Saturday, 6 July 2013

Top St.Maarten Photographer Mr Kamal DeFreitas Speaks To The Fashion Police In London Town

Top St.Maarten Photographer Mr Kamal DeFreitas,
1)      Please tell us who you are and what you do for those not familiar with you?

My name is Kamal DeFreitas and I’m a former portrait artist from the island of St. Maarten who has made a transition to photography. My aspiration is to become a great fashion/glamour photographer and to one day use my skills to raise awareness about true African history through the use of photography.

2)      Describe your fashion sense?

Lol I think I would have to have one to describe it. But typically I dress for comfort; jeans, a polo shirt and a pair of old school Chuck Taylors (Converse). As long as I’m comfortable and it fits me right I’m good to go.

3)      What 3 words best describe you as a person?

Controversial, weird, strange, easy going, deep, proud, crazy, lazy, pain in the ass lol honestly it’s difficult to describe myself in three words I’ve been called so many things but I guess “complex” would be one of three I would choose. I’m complex yet easy going at the same time and a thinker.

4)      What cologne are you wearing as we speak?

Well I was given a fragrance from the Versace brand by a friend a couple years back and I have to say I love that stuff. It’s called “Versace Man EAU FRAICHE” or something fancy like that….It smells good.

5)      Tell us how you got started to doing photography?

Well I’ve always been a fan of men’s of magazines like King and Smooth and thought  that it would cool to be part of the creative process. And at the time I was working as a graphic artist for a jewelry store where they wanted me to photograph their jewelry for display on the website. I had no previous knowledge of how to use a professional DSLR camera and I never owned one in my life so I was forced to basically teach myself how to use the old Canon they had in storage. I went online and looked at tutorials on You Tube and various websites that gave me a basic foundation of photography and DSLR use. Eventually I began to take photography more seriously and hooked up with a local modeling group that allowed me to work with them and develop my skills.

6)      What makes a good photographer?

In my opinion there are many aspects that make a good photographer but the most important one I would have to say is dedication and love for the art. When you take your art seriously everything falls into place. You research you study you experiment. You study other photographers that are better than you and you learn from them and allow them to inspire you. You understand that there is always something you can learn or some way to improve. And your mind is ALWAYS on photography.

Top Photographer On St Maarten Mr Kamal DeFreitas
7)      What do you hate most when doing a shoot with a model?

I dislike when a model complains about minor superficial issues like “my nose too big” or I’m too fat”. And I’m thinking ‘Trust me sweaty if I felt the same way about you as you do about yourself, my camera wouldn’t be pointed in your direction’. Models need to learn to accept themselves fully. If you have a big nose sport that big nose and be like “Yes I have a big nose and I’m still the beautiful!” Confidence can make up for almost any flaw you may think you have, insecurities have a negative  affect on the shoot.

8)      How can someone from the other side of the world learn more about you?

Facebook page:

9)      What do you think of the Fashion Police News Blog?

I think it’s awesome I haven’t gone through it thoroughly yet but from what I’ve seen it’s very cool and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be featured on it. And I see you’ve interviewed someone I’ve worked with in the past Tiffany ‘Epiphany’ Matthews big up!

10)   What do you think of men who teach women how to walk/pose?

I think it’s incredible that a man can teach a woman how to do something like that because I’m a man and I don’t think I’d ever be able to do it! And I say that with the utmost respect lol

11)   If you were to walk the red carpet which designer would you wear and why?

Hmmm this is one of those research questions…..Ok there’s a show on NBC called Fashion Star I used to check out once in a while and one of the designers on the show was my favorite, Nzimiro Oputa , the black guy. I would rock his designs any day the fella got class.

12)   If you had the chance to do a shoot with 3 people of your choice who would it be and why?

Actress Kerry Washington, because I’m a great admirer of her talent and beauty.

Actress Emily Browning from that movie Sucker Punch. This girl is adorable and she has the highest cheekbones I’ve ever seen on a Caucasian female, a very interesting looking woman.
And Ainett Stephens from Venezuela, this woman is so beautiful I won’t even try to put it into words.

