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Meet Rodney McCullum of Inliight Society in Downtown LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rodney McCullum.

Rodney, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I didn’t always want to be a photographer, I just happened to always have a camera attached to me. My mother was really into photography and she instilled the appreciation of the craft into me at a young age. I purchased my first camera at 20 years old as a way to document my journey in the army. I quickly realized that this craft is something that I wanted to dive deeper into and figure out how to make this a business.

So, I started ‘Inliight Society’ with the hopes of making a name for myself in some way. I started this in 2014 not knowing how to market myself or even any knowledge of getting attention or clients. I was just a guy with a camera and a business name. It literally took me six years of YouTube and skill-share videos to finally start making some type of headway into the creative industry and creating a reputation for myself.

I was a man that let the passion guide my steps rather than money.

Now it’s 2020 and I finally have a pretty good routine around myself and a way to build my platform exponentially but, this didn’t come without growing pains.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Trying to teach myself and understand how to apply my lessons in real life effectively. You learn new things everyday and it can get frustrating to know that it’s so much out there that you don’t know. It’s an eternal game of cat and mouse.

I am grateful for my struggles though, don’t get me wrong. The same way you get it is exactly how you lose it. People wanting instant gratification for things makes it less impactful when you get it. I’ve had my share of struggles that I’m sure every creative goes through.

The feeling of inadequacy and imposter syndrome. Finding clients when you’re first starting. Or balancing work, creative ventures and private life. It’s all completely normal and almost expected.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
My business is called Inliight Society. It’s a small production company where I focus on fashion and portrait photography and cinematography. The thing that I am most proud of is being able to help other artists. I love the idea of collaboration and creating a project together. Something completely intangible becomes real with a little inspiration and elbow grease. I love the fact that I can call myself the owner of a company and bring my own vision to life as well as work with others. I think the thing that sets me apart from others is my unique perspective on the world. I was always an outsider and an introvert. So, I saw the world differently from many of the people that I worked with. I like to take my vision and mold it well with other perspectives and try to make a more tangible vision that tells more than one story. I never liked the idea of one protagonist is a story. An antagonist NEVER sees themselves as the antagonist. I like to move from that perspective because it always makes a story more interesting.

What were you like growing up?
I grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas. I was the kid who always sat by himself at lunch, I never had any social skills or the ability to be charismatic. I was always thinking about something. Daydreaming and drawing at my desk in a spiral notebook while the teacher droned on about algebra.

I made the decision to sign up for a theater class and audition for a play. I don’t know what gave a nerdy introvert the idea to sign up and audition for a play, but, somehow I got cast. I loved it. It was amazing and from that point on, I auditioned for every play until my senior year. I became known as the acting guy and was even voted ‘most likely to be on TV’ I found a group of friends and a path that I wanted to follow.

I wanted to go to college to be an actor. I set my sights on the American musical and dramatic academy in 2011. The year that I graduated. I auditioned and was accepted! I was so happy!

Then, I got the tuition agreement in the mail. I learned quickly that a private college in Los Angeles was not going to be cheap. I wouldn’t let that stop me.

So, I joined the Army for four years as an intelligence analyst.

After my time in the army. I went to school for three years and learned a lot. But, I felt it was my time to move on. I was still in Los Angeles and decided to pursue photography more aggressively.

Contact Info:

  • Website: InliightSociety.com
  • Email: Inliight.Society@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @inliight.Society

Image Credit:
Image credits: Photographer: Rodney McCullum (@Inliight.Society); Models: Taylor Jefferys (@TayelizabethSheek) Jenalta McCullum (@Muva_Genesis); Stylist: Taylor Jefferys (@TayelizabethSheek)

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