Take a scope through the lenses of Apex Vision — Hip Hop’s hottest and hardest photographer on the scene!
Capturing the hottest moments in Hip-Hop is coming to you straight out of Canarsie, New York best known by Apex of Apex Visions! Highlighting outstanding talent in photography and film photography—this Canarsie Creative behind the camera is whose work you should be watching! Renownly recognized for her raved photos of Pop Smoke, Dave East, Cardi B, amongst many other celebrities. Apex continues to push the culture forward through her camera on click at a time. She also went viral for her stunning shots of legendary rappers Bobby Shmurda and Rowdy Robel. Remember that moment Bobby Shmurda came home after being granted conditional release? After serving 6-years of a 7-year bid, he was welcomed home with family and friends. To no surprise, Apex captured it all in real time!
The Vision Behind APEX Visions
Apex is everywhere and never misses a beat. She personifies the value of photographers in the music industry. Tapped into the trendiest talent, she captured Pop Smoke several times before his passing. Building a bond with the breakout star and having such a unique creative eye, she designed the album cover for his debut, Meet The Woo! When she is not photographing artists on tour, she is capturing memorable moments that become legendary. Apex has a way of gaining the trust of the musicians and celebrities she photographs. Her personality is humble, but she is driven by her methods and most importantly — Hip-Hop. These are just a few of the reasons she is so approachable and trusted to work with when it comes to creative collaboration. In fact, her shots are beyond epic! She always captures the candid attitudes of her subjects, so the talent is transparent.
Apex Vision Aligns The Stars With The Masses
Everyone, from Fabolous, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Lil Durk to Coi Leray, Ice Spice, and Meek Mill and more continue to trust the process. Apex continues to have complete control in her craft and its vision. The image of a rapper is obviously important to his or her brand, and Apex has done an excellent job of conveying the bravado, fierceness, and even vulnerability that they portray in front of the lens. Her work, however, is more than just capturing the people in front of her frame. Additionally, her distinct style emerged, amassing national and even international attention. Her craft is a portrait of the city, the culture that gave birth to a musical community unlike any other.
She is striving as Hip-Hop’s hottest and most trusted photographer in the game and Hip-hop heads are extremely grateful for photographers such as her. Apex gives us a golden glimpse into the hottest points in Hip-Hop history through her lenses. Her catalog and resume are already unparalleled at such a young age. So the next time you see a picture of your favorite rapper trailblazing through the internet or trending on Instagram, best believe, Apex was the vision behind it. She has quickly become a force from coast-to-coast, shooting young legends on their rise to realizing their greatness. We continue to trust in her vision as she captures new figures, moments, and spaces that will undoubtedly become part of the cultural canon.
For now, get familiar with Apex right here during our interview with KAZI Magazine. APEX reveals what he loves most about hip-hop, the industry, photography and more!
Apex Visions: The Interview
- Hey APEX! Happy New Year! Thank you so much for kicking off the new year with us at KAZI Magazine! Let’s jump right in. Before we get into all things APEX, the artistry and more… let’s bring it back to the beginning. Who is APEX and where did it all begin?
“I got my name through this group named Pro Era I used to hang out with when I was in middle school. I did some research and learned that ‘Apex,’ meant ‘the top or highest point of something’. Practice makes perfect, and my work consistently got better after each shoot. Each shoot would progressively grab more attention and recognition from people than the one before. With this in mind and me always outdoing my previous work, it ultimately led to me deciding to name myself ‘Apex Visions’”.
- What does photography mean to you?
“Photography is my way of life. Images hold a 1000 words and captures memories for future generations, from legendary moments to tragedy and joys. It’s a strong connection of our past, it reminds us of people, places & feelings. It allows people to interpret the world from different perspectives and appreciate the most diverse situations captured in a still moment”.
- Next, what inspires your imagery?
