Adrian Poitier Is Redefining Photography
Adrian Poitier is more than just a brand, he is a creator who owns his own craft by making a name for himself. Adrian is a jack of all trades, he is a photographer, filmmaker, manager, and so much more. He was born and raised in Camden, NJ and has been creating for 3 years now. Adrian has never stopped performing at a high level since he was a kid. Currently, he is named the Director of Photography for Novum, Assistant Talent Coordinator for Four Styling Group, and manager to entrepreneur, Chandria Harris.Outside of these roles, Adrian is extremely humble and is expanding his brand by starting his own fashionable clothing line. Which is released just in time for hoodie season! I interviewed Adrian to see where his career is and where it is headed.
Charnell: Was there something or someone that pushed you to becoming a photographer?
Adrian: I became serious about photography on accident. There was a series of events that I was going through that lead me to this point. I was working as a banking specialist at a call center for TD Bank. I just quit running track and field after going to Penn Relays, The Armory, and other historical arenas. I was also interning for a label, House of 99 at the time. I was also doing assistant work, for Ant Beale. Which lead me to attend SXSW for the first time ever. We were in Texas when he asked if he could show me how to use a Canon 6D, I was already learning film in college so this wasn’t out of the norm for him to ask me to help him with camera equipment But, as you can say the rest is history. This was 3 years ago and I never turned back. I continue to teach myself and learn from my peers til this day.
C: Being born in Camden, how does the inspiration differ from now living in Philly?
A: I’m still in New Jersey, but I experience the city of Philadelphia differently now that I am planted in a city I grew up admiring. When you are from Camden you get told often that you are in the Country’s most dangerous city. Dangerous, maybe, but it’s far from a city. Knowing the history of Camden and seeing how it used to be the Mecca for commerce and social interaction makes me hungrier for change. Being in Philly drives that hunger in me now, because everything this city has to offer me was once in my city. Definitely feels like Killmonger’s Revenge but in a good way. I want to utilize this city of Philadelphia so I can add value to Camden, and continue to bridge the creative gap between the two.
C: Has anything or anyone discouraged you from following your dreams of creating?
A: I was actually discouraged from following other dreams which led me here, so I’m thankful. I was told early on, maybe 3 years ago that I shouldn’t pursue music. I wanted to learn how to make beats and produce, be a vocalist on my own instrumentals, rap, do it all. I had close friends tell me no that’s not for me. Instead of being bitter, I just went harder at photography and learned the art form. Figured out my passion was deeply rooted for it because of my aspiring director goals and was happy to be doing this instead of music. Music is something everyone thinks they can do because they are singing along to a melody and lyrics someone already created. I’m okay with knowing what my strengths and weaknesses are. Everyone should be.
C: What are some of you proudest moments in your career so far?
A: Some of the proudest moments in my career is whenever my nieces spot work I've created. My family is my biggest support system in everything I do. So, knowing they look up to me and the moves I make is a blessing. But to give you a list of my proudest moments would have to be, going viral this year for my pic of Da Baby was pretty cool. Shooting the Roots Picnic and The Greatest Day Ever festival was also a proud moment as well. Also, managing Chan, right now she is making this journey I'm on even more rewarding because her success is amazing to see. She currently had the opportunity to cover Complexcon and this is her second year covering NYFW. Working with her overall is very important to me. Another proud/success moment has to be with 'Yup, Another Podcast' as well. We have been working really hard on the podcast and reaching the masses and want our voices to be documented for the world to hear. I'm one of the hosts of the podcast, along with Stunt And Justin. Upcoming wins are what I look forward to most. Especially the ones I have in store for my brand.
C: What sets you apart from the rest of the photographers/ filmmakers out right now?
A: I’m different than other photographers and filmmakers because I believe I am one of the last purist in the art of photography. I just started working outside of Lightroom. For years that was my only editing tool for photography. Most photographers today utilize photoshop. To me, once you use photoshoot that’s no longer a photograph. Once the photo is manipulated in that app, it now becomes just an image. To me, a photograph can not be tampered with, past whatever you would do in a darkroom. Also, I’m just diverse as fuck! I don’t limit my abilities in this craft. I’ll shoot street style, portraits, lifestyle, fashion, concerts, baby showers, weddings, basically anything that documents real life moments. I haven’t been anywhere I couldn’t learn from yet or find the lessons in a moment, so my palette for information continues to grow.
C: Who are some of your favorite photographers that you look up to? Why?
A: My favorite photographers are all contemporary. Ravie B, Quil Lemons, Rolexx, Kofi, Brooily, and Dvvnci are some of those who I support in real life but am also a fan of. Favorite photographer of all time, I don’t have many except Gordon Parks. I’m more so into painters like Dali, Kahlo, Rockwell, and Picasso. I just started photography 3 years ago, so I didn’t have the luxury of knowing the history. The history didn’t really matter to me back then. But now I have the opportunity to do my research and learn more.
C: If you could describe yourself in one word what would it be? Why?
A: Unpredictable. I do too much for people to predict or assume anything about me creatively. Who knows, I might pop up with the next invention that’ll save independent music sales next.
C: What would be some advice for photographers that are just now starting their career?
A: My advice to anyone who wants to be a photographer is to make sure you learn the art before you become well versed in the tools. Learning all these cameras and lenses and gear will be confusing if you don’t master the art. Focus on being able to create with whatever you have now before you go out and make a big tag purchase. I was spoiled coming into the game and had to learn that the hard way. Spent some months strictly creating off my iPhone and it really disciplined my wants vs my needs get me to the place I am now.
Charnell Webb, Dinner Land