Christian Royce Speaks on Photography/Videography Inspirations, Working and Touring with Dej Loaf, The Launch of His New Brand ‘JETLAG’D’ and More.

It takes a lot of work to be a photographer, videographer, and/or director. Not only can it be it be extremely time consuming but you also have to have an amazing eye for capturing moments. Although every photographer, videographer, and/or director have their own way of capturing moments, the quality of the visual has to have a distinct meaning behind it. Like the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Using his family, work ethic, and a strong connection to one of music’s dopest acts as his inspiration, Christian Royce has been able to expand his talents in the visual department and grow his name to become one of the best-emerging visualizers in the tri-state area.

I caught up with Christian to talk about his grind in becoming one of the best at what he does, the pros and cons of being in the industry, connecting and traveling with Dej Loaf, the launch of his new company and more.

1 – How did you get into doing photography/videography?

I got into photography and videography at a very young age because of my grandfather. He taught me the ins and outs of cameras and how to work them. Ever since then I combined my love of photography and videography with my love for music and it’s been history ever since.

2 – Growing up, what did you use as your source of inspiration?

My source of inspiration comes from my father. He always seemed to make something out of nothing. Growing up and seeing that showed me that anything we want in life is obtainable and nothing is impossible. I took that lesson and used it in my creative process, I feel any vision a creative has can come to fruition through hard work and self-discipline.

3 – At what point did you realize that doing photography/videography is something you wanted to pursue?

I always knew from the first time I picked up a camera it would be a hobby of mine for the rest of my life. But it was my freshman year of college at Central Connecticut State University that I realized I wanted it to be more than just a hobby. I met somebody who I would call a mentor named Anthony Valentine and he basically told me “if your going to do something then do it, but just don’t do it because you like it. Do it to be the best that ever did it.” From that point on I started taking my craft very seriously and come my sophomore year I dropped out of college to pursue my career as a director and videographer.

4 – What was the first paid photography/videography gig you did?

My first paid job was in high school I’ll never forget it. I made $150 for a music video. To me at the time, it was the best thing ever. Now, I’m making fairly way more but to always think that’s where I started always humbles me and makes me thankful for the road I’ve taken to get to where I am now.

5 – I did an interview with Brea Simone recently. She mentioned that getting ahead of the curve on social media is was helped her get her name out there despite the misconception of Connecticut. What was your strategy in the early stages of building your name?

I always felt like people connect better with someone’s work when they can connect to the person as an individual. So I made sure I always showed my personality through social media because when people see the real you, it builds their interest and makes somebody that more excited to want to see the work you put out.

6 – For someone like yourself who constantly has to provide visual content, did you think it was challenging to stay ahead of the photography curve as far as emerging photographers in the tri-state?

To be honest, I always believed in quality over quantity. So I never felt the need to flood my page with any kind of content to make sure I posted every day. I more so made sure I was at the right events capturing the right people and giving people something to look at that they wouldn’t necessarily see every day.

7 – In your opinion, what are some pros and cons of doing photography? What about directing and videography?

When it comes to photography the only con I can say is that when you’re upcoming, if you haven’t built your name up or you don’t have a relationship with the person your working with it’s sometimes hard to receive credit on your own work. As for videography and directing it’s easier to get your credit but sometimes depending on the work you produce or the field you are in, it is harder to get jobs.

8 – Over the course of 2017 you did a lot of traveling and catching shots of everyone and everything while on the road. One person that comes to mind is Def Loaf. How did that link up happen?

So I met Dej Loaf at an event in Connecticut called HOT JAM, hosted by our local radio station Hot 93.7. I was there working with a very talented artist named ANoyd who was an opener that day for the concert and I had noticed Dej did not have a cameraman. So, me being the outgoing person I am haha I just went up to her road manager showed him some of my work and was like do you mind if I shoot a recap video for Dej Loaf, and he said: “yeah go for it.” So after the show, I went home edited her recap video and sent it in that night. Then about 2 weeks later they asked me to film her in NYC at a genius event, remind you all of this was last minute but when u want something in life you gotta go get it because life waits on no one. But all I can say is I went to NYC did my thing and then next thing I know I’m catching flights state to state traveling in sprinters day to day doing what I love and getting paid for it.

9 – What was the experience like of being on the road and traveling with a mainstream artist?

The experience at first is definitely surreal, it’s a different lifestyle something I wish everyone could experience at some point in their lives.  It’s very fast pace but relaxed at the same time, you really don’t have to worry about much and the vibes are amazing. I tend to stay to myself even on the road because I hate the spotlight but it almost seems like you have a small portion of the world in the palm of your hands. The only thing is that it does get very tiring with the traveling and all but it’s worth it for sure.

10 – You recently launched your media platform, Jet Lag’d. You stated on your Instagram post that you came up with the name because you travel and work a lot. Explain some of the basics of the brand. What are you looking to achieve with it?

I’m not gonna really go into detail on my brand JETLAG’D just because I’m still building it up, but I eventually want to be able to break new musical artist and other creatives through this platform and build a team of dope visionaries around it. I also want to provide dope content all done in house by the JETLAG’D team.

11 – You’ve done so much over the course of the last 12 months. Which project and/or person did you enjoy working with the most? What did you learn from it?

Dej has really played a huge role in my life as far as showing me how the industry works. But I’ve also been working with a lot of upcoming artist like Leeky Bandz, Rayla, Deeno Ape, Trauma, David Lee and others, and they are my favorite to work with. I know a lot of people would love to work with a mainstream artist but being able to work with an upcoming artist who you truly believe in and help them build their brand and image is one of the best feelings I could ever feel.

12 – What’s next for Christian Royce?

The world will have to wait and see! Just be ready and know I won’t disappoint.

Photographer/Videographer Ivan Berrios Speaks on Working with DJ Khaled and We The Best, Getting Advice from Jay-Z and Lenny S., His Visual Inspirations and More.

 

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!