Durrell Hospedale is Making WONDERSWORLDWIDE Through a Lens
Durrell Hospedale is the kid you would see on your block holding camera up to your face trying to catch the best moments possible. Read his interview below and learn more about this photographer turning his creativity into art. Documenting the world around him is something he didn't really choose for himself, you can say this path chose him. Following this path got him the opportunity of capturing the likes of Rico Nasty, Jay Z and Beyonce. He's turned photography into a passion and and is now making WONDERSWORLDWIDE.
Charnell: Where are you from? Did you always want to do photography?
Durrell: I'm from West Philadelphia, born and raised. I started out doing photography because my whole life my family pretty much documented everything. Since birth to damn near high school graduation, all on VHS tapes. So, there has been cameras around me since childbirth. I picked up my first camera when I was really young like 5 or 6 years old. I really liked to document everything when I was young. But, I would say that I really started taking it serious in 2014, after my first year of college. Just because my friend said that she wanted to model. I told her that I just started taking pictures and that she might as well be my first model. That was basically my very first photoshoot. Before that happened I just took pictures of places, objects and anything on the streets. You can say that doing photography was just something that just came about because even for my 13th birthday i had a big party and everybody gave me money and the first thing I brought was a digital camera and a Xbox. And at the time I just wanted to document me and my friends, it wasn't a serious thing back then. I even went to school for criminal justice because I wanted to become a cop or either a state trooper/ FBI. I wanted to be top trier government type of security. But the Mike Brown situation happened and that's when people started looking at cops a certain way. So when I feel out of love with that dream, photography kind of found me and the rest is history.
Charnell: Can you tell us how your photography name “MAKEWONDERSWORLDWIDE” was created.
Durrell: MAKEWONDERSWORLDWIDE came from a couple interactions, the MAKEWONDERS part originated when I was in high school playing ball, I was playing over at St. Joseph University, where my dad taught. I would play with the college kids and I was really good. I would hear them say "Man that kid makes wonders." I didn't do nothing with that during the time. But when I started doing photography I just kept thinking that I needed a photography name. At first I was going to name myself Nasty Hands because at the time my nickname was D Nasty [laughs]. But in my head I was like nobody would hire a photographer named Nasty Hands [laughs]. A couple days went by and I was thinking back to the time when I was playing ball and they kept saying MAKEWONDERS. I used that and just added PA at the end because my friends told me to just put where I was from (Philly) in the name. So a couple of years went by and I knew that name could me bigger. I just wanted a change. On my 23rd birthday I made it MAKEWONDERSWORLDWIDE because I just felt like that's where I wanted to take it [my photography]. It's crazy how things can just come about out of nothing and end up making a difference, it's like supernatural!
Charnell: What is the meaning of your brand?
Durrell: My brand MAKEWONDERSWORLDWIDE at first didn't really have a meaning but when I started to work more and meet more people it started to have a meaning. To me it means, well, I just wanted to make people feel something when they see my name and let them know that they can MAKEWONDERS in anything that they inspire to do. I wanted to have people believe that they can do wonderful things and poses positivity in all things creative. That was something I wanted to spread world wide. So you can say that my perception on life is how the meaning of my brand came about. Making the world wonderful!
Charnell: What’s your biggest challenge in terms of proving yourself in the photography industry?
Durrell: My biggest challenge today would have to be creativity. It's just so hard, especially at the rate I like to shoot. I could shoot 3 or 4 times a day. With me, I will book a client that just wants to do something simple and that's cool but I feel like I haven't reached my creative peak and I just want to get closer to that side of myself that I know I have. I love the pictures I take but I want to take my concepts to the next level.
Charnell: You were at this years Philadelphia’s Made In America festival and captured a photo of Jay Z and the stunning Beyoncè. And she reposted your photo. Has that moment made you realize anything about being a photographer?
Durrell: Yes, that moment changed my perspective on taking picture of celebrities. But during that moment at Made In America everybody was telling me that she was coming, of course every photographer wants to get a picture of Jay Z or Beyonce. In that moment I saw everybody pull their cameras out, I pulled mine out and snapped a couple of pictures of Jay Z. It was surreal because he looked my way and It was just crazy that I even captured a picture of Jay Z. But I saw Beyonce walking behind him so in my head I just snapped a picture of her, she put her hand up, blocking her face. That was the ONLY picture I took of Beyonce. I felt embarrassed for that second but got over it because my friend told she laughed afterwards. After that I didn't even look her way again [laughs]. But then she reposted the picture on her Instagram and I was like OH SNAP! Once I saw that I had to go back into the moment when I took the picture and say yeah I'm that bul! [laughs]. I'm not big on being a paparazzi type of guy. I'm more into being intimate with my shoots. But in that moment I knew I just had to shoot my shot. A lot of people were talking about how she didn't credit me. I wasn't even hung up about that, I was just happy that she even thought my picture was good enough to even post up on her Instagram page.
Charnell: What’s one thing you can’t live without? Why?
Durrell: Music. I love photography but music is such a recital thing, there are so many genres and when you listen to music you can just close your eyes and picture what their talking about, that is a beautiful thing. There is nothing but good R&B music out right now.
Charnell: How do you think social media plays in the world of building your brand and gaining exposure?
Durrell: Social Media plays a huge role in getting exposure for any type of brand but photography especially. I have to thank Instagram for letting my work reach the eyes and the hands of people across the world. Not to sound like I'm winning an award [laughs], but that's how I feel. My infamous upside down cell phone pictures back in 2013 or maybe 2014 blew up just off of Instagram. So without Instagram I would still be in school studying law enforcement.
Charnell: Is there a quote of saying that you go by to keep you motivated?
Durrell: I don't have a quote but I am motivated by life. Especially living in Philly, where peoples lives are cut short on the streets and in your own neighborhood. No matter what's going on with my brand or my photography you just got to be glad that you're alive everyday and just be happy. Just live life and go with the flow!
Charnell Webb, Dinner Land