While on a brief hiatus from music, I decided that I wanted to begin taking some new, refreshing, and spontaneous risks. It was time to live a little! So what did I do? Ironically, I chose to do what I commonly do every few months: take photos of myself. However, this time was different. I wanted to ditch the iPhone and hire a professional photographer to take the pictures. It was time to make some seriously bold moves! I quickly dashed to Facebook and, after sifting through my favorite Spongebob memes, I asked my Facebook friends for the most talented photographers in the Queen City. Later that day, I received the contact information of a young man in Uptown, and once I saw his work, I knew that my impulsive risk had been rewarded.
At 19-years-old, Gavin Boulware began studying photography. What started as an occasional hobby, quickly became his craft, tool of expression, and opportunity to give back to the community around him. Now, coupled with his photography podcast and Youtube channel, Gavin is working to foster safe spaces for young photographers, specifically of color, to share their stories, while also delivering some seriously funny anecdotes himself.
I have always been someone who encourages people to adopt as many hobbies as they can. You never know when something you do for fun can become a passion or even a stream of income. Gavin, like many other professionals, always had a fascination for business and owning his respective platform. “I always wanted my own business,” he proudly stated. “I grew up in a household where most of my days were spent assisting with my parents’ janitorial business. I always had the desire to be an entrepreneur, but I didn’t know in what field.” It was inevitable that his love for photography and his drive to run a successful business would collide and continue to provide him ways to thrive in both worlds.
What I immediately noticed about Gavin’s photography is the clear attention to detail in every line, color, and expression in the photo. The first word that came to mind for me was “crisp.” Gavin has found a unique way to accentuate bright, vibrant shades within the backgrounds while simultaneously highlighting the best features of whoever he is capturing. When asked to describe his photography style, he emphatically answered “CLEAN! I like to take my time and create a quality, high-end image that represents my client to the fullest.”
I’m obviously a fan of Gavin’s work, but what I like most about his photography style takes place behind the camera. Gavin has an almost spiritual way of making the client feel attractive and uplifted during photoshoots. Naturally, he is an animated and entertaining person. Multiple times throughout our shoot, he would say “Alright now! Give me the biggest fake laugh you can do!” The seemingly abstract request would actually cause me to laugh, which made for some aesthetically pleasing shots that still captured my genuine reaction in the moment.
When asked about his intentions when shooting, he stated “My ultimate goal is to find out exactly what my client wants and deliver that outcome in the most memorable way. I try to figure out the truth on why my client booked me. I made that my goal in this business because I knew if I delivered what a client wants, they will not only return, but they will bring clients with them. So far, it’s working.”
Most recently, Gavin pioneered a photography podcast titled “Paid in Exposure.” The podcast was created so photographers of color could ultimately grow in a setting that was comfortable and open. Gavin and his co-hosts hilariously discuss various topics such as bizarre experiences while on set, managing a marketing budget, and stumbling blocks that photographers commonly fall victim to.
We appreciate Gavin for sharing his voice and creative eye with the city of Charlotte. You can connect with him on Facebook or Instagram. You can also listen to the Paid in Exposure podcast on all major streaming platforms or on the Anchor app.