Today I am speaking with Ces White who is the owner of IDEX Media, which is photography and videography company based out of Belleville, IL. In my writing class for WordPress i was encouraged to connect with another artist or writer and do a collaboration. Ces has been so gracious to help me out, and once he sends me the video i will be uploading that for anyone interested. For more information on Ces White and IDEX Media you can click here.
ANGIE: Hello everyone, thanks for joining us today, I have a guest here who not only loves taking pictures and recording videos, but he made a living out of it. Hey Ces, how are you doing today?
CES: Thanks, Hi how’s it going?
ANGIE: I like to start my interviews with a few relaxed questions. What is your name?
CES: What is your favorite color? [imitating, Monty Python’s “The Holy Grail”]
ANGIE: Well, I was going to ask for your quest! In all seriousness though, When did you know you wanted to go into photography?
CES: I actually started my business going into graphic design. I started doing banners, flyers, and posters for people in the Christian Hip – Hop music industry. In my head anytime i did their posters i thought, “Man, these photo’s are terrible!” But you know, you want to say that in the nicest way possible, so i started offering to do some photo’s for them. Back then, I actually wanted to get a better camera to take family photo’s and for recreation, and I really enjoyed taking pictures. When i decided to start taking photos professionally though, i guess you could say it snowballed into me starting my business as a photographer.
ANGIE: So how long have you been a professional photographer?
CES: Officially, it took me four years. Like i said before, i took photos for recreational purposes, but i didn’t really incorporate it into my business till two thousand twelve.
ANGIE: What kind of training did you need to become a photographer?
CES: Well, there are so many avenues; before you had to go to college or a trade school and then learn under someone before doing it professionally. I however didn’t need to do this; I simply did it out of hobby and interests, but when i started [taking pictures] for these projects i started taking it seriously. I followed up on a lot of “free information” that is available, and eventually it led me to take a few college courses to get a foundation of knowledge under my belt.
ANGIE: Now you’re also a videographer?
CES: Yes, that is correct.
ANGIE: How long have you been doing that, and what is the story on that?
CES: So, I like shooting video because even though it is similar to taking pictures, there are some aspects to it that make it different. There are things you can record on video you might miss through a single or series of photos. I actually have technical training through the Department of Defense or the DOD for broadcasting with the National Guard. I really like doing video because it opens up a new world of storytelling. When I am shooting a music video or something, it is a good way to tell a story. I started shooting videos for my church long before i was taking photos, and it wasn’t until i received my training through the DOD that i did anything professional regarding videography.
ANGIE: Wow, that’s awesome! Thank you for serving. How then has being a professional videographer and photographer changed your perspective on life around you?
CES: The privilege to take video and photos for others forces you to see everything from an artistic point of view. For example, when i do weddings i get to watch a love story unfold and see this special moment in someone’s life in a storytelling way that i can kind of package up and represent to them in some way. I get to capture that moment and package it up in a way they can have as a keepsake for years to come. In a sense I am putting flesh and bone on a memory.
“In a sense
i am putting flesh and bone
on a memory!”
CES: I do more than weddings of ‘ course, but i just love doing weddings because I didn’t have a videographer or photographer at my wedding.
ANGIE: Oh really?
CES: Oh yea, and the thing i love about weddings is i get to relive every moment in a unique way, because each person is different and each one is special in its own way. I get to relive that and put it into products i make.
ANGIE: That is great, i really like that. OK, well i am going to shift gears a bit. What advice would you give anyone who is interested in going into the photography and/or videography field?
CES: Wow, i would say don’t give up..because honestly, you are going to want to! I mean, it is all fun and games until you have bills to pay, you have to balance work life with your home life, until you have deadlines, and until you have to deliver a solid product that is good.
ANGIE: Basically, stick to it even when it is hard.
CES: Yea, yea totally. I mean one of the keys to success is to outlast the competition. Just keep going, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be hard, but people will want to give up and just don’t be them. Also, i would say keep learning. For a while i was getting really busy and…and i am not saying copy what others are doing, but in some way, basically just find a way to keep learning. There are so many different ways to learn, and free press in a sense to help you become better, and so don’t give up and keep learning and growing.
ANGIE: That is really good advice, and really can be applied to anything in life.
CES: Yea, and you know what? I have met too many jaded photographers in life. They think, “This is a job; I need to complete x, y, and z.” You know they have an attitude like they don’t really want to be there.
ANGIE: So you’re saying be in the moment?
CES: Yea, stay passionate about what you do!
ANGIE: Great. Now i want to wrap up by getting a little personal. What do you consider to be the best shot or series of shoots you have done?
CES: They’re all so good. Just kidding. No, I’ve got to say that i had a couple take me out to California for their wedding. They are an awesome couple, a lot of people know them. They are the sort of couple that was fun. This was one of those weddings where things went wrong, but they stilled rolled with the punches. I guess what made it memorable for me was the group of people. These were a group of people that had a certain outlook on life; they were believers – Christians; these people were super awesome to work with!
ANGIE: So they had a positive outlook on life?
CES: They had a positive outlook on life, they saw things through a pretty good perspective. The thing that made it memorable though was the fact that it was on the beach. I mean, it was pretty awesome. It was the beach, everyone wants to go to the beach!
ANGIE: Yea, that sounds amazing. Ok so is there a shot or shoot you wish you could do over?
CES: Uhm, so one of the things i learned is that you should have a personal project. I heard that somewhere and i really like that. I am sure there would be some that won’t agree but that is what i have learned. To answer your question though, one i would do over, and i wouldn’t necessarily do over but i think i could do better is one of my first fitness shoots. And i don’t think it was bad, but I think i could improve on it since then. I mean you should always want to find ways to improve, you know?
ANGIE: Yea, that is why i have been taking classes on my blog to become a better writer! Ok so, last question, is there a shot or series of photo’s you would love to do? What i mean is, is there a photoshoot or picture you have always wanted to capture?
CES: Ha, oh wow! Well there are tons, but i guess if i had to pick, I would go with this site called bodybuilding.com. They do a series called, “Bodies of Work”, and they take athletes from all different types of athletic backgrounds such as powerlifting to volleyball, and they take photo’s of them. Now these shots are of them naked, and i don’t mean full frontal, but it shows them posing and it is shots of the body in its pure form. There are no distractions, except maybe a baseball bat or something, but I would take some of the best athletes and do a photoshoot with them for this series.
ANGIE: OK great! Well is there anything you would like to share with everyone?
CES: I think something that sets me apart from other photographers is the experience. I mean, I like to have fun with people, and you know I like to play music and smile. I don’t like to try and overdirect and just let you be you. I guess i would also add to keep enjoying your shoots, have fun!
ANGIE: Well thank you so much for the interview, i really think my readers are going to love this. You gave some good advice and it was great getting to sit down with you.
Thank you again to Ces for doing this interview with me, and again please go check out his website, he does amazing work. If you enjoyed this interview, then please tell your friends and make sure to hit that subscribe button. Thanks and have a wonderful day!