How did you get started? Tell us everything!
My name is Erik Gibbs and I’m 28 years old. With video/photography, I started in 2007 and my mom had a Sony digital camera that I use to take and record my friends with back in Flint, MI where I was born. We all did music so it was practice for me to shoot our visuals because we were 15-16 with no jobs so it all was low quality but fun. I’ve always been into the behind the scenes aspect of production from watching how they used to do the kills on the Final Destination movies or Making the Video on MTV.
I ended up moving to Atlanta, GA in 2008. I still used the Sony until one of my friends named Star left her camera at my house 😁. It was still a Sony but a cyber shot that was a bit better far as quality so I constantly recording random moments of whoever I was close with at the time. As time progressed around 2012-13, my friend Bart had done a vlog episode with someone named Swish and I was introduced to a new wave. He was shooting so many visuals full of hard colors and I was inspired to upgrade my equipment. Swish and I ended up hanging out and becoming good friends over the years and I learned a lot from being around him.
He ended up selling me his camera which was an earlier Canon. I took it everywhere from shows to abandoned buildings I would find as I was out so I got into urban exploring for location scouting. My daughter's mom had ended up buying me a Canon T6I for a present so I pawned the one I had to pay a bill smh. In 2015, I had the opportunity to intern at No Genre (BOBs label) and Grand Hustle as an engineer because my friend tagged me in a post. I also kept the camera around so it brought attention from management wanting me to get pictures of artists and film behind the scenes. That situation didn’t last because of good politics but friends kept me involved in letting me tag along to their events to network or booking me to shoot their content.
The year was 2018 and yet again I fell on hard times and had to pay a bill so I ended up having to pawn the camera my daughter's mom bought me smh. Not much later I found a Canon t7i at the pawnshop for cheap. I stayed active by meeting people on Instagram to shoot by randomly messaging people or going to power shoot groups like collab ATL. My friend Q from back home tagged me in a post that was holding a mansion shoot for models and photographers and I was still awkward and anxious but I wanted to start being around more aspiring models because I was already shooting with my friends. I got there and it was a whole new world with beautiful women everywhere, some barely dressed while others just looked too good for me to even talk to so for a majority of the time I played every corner I could find and filmed behind the scene content. Everyone there had thousands of dollars in gear, just grabbing girls left and right to shoot while I was afraid to even talk to one. Took me back to why I hate night clubs because I’m such an introvert.
I got a few pics but they sucked because I knew nothing about lighting/speed lights or diffusers so I just focused on how dope everyone else looked because even though I had no business being there with my $200 t7i I bought on layaway I couldn’t miss a chance to give the perspective from the kid in the corner. I also paid to be there so yeah. I contacted the host KD after and sent her the behind the scenes content I did and she loved it. No one else did video so I filled that void giving myself value and KD ended up inviting me to every event after for free to get behind the scene content where I was able to network with models, designers and influencers so that was when I started taking my career seriously.
What is your experience in the music industry?
Not much experience far as the industry but I’ve picked up some things over 10+ years. I went to college for a year and dropped out in 2011 from the art institute but that was for audio so I’ve been self-taught by experience and through learning from friends and associates in my field.
What are some credits and achievements that you have?
I’ve been mostly local so not many big artists' names yet. I’ve covered content for Royce da 5’9”, Tech N9ne, BOB, and his artists. I’ve got studio sessions with Jack Harlow that I probably won’t ever be able to drop but it’s whatever.
What are some of the biggest obstacles you’ve encountered or faced in this industry?
Learning that sometimes a good business relationship is more important than an upfront check and other times it’s best to get your money and keep it moving.
What are some of your goals this year?
A few days ago it was to be able to work for me and not have to clock in as long as I could afford not to but I just recently lost my job so I won’t be updating anymore resumes as long as I stay focused.
Who are your favorite directors? Who do you want to do a music video with?
Would be interested in working with Hiro Murai (Director of Atlanta). I'm really inspired by his visual storytelling. I also like Jerry Productions out of Detroit, Reel Goats, John Singleton, and Colin Tilley.
What kind of equipment do you have and why?
At the moment, I currently have a Sony a7iii with a Sigma 24mm F/1.4 lens. I chose this model after I did a shoot with a friend who had the Sony and the quality had me shook. Before I was using the Canon Mark iii for a second and my last few shoots were all out of focus or grainy and I was no longer happy with doing anymore videos since my t7i was autofocus (underrated camera).
What is your creative process like?
I usually find inspiration from music videos or movies I come across and I brainstorm with my list of locations after hearing an artist's song while incorporating whoever they had in mind.
What’s your favorite go-to order?
Chicken Wings (mild) w/ fries and a peach/lemonade drink or Alfredo.