Brian McKnight -- Red Hat Ampitheater 5/25/18

Grammy-nominated R&B legend Brian McKnight stopped in Raleigh Friday night for a sold-out concert. Let me say -- this man puts on a great show. He was definitely very fun and "easy" to shoot. It had been awhile since I had photographed a R&B singer and that's part of why i decided to take it on. View my favorites below! 

Post Malone + 21 Savage + SOBxRBE - Coastal Credit Union Music Park 5/18/18

Post Malone performed in Raleigh on Friday night as one of his stops on his Beerbongs & Bentleys album release tour, with opening acts 21 Savage and SOBxRBE performing before him. There were over 20,000 people in attendance, filling the amphitheatre to capacity. The openings acts weren't necessarily something to remember, but Post's bit was very entertaining. I had seen him perform 2 or 3 times before last night and unfortunately each of those times security was not letting photographers shoot, so this was my first time actually capturing his set. Photos from his set + the opening acts' sets are below! 

 

 

Spotify + RapCaviar Live - Charlotte Metro Credit Union Ampitheatre 5/1/18

Quality Control the label came to Charlotte, NC, to put on a night show including some of their biggest acts. Spotify and RapCaviar produced the special event. There were up to 7 acts on the bill, most notable being Trippie Redd, Lil Yachty and the Migos. Since today is my birthday, I decided to go and work the event as an early birthday present for myself, ha! It was my first concert in Charlotte and it was great, simply put. Here are some photos from last night below. 

Prime Music Festival - 4/14/18

Prime Social Group came to Raleigh this past Saturday and put on a small one day festival at the Red Hat Amphitheater downtown. They're a concert promotion company based in Michigan that produces music events throughout the East Coast. Since they were coming from a good distance for Saturday's event, I was connected with them through a local marketing coordinator to see if they needed an in-house photographer for their event here. Shortly after chatting with them they decided to hire me for the day. I was given the rights to run their Instagram account with my work for the next couple of weeks & had "all access" around the venue for the day so it was definitely fun putting that to use! It's always a great pleasure to experience people taking a liking to my work and I plan to work with the agency for events they produce in other regions in the future. Check out some of my photos from the day below! Have some really fun events coming up and i'll always update my music-related work on my music page! Thank you for tuning in and per usual, be blessed.

Big K.R.I.T. - Ritz Raleigh 3/25/18

Big K.R.I.T. is currently on tour after the recent release of his latest album and one of his stops was at the Ritz last night. I used to be a big, big fan of his. It's always interesting to hear how an artist's music changes over the span of their career. Anyway, unfortunately, they didn't light him pretty well at all so shooting him was...interesting. There is no flash photography allowed when photographing shows either (I wouldn't use one in this setting anyway, but just for context). Most times, for big artists, venues will have the colored lights going every which way behind the artist, then a solid front light hitting the artist's face to light he/she up well. Last night there wasn't a front light on his face so it made it a bit difficult, but I welcomed the challenge! See some pictures from the show below.  

SXSW 2018

Hello! I just got back in town yesterday from SXSW. What an experience. So many people all around, so many things to do. The entire festival was March 9-18, but i was only in town for the music part of the festival, which was March 13-18. The daytimes were full of panels, keynote speakers and conferences so I got to meet a handful of very cool people. The nights were full of pop-up showcases put on by different brands such as Netflix, Def Jam Records, Mass Appeal and more. Not only was this my first time shooting SXSW, but it was also my first time in Austin, Texas. Very glad for both of these experiences equally, even if they did leave me burnt out! Check out some of my photos below from the happenings. Thank you, and be blessed. Be back soon.

Jeezy - Ritz Raleigh 3/7/18

Grammy-nominated artist Young Jeezy came to the Ritz last night on a stop of his Cold Summer Tour. It was pretty much a sold-out show and full of energy. I used to be a really big fan of his before he got up in age. Here are some of my favorites from his set last night -- this was my last concert before SXSW next week which i'm very excited about! Looking forward to that.

A$AP Ferg - Ritz Raleigh 3/4/18

Hello hello! Last night I photographed rapper A$AP Ferg on his recently-started Mad Man Tour. This is another Live Nation tour, and it was actually one of the most entertaining shows i've seen there yet. He had two cameras on dollies on the stage recording him performing, and the screen behind him was playing it live to the crowd. It was pretty cool. I've never seen anything like that in concert. Ferg is an artist I personally listen to and his energy last night was great. Below are some from his set. Be blessed! 

