Show Notes:

Your photography might be the first thing that a potential fan encounters, even before your music! It’s important to make a good first impression and tell them how to feel when they see your photos.

In this episode, we talk to talented music photographer Kiki Vassilakis about how she creates stunning artist portraits and captures epic moments at live shows. We cover her creative process, brainstorming concepts, choosing a feeling for an image, the power of eye contact, posed vs. candid shots, getting comfortable with your photographer, and the benefits of working with a professional music photographer, among many other topics.

KOBY: [00:00:00] How’s it going? Everybody. I’m Koby Nelson and I’m here as always with Jake Mannix.

JAKE: [00:00:06] Hello? Hello.

KOBY: [00:00:06] How are you doing Jake? Still out in LA? How many weeks has this been now?

JAKE: [00:00:10] Uh, this is week five week. Five week five.

 KOBY: [00:00:14] coming back somewhat soon.

 looking forward to, I mean, for me, it’s literally the exact same when we do these episodes while you’re out there.

So I guess we’re looking forward for you to come back, but it’ll be exactly the same.

JAKE: [00:00:27] Now are things there in the Northeast? I heard you guys got some snow.

KOBY: [00:00:31] Yeah, we got more snow. So it was snowing. During the last episode, we got eight more inches a couple of days ago and we’re getting five more inches tomorrow. Here. I don’t know if Kiki for you in, New York, we haven’t introduced to you yet, but how much have you guys gotten a bunch of snow up there?

KIKI: [00:00:46] got a ton of snow. And if we were also getting five inches of snow tomorrow would be upset. I’m not a winter gal at all. Not at all. Yeah.

KOBY: [00:00:57] so, so I guess let’s dive into the episode, cause now we’ve kind of just screwed up our whole order of things, um, and hearing a disembodied voice that we don’t actually know yet. So today we’re sort of continuing in a little bit of a series, I guess. On visuals for your artist brand. So if you’ve been listening to this podcast for any amount of time at all, you know that like, well, obviously your music is super important to being successful as an artist.

It’s not the only thing that’s important. And actually, if you’ve listened to only, I guess, episode one of this podcast, you should know that already because that’s pretty much what the first episode was. All about, last week we talked about visuals in the form of music videos with Kamrin and Wes, which was a really great episode.

I had a great time in that episode. and if you haven’t checked that one out, I would really encourage you to do that. I think, there was a lot of good stuff in there. And today we have another really great episode lined up for you this time about photography, and Jake. Yeah, this is something that I’ve admired about your artist’s career, actually, quite a bit is that you’ve had lot of really great photography over the years. What kind of have you worked with a bunch of people or where, where, how have you done all of that photography work?

JAKE: [00:02:17] Yeah, it’s pretty much just been friends spur of the moment, running gun kind of deal. It’s not really ever been planned.

KIKI: [00:02:23] Yeah. That’s how you get some of the best stuff. Sometimes I didn’t mean to interrupt you, but I feel like last minute is a vibe though, you know?

KOBY: [00:02:30] Yeah, I, I, whatever you’ve been doing, I mean, it’s been working, when you’re on social media with all that photography, it, it was really, really good.

Um, I don’t really have any experience with like professional photos, like for myself or for my own business. I’ve dabbled a little bit in like photography on my own for fun, but I’m very much an amateur just kind of like stumbling around and figuring out how to actually like. Operate my camera and dial and settings and get something that just doesn’t look like trash.

so I’m, I’m really, really excited for this episode today to talk to our guests and get some tips, not even just for making, the best of your own photos for yourself, but also for making the best of photo sessions with a professional photographer. So our guest today who you’ve already heard is a very talented photographer from the state of New York.

Who has done a lot of work with musicians? actually, uh, a big chunk of her portfolio  photography from live shows and, also really beautiful portraits of a lot of musicians. yeah, and she’s, she’s actually worked with several artists that we’ve had as guests on the show. And you may have seen some of her photos if you’ve been on our Instagram or our webpage, which hopefully now are properly credited that I know that they’re hurts. Um, so we want to welcome to the podcast Kiki Vassilakis.

KIKI: [00:03:58] Thank you. Thank you for having me. And you said it great.

KOBY: [00:04:01] Perfect.

KIKI: [00:04:02] were very, a lot of people do get worried, but you said it. Great. So thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here.

KOBY: [00:04:07] Yeah.

Well, thank you so much for coming on and doing

JAKE: [00:04:10] this.

KIKI: [00:04:10] Yeah. Pleasure’s all mine.

KOBY: [00:04:11] so. I want to talk to you about, all of your work. And, there are some questions we have lined up to try and give some tips to artists out there who might be looking to work with a photographer. but before we get to that, can you just tell us a little bit about your photography business and specifically how you ended up shooting so much photography for musicians?

KIKI: [00:04:34] man. Honestly, sometimes I don’t know like how I ended up here. So, actually a lot of people and I just said this to you guys earlier. I play music. I’m a drummer, a lot of people. Don’t a lot of people that are in my life now don’t really know that about me because. Um, so well known as a photographer in the area that we’re at.

but I, you know, I grew up doing a lot of artsy stuff, took photography in high school and in college. but I was like, Oh, I’m going to play music. That’s it. I’m going to play music. It’s going to be a blast, whatever, whatever. And then I was like, Ooh, I kind of want to like start taking photos that shows I’m at every single show anyways, might as well.

You know, because. As you guys know creatives, can’t just chill. You know what I mean? Like we have zero chill. It’s like, I need to be creating at all times, whatever the media and whatever it is. and so just being at shows, shooting them like bands that were playing on the same bell that I was playing at.

And then it kind of just went from there. I stopped playing and as a many, cause you know, as a drummer in town, there’s not a lot of drummers. So I was in like four to five bands, you know what I mean? Always doing that. loved it obviously. So I quit a bunch of them and just kind of started focusing on photography.

And then a couple people asked me to do portraits of them and then loved it, had such a good time. and then just I love live music. So I was just at all these places anyways, whether I was playing or not. So it just kind of fell into that was shooting. would post stuff. People would like it, asked me to shoot their shows and then, you know, you develop a rapport and then next thing you know, we’re doing portraits.

And next thing you know, I’m talking to you guys about, about what I’m doing. So yeah.

KOBY: [00:06:17] Yeah. So that’s really interesting actually, that you kind of came to photography through music.

I didn’t, I didn’t really realize that I would have assumed that you sort of came to photography first. And that, that sort of, I don’t know, evolved into, I guess, some choice to start shooting at shows or something like

JAKE: [00:06:33] that.

KIKI: [00:06:33] no, I, I was at shows like every night and I used to put on shows. So it was like, like music is kind of, like my backbone, if that makes sense. It’s just like, keeps me together, you know?

KOBY: [00:06:47] So, so how did that kind of evolve into the portrait side of things too, because that’s a part of your portfolio that I’m a really big fan of, and it’s, it’s very different from live show style of photography. So like, how did you kind of get into that side

JAKE: [00:07:03] of things?

