Interview : Derek Blanks "Celebrity #Photographer" Covers OTSMagazine #Fashion And Entertainment Issue.
I’ve always had a love for art and being creative. Most people don’t know that I didn’t start out doing photography. I’ve been drawing since I’ve been able to write. I was introduced to painting in the 7th grade through private painting lesson that my dad paid for. And I attended the Academic and Performing Arts Complex in Jackson, MS from 3rd grade through my senior year. I always knew I wanted to be an artist for a living. From high school I went to the Maryland Institute College of Art. So I’ve been doing some form of art almost all of my life.
My first celebrity job was shooting the red carpet for the Ludacris Foundation. I guess it was a success because shortly after they hired me to shoot for his “Tantra” energy drink. I was extremely nervous, but I worked past my nerves and did the job. Ludacris made it easy for me because he was real cool and easy to shoot.
I was shooting Chaka Khan and the studio caught on fire. It was totally unexpected, however she was so professional, she continued to pose. She had a great attitude about the situation. That’s a moment I’ll never forget. She even joke with me about her being so hot that she caused the fire.
Digital manipulation has always been interesting to me. Wanting to merge my photography and drawing/editing component of my art was something that I saw as a welcomed challenge.