Have you ever met anyone with three eyes?
I do not mean this in a literal sense, but please, if you have encountered a being with three eyes, I'd love to hear all about it!!!
It is safe to say that all photographers have a third eye, that eye being their camera lens and this opens a wider spectrum for them to delve into and explore, while capturing something as simple as a coffee mug to something as breath-taking as the view from the tops of mountains in Iceland.
These moments, according to Gallaway are frozen forever, allowing its viewers the ability to look back onto that moment and let their brain recover every emotion that was conjured up on that day.
This Q & A with North Carolina based photographer, Cortland Gallaway, discusses what inspires/drives him to take pictures everyday, as well as how he has the power to freeze time.
1. Who is Cortland Gallaway?
I am the future of visual story telling.
My name is Cortland Gallaway, otherwise known as “Eyeof9” on Instagram. I am 25 years young and have a lot to learn when it comes to life. Some people go through life oblivious to reality, I go through life forced to see reality with my third eye (My camera). I would say, I am blessed to have the power to freeze time capturing breath taking images. This is not only a means to post online, but more of a story told through the eyes of the subjects that I capture.
2. Why Photography? What are your inspirations and what drives you daily to capture moments as you go?
Well, photography started out as a very small means of another form of income.
Me making money, meeting new people every day, and just travelling the globe with my camera. Then after my first few paid gigs, I saw the potential in it all. I find it kind of funny because my grandfather was a photographer and I currently have a cousin shooting for the NFL and NBA. So it almost seems as if it was destined to be, but I did not find out all of that until recently.
I don’t really have any inspirations when it comes to capturing moments on a daily basis.
Well I take that back. What inspires me is, not be like every other photographer out here. I want to be known as a visual storyteller, making every moment I capture have a meaning, backstory, or an emotional attachment to the photo.
3. From your Instagram feed, most of your subjects are of the black race, especially of Meshach Chavis (@sumnslight). Is this intentional?
Yes, most of the subject matter on my Instagram is of black individuals, And yes, it is intentional. Simply because I love to highlight my people. Which means the true essence of who we are as entrepreneur’s, artists, culinary artists and the genuine love we share for others. As far as me shooting Meshach , he is like a brother to me. One of his life goals is to become the very first black James Bond. So, me being a photographer and the platform I have you never know what could happen. Someone could look at my page see him and want him for a role. This is how we are in North Carolina we strive to support and cheer each other on as much as we can.
4. Based in North Carolina, do you think that location suits and triggers your work? Do you see yourself expanding your horizons to a much bigger city? i.e. New York?
North Carolina is currently on the rise as far as the “art scene” is concerned. Everyone from New York, Washington DC and Philadelphia are pretty much from the North. They always find their way to North Carolina.
So, to answer your question, yes, I think North Carolina suites me and triggers my work. But this is just a place I call home (Durham, North Carolina). I travel all over the State with my photography and out of the 50 states in America, I have not been to 12 of them. My photography has even taken me out of the country, i.e. to Japan.
As far as me expanding, I believe I’m doing that as of now, but I would love to get out of the country more.
5. Where do you think your journey is headed? Do you see yourself touch-basing on fashion editorial photography or even travel?
I think my journey is headed towards more fashion based projects. I am hoping to be a photographer for Paper Magazine, Vogue, and Fader magazine. I also hope to be featured in the Cozy Community as well as Street Dreams Magazine. I do see myself exploring fashion editorials and doing that full time.
6. A piece of advice to the new generation of photographers and visualists…
The past 3 years of my photography journey has had its’ ups and downs. I have been blessed to have job to capture moments all around the world. I have met some of the most amazing people, on the flip side I have met the most insane people *laughs out loud* but luckily, I have been blessed with the power to capture the good in all people.
So, to those of you who want to pick up a camera, do so but take it seriously and show love while doing it.