#NotableYoungPros: Photographer and Filmmaker Brian Hamilton

It takes a lot of courage to pursue your passion as a career.

Living in a society so motivated by income and money, it is enough to make anyone feel discouraged and go down a path they aren’t keen on for the sake of making ends meet. Though the road of becoming an artist isn’t always forgiving, every one of them will tell you that they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Photographer and filmmaker Brian Hamilton (@thejupiterspin) is no different. We sat down with Brian to inquire about his process, successes and failures, and how it all shaped him into the artist, he is today.

The best piece of advise I have ever received…
Try to think, and do, what is not going to be expected. Try and throw a curveball any time you do anything because people will respond to it in a different way. The people you get with your idea, by doing it differently, will be hit harder and appreciate it a lot more.

Someone I look up to is…
A photographer in New York by the name of Joey L. He has been at it since he was, like, 19. He has his own original aesthetic that I really appreciate. That’s one thing I certainly appreciate about people is their ability to create something original.

Favourite Instagram account to follow right now is…
A guy named Lane Dorsey, he’s a photographer. I would say that he is a well-rounded, talented artist in all ways. He keeps what he does very entertaining, which is something I find value in.    

I couldn’t do what I do without…
I could not do what I do without…a camera (laughs).

First thing I do when I wake up in the morning is…
I roll over and I say hi to my cat Bricks. We spend about ten minutes chilling before I get about my day. It’s the first thing I do and it’s generally the last thing I do every day.    

How did your account get started in what you’re doing?
I got started in photography because I had been an artist since I was six years old. I always knew that I wanted to do that as a career. I was trying to be a musician, but it is a hard industry and I wasn’t doing so well with the touring. It was expensive. I was engaged to a girl, at one point in my life, and she was a photographer. I picked up her camera and thought, ‘I can do this.’ I didn’t know that it was a lucrative endeavour when I got into it. I buried a lot of hours learning and mastering the craft.

What type of Notable are you? Are you a creator, an entrepreneur, or a professional?
I am a professional entrepreneur creator. I would like to use all of those words because that is literally what I do. I am entrepreneurial, I’m professional, and I create.   

Why do you love your job? What sort of cool things do you get to do?
I love my job because every day is not nearly like the last. Every day is so different. I’m very, very lucky in that it’s not repetitive, and even when it is repetitive, it’s still really fun.

What do you want to be known for?
I want to be known for creating something original. I still hold that so true to my heart. There are a lot of people out there trying to emulate things that they see, and that is what I strive not to do.   

What does ambition mean to you?
Ambition, to me, means utilizing your time. You only have so many hours, every single day, that you are awake. What are you doing with those hours? Really calculate and break it down, because each hour of the day is so important and crucial. So make use of it.   

Looking back, are there moments that clearly stand out in your life as defining moments that have led you to this point?
One of the most defining moments in my life is when I was working in a factory, and I was fired. They were going to give me the job back, and I was faced with a dilemma. Go back to the job, or never have a job like that ever again. I decided to leave. At that moment, I didn’t know what I was going to do, but my gut told me not to do that job. I haven’t had a “job” since.  

What would you consider your biggest accomplishment to date?
I feel like my biggest accomplishment to date was the first feature film that I made with my friends that got distribution. That, to us, was a huge deal and it has inspired me and lit a fire under my ass – for lack of better words –  to make more films. I think that’s where my professional destiny may lie.

What’s the worst mistake you’ve ever made?
It’s hard to define because I like where I am right now. All of my mistakes and decisions have led me to this moment. If I appreciate and like where I am right now, did I really make a mistake?

What are some pivotal mentorship moments for you?
I was shooting a lot of behind-the-scenes videos for photographers and this guy, Richard Sibbald, was this photographer, and I learned a lot of technique from him and some general life experiences as well. He’s a guy to look up to. He’s ten years my senior, and I think he’s a super cool dude.   

What parts of your personality, skills, or approach have helped your career?
Overall, I am a very positive person in most environments. It doesn’t matter what’s happening, I try to look at the positive in every situation, and I try to help people as much as I can. No matter what happens, if you look and focus on the positive, it always works to your benefit.

What is one piece of advice that changed everything for you?
People shouldn’t be afraid to tell other people things they can improve on. I really love and appreciate constructive criticism. Not a lot of people are very good at taking that kind of criticism, but I really appreciate the value in it.

What’s the next challenge or project you’re tackling?
Right now I’m in the middle of shooting a short film with Taylor David (Jack Greystone on Instagram), with my friends Coup d’état. I wrote the script. It’s a film where my favourite band, Timber Timbre is scoring it. I’ve got two more days of shooting, and they’re going to be very intense days. That’s what lies ahead of me immediately.        

Do you have any secret passions?
I don’t know if I have any secret passions, because I live a fairly public life on Instagram. One of my absolute passions is cycling. I ride my bike all over the city. I’m able to do a lot of photoshoots from my bicycle. I can pack a lot of stuff into a backpack, and I will carry that backpack clear across town and back. I’ll sweat a lot, but it’s very fulfilling.   

What is something we don’t know about you?
I really do live a fairly public life on Instagram! That is funny. The first time I get stumped is when someone asked me what people don’t know about me.

You can find examples of Brian’s work and upcoming projects on his website and Instagram account.