KIKI: [00:07:04] Oh my God. So I lived in this apartment and there was this massive basement that was like, like grimy finished. You know what I mean? Where there was a tile, there was walls. There was like this old bar and a pool table down there. And the first floor people never use it. So I set up like a backdrop, right?

And then, my friend, I don’t know if you guys know who James rock is. he does kind of like R and B Neo soul type stuff around here, but him and I just like would hang out and I’d be like, yo, I got these lights, let me try this. Like kind of trying to get into doing portraits, whatever. And so then I kind of, would just ask more and more people.

To just come over and like, let me take their photos. And this goes along with how I was saying earlier. Like some musician would be like, Oh, can you also take our photos? So it’s like, I don’t know. It kind of helped develop the style cause my you’re right. My style of, of portraits is so dark and kind of dirty and grimy compared to, live music.

But I can also control that. You know what I mean? Like, I can’t control lights at a live show. I can’t control, what a venue looks like. I can’t control whatever, but if I’m doing portraits, I can control everything. And it really lets me set the mood, my own mood, you know what I mean? Which is dark as hell, which is what I think, which is what I prefer.

KOBY: [00:08:23] Well, I, I mean, I think that’s really interesting and like creatively. Like, like, how does that process normally go when you work with an artist for a portrait shoot, like, what are the kind of the, the steps that go into putting together a look for a

JAKE: [00:08:38] specific

person.

KIKI: [00:08:40] So, a lot of times when people contact me, which I got to say, I am very blessed to be in a position right now where people contact me as opposed to like back when I first started, I was like, yo, you want to shoot? Y’all you want to shoot you, you want to shoot. And now I’m like, well, can you do it in two months?

Cause I’m booked in. It’s a very lovely feeling. Um, but so, The way that I, have like a session is I offer this, it’s like a two hour shoot and we do a nice brainstorming session beforehand. I prefer to do it via text because that way we have all the details. And everything.

And then you can send examples, like back and forth to each other. So, you know, I say, Hey, we’d love to have a brainstorming session with you. These are the things that I’d like you to think about. First of all, things you don’t like, because I find sometimes people don’t know what they like until they realize what they don’t like.

So if you’re looking at things, I like to have people set aside things that they know for a fact that they’re like, Ugh, this isn’t for me. You know what I mean? So then, um, so then me mentally, I’m never going there. You know, like I’m never going to be like, Oh, these people want to be in the Bush. You know, they don’t.

They said no. So we do a nice big brainstorming session. I kind of really enjoy styling my own shoots. I think sometimes, you know, musicians, they have so much to focus on. You know, if we’re speaking specifically for musicians, they have so much to focus on and it isn’t always having their photo taken, you know, it’s does this song sound good?

Did I record this part, right. You know, is this bridge going to be fire? You know? So, so us having, you know, the brainstorming session and me being like, send me your clothes, I want to know what you’re wearing. So that way we can make sure it’s all cohesive with each other, especially if it’s like a larger group.

because yeah, you don’t want to be necessarily looking like, you know, the Beatles, but you want to look cohesive. You know what I mean? Like I did a shoot once and I’m like rambling on from the question, but I did a, she wants to wear this dude. Only brought one outfit and I’m not even kidding. Didn’t change posts at all the entire time.

Literally I’m I’m like, not even kidding, literally, just like, I mean, I know you can see me, but they can’t, but literally would just the entire time just be like the entire time I’m telling you, the other dudes changed like three times and we moved mad, different places, and this kid was still at the same pose.

I was like, all right, you went on Pinterest, saw one pose. By Metallica and you know, this is it. We’re good. We’re going,

KOBY: [00:11:11] Wait. So the location was changing too, and it was just

KIKI: [00:11:13] bro. Yes, the low key, like, okay, so we were in one spot, but we were moving around because I like to, you know, look what I’m just going to get into is I like to, when I’m doing a shoot, I like to get the most out of it.

You know, like if you go in. And so you’re like, all right, I have one outfit, one second to get you five really good photos. You know what I mean? Maybe 10, but then they still kind of look the same because you’re wearing the same thing. We’re in one spot, whatever. I enjoy having people bring like two to three outfits.

because sometimes an outfit just does not work. You could think that you’re like, I got this. I look fire, you know, like my mom and dad’s jeans, they turned out real good on me right now. But you go to a location and it’s just not working. You know, like maybe you were white. I told you black, you didn’t listen, but it’s fine.

so multiple outfits and then one of the other questions other than. Send me things you don’t like is, you know, what do you want somebody to feel when they’re looking at you at this photo of you? What do you want them to feel? Do you want them to think you’re sexy? Do you want them to think you’re in pain?

Do you want them to think that, you don’t give a shit about them? You know what I mean? And like that, I think that is a really important question because no one thinks about that. They just want to look cool, but it’s like your art. Like you’re putting out art, your music is your art. What is it about, how does it make you feel?

How do you want people to feel based on your art and how can you depict that in a photo that will be cohesive with your music? You know

KOBY: [00:12:50] you know what I mean? We should bring you to production sessions. That’s like the best advice for just like making a good record too. You know, like putting that thought into it. I also really like the,

JAKE: [00:13:01] thing about.

KOBY: [00:13:02] Having somebody give you stuff that they don’t like.

that makes so much sense. And I would’ve never thought to do that. In fact, I’m, I should probably do that for the mixing side of things too. Like have people send me mixes that they really hate cause that that really would solve

JAKE: [00:13:15] a ton of problems.

KIKI: [00:13:16] dude, it would save so much time, especially because then, cause I come from, I used to work actually at a studio and I would do album covers. Like album designs and also like business cards and branding and stuff. Cause I’m also a graphic designer. Um, I do it all, kids come to my show.

Um, but like you find that people really just don’t know the half the time haven’t even thought about that. because like I said, they’re thinking about so many different things. Like, am I in tune? Does this affect sound cool? You know what I mean? Do I sound like the strokes? Do I I’m like some random ass band, whatever.

Um, but like, they’re so busy thinking about that stuff that they really aren’t like, okay, what do I, what do I look like? What do I want the albums look like? Unless that’s all they think about. You know what I mean? Unless you’re the type of musician who just is this is it. And I’ll be off is all I’m doing on thinking about all the time, which that’s either a blessing or a curse

KOBY: [00:14:15] Right. Yeah. We kind of talked about that in the last episode, too, that there are some artists that like, keep, uh, a notebook where it’s just like every single thing that they come across that inspires them, goes in that, and it’s like this whole portfolio of just ideas that you can use for anything, for music, for visuals, for whatever.

but yeah, I would say that that’s probably not the norm, and something that we should encourage people to do more except, I

do see how

that could be. A potential issue also, you prefer to have those types of ideas come from the artists? Or do you like to have kind of a hand in that, like, do you, do you listen to people’s music for inspiration and try and help create that

JAKE: [00:14:54] mood or vibe?

KIKI: [00:14:56] Oh, totally. I mean, I have people send me tracks all the time. I’m like, okay, so you want to release? Um, you know, a lot of times people contact me in order to do like, release stuff. So it’s like, they want to get all the branding situated for the next album. So we’ll do like a single cover or like an album cover all digital, not like a whole album design, whatever, but like an album cover design, like story graphics, detailing, like the release and stuff like that.

