K Enagonio is a well-known freelance photographer (Alternative Press Correspondent & Youtuber) who has recently started a podcast about being a freelance photographer, where she gives out advice from her experiences. And who, as a photographer has covered Vans Warped Tour, various big names in the music industry and more recently made documentaries both for Alt Press and herself.
First off, I’d like to say thank you for giving your time to answer my questions even with your busy schedule.
1) What would you say is something you would say that all freelancers should think about before entering the business?
Hey, thanks for asking me to do this interview for you.
Something that I would say to all freelancers that they need to think about before getting into this business..well honestly there are a lot of things that I would like to tell them from the things that I’ve learned myself, but one of those things would be to be patient with yourself. I was extremely hard on myself and doubted myself almost daily, but that doubt also pushed me to work harder. There’s so much I would add to this but my podcast Project Freelance answers most of the questions that I would want to ask a creator, which was the goal for it.
2) How is it like to live as a freelance photographer? Is it really all doom and gloom like the older generations say or is it a unique lifestyle?
Living as a freelance photographer is difficult for sure, but it is an extremely rewarding lifestyle if you work your tail off and you keep pushing yourself daily to create better more unique content.
3) What would you like to have told your younger self, after the years of work you’ve had now?
Something else I would’ve told my younger self would have been to save my money early, because I went into this without any guidance, as most freelancers do, and I have learned a lot about finance over the past couple of years.I think it’s extremely important when you’re starting out to know about it.
4) If you were talking to someone who was wanting to become a freelance photographer, what would be your key piece of advice?
Go for it! Don’t stop shooting for any reason. People will doubt you, steal from you, con you, and not pay you, but you can and will get through it. Have faith in your skills. Shoot everything regardless how you’re feeling, no matter where you live. No matter what your excuse is, it’s not good enough. Go find something to take photos of.
5) In your personal opinion, as you have worked in different art forms, is it better to put all effort into one genre of freelance work, or is it better to mix various things together?
Correspondent to Alternative Press, that’s a title in itself.
How did you become AP’s correspondent? It’s kind of an interesting story, actually. You see, a few years ago I actually applied to be AP’s correspondent out on Warped Tour, I think this was in 2014 or 2015, the year that Tori got the gig. In October 2016 I got in touch with AP through a friend and he helped me get a position there. They immediately wanted me to start filming for them and I became their LA-based correspondent.
There are various Urban Exploration videos on your Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/user/JustTheLetterK) where did the interest in this form of exploration come about and how do you find these places to explore?
Urban exploration has always been something I’ve been interested in, but going alone is not very safe. I didn’t really know anyone in California when I first moved here and I didn’t want to just venture off on my own into these places that I didn’t know. I met a couple of photographers at some meetups, that are hosted here in Los Angeles, and some of them happened to be urban explorers, who invited me to go see some of the sites of Los Angeles. From there my obsession just grew and grew and grew and I made excuses to create content in abandoned places for bands, companies, and clothing companies. I don’t know why, but it’s unbelievably fascinating to see the world get left behind slowly even though it’s provided so much for us.
6) What would you say you most enjoy about your multifaceted profession?
The thing I enjoy about being able to do so many types of content creation is honestly getting to meet so many amazing people. There is so much talent out in the world and getting to meet that talent face-to-face and shake hands with them is incredible. There’s nothing like being able to make a connection with people through art, because it requires no form of language. It just is.
7) If you could pick your dream band to photograph, who would it be?
My dream band to photograph right now would probably be either Halsey or 30 seconds to mars.
8) For me personally, I’m always trying to get press passes to some of the big band names, as are various other of my fellow photographers. What would you say is the best way to get into these bigger concerts?
Trying to get into the bigger concert is hard for anybody, especially if you do not have a personal connection with the band, or don’t know anyone that could possibly be in their network. One of the best ways is to get into a big show is to apply for a publication, like a magazine, newspaper, online blog, your personal blog. If you apply to either their management or the venue with your credentials saying that you are creating content, or that you’re starting to create content, often times they will let you go to the show. Keep in mind that you may have to pay the price of the tickets. Large shows are very confusing but they are very rewarding if you start getting into that realm
8) A friend of my has asked me to ask you how is the best way to get into touring photography, as you yourself have toured with Vans Warped Tour?
The best way to get into touring photography is to start shooting at local venues because most of them don’t require you to have a press pass or any type of credential and you can just walk in with your camera period that’s how I started to tell many of the people I know started.
9) What drove you into the photography world? And what sent you into the world of music video making?
Photography was something that I just kind of picked up naturally I started shooting shows I just took a little. She came with me and remember taking pictures of bands like Papa Roach, Alison and I, Asking Alexandria, Of Mice and Men, Memphis May Fire, etc. And that naturally led me to me making music videos as well.
6) When it comes to social media, what is the best way to use this growing field in terms of a photographer?
Photography was something that I just kind of picked up naturally I started shooting shows I just took a little. She came with me and remember taking pictures of bands like papa roach in and Alison and I and asking Alexandria of mice and men Memphis May Fire et cetera and that naturally led me into me making music videos as well.
Social media as a photographer is the best possible thing that could’ve happened in the Internet period because we are such visual creatures being a photographer I wouldn’t say is easy online but we have a lot to offer to that world because everything we do is so visual so the best way to grow as a photographer on social media is obviously to post content consistently to post your best content to get the followers and the fans involved which is something I’m really aiming to do in 2018.
7) Is being a Youtuber, Podcaster, Photographer and Videographer a rough lifestyle, or do you revel in the long hours and hard work?
As far as the long hours go yeah it’s draining it’s very draining it’s hard on relationships it’s hard to have a personal life if you will but I get to create something every single day and every day is a challenge. I don’t have to the work for someone else’s dream. I don’t have anyone else telling me to do, so yes it is a lot of long hours and hard work, but that’s what it takes to make great things.
8) With a new year on the horizon, what hopes or expectations for 2018, any plans?
My plans for this year or to shoot five music videos 5 to 10 music videos I want to finish the multiple documentaries that I filmed last year and put them out I want to enter film contest I want to just roll more and I want to be able to work with more people.
- If you’d like to find out more about K Enagonio, here is a list of her social media feeds:
– https://www.kenagoniophotography.com/ (her official Website)
– https://www.instagram.com/kenagonio/?hl=en (her official Instagram)
– https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdR2OEx5E7WtA1z61QiFS7A (her official Youtube)
– https://www.facebook.com/k.enagonio (her official Facebook)