UPCOMING PHOTOGRAPHER CALEBANDTHECAM INTERVIEW
We got to chop it up with 17 year old upcoming photographer Caleb DeSouza. We got to discuss his love for photography, New projects and his brand.
So!! Tell us about yourself?
My name is Caleb DeSouza; I’m a 17 year old fashion / portrait photographer currently based in London. I picked up my first camera when I was 14 to take a couple of photos of my friends for fun, then decided on taking the subject of Photography at GCSE and then never looked back. I realised quite soon after doing all these free shoots for friends , that I could make some sort of money so I created my brand ‘CALEBANDTHECAM’ in Dec 2015 and its been crazy ever since.
When did you realise your passion for photography?
I think I always kind of did, I loved Instagram and editing my photos that friends took of me for ‘photoshoots’. I would set them up and make WhatsApp groups to see what I and friends would be wearing etc., and then take photos with my iPhone which was always so much fun. I think career wise it was when I produced my first campaign for ‘CALEBANDTHECAM’ which was based on being laid bare and showing pure beauty without accessories or a lot of makeup. I remember doing that shoot in my school drama studio and thinking, this is what I want to do. Just not in a classroom.
What made you interested in photography?
Editing. I think the ability to change colours, bring forth texture, and make shadows etc. was something that made me think of how I take photos. From the shoots I did with my friends I would experiment for hours, playing around on Photoshop and I think that’s what sparked huge interest.
Tell us about your Photography?
So if you take a look at my photos that I publish, the models I work with tend to be people of colour from London and around England. When starting my own photography I realised when looking for inspiration, there wasn’t really any people of colour or shoots with them that I could find, and I found that difficult coming from a multi-cultural background and didn’t understand why there was a lack of POC in this industry. So when I finally took it seriously I focused / focus on empowering and magnifying people of colour that without a doubt could be on billboards and magazines. I tend to lean towards an urban based setting as I am from East London so I always try and link my own background and places I’ve grown up in the photos.
What does your Photography Represent/ What Are you aiming to capture in your photos?
I think it represents my own take on the urban scene of London, which is fairly grey toned based colour wise. I stay away from landmarks and well known buildings; it’s just not my thing to use backdrops that are well known to, I don’t know, show that I’m based in London. But for me it definitely represents empowerment and feeling powerful in yourself. When capturing photos I try and aim to show the models confidence. This could be through pose or facial expression, I think when the model looks self-confident it makes for a more engaging photo.
Do you study photography?
I do, I’m currently studying A-level photography which is helping me in a way I didn’t think would. I kill two birds with one stone because I produce work outside of school which I can and do use in my school work. So it’s been fun so far.
What inspired your latest editorial?
My last editorial would have been my shoot with Gabrielle Sampoh, which was based on Stormzy’s ‘Gang Signs and Prayer’ cover photo with all the balaclavas. I thought it would really interesting to play on the idea of hidden identity and outfit. Gabrielle is very androgynous, so I put a blazer on her and I don’t know, it really just created this fire concept of being able to create a new identity through clothing. Me and Gabrielle just love to experiment with shots and this shoot was definitely one of the best I’ve produced this year.
What else do you do besides photography?
I am really involved with music outside of my career and school and love to just sit down and go through albums and go through the meanings of songs and lyrics. My current album is ‘CNTRL’ by SZA and I’ve probably listened through it 100 times.
Who are your influences?
My current influence has to be Sasha Samsonova. Her work is hands down the best in the industry right now; she has a way of pouring this energy into her work that makes me think. I think the best influencers in life make you think and revaluate things and she most definitely does that for me.
Who are your favourite artists?
Music wise I think SZA and H.E.R are killing it for me; they just are so dope lyrically and beat wise. Photography wise again Sasha and probably Hassan Hajjah. They both again have a way of making me think how I frame my work and position models etc. Photographers that bring new ideas to the game are the ones that I like and tend to follow on social media.
What have you learnt about yourself since you started photography?
I think before I started photography I had this mentality of things just happening without me working for it. Almost expecting thigs to just fall in my lap and becoming successful without having to lift a finger. I quickly learnt that’s not how the world works and you have to grind and invest in your dreams.
What is your motto to live by?
Be you and don’t apologize if people can’t understand your thought process. If you’re hurting people through this then stop. But yeah, be you and don’t change that for anyone.
What advice would you give to another upcoming photographer?
I think people have this warped mentality that if you have a certain amount of followers or likes you are successful. That’s not the case. It’s so easy to look at someone’s work and replicate what they do and compare, but I’ve learnt that people like my work because it’s MY spin on the world not someone else’s. So take your spin on the world and run with it, the followers and likes come after that. If that’s what you are focused on.
What’s next for you?
I don’t really like to plan too far ahead as things change ALL the time, but I’ve currently just finished my first photography book which is purely for me and I’m currently working on my second one purely for my audience and overall just to expand ‘CALEBANDTHECAM’. I’m 17, so I’m very much aware that this is just the beginning of this journey and I’m excited to see what comes next.
RICHMAGAZINEUK look forward to what is in store for Caleb and cannot wait to see what is next and wish him the best for the future.
See More of Calebandthecam on his instagam page