Black History Month

For the latter half of this month I decided to post only black & white/grayscale photos of black music artists i have photographed in the past months & years on my Instagram, as a tribute to black history month. Black & white photos can give off a "timeless" feel, and when done correctly can be even better than color! This opinion says a lot coming from myself because being able to express colors in my work is one of the main reasons i'm even a photographer in the first place. Nonetheless, this was a very fun creative jog and provided for a cool aesthetic. Peep the shots below and give my instagram a peep at instagram.com/kmhairstonmedia! Be blessed.

Fetty Wap - Ritz Raleigh 2/25/18

Yo yo! I want to get more active with my site and blogging, so I think i'm going to share some shots from the shows I shoot on here with a more consistent effort. Last night Fetty Wap stopped by Ritz Raleigh for his very last stop on his For My Fans Tour and I worked the event. I photographed him almost 2 years ago when he was really rising to fame and that one was fun. 

The folks over at the Ritz are awesome to work with. I've shot countless shows at the venue, as a lot of big artists stop by there on their (Live Nation) tours. Check out some of my favorite shots from last night! Be blessed.

 

2018

Finally here! I'm very invigorated by the new year. I got a LOT done in 2017, but not enough. There's a lot I aspire to get done this year and the beginning of a new 365 resembles a 100% clean slate, with no more negative distractions. I have a relatively bare schedule, and there's a ton of new gigs for me to go out and contract. I'm very excited. I generally don't make specific goals for myself for the new year, but I do have 2 or 3 this go-round -- we shall see! The motto remains: I can. I will. I must.

Two weeks before 2017 ended, I flew out to Southern California to photograph another Rolling Loud festival. This go-round was a two-day (Saturday & Sunday) festival, not three days like their original installment in Miami. Very fun! I was pretty much on-the-go all weekend and I enjoyed constantly shooting. Here are some of my favorite photos from the weekend below.

Oh, also! I have my interview with WCOM 103.5FM this Friday! This will be the very first time speaking in such a manner about my career. A link to a video of the talk session will be shared shortly afterwards.

Happy New Year people and thank you for all your support. Be blessed

Fall into the Winter

Hello! Figured i'd do a quick write-up. The fall is here and winter is coming! Meaning the temperatures are dropping and basketball season is here. I shot my first couple games of the season last weekend, and I have a couple more this weekend at Duke and UNC. This is a very interesting and exciting time of the year for me, as basketball is one of my favorite two things to shoot.

It is no secret that I do a lot of music photography as well. I deemed 2018 my year of elevation in my music work, meaning i'm going to transition into covering more festivals. I have a few big ones slated for the new year, and i'm excited for the experiences they will bring. Speaking of festivals, i'm headed back to California next month to cover Rolling Loud's SoCal installment of their festival with the good folks at Variance Mag! I covered the home one in Miami earlier this year, and it was quite a time. I'm looking forward to this one and sharing my content, but in the meantime I invite you to view some of my shots from Miami's fest below!

Updates soon. Be blessed.

 

San Francisco

Hello! I was recently in San Francisco for about 6 days on a leisure trip visiting family & friends. I had been to the bay area two times previously and had not been a fan of it at all. It was always cold, dreary and windy amongst other things. Also, the hills are very aggressive on walkers. However this trip was very enjoyable. The weather was nice and there were many things to do. I decided to bring my camera along and take photos of whatever cool things my eye captured. Here are some photos below. Take a look! 

Also -- I was recently asked to be an interviewee on a Chapel Hill/Carrboro radio station to share my stories on my career to this point as a photographer and videographer. I've never done anything of this sort, as public speaking is not exactly my forte, but i'm very excited to share! It will be video recorded and potentially shared on the People's Channel in Chapel Hill & Carrboro, and Durham Community Media as well.  My segment will air on Friday, January 5, 2018 and will go from 6-6:30pm. For all my local NC folks, I invite you to tune in. Be blessed.

Back!

Hello! Figured i'd restart my blogging ventures again. I spent a significant amount of time away from blogging and i'm not really sure why. But nonetheless, this year has been a busy one! I've been to places like Miami (a few times), New York & New Jersey, Atlanta and San Francisco (headed back out there tomorrow!) and hopefully more before the year closes out. I'm going wherever my camera takes me and i'm in for the ride. Until my next blog, please enjoy the short vid below of some of my recent best work! Be blessed.

PS -- I recently tuned into a really good podcast by a photographer I look up to. If any of you have any podcast recommendations related to this field whatsoever, please reach out to me and let me know!

2016.

2016 was very exciting and successful for me both personally and professionally. A year that started out so tragically turned out to be the best year of my life. I was able to see many places, create a lot of great projects and witness a lot of events. I will never forget the progress i've made this year.

