It’s not easy being a photographer and a videographer at the same time. It’s probably much more difficult constantly having to capture videos and photos of one of the most upbeat and recognizable people in the industry in DJ Khaled, simply because he has been one of the people to help transform social media. One thing that we can’t argue though is that capturing Khaled’s videos of him sipping Belair and Ciroc in his pool or lounging around snapping pics of Jay-Z is probably one of the most rewarding and exciting jobs on the planet. The multi-talented Ivan Berrios can vouch for that.
The young director has been on the road with Khaled and We The Best for years now and has been the man behind the lens when it comes to some of Khaled’s most quality pieces of work. Using some of the world’s top movie directors as his sense of inspiration, Ivan has taken his talents to new levels and has become one of the most demanded shooters in the industry right now.
I had the chance to catch up with Ivan to discuss how he got into visual work, how Khaled discovered him, the experiences he’s had being around Jay-Z, advice that he’s been given from some of his OG’s and much more. Check it out below.
How did you get started in the photographer/videography business?
Ivan: I got started right after high school. I would say in 2010. I was doing photo shoots for my friend’s sports cars and being on the set of my friend’s video shoots that they were directing. I just really enjoyed it and just ran with it.
What made you want to get into it?
Ivan: It was really all fun and games. My dad had a camera and I would mess around with it and would shoot dope pictures of things and would post it on my Facebook page and see the feedback that people would give me. A lot of friends and family showed me love so I kind of just kept doing it. The more I did it, the more I wanted to better myself every time. It was one of those things to where people started to become a fan and I wanted to show them more stuff every time.
What do you enjoy doing more – taking pictures or making videos? Why?
Ivan: I like taking pictures, but I love doing videos. I love movies, and I try to make some of my work look like it. The thrill to keep people’s eyes on your visual and them saying how amazing it is is a pretty awesome feeling. You start to feel really good about it and keep it going.
What/who do you use as some of your biggest inspirations when it comes to your work? What outside factors are you inspired by?
Ivan: My biggest inspirations I would have to say are directors like Michael Bay, Christopher Nolan, Ridley Scott. I hope to be on those guy’s level one day. From watching their movies, I get inspired. From the stories to the beautiful cinematography. Those things really get me to get back to the drawing board.
How did you start working with DJ Khaled and We The Best?
Ivan: I started working with We The Best when I was about 20 years old. I was working with Ace Hood shooting his tour videos and some of his music videos. Throughout those 2 years with him, I guess Khaled was watching my work and really liked it. He came up to me one day and said that he really liked my work and that he wanted to have a meeting with me about working with him and being on the road. It was history after that.
Was Khaled your plug into getting into Roc Nation as well? How has that experience been?
Ivan: I work with Khaled all the time. Since Jay Z is his manager, and Khaled is part of Roc Nation, that makes us all family. We are all on the same team. It’s a blessing to be able to work with people who are on the same mission as you, and that’s to win, big!
What have you been learning from Khaled and others such as Lenny S. after working so closely with them?
Ivan: Grateful to be able to be around people like Khaled and Lenny S. I’ve learned to always be on point. To always have a plan and that every work you do should be better then you’re last.
What would you say was the most inspiring picture, video, or gig you’ve had since becoming this widely known videographer/photographer?
Ivan: It’s way too many honestly. There’s hundreds of photos that got me recognized. Video wise is a lot. From me doing music videos, trailers, Ciroc and Belaire videos, I started to pick up a style that people started to really fuck with. They would call me Ivan “BAY”, ha-ha! Because of how epic I would put together videos and the sounds effects that I would put behind it. Not many people were doing what I was doing.
You’ve also spent some time around Jay-Z as well. How has that experience been? Has Hov ever complimented your work?
Ivan: Jay is one of the most amazing and humblest people I have ever met. I remember being in Jay’s house with Khaled during the “I Got the Keys” recording session, and I did a little 15-second D’usse commercial. I gave it to Khaled, he loved it. He gave it to Jay in a text message, the next day we had gone to a Clippers basketball game, and backstage Jay Z walked up to me and was like “ Yo! That video you made last night was crazy!!!!” he gave me a handshake, jumped in his car and drove away. I was like “Dam Jay recognized me and big’d me up? I got to be doing something right!” ha-ha! He knows me now. Every time I see him, which could be anywhere, he would be the first to walk up to me and show me love.
What would you say is the biggest tip or most useful piece of advice any one of these people I named before have given you this year?
Ivan: To be true to your vision and better yourself in everything you do next. To make all you’re new work be better then you’re last. That’s the key.
What’s next for Ivan Berrios? What’s coming in 2018?
Ivan: I want to get more into directing. I want to do commercials, more music videos and eventually movies. I want to take my team into the big league with these visuals and win big. I want to make timeless visuals and show the world that there’s a lot more coming. But in the meantime, enjoy what I have to show to you guys! Follow me on on Instagram at @IvanBerrios. More Greatness to come!