Beyond the Lens: Beauty shot by Deth
“Making money is a hobby that will complement any other hobbies you have, beautifully.” What American author Scott Alexander brilliantly articulated is uniquely reflected in the professional journey of photographer Keanu Gordon.
Gordon was an active member of the photography club nine years ago while attending Ardenne High School. When it came time to choose a career path, the click and flash enthusiast thought to himself, ‘Why not have my cake and eat it, too?’ Making the option of becoming a photographer a no-brainer.
“Photography is a fun way to make money, and since it’s in line with what I’ve always wanted to do – being around influential people – it’s a win-win,” he explained during his interview with Beyond the Lens. An added bonus for him is that he is also able to inspire younger persons with his craft.
Lifestyle photography beckoned to him for this simple but significant reason: people could not only relate to it, but had a greater appreciation for these styles of pictures.
“Taking a photo of someone famous or prominent, like a CEO, or an artiste doing their thing in their natural habitat, resonates with people a lot. It brings more life and feeling to the photo,” he said.
Following his calling, his entrepreneurial pursuits would require a name, for identification and branding purposes, of course. Not armed with an alias at the time, he pondered on the possibility of settling with KeanuGordonPhotography.
But he was not a fan of that plain and predictable label. He yearned for something more, something epic. One night, during his Mortal Combat-like dreams, one of the character’s names was ShotByDeth. That really stood out to him, so he ended the battle by changing all of his social media accounts. Using in it as a placeholder of sorts, it ultimately won the war of names when everyone started calling him ‘Deth’.
Four years into his career behind the camera, Gordon describes this chosen path as tiring, if you take into consideration that it is a 24-hour job of not only shooting but editing. He admits, however, that it can be very fulfilling.
“It seems very glamorous on the outside, being able to take all these lovely photographs, but a lot of people wouldn’t know all the sweat and time it takes to make the photograph amazing,” he highlighted. He has also added the skill of videography to the mix.
Facing obstacles like not receiving recognition, or being unable to reap rewards from his work due to lack of ‘tagging’ or crediting, hasn’t made the journey easy. But he ensures that he builds solid relationships with clients so that his acknowledgement becomes second nature to them. On the business side, entrepreneurship, he says, has taught him that there isn’t one road to achieving greatness.
“People feel like if you’re not a doctor or a lawyer, you can’t be successful. But in order to be successful, you just have to push yourself and play the part until it bears fruit. I show people through my work that I can still be successful in my unconventional career path.”
Listing recording artistes Popcaan, Teejay and Cardi B as memorable clients who have played a major role in his growth and development, he has recently joined the Romeich Entertainment family and has kick-started his own company, Forever Media House.
“I’m happy that I’m getting to do what I’ve always wanted to do. I don’t even really think of it as work.”
Outside of photography, Gordon is kept busy hosting events alongside his team, Forever Entertainment.
“Our benchmark event is Big Par, but we have a lot of other things coming up that you can look out for.”
His advice to up-and-coming photographers is to practise, practise, practise.
“Shooting constantly builds the drive and the love to push through.”
To see more beauty shot by Deth, follow Gordon on Instagram and Twitter: @Shotbydeth. You can also visit his website: shotbydeth.com, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.