So I enjoy actually, when people come to me with V these are my ideas. You know, because then I get to go in and it’s almost like I’m a producer visually, because you know, like as a producer for music, you come in and you kind of, you like fine tune shit. You know what I mean? It’s just like, Oh wait, maybe double this up over here or cut the bridge in half or like, whatever.

So that’s almost kind of like, that would be my role in something like this, like say, Oh, that idea is super cool. But what if. We did it at this location instead, and you did this instead of, you know, whatever, something like that. So I actually kind of love that because then honestly, it’s better than people being like, I have no idea what to do.

Tell me what to do. And I’m like, well, what do you want? Like, I could tell you to do a lot of shit. I’ve shot a lot of shit, but like, what do you want? You know, once again, the question, what do you want people to feel? When they’re looking at photos of you involving like photos that belong with these releases?

Or I

KOBY: [00:16:26] and I guess, I don’t know. No, that makes perfect sense. I mean, I think that’s kind of key for that type of session. Is that the two things, either it has to be intentional. It either has to go together really, really perfectly. Or it has to be like, I don’t know, off in an intentional way, you know

KIKI: [00:16:43] Yes, exactly.

KOBY: [00:16:44] So yeah, that kind of thought is really important. I’m wondering about like, so I’m sure people come with two, sometimes with some pretty specific and pretty crazy ideas or concepts or locations that they want to shoot and stuff like, do you ever have to deal with something that’s. Too much.

Cause I mean, the reason I ask is that like your portraits, I was mentioning the, some of the examples you have on your website, they’re kind of composed in a way that’s very, like, like focused, um, or that’s or to use a word that’s. Less photography to be less confusing there. They’re like very directed.

You’re directing the viewers attention to the subject, even when it’s in like a really cool location. So like one photo of yours that I really liked her website. the artist is like waist deep

JAKE: [00:17:33] in

KIKI: [00:17:34] Oh, right, right, right.

KOBY: [00:17:36] and, but the viewer as the viewer, you’re still drawn to the person, not the location. So can you talk about that a little bit?

Is there ever something that’s just. Too crazy that can end

JAKE: [00:17:47] up being distracted?

KIKI: [00:17:48] well, that’s hard for me to say because I am down for anything. You know what I mean? Like if it’s fucking weird, I’m super into it, you know, if it’s not weird, how can we make it weird? Um, but, I would say a lot of that has to do with, framing? I would say like framing a shot correctly. Like, like for instance, I know exactly which photo you’re talking about.

and that photo in particular, you wouldn’t even know it. There was so many people around us, like, like, like I’m telling you that spot. I, we were like, cause it was for a video shoot. She was doing a video shoot. And actually the girl is Madison Vandenberg. She was on, American idol. and so people knew her there.

So we were like at this little beach, like shit was in Newpaltz somewhere around, maybe Newburgh, somewhere around there. And people like knew her. And so it was kind of hard cause they were all like, Oh my God, it’s Buba it’s on. And we’re just like, can we just like, shoot this music video? Like literally she’s wearing her entire glittery outfit.

In this Lake and it was hot this day. When I tell you it was hot, I’m talking about like, you would’ve thought that we all went in the water, we didn’t, we were dripping wet. but that photo really was so I couldn’t have done it wide. First of all, because like I said, there was a ton of people and they were shooting music video and that’s what I was there doing behind the scenes.

And doing kind of portraits that would go along with the music video when it was released for like promo and stuff. and like, if I had shot it wide, you would’ve seen a ton of people to the side. So in my mind, I was like, okay, you have this massive, like basically like a line behind her, you have to shoot it vertical, you know?

And you got to get the ducks because there was these like ducks there. And I was like, if you don’t get the ducks, this shot is going to be regular. You know what I mean? It’s gonna be a regular ass chick in the water, you know? Cool. Another girl in the water, you gotta get the, that was what I was thinking in my head.

I was like, you got to get the ducks, the ducks aren’t there. It doesn’t matter. Um, and there was just so much space behind and then he, or she is like right in front, just super like sharp, nice and focused and you know, and that, and centered right in the middle, just enough space where. There is a lot of negative space above her.

Yes. It was like the sky and like some blurry mountains in the back, but, and she’s wearing like a dark outfit against the, it was like a lighter background, but composition framing, that’s basically a very similar word, but attire, I’m not trust people have to trust you.

You know, you’re not going to get anything good unless people trust you. So I would say probably a lot of the best photos I’ve taken is when people kind of let go of themselves. And then actually we’re just like, okay, this person is a photographer. It’s what they do. Trust them. Let them take your photo, listen to them and do what they’re telling you to do.

I think that answers your question.

KOBY: [00:20:49] yeah, I perfectly, I mean, cause that kind of

JAKE: [00:20:53] the idea of

KOBY: [00:20:53] trust too. is huge because somebody is especially like in that example, say you’re in a Lake with a bunch of people around you, and you’re hoping that

like, I’m going to get a good photo out of this, like as the artist in that photo you have to have trust that the person who you’re working with knows how to make this a thing. work.  and yeah, I really

KIKI: [00:21:19] love that.

KOBY: [00:21:19] and I would have never guessed any of what you just said. I did notice the ducks

JAKE: [00:21:23] there though. So that was,

KIKI: [00:21:24] Yeah. Right. And actually one of them is, um, I don’t really like to use Photoshop. I find that, I like the way people look, you know what I mean? And I don’t want to, like, I’ll take out blemishes and smooth, some skins and stuff like that, but I’m not one to really alter your look because it’s like, people know what you look like.

You know what I mean? Like, what am I like, what, what, you know, this is what you look like, people know what you look like. but, uh, one of those ducks was like somewhere else and I moved it to a spot, in this program. So I was just, so I won’t lie to you. One of the ducks, one of the ducks was altered, but he was there, but he was there just further in the back.

Yeah.

KOBY: [00:22:07] Well,

JAKE: [00:22:07] I guess, I

KOBY: [00:22:08] mean, that idea kind of leads right into our next question that I have in my notes here. And that’s what do you look for in a good music portrait? Like what sets something apart, to make it, have that sort of human feel that real

JAKE: [00:22:22] feel of the person

KIKI: [00:22:24] eye contact. I love, love, love, eye contact. You’ll notice in a lot of my photos. My favorite ones. And the ones probably that I focus on the most are the ones where they’re looking right in the lens. it’s like old paintings where it looks like they’re looking at you where it doesn’t matter where you move.

Jesus’s eyes are still on you. You know what I mean? The hologram is still there. He’s crying. He’s up, but he’s looking at you. that is probably my favorite, favorite, favorite thing about a photo. And I think that is what. Makes those photos that you’re speaking of, like so intense, you know what I mean?

such a, I don’t know. I feel like sometimes I get like a visceral reaction looking at them because I do feel like they’re looking at me and it, it excites me like emotionally and like mentally I’m just like, Ooh, they’re looking at me. That looks cool. You know?

