Fri | Aug 14, 2020

Campbell Clicks with Dre Immo Photography

Published:Sunday | January 5, 2020 | 12:00 AMKrysta Anderson - Gleaner Writer

Creativity has always run through the veins of the multitalented artist, André Campbell. From the visuals of drawing and painting, to performing in speech and drama as well as playing musical instruments in the school band, he did it all while growing up. But as he got older and began setting sights on a professional path, Campbell seemed to click with photography. He tells Beyond the Lens about his thrilling and life-changing journey.

“It has always been said that your career should be based on your passion and it shouldn’t feel like work. I really do love this craft and I want to make the most of it. I want to put myself completely in it, and if I can make a few dollars doing what I love, then why not?” he told Outlook.

Campbell admits that he loves creative portraits, but revealed that the market here in Jamaica neither recognises nor appreciates this genre. And the few people who do, he confessed, don’t want to pay for what he believes it’s worth. That made the transition from passion to profession more difficult than he could’ve imagined. Additionally, this forced him to shift his initial focus and explore other types of photography that he wasn’t necessarily fond of, “It’s still photography, so it’s still fun for me just the same.”

So here’s insight into the genres that he practice photographically. He loves that lifestyle photography is the natural, mostly candid genre: the story told by the photos are real and true. For portraits, he admired how he can really tap into his creative side, playing around light, colour, shapes, and lines: it’s a rush for him. He describes weddings as just magical, and he’s honoured by every opportunity he gets to capture the special moments of a special day: ones that a couple can look back on later on and marvel at the amorous artistry.

Corporate photography is his way of contributing to the society, capturing the photos of the company’s administration and products. And other aspects like being part of projects and knowing that his work will be published: an exciting experience.

“When it comes to my work, I like to keep them guessing. I do different things and try not to entertain the same look or the same style of editing. It’s fun, challenging, and keeps things interesting.”

While he has enjoyed the journey thus far, he did disclose that it does get frustrating because, according to him, he lacks the expensive quality of equipment that most, if not all, other photographers have and this limits his focal scope.

“I’m getting better at lighting, incorporating my personality into the mix, and retouching. But not being able to achieve certain looks because I don’t have the gears I need will get to me. So I’ll improvise as best as possible to achieve what I want or attempt to go as close to it as possible. Thinking on my feet and using what I have definitely help to get over this hurdle.”

Time, he says, is also an issue. Because the multitalented creative does much more than photography, he finds himself not allotting the time it truly deserves. He hopes to rectify this in the near future by giving more attention while adding to the precision.

The entrepreneurial road has taught him that hard work is mandatory, nothing comes easy. Working smart is also a useful tool, as well as networking and billing relationship. But in his heart, it’s the people that motivate and inspire his art.

His most memorable shoot includes rising and conquering when facing the beast of adversity.

He explains further.

“My lighting failed me, and I had to improvise with a reflector and other flat surfaces to bounce around the natural lighting. It turned out to be a lot better than I imagined it would be.”

And here’s a fun fact: this Canon man prefers shooting in studio, where he can control the environment. But ranking second-best is the great outdoors.

When he isn’t behind the camera, Campbell can be found behind the turntables. The disc jockey plays for parties and on the radio at Kool 97 FM. He is also actively involved in event and production management.

His advice to up-and-coming photographers: “Get an affordable camera, attend the university of YouTube. Just go out and shoot. Learn all there is to know about your camera; learn how it operates, practice with friends. Learn lighting and always keep it fun.”

For more information, you can find and follow Campbell on Instagram: @dreimmophotography or email: dreshockwavephotography@gmail.com

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com