13)   What music would have you running to the dance floor to do your 2 steps?

I’m an 80s baby so I get kinda excited when I hear any music from Dr Dre, Snoop Dog or anyone else notable from that “golden era” of hip hop. The music comin from these new cats is okay but I find it difficult to respect them to a certain degree. But overall I have a wide range of musical appreciation. My playlist has a little bit of everything from rap to batchata…even some old Brazilian classics.

14)   If the Fashion Police was to be a fly on your bedroom wall what would they be shocked to see?

No Marijuana residue! Yeah most people think just cause I have locks that they can assume anything that goes with the stigma. But no I don’t smoke weed and I don’t even know how to roll a joint. Now I’m not saying I’ve never smoked weed before…and I’m not saying I won’t smoke weed from time to time, but it’s not something I could ever make a habit.

15)  If the Fashion Police was to have dinner at your home what would you prepare them?

I would prepare them to indulge in a meal of pizza and coke from the nearest Dominos!

16)   Which other 2 photographers on the island do you look up to if any and why?

It would be hard for me to name only 2 so what I’m gonna do is name 1. Elvis Harrigan is like the “big brother” photog here on St. Maarten. He’s one of the few individuals I’ll send my pictures to for an honest critique before I publicize them. After years in the game Elvis has developed some keen insights and I can’t imagine the photography game without him. He’s always there to help the up coming photogs through their development. So big up to E. Harrigan Photography.

17)   There are many other photographers what makes you different from the rest?

That’s good question and I don’t think I can give a definite answer. I think every artist goes through an evolution because their interests and perspective is always changing. And a part of this is always imprinted on the artists work in some way. The type of person you are will determine the type of photographer you will be and since no 2 people are the same no 2 photogs will be the same either.

18)   When not working what do you enjoy doing?

I read a lot, stuff that interests me. I try to expose myself to new information and experiences. And I tend to attract a lot of crazy friends so my life is not boring at all. They sometimes drag me out to the club but I’m cool with just chillin and talkin shit.

19)   What advice do you have for others looking to walk into your footsteps?

Don’t walk in my footsteps, find your own path. Study the greats and the masters and really commit to what you’re doing. Realize that nobody is too cool for school and allow yourself to be teachable. Have a clear mental image of what you want your life and future to be like and work towards it and don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone.

20)   Where do you see yourself in 7 years time?

To answer this question in detail would reveal too much of my plans and aspirations so I’ll just say I see myself successful and “dynamically self employed” with a body of work to be proud of.

21)   What advice do you have for models when doing a photo shoot?

Relax your forehead, think of something that makes you happy and flow. Don’t take it too seriously because it’s hard to take a bad picture if you’re enjoying yourself. Enthusiasm is extremely important so make sure you’re having fun and enjoy the process. It’s all mental. Pretend and act like a great model and you will be a great model. Oh and if you’re a virgin, try to develop some degree of sexual confidence about yourself because your insecurities will be obvious the minute the photographer takes the first shot, generally speaking of course because not all virgins are the same.  

22)   What would you say is your best assets?

I’m an independent thinker. I think critically about everything and I’m not quick to judge or follow anyone or anything.

23)   Name one thing you just can't leave home without?

My BlackBerry, that thing is like crack. Not that I smoke crack but when I don’t have it I feel very uncomfortable. This is how technology has us lol it’s really a negative though because people spend so much time texting that when you meet them in person they can barely carry a decent conversation. Verbal conversation is becoming a lost art. The other day I told this chick a joke and she said “LOL!”

24)   Any last words for our many blog readers world wide?

I just want thank the Fashion Police Blog for not arresting me and giving me an opportunity and all those that directly and indirectly help me and continue to help me along my photographic journey. All the local photographer Elvis, Jose, Sarina, Lili and many more that keep the standard here so high that it automatically causes you to raise your standards as a photographer as well. Special thanks to my partner in crime Natalia Richardson who has proven herself to be an important factor in most of my recent photoshoots. Verlene Berry, Alicia Miller, Soidi Illis, Ashley Florvil the list can go on and on….

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