Origin: New Jersey
We had the opportunity to feature Kyle Apodaca, a student, photographer, and videographer based in New Jersey. Kyle shows versatility through his work but also through his style. Check out a snippet of the interview on our IGTV / Youtube or read the full interview below.
Let's start by talking about yourself, as in what you do, who you are. My name is Kyle Apodaca. I am 20 years old. I grew up in Columbus, New Jersey. I have been a part-time photographer and I've been a videographer for about a couple of years now. I started taking it seriously during my senior year of high school, and now I'm working on at LMTD Supply and I'm their main videographer and editor there. I like to shoot a lot with cameras, so it's pretty much who I am and I like to edit as well.
What pushed you to start being a photographer/videographer? It started off with photography. And how I got into that was because I was into fashion, but my style back then was a bunch of H&M clothes. I would ask some friends to join me through a little photoshoot. I would pick up my dad's Nikon digital camera he had and then would shoot a lot. And then as the time, we kept shooting, I got into cameras and I started learning by teaching myself how to work a DSLR. Spent hours on YouTube learning the basics. I bought my own a DSLR Canon. From there on, I just started to grow more with photography. And then, as for videography, I took this video production class in high school and I learned the basics of just like shooting, editing. And then once I got my DSLR, I would just shoot like personal videos. In other words, I would just go around wherever I'm at and just record and then match it up with some like music. Later on, people would hit me up to do music videos for them and from there on my content started growing and I would start pushing more videos for myself. And the goal at the time was to master my craft and I'm still in the process of that.
So when creating specific work, because by the way, I checked out your website and I saw like you're very versatile. How do you go about your creative process in the production stage because of the fact that you still put an artistic value to different pieces of work? It just depends on the moment, time, and place. For example, wedding videos went down because before my current job, I used to work at a country club and I was their dishwasher and line cook and I was really close with the staff and the manager who runs all the weddings and of any coordinations she had in contact with this videography company that does videos when we had weddings. She got me in touch with them and then I did my first wedding. But when it comes to the pre-production stance of creating videos, I've been doing this series or project I've been to, it's called "Visual Lookbook", which relates to fashion. And essentially what it is, I just get a group of people and I ask them to wear specific outfits. For example, I did one with Maddie and it was the 70s theme. I had her and Sofi both wear 70s-related outfits: leather, distressed shirts, punk rock tee shirts, etc. It's whatever I'm thinking at the time and I just want to put it together.
You're technically creating a specific style and then putting it into a video. So where do you get your inspirations from? That's honestly easy to answer because my phone is stuck to my hand 24/7 and it's kind of bad. Honestly, I'm always on social media. I'm always on Instagram. I'm always on YouTube just looking random shit. I'm always looking up fashion stuff so most of my inspirations come from social media or YouTube. There's this YouTube channel I've been watching a lot, it's called PQ and they are four dudes from the UK and it's a really cool concept because they go out and style themselves,
Are you up to date on any shows or anything?
I don't know at the moment. And designers, I wouldn't say designers are something I like. I'm really big on vintage. I have a bunch of vintage shopping skills. That's the style I've found was my calling. In high school, I was trying to find my style and had multiple phases, but luckily, you know, senior year, I got best dressed. It went from H&M to casual clothing. I wore bow ties to class, like very extra. And I tried the whole Supreme and Bape, but it was too expensive at the time. And then I started thrifting and I learned about vintage clothing. I personally think I have a great mid-century collection. I'm a big Batman nerd (as you can tell the giant poster). There are different brands of t-shirts so what makes a good t-shirt is the quality of it. Back in the day, I have a vintage joker t-shirt from '89 and the tag on it is called Screen Stars. And if people know about the vintage culture, Screen Stars is known to be a really good t-shirt because of the quality of it. I'm a big Nike guy. I love Jordans. I'm trying to grow my Nike SB collection.
Do you have any like thrifting tips? Nowadays it's very challenging to thrift because there are so many competitors out there but to find good pieces, people mostly eBay hunt and that's what I've been doing. If you want to thrift, I always recommend going in the morning. You're going to have to wake up at like 7 o'clock, but I promise it's worth it. I recently went thrifting, I found a t-shirt and I already sold it so I promise it's worth it. If you go there early, chances are you find the best stuff first. Another tip I can say is to go through everything. I spend hours thrifting. I spend about two hours and go through everything. Even if you're in the men's section looking at t-shirts, go through the women's section as well. Chances are you might find something. Don't be afraid to ask questions. For example, certain thrift stores on Wednesdays have a sale. Sometimes 50% off or something like that. You gotta ask those employees what color is the sale on today. Another tip is to bring hand sanitizer because it's kinda crusty in there. Making sure you don't touch your face, especially with what's going on today. And carry cash with you because some stores you might not know that they only take cash and if you find something and they don't have an ATM, you're screwed. So those are my tips honestly. Emphasize on going in the morning.
Does music take a toll on you? Music always puts a mood in my day. I rotate different types of genres of music. I go from rap, trap to hip hop to R&B to soul-pop. If anybody knows who Crumb is. I've been listening to them nonstop. The Marias also. The strokes are making a new album. They're like my favorite band, so that's sick. I've been trying to educate myself with old rap. So I went to listen to a lot of the Big L, Black Stars, Mos Def. I've always listened to Lauryn Hill, but I don't really know too much about her backside. It also puts some inspiration to my crap as well.
What's something people don't know about you? That's a good question. I put my personality out all the time so people know I'm a big nerd. I talk a lot. I'm big into fashion. I always talk about my freaking comic book collection as well. Honestly, I don't have an answer because I'm mostly me whenever I'm around all my friends so I think they know me pretty well.
Any exciting news that you're currently working on? It's unfortunate, but it was supposed to happen, but we postponed it. Brandon and I were supposed to do a video this week, but it wasn't necessarily because of the coronavirus, but we had no studios, so we had to postpone that. But I have an interview with a wedding company. I'm excited about that. It's my first interview for internships because I had a previous interview, but apparently she had no idea that I was calling, so I don't count that. I did some shooting in Brooklyn. I met up with my friend Stephanie. We shot on top of a roof, which was sick. I got to get my film developed and then I'm saving up for new equipment for my mirrorless camera.
My favorite question to ask: What are you currently listening to? Good question. I've been listening to a lot of Tyler the Creator. I don't know why. "Best Interest". I've just been playing that song on repeat. For some reason, I just fell in love with Tyler the Creator's music and I've always been a big fan of his style as well, love the way he uses color. Me personally, once the winter hits, I'm always wearing black. I just wear black. And the summer I try to mix it up here and there with color, but for the most part, I'm always wearing black. He inspires me to put more color on.
Don't forget to check out Kyle Apodaca on Instagram!
Interview by Dreina Bautista.
Models: Madison Everett & Sofia Scoli. Photography by Kyle Apodaca.