Most of the time, photographers like to tell vivid and colorful stories about how they got into the profession. Sometimes it’s by pure ambition, sometimes by passion, but other times it’s by accident. Nilladriz’s journey in becoming a photographer is interesting to say the least. His first passion was basketball. Throughout his childhood, Nilladriz, dedicated his life to sports and eventually ended up playing for his high school team, St. Joseph’s in Metuchen, New Jersey. Weeks before the start of his junior season he fractured his spine during a drill at practice. The injury kept him out 16 months and ultimately lead to him missing out on not only his junior season but his senior season as well. In pursuit of filling that void from missing basketball, Nilladriz picked up photography and fell in love with it. He often worked long hours at his local Little Ceasar’s Pizza to save up to afford his first camera. After a couple months of hard work, Nilladriz bought his first personal camera and started on an unexpected journey.
Nilladriz is an American videographer, photographer, and entrepreneur. He’s best known for his work with the underground hip-hop scene. At just the age of twenty years old, he has worked with recording artists like Fetty Wap, Famous Dex, Skinnyfromthe9, Reggie Mills, Leeky Bandz, and Squidnice amongst others. He recently launched his self-titled YouTube channel in June 2017 where he released his first video titled “Port Richmond” by the artist, Squidnice. In just a few weeks the video amassed over 150,000 views. The talented creator is in high demand as a music video director and photographer offering clients a distinct style that has caught the eye of some of the biggest names in hip hop.
While most photographers are scratching and clawing just to make it, Nilladriz has found his own lane through his creativity. When asked about the challenges of making it as a photographer, Nilladriz said, “People often think full-time photographers struggle to find jobs but if you’re talented enough and you know how to hustle, creating opportunity for yourself is easy.” The secret to his success is seeing through an imaginary lens and staying inspired from everyday life. He said, “you often catch yourself looking at the world through an imaginary lens. I’m always drawing inspiration for potential photos from my everyday life.”
As any photographer would tell you, the job demands a lot of time and travel. Nilladriz spends a lot of his time traveling for shoots and making opportunity along the way. When asked about his traveling lifestyle as a photographer he said, “Photography has taken me everywhere you can imagine from abandoned psychiatric wards in upstate New York to Beverly Hills, Los Angeles.” The photographer lifestyle calls for constant movement and hustle. Most of the equipment used in the profession is also very expensive and can pose as a challenge for some people who are pursuing the career. But for Nilladriz, the person behind the lens is more important than the actual lens itself. He said, “photography equipment can be expensive, however, the person behind the camera is more important than the camera itself. It’s never hindered my work, in fact some of my favorite pictures were taken on my very first camera.” For Nilladriz, it wasn’t about the equipment, it was about the execution.
The life of a photographer can oftentimes be difficult. Finding clients willing to pay for shoots is challenging if you don’t live in a big city. But Nilladriz is proving that you can make it work with a little bit of movement and hustle. He said, “you have to be able to hustle and create opportunities for yourself. In this business nothing will fall into your lap, you have to go and get it.” As technology continues to evolve, and photographer’s jobs only get more demanding, the trend for an “on the move” type of lifestyle for photographers will continue and only become more common. Photography has gone from a stand still family picture taking profession, to an on the go hustle. It’ll take people like Nilladriz to make it in the industry.
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