“I went from selling rapper to selling celebrity.”
That’s how Cam Kirk describes his growth. A Black visionary hailing from PG County, his birth name is a now a household name. Though born in Maryland, the Cam Kirk we now know today was born in Atlanta.
Just a few feet away from the legendary strip club popular Magic City is Cam Kirk Studios, a multi-functional studio that serves as a headquarters for the photographer.
Portraits decorates the walls throughout the studio. Huge portraits of Megan Thee Stallion, Migos and other celebrities he has worked with in the past hang near the entrance of the studio. Joining those are cut-outs of articles highlighting his work and his accolades. The studio is small in scale but it makes up for its lack of size in its energy.
A bright, neon white replica of the ‘Magic City’ sign is the standout. Another one of Cam’s earliest portraits, a black and white photo taken of rapper Gucci Mane surrounded by money, drugs and guns, hangs in another room in the studio and is one of his personal favorites. Taken before Cam Kirk Studios had even come to life, the photographer was still finding his place in photography.
Getting in where he could fit in wasn’t hard. Atlanta is full of artists and influencers and you’re bound to run in to someone who can help you. The Six Degrees of Separation theory is more like two or three in Atlanta, but Cam knew from early on that his goals would require more than just fitting in. The foundation was there but it wasn’t sturdy. He needed to stay in.
After linking up with producer Metro Boomin in a dorm room at Morehouse College some years back, his alma mater, Cam learned the importance of networking across. He’d toured the country with some of the biggest names in Hip-Hop but getting his name out there has become a challenge. He realized that with the right people on his team he could achieve the unthinkable and bring his community along with him. Thus, his transition from selling rapper to selling celebrity.
Cam prefers to catch his subjects in their element. Poses aren’t necessary and sometimes his clients don’t even have to look at the camera. All he asks is that they show up as their authentic selves.
“I like to create an environment where my subject can naturally be themselves. I try to create an environment where they can freestyle and I can just capture their essence.”
This would explain why Cam has gotten so far in this industry. His reserved yet laid-back disposition makes him almost too easy to work with but his work ethic is what really makes him shine. We’re used to seeing photographers lay low behind the scenes but Cam doesn’t shy away from making his presence known beyond the lens.
These days when Cam isn’t behind the viewfinder, he can be found at his studio hosting his creative workshop Night School he educates aspiring artists on how to navigate their respective fields and make the most out of their interests. His other two babies, a photographer label and a streaming platform podcasts, sports, and more.
We connected with Cam to discuss what it was like working for his one of his idol’s Young Jeezy, his newfound love for playing golf, content creation, and growing up in Maryland.