Jamyr Greene is a junior film major at Montclair State University. He is a photographer and videographer who has a passion for visual creativity. Greene has photographed numerous hip-hop concerts, both for up-and-coming artists and major artists, and for a variety of special events for clients. Greene spoke with The Montclarion staff writer Cristian Inga about his love for visual creativity, his influences and his career goals.
Q: What inspired your interest in photography/videography?
A: When I was 16 years old, I took my first video class in high school where I learned the basics of video. I did a couple of projects and realized I really like doing this, and wanted to keep making videos past high school.
Q: Are there any creators whose work you admire and look at for inspiration?
A: I look at the work of a video director who goes by “Directed by Max,” who is actually from my town, Franklin Township. He has done videos for Rae Sremmurd and Mike Will Made It. I also look up to Spike Lee and ASAP Rocky, who builds his music videos from his own way of thinking. I try to be inspired by those around me because I can see their growth.
Q: Who are some of the artists you have photographed?
A: The first major artist I shot was Gucci Mane. I’ve also shot Dave East, and I got the opportunity to shoot at Summer Jam 2018, where I photographed Kendrick Lamar, ASAP Ferg, Tory Lanez, Lil Wayne, Remy Ma, Fat Joe, Jay Critch and Famous Dex, among other rappers. After, I went on tour with Casanova for two weeks during his EP promo tour, where I got the chance to go to the BET Awards, which was a crazy experience.
Q: What is it about concert photography/videography that intrigues you?
A: After shooting my first concert I realized I loved lighting so much. With concert photography you can’t tell the artist what to do, so it’s up to you to capture that moment. Capturing video and photos during concerts is hard, but once you get the flow of it, you start to get more creative and better, especially in the editing process. It’s all about momentum. Once you see what you like, keep shooting.
Q: What is your favorite type of photography?
A: My favorite type of photography is shooting models because I know I can create art out of them. Location and outfits matter a lot and determine the quality of the shot. I don’t look for pretty faces, I look for people I know I can make something meaningful out of.
Q: What are some events you’d like to cover or artists you’d like to work with?
A: I’d love to shoot the Rolling Loud music festival. I’m not really big on wanting to shoot major artists because I still want to focus on my own projects. I really want to create three solid short films because I want to be known as a film director.
Q: What are the challenges you’ve faced as a young photographer?
A: There’s so much. One of them is respect. It’s hard to get respect, and it comes and it goes. I ask for it before I create the art because it’s time and effort. I feel like as creators we get lost and enough is never enough. We’re always thinking about what’s next. I can’t be stuck in a moment knowing there’s more moments to create.
Getting access to shows is another problem, but that’s the art of networking. It’s all about doing local things to eventually do bigger things.
Q: When you aren’t creating content, what are you doing?
A: When I’m not shooting, I’m jotting new ideas in my creative notebook. For all my shoots, I create mood boards that represent the feeling and clothing for the model. It gives the model a comfort to what’s being accomplished. I also enjoy writing and working out.
Q: What are your plans for the future after you graduate from college?
A: I’d like to work for Complex or even intern there because of their artsy content. I’d also like to work for XXL Magazine or a hip-hop radio station, like Hot 97 or Power 105, as a creator, and that way get access to their major events. Mainly, I’d like to continue my own business of traveling and doing projects for other people. I also hope to create a movie one day. I just want to change people’s perspectives on art.