One of the greatest ways to hold onto a memory is though images, as the saying goes – they do hold a 1,000 words. Raymond Alston has been doing photography since 2015. Once finding his passion he’s been able to shoot  for multiple publications like SHEEN Magazine, ROOT Magazine, Hip Hop Weekly Magazine, ARMY Times, and SOURCE Magazine to name a few. You can catch him at  major Events such as Black Music Honors, BET Hip Hop Awards, BET Social Awards, Love & Hip Hop, One Music Fest, NYC Summer Jam, The Millennium Tour, Kirk Franklin Love & Laughter Tour, The Isley Brothers Tour, Lil Durk & Lil Baby Tour, and so many more places! On Friday, October 1st he began the  Millennium Tour  in LA, Saturday in Oakland, and Sunday in Fresno.
We dove into what this celebrity photographer does and how he got here!

What inspired you to step into photography?

My brother-in-law bought and camera and started taking photos.  After seeing a few of his pictures I decided to invest in a Nikon D500 and began taking photos of my own.  Later that year I deployed to Camp Arifjan for two years.  This was my third overseas tour and I was determined to not waste it!  It was then I realized that I could capture memories and see things that others took for granted or didn’t notice.  As I progressed with my skillset I noticed that I had not just a passion for it but I was also good at it.  Upon my return to the United States, I continued to hone my skills and at every turn, it seems like my work speaks for itself; I have gained not just popularity through social media, but the respect of others in the industry.  It’s crazy that something that kept my mind busy while alone and away from loved ones has turned into something that I absolutely love.

How do you balance your talents as well as your normal life?

I don’t know if I have found a balance as of yet I think that with life there is an ebb and flow for everything.  At times, my gigs have me up over 20 hours with being at an event then ensuring the photos are up within 24 hours which is my signature.  My “normal” life isn’t very normal because I am currently serving on Active Duty in the Army and when I’m not in that uniform I am a proud member of NYPD.  I just focus on giving my all to whatever task I have at hand in hopes that my dedication and drive are seen through my work.

What’s the importance of studying your craft?

Studying and perfecting my craft is paramount in my life and I strive to use my time efficiently.  I spend an average of 4 hours daily studying, learning, and improving my skill set.  You never know what you can learn from social media so I stay plugged in with what’s trending as well as following those tried and true.

Any final notes?
I wanna give a special shout-out to Gary from the GSquared Team for putting on the Tour, and Tara Thomas from the TaraThomasAgency for Hiring me to shoot the Tour as well as the Meet & Greet with the Fans and the Recording Artists featured on the Tour!
Image provided by Raymond Alston
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