I am a Vegas-based photographer that works a lot in the gay community. I'm about conveying emotion and dramatics in photos; I like them to speak without words. I like to keep my style unique and relatable..to stay a cut above the rest. I see beauty from the inside out and try my best to bring that out in a photo. I study non stop on how to make photos better; I study about lights.. equipment, techniques... I'm passionate about my photography, and I don't want to be doing anything else in my life. I'm humble... never arrogant... and will always be a student of life and capturing images... I live by the shutter.
Our readers would love to get to know you more Deejay. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
Something unique about me is that I am a proud member of the LGBT community. My husband is also a creative individual in Las Vegas; he is a female illusionist. We have a 3-year-old daughter who models as well. She's also no stranger to a camera :). I pride myself on making art that speaks. One day... someone asked me... do you want to make art.. or do you want to make money?. I took it as that's the way it has to be... putting out boring images. However... I stayed true to what I do.... and know now... art makes the heart smile. Art brings people together. I put out art. As a person who wants everyone to be happy.... I am glad I can show beauty and happiness through my work.
Deejay, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?
My passion has always been acceptance and art. My passion for all things art has gotten me through the hardest times in my life. I guard that closely. I started as a photographer when I was 19. I also was and still am a DJ and writer. I started to bring my photography full swing in 2012. Life happened, and I was unable to continue travelling. Just in 2017, I've reached a point in my life to where I can have family support, I am financially stable, and I can reach many hearts with the work I put out.
Who is your inspiration in life Deejay? How do you keep inspired?
My inspiration in life is the people who are different. The beautiful people that can sometimes feel less than beautiful. They continue to inspire me to be they never give up and stay true to themselves. How can I argue with anyone who wants to be beautiful? I strive to show the world the passion in their hearts.
We all make mistakes Deejay; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Photographer; you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
I don't find it to be a mistake... however it was bittersweet. I had an a/v position... where they paid for everything. They just wanted my talent in djing.. photography and videography. I worked with lights.. theatre etc. One day.. the owner of the company wanted to bring me abroad... to keep me away from my family I was trying to build. He wanted me to be something more than a skilled worker. I declined and gave him a piece of my mind. Many pieces in fact. I am not an escort. Never will be. It's bittersweet because I was doing what I wanted to do... however... it came at a very heavy price. As of yet besides that, I haven't had a situation to be handled differently.
Deejay, when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Photographer, how do you go about prioritising your clients’ needs?
I've worked with many people with different personalities in the same room. I usually just handle it like I'm handling children. Direct... using simple commands... and being firm. I like to use anecdotes and humour to get what I'm looking for.
Please tell us Deejay, about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities as a Photographer?
There was a time. I still do it... lol... I would book shoots... study how I want it to look.. and buy equipment based on that shoot. I would not do the shoot unless I had what I needed... and practised with it.
Deejay, please give us an example of a time when you were able to persuade someone to see things your way at work successfully.
I think I try my best to have open communication with clients. If they feel like they are doing something that is working for me,... but it's not..... I shoot what they think is good... then I tell them what I need them to do, shoot it and show them. I am really big on communication; I have a gift for expression. They see and realise how my vision works for them and myself. Its all about pencilling things out. That goes for anything.
Deejay, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Photographer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
So far... this might be my proudest moment. Lol. I'm very proud of the last shoot I did.... it shows my competition that I'm no little fish... I'm a Piranha.
Deejay, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
I always try to be creative in my work. I spend a lot of time in preparation for a shoot... and I'm constantly thinking of ideas for a shoot. It's always exciting to me because even if I know what I'm going for.. I always seem to surprise myself as I was a beginner :)
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Photographer?*
Stay true to yourself. Take constructive criticism, and knows it comes out tough. You've got to have a thick skin to be a photographer. Sign up for photography groups, watch videos, ask questions, read about it.... get a mentor. Practice practice, shoot shoot shoot.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state what type of collaboration you are looking for?
Fashion, LGBT, any brands.
Photographer: Deejay Labayan