At the end of every year I always put out a video reel entailing highlights of my video production from that year. I put a lot of time and effort into these production reels because they serve as my "video resumes". I always put my best foot forward with them.

Embedded below is my reel for this year. You can also find it on keenanhairston.com/video. Check it out!

I plan to make 2017 an even better year than 2016 was, and I hope you all will too. Stay tuned and Happy New Year! Be blessed.

"Winter Season"

The hardest season for me. Probably the hardest season for most, if not all photographers. Cold temperatures, dealing with way less hours of sunlight -- which means less events. People are going outside to do what they need to do to go right back inside. I don't blame them either, I absolutely hate the cold and the fact that it gets dark at 5pm. However, it brings motivation.

During this season, I normally focus on my basketball photography and inside events, and editing jobs here and there. For me it's a bit harder to find work during this season, but I love every challenge that comes my way and I make it work. We live in a visual world, where a lot of different people, events, businesses, etc. need just that -- visuals. So, a bright side of this season is that I get to think a bit harder on what different ways I want to take my business -- what different type of things I want to potentially start shooting and ultimately, who new i'm trying to make smile abundantly at my work. So we'll see. I'm looking forward to the challenge. 

Also! I'm now a full frame shooter. Well, part-time full frame shooter. I still shoot with my beloved crop sensor camera for some photo work and for all my video work, but for a lot of my photo work I shoot full frame now. I've noticed the differences here and there and I love it. It's made my photo work that much better. However, if you're deciding whether to go full frame or crop sensor, I advise that you really think about the types of things you are mostly going to be shooting because while full frame cameras are more expensive and are known to be "better", there are pros and cons to both full frame and crop sensor. There are situations where my full frame camera shines and there are situations where my crop sensor camera shines. Anyway, here are some recent photos with the new full frame camera below.

Please be on the lookout for my 2016 production reel! At the end of each year I put out a compilation of my best clips from different video projects of the year. I have been blessed enough to be a part of some awesome projects this year, so it should be fun. I normally put it out with 2 or 3 days left in the year.

My first basketball game of the season is tonight at Duke, let's get to it! Thank you for reading. Be blessed.

Basketball Season

My absolute favorite time of the year, hands down. Well, I lied. If you take basketball away from the fall/winter then it's my least favorite. I don't know what I would do without it! I've been a die hard basketball fan all my life and played throughout high school. I always watched all levels of basketball for hours on hours because the game is so beautiful.  The season is coming very soon!

I'm more excited than ever for this season for a couple reasons. For one, I can now professionally attribute to the game at its highest levels through my sports photography. Also, I'm much better at this type of photography after having a solid year (2015-2016 season) under my belt. I got the idea to try it out at the beginning of last season so I was learning on the fly, but this year I'm ready. From a business standpoint to a creative standpoint, everything is better now. 

Last year I got the pleasure of shooting for the Washington Wizards of the NBA. I normally cover Division 1 college basketball games however, normally shooting for schools such as Duke University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Florida State University, Georgetown University and various others. I'm anxious to see how I move this season. My ultimate goal is to get more NBA games, so we'll see how that goes. Time to lock in!

Pasted below is a link to my "Sports" page on this website, which contains some of my favorite shots from last season. 

keenanhairston.com/sports

Once again, thank you for reading. Be well.

 

Hey!

Hello all,

It's been about a month and a half since I last blogged, but with good reason. More than usual, the past month and a half have been pretty hectic in both my personal and professional lives. No complaints though! Great progress is being made.

I'm just now getting back and settled into town after moving all of September up until this point. I was in San Francisco, California, visiting my brother for the first quarter of September, then was in Dallas for a multi-day video job for the second quarter of September. Once I landed from Dallas, Texas, I had a shoot every day until yesterday including the day I landed from Dallas. I say all that to recognize just how blessed I am to be working! I'm happy to be back in town and back working for a good while. Basketball season is coming up. High-level basketball photography is a huge staple of my brand and I've never been more ready.

 

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

I definitely like Southern California (Los Angeles to be exact) better, but San Francisco is a nice place for sure. Aside from the harsh winds, incredibly steep hills and surprisingly low temperatures, it was a very fun trip. The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most amazing things i've ever seen and I can see why it's such a tourist attraction. It was my first time visiting my brother since he moved out there early last year. Luckily I was able to meet up with my mom and dad out there, and we went exploring for 4-5 days. Photos from my trip are in the gallery below.

