We had the good fortune of connecting with Devon Mason and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Devon, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
I think people might not be aware just how close-knit the photography community is. Before I started taking this art seriously as a profession, I assumed it would be a cut-throat industry with how readily available high-tech cameras are to the general public. I was worried I would struggle finding a photography community since newcomers could be seen as competition. As I attended photography meet and greets and volunteered my talents in the community, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that was not the case. I began assisting more established photographers with fashion shoots, commercial shoots, and weddings. I was introduced to stylist, make-up artists, and magazine editors. Photoshoots began reminding me of my days participating in team sports where one person was no more important than the other 10 people on the field. In the studio, everyone has a job to do, and in order to do that job well, trust and collaboration are necessary. As I grew in my career, I realized that the more you help grow and nourish your community, the better the art becomes.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I never considered myself an artist growing up. In fact, I envied people who possessed a natural inclination for art. I didn’t become interested in photography until college, and I merely used it as a means to capture memories. I studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa, and I brought my tiny Canon Rebel T3i along with me on group hikes. I fell in love with photographing my friends during sunrises and sunsets. I began to see the beauty in shadows and how I could manipulate light to my liking. In 2014, Cape Town as a city inspired me. They were hosting an international design conference where I attended my first fashion show. It was the perfect atmosphere to allow myself to fall in love with fashion photography.

The journey ahead was long. Throughout my time as a professional photographer, I have always held down multiple jobs. I shuffled from bartending to the corporate world to signing myself up for a coding bootcamp. All the while, I held onto my dream of becoming a full-time photographer. Little by little, I was gaining contacts, experience, and working towards that goal. There is no substitute for putting in the work. I decided to never give up, and even if I made .01% of progress in a given day, I relished in the fact that progress was still made. I believed that I could become whoever I wanted to be. I truly believe there is an artist in all of us, and it just takes a little patience and nurturing for that artist to show his/her full form.

I wouldn’t take any single person’s story as the blueprint for how you’d like your creative journey to go. I believe working multiple jobs helped my success, as I didn’t have to take every photography job that came my way. I could be slightly picker when choosing my jobs to avoid burnout. This may not be the best approach for you. I know plenty of other creatives that needed that big leap into becoming a full-time photographer right out of the gate. For me, I preferred the slower approach, as I took the time to pinpoint what type of photographer I wanted to be. My style centers around creating an all-encompassing atmosphere for the viewer. I consider every element to create my intended story: from the time of day it was shot to the nuances of the model’s fingertips. I want to fully pull my viewers in to be a part of that state of pure relaxation, radiant joy, or whatever scene we have crafted.

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.
While I’m not a full-time LA resident, I do frequent the city. I would start the day with a lift at Gold’s Gym, grab a smoothie at Kreation Organic Kafe, and then probably convince my friend to do some thrifting around the city. I would end with a sunset shoot at Zuma Beach.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I found a mentor early in my photographer career. Her name is Chantal Dominique, and she taught me more than just studio lighting techniques. She has a passion for new model development and teaches a series called IN POSE where she educates new models as they embark on their careers. She teaches them how to move in front of the camera and how to advocate for their rights on set. I learned so much from her professionally and continue to be inspired by her work and care in the new model development space.

Website: https://devonmason.passgallery.com/portfolio

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/devonmasonphotography/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/devonmasonphotography

Other: https://kavyar.com/40bsfqzmffgb

Image Credits
Photo of Me was taken by Erin Elizabeth Photography My work: 1. Model Mei-lin Williams from Heyman Talent Agency 2. Model Alyssa LaBrie from Long Island Models & Talent 3. Model Talena Moorman from Blonde Talent 4. Model and Stylist Tayla Klauck 5. Model Sierra Combs from Rune Models 6. Models Me-lin Williams and Alyssa Connell from Heyman Talent Agency 7. Model Olivia with Stylist Kaylee Williams from the Rock Agency 8. Street Fashion Shoot with stylist Raemia Higgins Style

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.