KOBY: [00:23:16] go about getting that sort of feel that sort of like connection in an actual shoe. Cause I’m sure like people come into this, they’ve gotta be, at least some people have to be nervous, hesitant and stuff like that. How do you get that? Like connection looking through the

JAKE: [00:23:32] lens.

KIKI: [00:23:34] well, first off the first 10 minutes to 15 minutes are going to be trash. You’re not going to get anything good. No, one’s comfortable. You know what I mean? Like if you’re my first shoot of the day, I’m not comfortable either. You know, you have to get kind of like into the zone and, and really start vibing with somebody.

And they’re not comfortable at all because you could have your photo taken a thousand times and you’re still like, I don’t really want to have my photo taken, like, do I have to do this today? because once again for musicians, it is an afterthought, you know, in nowadays because of social media and, and marketing in general, it can’t be an afterthought.

You know, but it is, so if they’re of age, sometimes a little wine, it lets people like loosen up just the tiniest, tiniest bit. I’m not super into, let’s get fucked up. just to relax because people aren’t tense.

You know, I’m a photographer and I hate having my photo taken. So it’s like, I get it. I’m on your level. but legit, I would say the first 10 to 50 minutes are trash and then you get into a vibe and then eventually people relax around you. You talk shit to them a little bit, you know, you put on some vibes, like some really like tunes that they want to listen to.

I have a couple like photo playlist, depending on the type of people that I’m shooting. But you also can’t pressure people, you know, if they’re uncomfortable, stop a little bit, just like take a second, just chill, chat with them a little bit, you know, ask them about their day, see how they’re doing, you know?

Cause you don’t even know what happened during the day for them, you know, like maybe they had a shitty essay and didn’t want to cancel with you, but you gotta figure out a way to make it work. So just slow be patient with people they’ll come around. We’ll figure it out, you know? And I like to show people the photos that I take of them.

Yes. It’s not the final product because definitely my editing style is not like out of camera. You know what I mean? It’s definitely like, I like to paint if that makes sense. So I like making it seem almost like a painting, but just get people to

KOBY: [00:25:39] chill, relax. Yeah, it sounds like there are a lot of parallels to the studio side of things that, that Jake and I do a lot of too. So yeah, really all just about getting. That trust. is there any difference between shooting in like a studio environment versus out in public? Cause I imagine it’s very different if it’s just you and an artist versus like the other example we were just talking about where it’s

KIKI: [00:26:04] yeah. Yeah. it depends. I mean, I love both vibes. You know what I mean? Like a studio is way more controlled, but I also don’t think you can get as many as much of a variety, unless you have the type of studio where you have a bunch of like props and backdrops set up, like, you know, it’s a pain in the ass, you know what I mean?

Like I have a home studio, but I still have to set it up and break it down every time back when I was first starting, I had to just set up all the time. So I was like banging out stuff all day. but I also love an environment, you know what I mean? Like, My all-time favorite place to shoot is parking garages, hands down, every floor is something different.

And you get like, cement tones, or if you go to the top, you can get city vibes. usually on the first floor, they have all the leftover bullshit. So you can get like, like broken bricks, you know what I mean? Like it’s just such a vibe. That’s like my favorite place to shoot. but if I’m doing studio stuff, I love the like fine art portraits that I do is like my favorite thing would like the colored lights.

So

KOBY: [00:27:05] Each bite is different. Right? It’s a, it’s a different style working with natural light versus working with studio light. Like, completely different, but they both have, I dunno,

JAKE: [00:27:15] both have that. The human

KOBY: [00:27:16] connection in them.

JAKE: [00:27:17] that’s one of the icons.

KOBY: [00:27:19] Yeah, I think that’s one of the main benefits of working with somebody like you, who’s a professional photographer. I mean, these days with people walking around with pretty decent cameras, like in their pockets

JAKE: [00:27:29] I-phones and everything

KIKI: [00:27:30] Oh, my iPhone is better than my first digital camera. I’m not, I didn’t mean to interrupt you, but like you said that, and I was like my iPhone right now. Hands down has better photo quality than the very first digital camera I

KOBY: [00:27:42] I ever used.

It’s crazy, but I think at the same time, like there is that, and that’s a good thing, but I think for some musicians it’s easy to kind of rationalize taking photos of yourself or just kind of having a friend who’s not a photographer. Doesn’t really know what they’re doing to kind of like snap a picture.

I’m sure I’m sure 99% of artists and bands start out that way. And that’s probably fine, but Can you give us any of the benefits maybe of hiring a professional photographer like yourself? Like what skills or knowledge and, and I guess equipment do you bring to the table that people might not be

JAKE: [00:28:15] aware kind of set up.

KIKI: [00:28:18] so, because I shoot a lot of musicians. I know exactly what I don’t, I don’t want to say I know exactly, but I know a lot of what most musicians are looking for and that is, up close shots. faraway shots are gonna be like posters or something like that. album stuff, and then album promo stuff.

So it’s like, when you’re just having somebody take your photo, I find that they’re just like, okay, let’s go up against this tree. Let’s go up against this, whatever. And you get like three or four shots. but you know, I already know what we’re going in for, even if you don’t. I know. You know what I mean?

Cause I’m like, okay, why else would a musician hit you up? It’s not just so they look cool. It’s because they have something happening or they need content, you know? And most of the time the content is related to something else, you know, that they want to start promoting and stuff like that. but it’s weird to say why I’m better than someone because it’s like, I don’t give a shit about gear.

You know what I mean? Like, like the thing that is most important is like I said earlier, framing composition. and then a lot of people will say that this is like a foe paw, but I’m a huge fan of like, fix it in post. You know what I mean? Like if you’re just starting out, who cares? Just like whatever.

I don’t think you’re matters. I think, and people will. Well rag on me for that too. Cause they’re like, Oh, but like, you need to get like this $6,000 camera. Like no dude practice on your phone. You know, like I’ve seen a ton, a ton of amazing content that people just do on their phones. Would I prefer you to hire me?

Yes. If you have the money, yes, please hire me. But I do understand why people don’t, you know, like they don’t have the money. their friend is trying to be a photographer. Everyone learns from somebody. So it’s like, either way that you get your photos done.

You’re going to get, I don’t want to say the same result, but you’re going to get photos now in post is where you’re going to see the quality. Of the photos, you know what I mean? Like, like I would say your friend that just started that is unless they’re like a savant, You’re not going to get album cover quality photos. You know what I mean? Like,  and, and this is where gear comes into play. Yes, I know. I just said, I hate talking about gear. I’m not like a gear head, but gear in this sense does come into play basically in the sense of quality. the quality of the photo, not necessarily my work, but the output

KOBY: [00:30:42] quality,

KIKI: [00:30:42] the,

KOBY: [00:30:43] like

JAKE: [00:30:43] What you can do with it afterwards.

KIKI: [00:30:45] yes, exactly.

