Photography is a special art form. Memories that would normally be forgotten by old age are immortalized by a single click. Photographers fossilize moments that have the potential to be passed down to our children. Maybe that’s just me that sees it as such but its tight as fxck(Tyler Voice). With that said in the same vain that we glorify the raising hip-hop artist i think we should do the same with up an coming photographers. Vontae is just that and more. His photos all have a certain flavor that is appealing and distinguished. After the jump you can read our interview discussing topics of Photography, street culture, Odd Hvmans Co. and more.
Yoh: First and foremost welcome too TheTapeDeck. For our readers unfamiliar with you give us a little introduction?
Vontae: Hello to all you blogging fiends lol, My name is Vontae and i’m a photographer, upcoming streetwear designer that is addicted to street culture & art, I’m also apart of the group ThirdEyeVision
@nasawhite in 98'
Yoh: Where does your love for the street culture and art stem from? How did you get introduced into that world?
Vontae: My love for street culture grew as i first started to learn how to skate. It’s all about doing what you want and no one could stop you.. Another reason i fell in love with it is because streetwear to me, has lost it’s touch of simplicity and I want to bring the true meaning back to the street culture that it started off with. Photography for me sums up everything. I don’t talk alot so I let to let my work speak for itself
Yoh: Speaking of photography. Do you remember your first camera? Do you find it easier to express yourself behind the lens?
Vontae: My first camera was a Nikon Coolpix P100… I never really used it because had my mind set on getting a DSLR. I wouldn’t say I find it easier to express myself behind the lens but it’s the feeling of another form of expression to me.. It may sound crazy but it all comes together in my photos
Yoh: Word up. Your a sponsored photographer for a skate crew correct? How did that come about?
Dopest Photo of 1996
Vontae: Yes, i’m the photographer for Raw Deal Skateboarding Co. It all came together when Flip (Shoutout to @Real_RawDeal), & Theo went to Brook Run skatepark in Dunwoody and after a successful day of taking pictures, we realized we caught some great shots and Flip made me the official photographer for Raw Deal.
Yoh: With that said if you could shoot any skater who would It be and why?
Vontae: I would have to say Jamal Smith. Another reason I wouldn’t mind doing the shoot is because 10 DEEP is one of my top 5 streetwear brands and he skates for them.
Yoh: Mind sharing the other 4.
Vontae: I’ve been a fan of BAPE ever since my middle school days. BAPE just has a classic camo print that shits on the competition
Norse Project, a brand started in Denmark in 2004 is also one of my favorites. Simple and clean products with comfortable fabric and precise cuts.
Supreme is another classic brand that originally started out in the New York street culture.. It’s a simple but complex brand that made it’s legendary mark in the streetwear market.
Original Fake is a very very abstract brand in my opinion. The small details they construct on their pieces always catches my eye
KLVNVILLIΔN's Unedited EP cover
Yoh: Indeed a nice list. How did you feel about Bobby Hundreds top 50 streetware brand list? Being a up an coming designer what can we expect from your own personal ideal line?
Vontae: I can tell that Bobby Hundreds took his time with that list.. Very well put together. I was satisfied with the #1 pick being Stussy. From Odd Hvmans Co. is simple products engineered to perfection for the finer details.. Streetwear with a hint of luxury fashion
Yoh: I like how that sounds. Street ware & hip-hop are slowly beginning to mesh. A lot of artist are embracing the skate culture and coming out with their own brands. Any brand by a hip-hop artist you’re looking forward too?
Street Snaps for the Online Magazine Hypebeast
Vontae: Fuck em all. I still have to show some love to Pharrell & his brands though. As cliche as that sounds haha
Yoh: Lmao! I hear that a lot but people really feel strongly about Pharrell and what he brings to the table fashion wise. Kinda back tracking to your photography. Your pictures are distinguish. How long did it take You to find that level of “personality”. Your Flickr is one of the few that stands out too me.
Vontae: Took a while, I had to go through some things physically to make me stronger and wiser. I turned all of that into inspiration to be a better person today and here I am, doing what I love
Yoh: I got a few more question g and it’s a wrap.
1.When people see you out, what are you more than likely will be wearing? Brand Wise
2. Do you have a particular pictures that stands out as a favorite? If you had to show someone your best work which pic would it be?
3. Alot of your photos have a 90′s date tagged to them. Rather it be 96.98.ect. Where does this come from and whats the meaning behind it?
4. Your twitter bio insinuates that you plan to relocate too NYC soon. Any reason why?
5. What does Success mean too Vontae?
Vontae: Brand wise, people can catch me in my legendary 07 Aqua 8′s and majority of the time, 10 DEEP
2. I’m the type of guy that is never satisfied with his work and that’s how it should be if you’re inolved in art but honestly, I love what I’ve captured so far but I only hope to perfect my craft. To answer your second question, i’ll have to choose that Mishka photo I recently took, it came out crystal clear and I didn’t expect it to lol
3. I was born in 93′ and I love the 90′s. Everything was original and everyone did their own thing. People were chill, made music for the love of it and just lived life. I can’t actually bring that to life so I figured why not just do it with a 2012 (or whatever year i take a picture) and just add my 90′s inspired vision to it to bring that feel back. It may sound a little crazy but its deeper than what I just said. I want to leave mystery behind my work as well. From things such as the angle, the particular focus, the edit or the lighting. It all comes to me from daydreaming.
4. Yes, the group i’m in, ThirdEyeVision planned to take over the world with our music and expand with Unknown Empire and Odd Humans Co
5. That’s a good question. To me, success is the achievement of hard work with applied determination to reach the top. Once you’ve applied wealth to the heart and mind, the world is yours to conquer
Yoh: And with that we are done. All I need now is your social network info, a link to your Flickr, and any shout-outs you may have. I’m loving what you’ve been doing so far and look forward to seeing how you progress. Much respect!
Vontae: Everyone can follow this visionary artist on Twitter: @vontae_
I want to give a special shoutout to my moms. She’s my main inspiration. Shoutout to ThirdEyeVision. Riding to the grave
“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, that is way great spiritual giants are produced.”