BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — When the coronavirus pandemic hit, four photographers from Buffalo’s East Side were left without much to shoot.
“We really weren’t supposed to be outside and I think all of us were shooting people so with nobody being outside there was a shortage in that,” said Adrian Blackmon.
Blackmon, Malik Rainey, Brandon Watson, and Derrick Carr came together to perfect their craft. They invested in equipment and provided guidance with each person bringing something different to the table.
“We took advantage of that time and those hours and efforts we put in and it really formed a brotherhood,” said Watson.” We were able to come together as one and really help one another excel.”
Soon after, they each started getting calls to work on big projects including a Paramount movie, magazine campaigns, and even a feature in Time Magazine.
A group of #Buffalo photographers came together during the pandemic to perfect their craft. I’ll tell you how that teamwork lead them to major opportunities in film, print, and a feature in @TIME magazine on @news4buffalo . 🎥 #buffalokids pic.twitter.com/XLEhZnkXqo— Kelly Khatib (@KellyKhatibtv) May 25, 2021
“When my parents found out, because they saw me do this for like 10 years, so when they were able to see it in physical print and just tell me how proud they were of me it was like alright I’m on the right track,” Watson said.
The group says that they hope their success shows others, particularly communities of color, that there is strength in numbers, and helping one another can help you defeat the odds.
“Hard work and coming together to strengthen what you do with other people that are in the same situation as you can help get the job done,” said Carr.
Kelly Khatib is a digital reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.