Because like, yeah, you can take an awesome phone or iPhone, droid or whatever you’re using and edit it and make it look super dope. But what does it look like when it’s printed? You know what I mean? Like what does it look like when you want to make like, advertisements with it? What does it look like when you want to make like a big 11 by 17 ad mat or whatever that you’re sending out?

I mean, obviously not right now, but that you’re sending out to clubs to like put up, you know, does it look clean because, I don’t know what else to say about, you know, it’s, it’s hard. Like I said, it’s hard to say, like, hire me over somebody else who is trying to be me.

 However many years later.

KOBY: [00:31:20] But, I mean, there’s just levels to everything. And I think like what you said about, it comes down to budget and what you’re looking to achieve. So you achieve the best thing you can with the budget you have. And if you have the budget, I think it’s a no brainer that you should hire a professional whose work you like, and who has the experience, especially the experience with musicians.

Like you said, where, you know, those things you’re going to need, and you’re not going to get to whatever stage of. the release cycle or something like that and be like, Oh man, I wish we had just,

I wish we

JAKE: [00:31:49] done this. Or out at the photo shoot or whatever.

KIKI: [00:31:51] totally cause you gotta think you need a square image to go as your profile pic, you need, some sort of like photo that can be used vertically in stories you need, a photo that is horizontal to use for like your Facebook cover your Twitter cover. Um, you need something that is.

Able to be a square, but also has enough space on an image of you, or you can add the name and title and everything of your album or single or whatever. Like you need all that stuff and you definitely need somebody with more experience who goes into something and it’s just like, okay, so what are we shooting today?

Are we shooting this for this? Or are we shooting this for this? You know, because if you’re shooting just for content, I know personally, I’m going to shoot a little bit different than if I’m shooting for specifically album art. Because album art, you frame things differently. If you’re shooting for content, all right, let’s see how cool you look in this location.

You know, if you’re shooting for an album, like I said earlier, like, what’s the vibe? What do you like? how is this relatable to the music that you, whatever. And that all comes with time, So hire me please. Yes. But don’t say no to your friend who wants to take some photos of you

KOBY: [00:32:54] of you on a Saturday afternoon? Yeah. mean, like, I can relate to both sides of things because like I’ve also dabbled in photography and just tried to like figure it out and stuff like that. And it’s It’s Oh, it’s so hard. And that’s the, that’s the thing is that you like, like, I appreciate.

Good photography now so much more because I thought, you know, I feel like a lot of people think that you, whatever you get a decent camera and that photos.

KIKI: [00:33:21] Right, right. It’s like, yo, I have an inbox. Check out this, this, you know, riff. I did, you know, or it’s like the difference between being like, I play guitar and I’m a guitarist, you know what I mean? It’s just like, Oh, what are you doing? I’m a guitarist. So what are you doing?

JAKE: [00:33:37] to play guitar?

KIKI: [00:33:38] It’s like the same thing, but there’s that fine line where it’s like so different, you know?

Like, I’d be like, Oh, I’m a drummer. Or I play the

KOBY: [00:33:46] the drums,

KIKI: [00:33:47] If that makes sense

KOBY: [00:33:48] that makes perfect sense. like when you’re in a shoot with somebody, do you ever have to like really, really go deep into it?

Like as far as directing somebody like, being really specific, put your hand here, turn your head to the

left,

JAKE: [00:34:03] relax your eyebrows

KIKI: [00:34:04] all the time. Yeah. Cause I mean, like I said before, musicians and musicians, they’re not professional models, you know what I mean? Unless they’re like mega pop stars. That had like a thousand photo shoots under their belt at this point, you know, like if I was to go shoot Aerosmith, I wouldn’t even have to do anything.

They would just be like, all right, cool. We’re standing in exactly the same way that we know. We look good, you know, because they’re, they’ve been around for like, I don’t know, 30 years, 40 years, 50 years. They’re like and I conic band that knows exactly what they’re doing. Like if you were to go to like Ariana Grande day, she knows what to do to look good.

You know, but you know, if you’re shooting a lot of local people or up and coming in general, they’re not quite sure yet. They’re not sure of themselves, so yes, you definitely have to direct them, you know, especially like, fresher bands, like baby bands, they have no idea what they’re doing, you know, and it’s almost even, I don’t know what the weirder, if it’s just solo people or a band, cause there’s always that one dude in a band, you know what I’m talking about?

And if you do, and if

you don’t,

KOBY: [00:35:04] a band.

I mean, yeah. I don’t know. I want to talk to you Jake, a little bit about some of your experience having photos taken, because like I said, I don’t have really experience except taking photos of myself, which is. Not as stressful because, you know, I’m the only one that sees the hundreds of terrible pictures that I took.

But like, how did you kind of get comfortable in front of a camera because you, you come across as really comfortable in the camera.

JAKE: [00:35:34] Do you feel like that’s you or

KOBY: [00:35:35] the photographer, or like, how does that

JAKE: [00:35:37] Yeah. No, you know, I’m not dude,

KIKI: [00:35:40] no, I’m looking at his face and he’s like, nah,

JAKE: [00:35:43] way. I have no idea. like that picture is the patient that gets posted as like one of, so, so many were like, maybe I looked

KIKI: [00:35:55] No, no, you’re right though, because they, you know, you could shoot a hundred photos, get two good ones, and that’s just the reality of it, you know? And you’re saying, you were just saying yourself could be how, like you take a hundred photos of yourself and you get one or two good ones. And I think that is one of the things that makes people most uncomfortable is that, they feel weird asking to have more photos taken.

like you hired me. I will do whatever you want. Like, I work for you right now. You’re not like, like, yes, you’re on my time because you hired me. But like, I’m here for you, you know, whatever you want to do, whatever you want to try, whatever you want to, where am I going to be? Like, I think we should try this and do it like this.

Yes. But am I gonna be like, nah, cut it. No, not that. No, because if you hired me, You’re doing me a favor. Honestly, if you want to be real, like you hired me, you’re helping me pay rent. So it’s like, I will do literally whatever you want to do. If you want to jump off of a fucking trampoline, you know, in a clown costume, I will get that.

I don’t give a shit. Honestly, that sounds kind of cool. I’m not even kidding. Like now I’m like, who do I know that has a clown costume? You know,

what’s it called this kid? I went to high school with whose mom was a clown.

KOBY: [00:37:06] this is a fun fact for, I don’t think I’ve mentioned this on the podcast before I worked for a clown for.

Many years

actually, that was one of my first jobs I worked for a clown. Yeah. I did like balloons. I dropped balloons on

JAKE: [00:37:20] Skinner. One time

KIKI: [00:37:23] That’s your claim to fucking fame, dude.

KOBY: [00:37:30] Like my fun fact, when there’s like an ice breaker thing where somebody like, tell us something that nobody knows about your yeah. Yeah. Like something super

JAKE: [00:37:37] about yourself.

KOBY: [00:37:40] on Leonard Skinner. 100%. I’d be

JAKE: [00:37:42] the

lot

KIKI: [00:37:44] That is the lie. Cause who literally is just like, yo, guess what? I did this a weekend. You would, I would have been like telling all my people. I’m like, yo, you don’t even know what I just did.

