These days everyone's a "photographer". With the advancement of camera phones and DSLR cameras, it is making photography more accessible and widespread without basic knowledge of the fundamentals. Fashion and Nude photography is only an hashtag away but quality isn't something you will always find. But once you find a photo that is worth double liking, it is only right to find out who was the brains behind the scenes. We found one photographer who is BRILLIANT with his models and also capturing the right moment!
Calvin Brockington is one of the most well known photographers is the United States and especially one of the best the state of Texas. Calvin's work has been seen on Huf Magazine, DNA Magazine, Male Model Scene, Beautiful Mag, and so much more to even name. What makes Calvin so special is that he does it ALL. He is a certified MUA, Model Scout, Photography Wizard, and Model Developer! Calvin has made a name for himself to many well-known model agencies and continues to be one of the most influential Black photographers of our time. We had a chat with Calvin and below you will see how he comes up with brilliant content!
How did you get started?
I grew up very poor, as in sometimes homeless and food-less, kinda poor. In 7th grade my art teacher, Mary K. Smith. Took an interest in me for some reason. I would learn to know why later on in life. But Mrs. Smith would give me her old Vogue and Cosmo Magazines. I became fascinated by the images, the fashion, the make up… all of it just gave me hope. Over the summer a photography summer camp was being offered, I of course didn’t think about it, because there was no way I could afford it. One day after class, Mrs. Smith ask me to stay later. After everyone had left, she pulls out a box from behind her desk and handed it to me. I excitedly opened the box. Inside was an Pentax K-1000, She instructed me to pick it up and hold it. By this time i was in tears, she hadn’t even officially given it to me, But all the same I was holding something I would have never held without her. While I was holding the camera, she ask me,” Would you like to spend the summer at Photography Camp, They are only taking 12 children and you would be there for two weeks?” Then I said to her, “ I don’t have a camera like this and I don’t know anything
about photography.” And she said to me,” If you want to go to camp, and you promise to try your best, this is my old camera given to me by my father, but I will give it to you so that you can go to camp. “ I couldn’t stop crying and promising that I would do my very best and be the best student there. I only needed to know one more thing so I ask her why would she do all this for me? She explained how she could never have children, But when she met me, she saw a dreamer and she felt it her mission to make sure that I keep on dreaming. She told me how one day my dreams would take me out of poverty, sadness… That I would ultimately have the life I wanted. Summer Camp was awesome and I’ve never given up on photography since.
When scouting models to shoot what do you look for?
A face always gets me first. Then there’s the build, the structure. And of course the attitude. Can’t have too much but I don’t do shy well.
What type of photography do you enjoy to shoot most?
I used to enjoy Fashion and Editorials. I still enjoy it but once I dabbled in being a model agent, my taste for fashion definitely lost it’s magic. Now my photography focuses more on beauty and male form. I enjoy beauty photography, being that I’m also a makeup artist. I find the shoots creative and fun. With male form photography, I simply love the male body and I love finding the line between, “ fashion and nude photography, making an erotic image feel like a polished museum piece that you ‘d hang on a wall. “
What equipment is your favorite to use during a shoot?
I am a Nikon-Freak! Plan and Simple. From my camera to lenses.
What mistakes do you see up-and-coming photographers make that you would like to see fixed, or better?
New photographers often want to be considered Professional right off their first shoot. I spent a good amount of time being and assistant to local professionals, just to gain knowledge. So
to me what I see with new photographers is a lack of knowing of the history of photography. How a camera really functions when it’s not on automatic everything. My other pet peeve is so many newbie’s are afraid of the word’ “ Free!” They’ve been told by somebody, somewhere that they need to always get paid for whatever they do. Well a lot of work I did early on was free. It made a name for me in the industry, it got me published in magazines and it got me into Model agencies. If a shoot is free is should offer EXPOSURE !!! No not some bleep on some fools IG. No like real exposure you can name drop with; Big corporations, Big companies , and yes maybe one or two IG peeps that have a 1-2ML + Followers. But do not be afraid of FREE!!
We also see that you used to model! How has that help you shape and mold your photography?
I modeled with the intentions of gaining knowledge. It was never my goal to become a model. I needed to know, what photographers used, what they say, how they light etc etc… That was a great help to me and still to this very day use that knowledge.
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
Hmm that's a hard one. I guess I’m most proud of being recognized by my peers. By people in the industry who I’ve idolized for years that often treat me like an old friend. I’ve had some amazing publications and notoriety, but to me knowing that others like and respect my work makes me proud.
What is your ultimate goal regarding your photography?
My goal now is to enjoy myself behind the lens. I want to have fun now. I don’t want to stress or have deadlines. I want to make beautiful, sexy images that captivate the eye.