DALLAS, TEXAS

Dallas is amazing. It wasn't really that hot at all and it was a very clean city. The skyline they have is beautiful. Dallas is the only city i've seen in person with colored LED lights on a lot of their buildings. I like the innovative look they're going for.

I went there as a member of DWPPC on a multi-day video job. Luckily, we were staying in the heart of downtown. We were shooting from basically 8am-9pm, then I would go out exploring and wandering around the city shooting whatever I could. I also met up with a local photographer one night and he showed me a rooftop with a breathtaking view of the city. While Dallas isn't necessarily the biggest tourist attraction, I can definitely see why people have an appeal to it. Photos from my trip are below. 

Concert Photography

Hello,

Hope you all had a great week last week. Happy first of the month! The beginnings of months always motivate me to improve and advance. The last few weeks have been crazy busy and that's why I haven't found the time to make a blog post, but no complaints here! I'm glad I get to challenge my creativity and business everyday. 

This post, however, is specifically about concert photography. Aside from college basketball, concert photography is definitely my next favorite thing to shoot, and my next best strong suit. The lighting opportunities for shots is amazing. I'm also a huge fan of rap & hip-hop, so it makes it very enjoyable. It's amazing I do this as part of my profession. People have their bad things to say about concert photography, but I truly love it. It's another one of those avenues of photography where you can really show the emotion of a moment. One of my bucket list things to do is to go on tour with an artist, such as a Wiz Khalifa, or a Kid Ink, etc. The idea of being someone's personal photographer for a career seems awesome. 

Last Tuesday, I was able to shoot the Wiz Khalifa & Snoop Dogg concert here in Raleigh. They have a national tour going on consisting of 30+ stops. Artists Jhene Aiko, Kevin Gates, Chevy Woods, DJ Drama and even Casey Veggies performed as well. It was a great lineup of artists and I was very excited to shoot it. It was a great concert from start to finish. I had been looking forward to shooting this stop on their tour for over 3 months and I knew I was going to kill it. I was not hired to shoot Wiz Khalifa's concert here last summer and I was bummed to say the least. But that's why you keep at it! Snoop Dogg even posted one of my photos on his Instagram page. Below is a gallery of my photos from the night. Check em out!

Travel. Please.

Hello Hello,

Been one of those weeks! A lot of grit and grind type stuff. I hope everyone has had a productive, safe and blessed week. In light of all of the tragic events that've been happening, I hope to bring forth some positive vibes with this post. I've been praying for the families of my lost brothers in this madness, and for all of the families of the Dallas officers who were killed as a result of the shootings. I have a lot to say about everything that's been happening but in order to stay on track with this post, I will continue on with what I had planned to speak on.

Nonetheless -- I said a little while ago that I've been wanting to make a post about my travels so I've been thinking about how I was going to present this blog but then I again remembered -- blogs are supposed to be freeform thinking right!? So here it goes; my out of town endeavors.

There is so much to see and learn from literally everywhere. Different areas contain different people and different cultures -- different lifestyles, different ways of doing things, etc. All of it is good to take in, what you want to apply your own life is a personal decision. You simply cannot equal any tangible good, such as money, to an experience whatsoever.

Growing up, I never really went anywhere. Until this year, I had just been to the normal well-known getaway places in the US, ya know -- Florida twice maybe, New York once. Growing up in Baltimore, Maryland, I'd been to the surrounding states -- Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, etc., but I still never really "went anywhere”. A lot of those trips were "routine" to go on because of family trips, and the other times I don’t recall because I was too young. I have family that lives here in North Carolina so those frequent trips were a given, and my brother went to St. Francis University in Loretto, PA, so that just about covers every reason I had to take a trip to Pennsylvania. The bottom line here is I never really wanted to go anywhere, and I'm not sure why.

What I do know is that I've always been a creature of habit. I still am to this day, as it helps direct my life, but I’m trying to be more a lot more flexible with new things. It is very easy to get comfortable in a constant, steady routine but new encounters can pan out to be life changing for the better. I had a tragic happening occur to my family in early January and it indirectly changed my whole wave of thinking. Though I’m not exactly sure how it lead to my change of thinking honestly, it surely did.