KOBY: [00:37:56] Well, that was the one

good

KIKI: [00:37:57] one.

JAKE: [00:38:00] that.

KOBY: [00:38:00] that. So,

KIKI: [00:38:02] Which honestly still fun.

KOBY: [00:38:03] Yeah, it was good.

KIKI: [00:38:05] the cleanup must’ve been a bitch

KOBY: [00:38:06] Oh, that wasn’t my job that, that happened with the venues. So we just got the fun part. Um, so, well, we went on a tangent there. Um, so, so back to photography and, weird photos like that, as far as like a.

Posed photo versus a candid photo how do you, how do you kind of deal with that? Is there, are there some situations that are more appropriate for

JAKE: [00:38:31] the patients before

KIKI: [00:38:35] always shooting. Just assume if I’m around you, I’m taking your photo. You know what I mean? Candids are honestly my favorite. I used to do weddings that I won’t anymore because of a very specific. Reason which I’ll tell you guys another day, not yet on a recording. Um, but, um, one of the packages, because I offered was just candids.

It’s my favorite thing to do. It’s why I love doing like behind the scenes stuff so much, like I love going on sets, movie sets, music, video sets, anything like that, doing all the behind the scene, shit. You just really capture, the realness of people. You know what I mean? It’s almost like, You know,

KOBY: [00:39:14] you’re going to have both people in a wedding party.

 KIKI: [00:39:19] they hate every second of it. You either hate it. You’re either blitzed or you’re the one dude that thinks they’re funny and, you know, be, you do be whoever you want to be, but like never having to do that, like having to pose 12 people is lovely. Like, yes, posing is beautiful, but I want to catch you. And I think that’s the beauty of a candid.

So do I prefer candidates over portraits? Is that your question? If not, that’s the

question I’m

KOBY: [00:39:45] I’m answering. Yeah, well, I th there’s definitely value in, both because, I dunno for an album cover or whatever, I mean, opposed photo isn’t. I mean, I guess it depends like everything else. It just depends, but a posed photo could be appropriate there where I don’t know, in another situation,

JAKE: [00:40:04] candid photo might be more appropriate.

So it just,

KIKI: [00:40:09] yeah. W well, I would say that a post photo is more, apt to be considered for an album cover. And I would say things that are more candids are probably more like, just content based, like stuff that you just have to like post on socials and shit like that.  When it

KOBY: [00:40:23] When it comes from my experience of what I, yeah, W when people are coming into a photo shoot with you, you mentioned a couple of things that they can do, that they can bring like multiple outfits and stuff like that.

Are there any other things that they can do to prepare for working with you? Like is, I don’t know when we were talking about music, videos and stuff, we talked about like practicing your song in a mirror so that you know, what you look like and you know, know what to do with your arms and stuff. Is there anything

JAKE: [00:40:50] similar with photography or is it

boring?

KIKI: [00:40:55] do the same thing. I tell some people to just stare at themselves. That’s the weirdest part is having to figure out what your body’s doing. You know what I mean? And like a lot of times the, so I was like, I one of the reasons I like to show people what is going on in cam, like, I’m just like, Hey, check it out.

These are some of the photos that we just took. It’s like, I want you to see what your body is looking like, and to kind of like recognize what you’re doing in photos that you think look good and what you’re doing and photos that you think look like trash, you know? So then that way you’re like, okay, Hope.

I mean, hopefully I never remember how I look at her, how I look trash. It’s just, I’m like, I’ll just be next to my wife. That’s it that’ll be fine. Um, but like, cause then you really, really do learn, ideally learn what you should be doing, what you shouldn’t be doing. And that’s why bands that have been doing it for so long.

They know what they do to look good. 30 years later, I’m

KOBY: [00:41:48] I’m hoping, you know, you know, but it takes a long

time to get them. Yeah. And it’s kind of like a, it’s like playing an instrument too.

Like it’s a muscle memory thing. Like you, you see what you look like afterwards when you take a photo, but then you have to

JAKE: [00:42:01] remember

KOBY: [00:42:01] what you felt like to look that way,

KIKI: [00:42:05] no, totally. like sometimes I’m like, hold on, hold on, wait, do this thing again. And they’re like, well, I don’t remember what I was doing. And I’m like, ah, shit, you’re at home. Let me show you this photo. But it’s like you blinking while you were doing the face. You know what

KOBY: [00:42:20] know what I mean? I’m like just don’t blink.

Yeah. It’s really tricky. So yeah, I guess same advice kind of whole it’s like

JAKE: [00:42:28] posing in the

mirror

or looking up, looking at,

KIKI: [00:42:32] I would say looking up poses also, like I did, um, I used to teach drums at the school of rock and I also did workshop for them and it was like one of their. Classes is like a house band class. So it’s like they go in and they play as a band and they learn all a bunch of music, like a bunch of covers and they put on a performance.

So what my presentation on was how to be a better performer to have your photo taken while it’s live. And that’s like, one of the things I told them was watch your favorite musicians and go like, go on YouTube and look at like live performances of them and see what they’re doing, you know? And obviously like, Stylistically.

It’s all different. Like Ben folds, isn’t doing the same thing as, you know, uh, I don’t know, DJ shadow and DJ shadow. Isn’t doing the same thing as muse. You know what I mean? Like all these people are like, they’re all doing something different, but it’s what works for them. And then look up photos of them, like live music, photos of them.

Cause you can see, I know people can’t see me right now, but like, You know, there’s a, there’s a huge difference between doing a pose where you’re just kind of, meekly playing guitar, and if you’re fucking a bad-ass and you have like one leg on the monitor and you know, your tongue is out you’re spew and fucking fake blood all over the place, you know, that’s a whole different vibe then, you know, having your back turned.

Shyly playing. And it, it, it takes time to get there. Like, you know, we were just saying, it’s like playing an instrument. You’re not just all of a sudden going to wake up and be a bad-ass guitarist. You’re not going to wake up and be like the best person in front of a camera, you know? And one of the things you have to consider is what we were talking about earlier is trust.

You know? So because you know that of yourself, you know, you haven’t, whatever you do have to find somebody. That you trust to make you look good to make you feel comfortable enough to try different things. Like if you’re uncomfortable, you know, so

God being in it being an artist is a bitch. Huh? Now I’m thing. I’m like, man, I’m like, you gotta be so much shit. Like, especially as a musician, you know, it’s like, not only are you writing the songs, you have to record that shit. Then you have to do like all this marketing for it. And then, you know, You have to trust the person, taking your photos.

You have to trust the person, recording your shit. You have to trust the studio. You’re recording in. You have to trust yourself to learn your shit. You have to trust the person who was mixing it. And you have to trust the people around you to not fucking be pissed at you when you’re spending all your time on making your dreams happen, you know, like dang.

And then people wonder why they get fucked up all the time. Because

JAKE: [00:45:12] stressed

KIKI: [00:45:13] and your brain is in

JAKE: [00:45:14] really different place. do you prefer, shooting live concerts or do you prefer, like sets or, or candid? Like, what’s your favorite.

