Natural light photographer, D.L. Samuels, gives us a glimpse behind the scenes of his unique style of photography, modeling, and his inspirations.

Photographer: D. L. Samuels www.shotbydlsamuels.com Instagram: @shotbydlsamuels

 

Q: What is your full name and where are you from?

A: My name is Devaughney L. Samuels. I’m from Spanish Town, Jamaica. 

 

Q: How long have you been doing photography?

A: I started photographer approximately 3 years ago, in the summer of 2013 after purchasing my first camera. 

 

Q: What inspired you to want to do photography? 

A: Growing up, I had a vivid imagination especially when it comes to music. Every-time I heard a song, my mind created visuals that I believed would match the song’s theme, vibe and lyrics. Deep down inside, I knew that I wanted to become a director and filmmaker but due to a set of external influences my dreams were overshadowed. I then began to believe that being a businessman or doctor was my only future. I basically ignored my raw talent for way too many years.
In 2010, a few of my colleagues and I from college started an Event-Centric Photography business. I was one of the persons handling the business aspect of it and even though I was behind the scenes, I found myself gravitating more towards shooting and editing.
I eventually left this Event-Centric Photography business due to a variety of differences, and it wasn’t long before I felt lost. I didn’t know what to do and all I could think about was my childhood dream of being a director and filmmaker. I decided to take that plunge and purchase my first camera in 2013. Unfortunately I didn’t have a computer that could support video editing at the time, but luckily it could manage photo editing. With these circumstances, I decided to give photography a try, especially since photography and filmmaking principles go hand-and-hand. I haven’t been able to put my camera down since. 

 

Q: What is one of the best shoots you have ever done?

A: I don’t think I have one. Doubt always throws that thought of doing my best work out the window for me.
Every-time I create something that I believe is good, it doesn’t take long for me to begin thinking of all the possible rooms for improvement and how to get better. That whole mindset tends to be destructive but I have decided to turn it around and spin it into a positive light. Instead of being destructive, I let it push me to keep moving forward and never settle. I have yet to create and do my best shoots. The moment you believe you are “the best” is the moment you retire from improving and developing. 

 

Q: Who do you hope to shoot one day? What event do you plan to shoot one day?

A: I hope to shoot alongside a lot of magazines/publications and model/talent agencies. To be a resident photographer for a well known and reputable magazine and model/talent agency would let me know that I am moving towards fulfillment of my dreams.

 

Q: What is some ultimate goals for yourself and your career?

A: My ultimate goal is to finally be in a place where I can comfortably live the life I wish for myself. Where I can no longer see myself as a starving artist, but a striving and successful artist. A place where I can travel and just do what I love and love what I do. I want to know that even beyond my life, people will still be seeing and admiring my photography and other visual art that I have created.

- Model: @xo_cindy_x.o - Stylist: Neko Kelly | @Bootlegrocstar - MUA: Teeah Anderson | @876Faces - © D. L. Samuels | www.shotbydlsamuels.com

Q: Who are your inspirations?

A: My inspirations are myself and my girlfriend. To see where my work is coming from in over 3 years with the same minimal camera equipment and my girlfriend, Shanice J. Douglas for constantly encouraging me and never allowing me dwell in my own self doubt.

 

Q: Do you have a specific lens you use for your shoots?

A: As I had stated earlier, I am currently a “starving artist” and I have learned how to make the most out of the minimum equipment I currently have. I currently only own and shoot with my a Nikon D3200 and a 50mm f1.8G lens. The “nifty-fifty”, as it is known by many, is the go-to lens when you’re trying to figure out your path in photography. 

 

Q: How would you define the style of your shoots?
A: I mostly specialize in Portraits, Headshot and Beauty photography. My style can be simply defined as a sharp subject and blurred background. The majority of my photographs have my subjects as the main focal aspect of the images and the background being blurred out.
I solely use natural light in my photography. Personally, I like the fact that it’s so unpredictable. I find it challenging, but makes each photograph hold it’s own moment in time. 

This photograph is the intelectual property of D. L. Samuels, please contact shotbydlsamuels@gmail.com before using this photograph to avoid Copyright Infringement AND/OR place the relevant information/credit in the descrption when being uploaded to the WEB/SOCIAL MEDIA ie "Shot By D. L. Samuels"

Q: Are you currently working on any projects?

A: No, i’m not working on any projects at the moment besides being in New York City, trying to get my name out there and forming as many connections as possible. I am hoping to gain more knowledge about photography and other aspects of the visual arts.
Q: When you edit your photos, what style do you go for?

A: When editing my photographs I try not to go over the top. I want the photographs to look and feel as natural as possible. I recently found my own editing style which I’m proud of. I tend to focus on the details of the skin and then try to give my image more of a three-dimension feel. 

 

Q: When is comes to the confidence of the models, or the people you shoot for, how do you get them to do exactly what you want?
What steps do you take to ensure the photoshoot turns out how you envisioned it?

A: I guess you can say being a photographer you should also be an excellent people person. My personality tends to be very warm towards people in general.
Having a structure for everything from reference images for poses, to outfit,  and location before the actual shoot date is very important. Creating a mood board and letting models/clients know what exactly to expect and the direction of the shoot is essential for the day to flow smoothly without a hitch.    

 

Q: What would you like the readers to know?

A: Follow your dreams no matter what it is. We live in a world where you can become a billionaire from doing anything from the simplest thing, to the most extravagant. We tend to neglect that all those success stories that we see all have a few things in common.  
They didn’t become rich and happy from doing what society told them to do. They came rich and happy from following their own dreams, from doing what they yearn to do. In following your dreams some roads will be so clear that you may see end of success while others have potholes, detours and stop lights but never you give-up on that dream. You will get there and when you do, you can write a book. No one wants to hear how easy you got to success, they want to hear how hard it was and how you wouldn’t get to where you are now without sticking through the rough patches.
The destination is important but it’s the journey which teaches you all the lessons that you need to know. 
P.S. There’s no such thing as Trial and Error, it’s Trial and Experience. 

 

 

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Location:
New York City, USA: April 2016 – July 2016 
Kingston, Jamaica: August 2016 – Until 

 

 

About The Author

CEO, Editor-In-Chief

awkward. college student. entrepreneur. womanist. radiant. lover of all things. growing, blossoming each moment.

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