“Music inspires me 100%. From the composition of music—the melodies, lyrics, tempo, bass, etc. everything comes together to evoke different emotions whether happiness to sadness. My goal is to emulate that same feeling in my imagery. I make sure in every picture you are consumed by the energy, able to almost feel present and embody the emotions of the subject at the time. If I captured a sorrowful moment, you should feel just as you would listening to a sad song. If I captured a joyful moment, you should feel happy as if you were there yourself”.
The Apex Vision
- One of today’s main discussion points amongst photographers is about the use of digital photography; do you dabble in both traditional and digital or one or the other?
“I definitely do shoot digital and film photography. I used to shoot film more often, but most clients don’t understand nor appreciate the process of film photography. With film, you can’t see how it looks until you develop and scan images. Digital photography provides more ‘instant gratification,’ allowing clients to post their pictures right after they shoot”.
- Additionally, Color vs. Black and White. Why one over the other, and is the photographic process different?
“I prefer color, mostly because everyone loves to show their outfit and color coordination they have going on. Also, I like showing all details to make my audience who weren’t at that show or shoot feel like they were there from a raw eyes point of view. Black and white is cool too, but definitely only make a photo black and white if it speaks 1000 words in the image”.
- Equally important, you have worked with a slew of celebrities and socialites, such as: Bobby Shmurda, Pop Smoke, Rowdy Robel, Dave East, Cardi B amongst other celebrities. How important is it for you to “connect” with your subjects to bring out their true self?
“Every creative should have a bond with the person they’re creating content with, especially to truly grasp their ideas. I personally always have a connection with my clients so I know how to provide direction, yet still achieve their ultimate vision”.
- Following fire shoots made up of creative collabs, who are some talents that are on your wishlist?
“Some talents on my wishlist to work with this year are GloRilla, Drake , SZA , Beyoncé & Jay-Z”.
- Dope list! Let’s manifest it because I feel like it’s coming 2023! Jordan Year! Alright Apex, let’s get into the photography process. Can you walk us through the actual process that you use to set up a shoot?
“I don’t really have much of a process, I try not to really overthink it. I personally always make sure I have 2 of everything in my bag: My camera, 2 lens, flash trigger, diffuser, 2 sd cards and filters for my lens”.
- Locations and weather conditions seem to be a crucial aspect to a successful picture. How do you handle these unpredictable factors?
“Believe it or not, every shoot I ever did was last minute and unpredictable. You really have to train yourself to shoot in every state possible just in case. My advice is to always stay ready so you never have to get ready. If you can work with whatever you have and still make it look fire. That’s a different type of skill”.
- That’s crazy, but I believe it. Because the unexpected are usually the best moments. As an experienced celebrity photographer, what makes a great photo stand out from an average one?
“What differentiates a great photo from an average one is the energy captured in the picture. Fans don’t have the luxury of seeing a celebrity in every form and a great photo gives the fans a part of the artist they’ve never seen or experienced before”.
- Furthermore, when do you know you have a good shot?
“Honestly, a good shot is subjective. What I may feel is good, another may feel is ok and vice versa. I think a good shot is able to tell the story just within the picture. It makes the picture feel full of life and gives the audience that feeling like they were there—like they experienced it themselves”.
- How do you set people at ease and get them to do the things that capture the perfect photo?
“Trust is a key factor. I treat every shoot as if I’m the model taking photos, I direct, I position, I give my honest opinion. All my clients know my goal is to capture them at their best and not just to get paid for holding a camera and snapping photos”.
- Uniquely, what advice do you have for promising photographers/film-photographers who are just starting out?
“Everything is a learning experience, you’ll never know 100% of photography and that’s the fun part. Be original, test out new things and don’t take shortcuts. You are creative and a creator. It’s not all about following what’s trendy, this is your opportunity to be creative in your truest form”.
- Nonetheless, eager to know more, what’s next for APEX in 2023?
“I don’t really like saying things before I do it, but definitely diversifying my portfolio in 2023. A lot of people like to categorize or place people in a box. You’ll definitely see different creative points from me this year that I haven’t done before”.
- Lastly, is there a message you’d like to leave with fans?
“My message is: stay true and stay humble. Always keep working like you just started but know your worth”