KIKI: [00:45:24] Um, so it depends. One is like, live music is so much easier than doing portraits because it’s like I have no control over anything. So that stress has gone. It’s like Steve jobs only wearing one shirt for the rest of his life. You know what I mean? That black turtleneck, he doesn’t have to think about that ever again.

So it’s like a live show. I don’t have to think about as much The things that I do have to think about is I have to be aware of other photographers. And actually, I think the fact that I’m a musician really, really helps in the fact that I can feel when a course is coming and when a course is coming, it’s usually when the lights get big.

And when, you know, of course it’s like the bad-ass part of a song, you know, or like I can tell when a bridge is coming in a song and that’s when I get targeted or somebody that plays like a lead instrument is going to solo over that shit. You know? And like the lead singer is going to take a little bit of a break.

And let somebody else go on. So it’s like, knowing those things, you know where to be in front of a stage, you kinda gotta like, keep your eye on that. But that’s like the few things you have to worry about lighting, where they’re going to get kicked out by security. That is always lovely. no offense to you, people as boys, but some male photographers are douche bags when they see a female in the pit.

and. It’s just so different, but what do I prefer? Honestly, you’re probably right. Live music. It’s just so fun. Plus, I’m seeing a live show is there anything like that there, is there another feeling like

KOBY: [00:46:50] like being alive show of

KIKI: [00:46:51] people you genuinely like? No. Right, right. But like, I’ve like, I’ve like definitely cried at shows that I’ve been like.

So, like I remember 2019, I’m obsessed with Jenny Lewis. She’s like probably one of like my top five. I was obsessed with Riley Kiley when I was younger. And then she’s doing all her solo shit. And she played with death cab last summer, two summers ago at Ommegang. And a friend of mine like, she used to help me get him to show us because she does press stuff.

So she got me in it and she’s playing this one song and it’s like, one of my top five favorite songs of hers And it’s like one of our newest songs and I’m sitting there. I’m like, okay, Sob, literally crying, photographing, like trying to like, keep it cool. I only get three songs. Right. I only get three songs, but it’s like, it was like, that day was just like so emotional because it was like, I was shooting Jenny Lewis for the first time ever.

It was a festival stage. So it was that. And she was playing with death cab for cutie. And like, I don’t know if you guys listen to any of these music groups, but like death cab for cutie also used to be like one of my favorite fucking bands and. They did postal service songs, which I’m just getting amped right now, thinking about it.

Cause it was like literally like one of the top five best shows I’ve ever been to. And I love going home again, cause it’s like being at a festival without all the bullshit, you know what I mean? Where it’s like, I don’t have to, like, I don’t have to sleep there. I don’t have to deal with people and like whatever the parking lots, whatever.

but I

KOBY: [00:48:20] but I remember bobbing at that.

KIKI: [00:48:22] live music.

KOBY: [00:48:24] Well, I

feel like, you must’ve gotten great photos there too. Cause I feel like that’s the type of situation where you’re going to get great photos. when you’re feeling it that much, you know what I mean? Like

that’s the, that’s the person I want at a show.

If I played shows, I would want add to show taking photos of me, you know, it

was like somebody who’s yeah. Somebody

JAKE: [00:48:41] Somebody who really, really gets it.

KOBY: [00:48:43] So

KIKI: [00:48:43] She’s a fucking queen too. Sorry. I can talk about her all day. Like she is just a queen. She came out with this like, dope ass piano, and like, Pink like glitter, studded, gown. It’s like a, I don’t even know how to explain it. And the photos from it were so not because of, I don’t want to say because of me, but because of what was going on, I captured just such like the essence, like her beauty, I captured.

While I was crying. So it was just like, maybe I look at them emotionally and I’m like, Oh, these are the best photos I’ve ever taken. You know, like, because of the memory, but God, yeah. I could cry thinking about it again. Literally when I opened, I don’t mean to keep talking about like, when I open taking the photo one eye tear coming down, I’m like, you have to keep the other eye normal. do you do this?

KOBY: [00:49:38] so for an artist, say if they’re gonna bring a photographer to a show or, or if they’re going to do portraits, or actually maybe even just switch it up a little bit. What, what if somebody just doesn’t have the budget to do that? Like if say, say an artist really does, like, they spent their entire budget on.

Recording their song and they really truly can’t afford professional photography. Do you have any tips for those types of people who might need photos and just need to

get the best thing they can with a phone maybe or in a tripod or a friend or something?

JAKE: [00:50:12] Well,

KIKI: [00:50:12] first of all, if you’re cool, And your music is good. I bet you you’ll have a friend. That’s a good photographer. You know what I mean? Not, not trying to be like, whatever, like if you’re a cool person and you like go out and you obviously have been playing music, one of the photographers that has shot your shows as your friend, you know?

So, I would say definitely bank on those homeys. Um, don’t be rude and just assume somebody’s going to photograph your shit for free. You know, or if it’s like, a live show, at least offer them like a drink or something. I know I shot a lot of stuff for free, but they’re like my good friends or I just really believe in somebody, you know, like

JAKE: [00:50:52] have people that

KIKI: [00:50:53] I’ve shot in my life that I’ve never taken money from, because I don’t know, like my one good friend she played at my wedding, you know what I mean?

Like it’s, definitely like a give and take, you know, so develop relationships with people and. all that stuff will help you out, I’m sure you guys have worked with people that don’t always have the money, and I do sliding scale. I don’t know if you guys know what that is.

So it’s like, I have like a, hundred dollar range, you know? So it’s like between this and then a hundred dollars up. So it’s like somewhere in that range, if you can pay me, you’re going to get the same amount. A photo is the same quality. Like it’s not going to change like

KOBY: [00:51:30] everything balances out in the universe. So yeah. Yeah. That’s really cool. Just working with people and yeah. Trying to get people to best product that they can get for their budget, because

ultimately that’s

what

it’s about. It’s about art and making people feel things, and

JAKE: [00:51:47] weird and all that stuff.

KIKI: [00:51:49] Yeah. There’s like so many greedy people in this world. And it’s just like, If you’re like genuinely cool. And you’re really like, yo, like I do not have the money to pay you. Like, like I have like 50 bucks, like, can you come for like a half hour? Or can you come for like an hour, you know, and all like feed you or all like, you know, mow your lawn or, you know what I mean?

Like, you’ll figure out ways to give, somebody something. Even if it’s not a lot, you know, giving them a little, something still makes somebody feel appreciated enough to,

KOBY: [00:52:18] give a shit about your project. with photos, especially, I mean, credit is a huge thing too. I don’t know. This is a thing for music also, and I’m, just as guilty of this as anybody, like, you don’t know where photo came from or whatever it is.

And. sometimes that stuff slips, but like, I think that that is something that’s worth tracking down and finding out if you’re going to post something on social media or something like giving somebody credit, especially if it’s that situation where it was something that you didn’t have to pay for.

But even if it is something that you paid for, like, just cause you paid you, you gave money for, the session or something like that. Doesn’t mean that, or a photographer artist doesn’t benefit from having that credit gets the word out to other artists who might see that photo and say, Oh, wow, like, that’s amazing.

