We had the good fortune of connecting with Chrystofer Davis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chrystofer, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I’m from Newark, NJ and it’s played a big part in my successes. Being from here, I often heard the swear campaign from the media outlets and outsiders and wondered why they chose to speak ill of this beautiful city. While growing up in Newark, I’ve seen nothing but positives hear from my teachers, peers, and more. I chose to utilize the power that I had, I picked up a camera and chose to change the narrative of the real Newark. There are negatives here in the city, just like anywhere. However, I often think of the quote of my colleague and friend Gabriel Ribeiro: “You’ll always find evidence for what you choose to believe in.” From my beliefs that Newark is a place of love and community, it reflects in the work I show.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
What I’m most proud of is seeing those I assist, whether it was through a darkroom class or just simple advise, grow and become better photographer. It was very exciting to host a photowalk in Newark and have it covered by NJ.com, but it was fulfilling to see a few participants have their work featured.
The journey that it took to where I am today was tough but very much worth it. In anything that we do, there’s a ton a lesson, a lot of learning and relearning, and the urge to become better everyday. I’ve been photographing for 12 years but it’s taken me 10 years to shoot how I want and to really find my voice in my work. What I’ve learned that no matter how big or small a project may be, it is a “down payment” for your success. That there are no quick or fast ways to get to your goals, that it takes time and a ton of practice. That you must stay fully true to what you believe in and stick with it, you will be successful this way.
What I want everyone to know is that, if you continue to stay passionate, do the work, and listen to your heart, you can achieve anything is this life. It’s not really about me, but the photographer who may feel lost on their journey to success. I just want to be the example that anything is possible.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If we were in Newark on a nice bright day, I would bring them around to the local areas. We would go around a meet the natives, whether it’s my homie Adam at Blackswan Espresso, Sidney who works a stand on of Broad and Market St., The Newark Print shop, Moonlight Cinema for a drive-in movie, or eating with David and Kresnik at Sihana. I would show the history that here. People don’t know that Newark is the birthplace of celluloid film, the same 35mm we shoot currently. Newark was recently put in the Top 10 places for BBQ, so we would visit the Ironbound section for delicious Portuguese BBQ (It’s really that good). There’s so much to do here.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to give a shout out to everyone who has been a part of my growth and journey. My family, friends, the City of Newark, Jerry Gant, Land Collective, Quahim Muhammad who put his Canon 5D in my hand during Social Studies class, my fraternity Iota Phi Theta. There’s so much more to the list.
Other: Glass: @dolo_foto