Today we’d like to introduce you to Brandon Andre.
Brandon, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
When I was in high school, I was convinced that my passion and future would be in filmmaking, so in order to prepare for that, I was practicing my cinematography through developing my eye with photography. Photography in high school also opened me up more socially. It was fun hanging out with people and taking pictures. As social media came onto the scene, photoshoots with kids from school kept growing as more people heard about me and wanted to get pictures with me. As a result, I became more interested in photography than in filmmaking. I could create projects with a faster turnover than in filmmaking, plus I was good at it. After I graduated, I began interning with fashion photographers in LA to learn more and grow in that field. While interning, I met other interns my age who were stylists and make-up artists that I eventually started planning my own fashion projects with. After that it became a process of starting to develop my portfolio slowly, working my way up with modeling agencies, developing my eye, shooting for magazines, and marketing myself. Much of how I got to where I am today has a lot to do with my perseverance and never giving up and I’m still not where I want to be yet.
Has it been a smooth road?
For the most part, yes. Fortunately for me, I have had a lot of great opportunities that isn’t really typical for your up & coming photographers. Getting to be flown out by the Guatemalan government to shoot on the Mayan pyramids at 19 years old is one of those opportunities I never thought I’d experience. I’m sure there were struggles that weren’t very different to other artists who are pursuing their thing. Of course, there were times where I didn’t know how I was going to pay my bills, times of doubt and discouragement, times where I had zero motivation or inspiration, and times where my resources were limiting me from my full potential. I just don’t give up. I know what I am capable of and I know what I have to offer. I also know what makes me different than everyone else, so most importantly I don’t give up on myself. Even if there are times when there is every reason to.
What are your plans for the future?
Well, I do SO many things. Photography is definitely something I love and will be doing for the rest of my life, but my future plans involve music. This is how I’ve said it: I’m known for photography, but I want to be remembered for my music. I’m a singer/songwriter and I am currently working on some original music. It’s actually a really unique position to be in because I’ve learned so much from being behind the camera that I can apply to my image/brand for when I do music. Plus, staying in the fashion industry always seems to be the smart thing to do. The way I picture my future is shooting for huge high fashion brands while also touring the world. Perhaps even shooting other musicians as well. I think that my brand as a photographer will explode if my music does, so I am looking forward to the release of my first single and just taking it step by step after that.
Let’s dig a little deeper into your story. What was the hardest time you’ve had?
My hardest time was probably last year. I realized that being an artist is a huge sacrifice. At the end of my life, I want to see myself married with a family, but when you’re hustling about as an artist sometimes it’s hard to see that end result when you’re struggling to make ends meet. So last September I had a moment where I decided to give up music and photography and go back to school to finish. I figured getting a degree, getting a job, and living the “normal” life was the safest bet. I wouldn’t have to worry about how to provide for my future family and having a steady income would have made me feel more like a man. Literally that same day I was looking at different schools to apply to I had been emailed by a models agent at LA models who I had been working with for a couple of years. He told me he was doing a trial project and wanted to represent people other than models and wanted to see if I’d be interested in being represented as a photographer. A few days later we met up and talked about it and then the next week I signed a contract with LA models. It was an exciting moment for me because getting signed is what I really needed and was looking for and it came at a time where I was literally about to give it all up. I also learned that life is less uncertain when you have a plan. Being signed and making a plan helped encourage me to continue pursuing this and six months later I was in Europe doing photoshoots.
What about “Wow-moments” – any moments that stick out? Any moments when you felt like you had made it?
I mean I still don’t think I’ve “made it.” There are a lot of short term goals that I set and if I complete those then I’m content. It’s funny because due to social media there are these perceptions out there of how people perceive me and my life. Because I have “lots” of followers on Instagram, there is always this perception that I’ve “made it” or whatever, but it’s always going to be an endless pursuit. I guess I don’t really ever want to think “Wow I’m made it” because at that point you stop pursuing. The whole dream thing is interesting too. There is a personal dream and a career dream, but my personal dream far exceeds my career dream. The dream of having a family is far more meaningful to me than if my dream of being a huge fashion photographer or singer comes true. I guess that’s because I’ve been around famous people who have it all and seem to still have nothing. My wealth is in people and relationships, so as long as I meet really amazing, trustworthy people along the way of whatever I do I think that’s a dream come true.
- Website: www.BrandonAndrePhoto.com
- Email: BrandonAndre.email@example.com
- Instagram: BrandonAndre & @BrandonAndre_Headshots
- YouTube: Brandon Andre