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Cam Untold

You might think the RRC is only about musical creativity. Nope! We may have started as a group primarily comprised of musicians, but we're truly about creativity in all forms. Painters, dancers, photographers, filmographers, and writers are all key members of our collective. This week, we delve into visual creativity through the photography of collective member Cam Lawson. Check him out!

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QueridaYou're the first photographer or filmographer we're featuring on the blog! However, this is not the first time we're featuring your work. For those who don't know, Cam is our resident filmographer, and it's his creative genius that is behind the beautiful videos people may have seen featuring Creative Saturdays or the creatives who perform there (such as this video of Yànjú).

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Backing up, though, tell us your origin story. How did photo and film become the creative way that you tell your story? 

Cam.era: So, I HATE being in front of the camera! My way around being in the pictures would be to always agree to take the photos!

I did always love movies, too. I don’t have a favorite, but ever since the first Matrix I’ve been in awe of vfx (visual effects) and I guess of movie magic. My mind is terrible so I don’t recall lines, scenes, or titles...it's the magic and the effect that gets me. 

Then, fast forward to fall 2015. Brothers of mine from when we were in elementary school were starting a label/brand now that we were all coming back home. They wanted me to manage the business side, but I didn’t know enough about the industry they were looking to jump into. So, my brother Brian Burns suggested I help with the camera work! He already had the photo side and suggested I just jump in to video work. “It’s not that hard, you can learn it,” I remember him saying.

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So I got to know the business side of filming. But I then eventually fell in love with the art and process of video. I wasn't so worried about the money (well, outside of making enough to live!), and so became more and more concerned with the quality of the craft.

Now, in April 2018,I’m operating with more confidence (though still not very high...) in the creative thoughts that enter my head. I'm also really enjoying collaborating with others.  

Querida: Okay stop. Cause I just want to say...you need to let us know how we can help you have confidence! I'm always amazed by your images and films. You are a wonderfully creative individual!  

Cam.era: To be honest, the amount of confidence Mr. P and SPNDRFT expressed in my ability and vision has helped me.

Querida: Is that what's drawn you in to the RRC?

Cam.era: Yeah! I feel like this was the group I needed to be around while building my own confidence and skill set. Plus everyone in the circle is amazing. 

Querida: Aww. Only because it's a group filed with dreamers and creatives like you. Speaking of the Collective...in addition to fostering creativity, part of the mission of the RRC and StayDRMN is "to inspire a lifestyle of cultivating untold stories." What does that means to you?

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Cam.era: Haha. To be honest, at first it sounded like a slogan — the same ones big brands would use to sound sophisticated. But after a bit, I developed a different understanding: everyone has a story, a vision, that should be shared in some form — and that story or vision should be lived out everyday. It's something I’m learning to grasp day by day.

Querida: We all are, right? It's part of the reason for the RRC's existence. We live in a world that can try to stamp out creativity, and drown out certain stories. How do you keep yours alive? How do you tap into creativity, keep in flowing? 

Cam.era: Tap into creativity is an interesting question for me. Right now I feel I’m always in a creative mindset when I’m not at my day job — in large part because of the project(s) I’m working on. 

And I’m inspired by the industry as a whole. I never studied the greats that came before me decades and centuries ago. I’ve only recently learned some names, but there's nobody specifically that I try to emulate. It's more just the pure love of the process, the technology in the industry, and the many stories created and shared that inspire me to keep learning and creating most days. 

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Querida: You've shared with me (and our blog readers) a few of the images you've worked on recently. Can you tell us a little about them? 

Cam.era: There's no deep meaning these images have for me. Each photo was picked simply because it’s an image where I had to trust my own creative instincts.  From the setting, the concept, the composition - I was responsible for all of it. All of these images were shot over the course of the last 8-10 months. And personally, I’m very grateful of the image and each person in the image itself. 

Querida: Well, they're all beautiful! And I look forward to seeing more of your images and films. And to seeing you win an Oscar some day. :) 

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This post includes only a few of Cam's many beautiful works. But there are SO MANY MORE! To follow him and his creative story, check out his website, follow him on Instagram and Vimeo, and of course, check out one of the Creative Saturday videos he's made for the RRC.

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Get involved in the RRC, no matter your creative outlet. Share your story with us, and let us share ours with you! Check below for all the ways and spaces where you can connect with us! With any questions, email querida@staydrmn.com. 

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Creative Saturday - Ticket sales are live! Get your ticket here for the May 19th Creative Saturday at Congress Heights Arts & Culture Center

Creative Writer's Circle - Creative writers gather to share project ideas, talk about writers who inspire us, and/or to contribute to the blog. Email querida@staydrmn.com and backtrack@staydrmn.com if you're interested.

Music Lover's Circle - This group meets monthly to discuss all things music! SPNDRFT can let you know about the next meeting: spndrft@staydrmn.com

Wellness and Mindfulness Circle - Meditation and yoga are great ways to tap into creativity in a new way. Message flow@staydrmn.com and querida@staydrmn.com to get on the list of those interested in this group. Check back soon to find out when the first meeting will take place. 

Poets+Freestylers - Our most established circle, Poets + Freestylers meets each 4th Monday of the month in the Red Room Studio. Message spndrft@staydrmn.com if you want to come through for the first time!

WRK PRTY - Sometimes it's just nice to sit in community when there's too much work to be done! Every Sunday at 3pm come to the Studio with your laptop or your sketchpad to get some work done in community with the RRC.