Above all things, Cam Kirk‘s passion is to give back. The popular Atlanta photographer who has captured hip-hop‘s most iconic moments of this generation aims to give back to younger aspiring creatives. He has opened his studio to local photographers to shoot and work on their craft. Now, he’s hosting night classes.
“My biggest fear is that I’m doing all of this in vain,” Kirk told the students sitting in his studio’s class-like setting in Atlanta, Georgia. “I’m grateful that you all are here; I’m grateful you all have chosen to spend your Tuesday night with us and learn. I know none of us like going to school but y’all are here at night school, so this is super dope.
On August 16, the guest lecturer was Stephen “Dr.” Love, the producer of Netflix’s They Cloned Tyrone.
Love’s first lesson to the students was understanding the difference between purpose and a hobby. His argument was hobbies typically have an overall goal centered in the best interest of self, while purpose has a more significant meaning. Love’s specific example was a hobby would be saying he wanted to be a big movie producer, whereas his purpose was to change the way Black people looked on screen.
He told all aspiring entrepreneurs to learn every job that would be a part of their companies. Love advised students to have one tangible step, the north star, and to be so specific; the direction or goal can be said in a few words.
While on the surface, Love’s path from graduating from Morehouse College to producing They Cloned Tyrone in 11 years might have appeared to be simple, the route included many pivotal stops, with the most valuable coming in his six years as an intern, including his time in grad school at USC in Los Angeles.
When the biggest takeaway one network had from his internship was his ability to order an impromptu chicken salad for an executive producer, he decided it was time for him to begin to build his own company.
Love told the students to have their paperwork in order and to pay their friends they work with at the beginning through physical checks just to have that valid track record and to make sure the friends cash those checks. He told the students to look up how to do things in the industry legally by looking it up online and watching YouTube tutorials.
He advised his fellow young creatives to refrain from bringing up negatives in their pitches to major production companies but, simultaneously, not to believe their own hype in private moments. Love told the attendees to sell every pitch like it’s the project that will change everything.
“[Do] anything you can do to make it feel like an experience,” he advised.
Love provided insight into gaining leverage in bidding wars and creating fear of missing out on major production companies’ bids.
After the class, each participant received a certificate of completion from night school.