeded. Being unapologetically you.

Contact Info:

  • Email: brian.clevesy@gmail.com
  • Website: brianclevesy.com
  • Instagram: @brianclevesy

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