 

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

In January, one morning I woke up and decided I was going to go to Los Angeles for 2 weeks. I needed to get away for various reasons. I'd always said I wanted to see LA, but I'd never been any further West than Minnesota (don't ask why I've been to Minnesota). Being a photographer and videographer, I've been aware of the mecca that LA is in the media field and I wanted to experience it for myself. So, I just went. I had money saved up from late 2015 projects and I just decided to go. This trip changed my life for sure. Even the process of checking in my bags at the airport, to the layovers, and all was so invigorating. It made me feel like I was doing something right. When I got to LA, I went wild with inspiration and fascination. I was shooting everything and I after week 1 I had taken over 2,000 photos. I went to a couple sit-in seminars on entrepreneurship. I handed out at least 150 business cards. I should be a spokesperson for Uber and Lyft the way I navigated around the city. I even found a way to get down to Laguna Beach, which is not exactly a short trip, especially without a car and considering Southern California traffic. I got to see the Hollywood Hills, Santa Monica, LACMA and much much more. I also had the help of a friend, who gave me a lot of helpful information too. I've uploaded some photos from my trip below and even linked a short video I made of my time there.

I even managed to book a couple of shoots out there to make a little money. I met a couple of insanely good directors, and I even got to see the workflow of a project in progress. One of my goals with my business is to travel more for work and this helped me see why I want to do that. There’s a lot to see in this world and I want to see as much of it as possible. Los Angeles has definitely not seen the last of me.

 

MIAMI, FLORIDA

In mid-June (about 3 weeks ago now) I went to Miami, Florida. Miami is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. The way they take care of their beach areas is phenomenal and the skyline is gorgeous from all of the many angles you can view it -- everything is lovely (besides the weather being blazing hot). I met amazing people and enjoyed shooting the many different spots. I also had recently bought a DJI Phantom, so I brought that along to fly with me everywhere. Oddly enough -- one morning around sunrise when I was flying it around South Beach, I came across an older guy who was out there for the very same reason. He is a Miami native, who makes a living from flying drones all over the world for television stations. I probably sat on the South Beach Pier with him for a good 3 hours just picking his brain on everything from flying, to filming, to the Miami market. That lengthy conversation alone made that whole trip worth it instantly. 

Going to Miami, I had a lot of lessons learned from my trip to LA. For one – not to even think about not getting a rental car. It's such a necessity and I honestly still don’t know how I maneuvered around all of Los Angeles without one. For my Miami trip I had 3 shoots pre-booked to make a good deal of the money back that I was spending on the trip overall, so I definitely wanted to make sure I had a reliable ride to get places. I also used Airbnb to find a nice condo off of the Miami Marina that was a very reasonable price. This was my first time using Airbnb, but after my experience I highly recommend that people utilize that service when traveling for fun. I know I will continue to do so for future leisure trips. 

I knew that my schedule only permitted 4 days in Miami, so I was going to go where I wanted, fly where I wanted, shoot what I wanted and meet who I wanted. Needless to say, I did all of those things and more. I was able to get some amazing aerial shots and footage and I plan on selling some of my work to Miami-based production agencies. Uploaded below are some of my favorite photos from Miami, and also my aerial video that I put together from my time there. I've primitively looked in to relocating my life and my business down there, but we'll see. I'm a strong believer in following your heart and gut, and I have strong belief that the market down there is something I need to look deeper into.

 

SO...

My message to anyone reading this is to TRAVEL. GO. I promise you will not regret it. If you've already been traveling, then I'm mad at you for not getting me up to speed years ago.

My goal is to take a trip somewhere every 4-5 months or so, especially while I'm in this creative space that I'm in now -- whether it is to a far area or not. Since the new year basically, I've had a newfound aspiration to see as much of the World as possible. I can promise that I'm going to go to many places and have my camera with me the whole time. 

I have a trip to Dallas, Texas, in September for a multi-day video job as a member of DWPPC and I'm looking forward to that as well. With both of these trips that I’ve made already this year, I’ve been able to meet up with photographers and directors to pick their mind on just about everything. What I've noticed is that every single photographer and videographer carries a different prospective on the work, and on business. Again, I know that what I apply to my personal life is my own decision but it is for sure a great thing to be quick to listen. 

From a general standpoint, I’m glad that I now see the importance of traveling. Even if not for a distinct “purpose”, seeing different areas opens the mind up to new opportunities, new people and cultures, and new sights. Don't be afraid to be a tourist. Please be aware that we are in a day and age that you can do whatever you set your mind to. It can be done, you just have to be committed to doing it. There are so many people in this world that make a living from having "unconventional" careers. If you have a craft that you feel that you're good at, I highly encourage you to exploit and explore that. You never know what, or who, you will come across that will change your life -- potentially for forever. If you never get out of your comfort zone, you won't see those things or meet those people and I'm glad I experienced this for myself. You know, what makes me mad is that I haven't even been out of the US yet! That won't be true for long however. I’m excited to see what's in store. 

Be blessed. Be safe. Thank you for reading once again.