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Meet Samuel Freeman

Today we’d like to introduce you to Samuel Freeman.

Samuel, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I had just graduated from school down here at CSUSM and was working at a restaurant while doing freelance social media management, the work itself was interesting to see the inside operations and strategies of various indie production teams, but I didn’t connect with my work. I was assigned one day to create a short social media video series for a private chef in San Diego (shoutout to Chef Yapo!) Anyways, I brought my own camera and took pictures of the food and made short video tutorials of him making his meals. The series never really materialized but I found I truly enjoyed the work. I started picking up more jobs doing event photography during 2018, and my good buddies band Aviator Stash started growing and playing a lot of shows in San Diego and LA at the same time. I would go to all these shows and photograph the band and create their content.

More and more I began to feed my growing passion for photography. A combination of fate and friends would lead me to quitting my restaurant job at the beginning of 2019 and completely dive headfirst into freelance photography. I started living off my savings at the beginning of the year and picking up any jobs I could; event photography, concert photography, portraits, product. Eventually, I got a job with a media production team out of Encinitas that specializes in video edits for weddings, which is where I am today, Stockham Media, while also always doing my own freelance work with concert photography and portrait/fashion editorial work.

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?
As with anything you are working for in life, there will be struggles and times that test your dedication to your work. For me there are times when I question if this photography thing is a worthwhile endeavor or if I am wasting my time? With an over-saturation of so many amazing photographers and artists in Southern California it can be easy to get discouraged when comparing yourself against such great talent. On top of this, it is hard to find consistently work, I am always searching for new jobs and there are times when I have to take jobs even though they may not pay as well as they should. Despite all this at the end of the day I’m making it work and having fun doing it. I try my best to maintain a positive mindset and I do see myself growing and honing my craft and ultimately that makes me happy.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Samuel Freeman Photography story. Tell us more about the business.
Independently I am still shooting Aviator Stash as they play bigger and bigger shows and am growing more and more in that realm of my work. I recently got to go to Wonderfront Fest in San Diego and shoot some really great acts like Ben Harper, mgmt, Vince Staples, a bunch more it was awesome. I have played and loved music for most of my life so it’s really satisfying to find a way to merge two passions. I also work with Wes Chiller who is an absolutely amazing up and coming indie-rock artist from Capo Beach. Recently we worked together to create a rad music video for his single titled “Burning Up”. Wes is like if The Beach Boys, Jimmy Buffett, and The Rolling Stones we’re wrapped up in one guy, that’s his vibe. Kinda sounds like beachy Growlers Mac Demarco-esc indie rock, if that makes any sense. So you can imagine we had a great time creating his video. Another passion of mine is fashion photography and like bizarre editorial work and this is something I have really gotten into only recently but am picking up as many gigs with that as I can find. I really enjoy my work and I am finding a lot of joy in seeing myself grow in these mediums.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success to me can be measured by a persons happiness, and I know people will probably roll their eyes at that statement but I really do feel that if I can support myself doing something I truly enjoy and can see myself growing in that then I am living my life successfully. If I can wake up excited for what my day has in store rather than dreading my entire day till I clock out of work, then I have succeeded. Sure, I’m not raking in the big bucks but I am pursuing a passion of mine and that is a priceless experience in this life.

Contact Info:

  • Email:
  • Instagram: @sam_freee

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