I want something similar to that. Or I want that same kind of vibe. So I don’t know. Credit credit in art, I think is one of those things that’s

JAKE: [00:53:16] to sort of

So I want to continue talking about it.

KIKI: [00:53:20] It’s such a weird thing though, because it’s like, it really depends on what is the word? So it’s like, if you’re a musician, you’re probably usually crediting people. Right.

but if you’re in the restaurant business and you’re posting photos about food, No, one’s tagging you. Like Chili’s, isn’t saying that so-and-so took their photo. You know what I mean? But Sean Mendez

JAKE: [00:53:39] tagging,

KOBY: [00:53:40] whoever, whoever

JAKE: [00:53:42] find

KIKI: [00:53:42] like that stuff. So interesting.

JAKE: [00:53:44] That is really interesting.

KIKI: [00:53:47] like I do a lot of different types of photos. Like what you guys see on my website is only like the tiniest, tiniest thing of what I do, because you got to pay the bills.

Right. Especially right now. You know, so I do a lot of product photography. I do a lot of restaurants, bars, family portraits, a lot of other different things. but you know, if I’m doing something for a bar or a restaurant, I never expect them to tag me or anything or like, uh, any product stuff. I don’t really assume anyone is, is tagging me anything like that.

So it’s like always so interesting for me to see, like how many people get. So amped, like, I know a lot of photographers that get so pissed, you know, that they’re not like tagged and they’re like putting their logo, like in the entire thing. And in

my mind,

I’m

just like, if you’re good enough and you have a style, people know what’s your photo, you know, it’s a, it’s like, yes, yes, you want to tag somebody because

KOBY: [00:54:40] you’re right.

Especially if you’re doing for free, always tech

KIKI: [00:54:42] if somebody’s doing shit for free for you,

KOBY: [00:54:44] they need something for it, right?

KIKI: [00:54:46] Yeah. Yes, exactly. Exactly. But I’ve done tons of stuff for people where they’ve never tagged me, but I’ve been tagged in it by other people because they know it’s my photo, you know?

that type of stuff is so weird to think about, you know, when people get so upset, I forget to do it sometimes. Like if I have like a makeup artist on set, I’ll forget, but it’s also because it’s so often I don’t work with them. I work by myself with like the things so. You’re not the only one who forgets,

KOBY: [00:55:16] I think it’s just an important thing to like, think about, especially like musicians, like this is the arts. So like, we can all understand that where maybe for like corporate, whatever, like that’s yeah. That’s not what they’re thinking about, but like,

as artists, like, we can all understand how that’s beneficial.

So I don’t know

JAKE: [00:55:35] when

And like why

KIKI: [00:55:39] No. I totally agree with that. Yeah. There’s some businesses that definitely do tag me and you know, it’s very beneficial for

KOBY: [00:55:45] for me.

KIKI: [00:55:46] I won’t say that it’s not, but I mean, you already paid me. The photos are yours. I can’t tell you what to do with them. You know what I mean? you’re not tagging Hewlett Packard.

Every time you print something. You know what I mean? Like they printed it for you, you know what I mean? Are you tagging Photoshop every time you created, you know, maybe you are so you can get seen by them, but you’re right. I feel like in the art scene is where you do tag people because so often more often than not artists,

KOBY: [00:56:15] artifact is getting enough, proper compensation.

Yeah, that makes sense. So maybe, maybe the goal is to get the arts community as a whole to a place where like, nobody cares about tagging it all. Cause like

JAKE: [00:56:28] everybody’s

KOBY: [00:56:29] getting paid what they’re supposed to get paid

KIKI: [00:56:30] right. That’s the thing. It’s like everybody, like you, all, everybody wants to get paid. That’s like my favorite thing is getting my friends paid. I’m like, what do you guys do? How can I get money for you? You know, like I do photos for Albany to selling, which is a distillery in Albany. And I’m always trying to get my friends in.

I’m like, you guys need video work.

KOBY: [00:56:51] my friend.

 well, if we can get you some work. where can people go to find your work or

JAKE: [00:57:00] in contact with you if

 KIKI: [00:57:05] yeah. Um, I travel some not right now. I’m not really traveling. but uh, literally my Instagram, which my name is very long. So I’ll spell it out for you guys. So. It is Kiki Vassilakis. And that is K I K I, as in Kiki’s delivery service or in let’s have a Kiki. Um, but it’s Kiki. I was here first. Uh, and my last name is  V as in Victor, a S S I L a K I S.

And you can find me on Instagram and that’s probably the easiest to start. And then, you know, I have like my website on there and I would say my Instagram is more up to date. Then my website, my website has like a little bit of

everything, but my Instagram has just like, honestly, God knows what’s on there.

It’s like, I

KOBY: [00:57:54] I

KIKI: [00:57:54] in the past, like year people have given up because it’s like what? We spent like eight months nonstop on social media. And now it’s just like, if I have to look at a caption one more time. If I have to figure out what to say under this photo, one more time. I will throw my phone out the window.

And hope it parishes,

KOBY: [00:58:16] Yep.

KIKI: [00:58:16] where you can find me as on Instagram

KOBY: [00:58:18] All right. Yeah. So everybody go check out Kiki’s photos. give him, like, hire her if you’re in the area. or I don’t know. Maybe if you’re not in the area, when we can get

JAKE: [00:58:28] traveling and

KOBY: [00:58:29] pay a bunch of money to travel to

JAKE: [00:58:31] whatever whatever

KIKI: [00:58:33] but definitely check out my stuff I would love to, and I always, Interact with people. So if you guys want to talk, if he, Even if you are an aspiring photographer, please get in touch with me.

I love talking to people and helping people. and, not a

KOBY: [00:58:45] not a lot

KIKI: [00:58:46] share their quote unquote secrets, but it’s not secrets.

JAKE: [00:58:49] Yeah.

KIKI: [00:58:49] so please get in touch with me.

KOBY: [00:58:51] that’s awesome. I hope people, I hope people take you up on that. That would be great.  well, Kiki, thank you so much for taking the time to come on the podcast today and talk with us about this. I mean, we’ve given bunch of good info here that I think people can take to help them find the right photographer for them and, and get

JAKE: [00:59:10] best photography out of their sessions

KOBY: [00:59:13] when they do

JAKE: [00:59:13] So,

KOBY: [00:59:14] on today.

KIKI: [00:59:16] Oh, pleasure was all mine. Thank you guys so much for having me and I hope you guys can

make sense of my ramblings. So

JAKE: [00:59:24] Yeah, thank you very much for coming on. And everybody, if you, like this episode, go ahead and leave a five star review on Apple podcasts. That’d be awesome.

KOBY: [00:59:33] absolutely. We appreciate that. And that’s

all we’ve

JAKE: [00:59:36] for you on this episode, and

KOBY: [00:59:37] and we’ll catch you on the next episode of

JAKE: [00:59:40] signed

KOBY: [00:59:41] artist.

KIKI: [00:59:42] Later