We had the good fortune of connecting with Robbie Joseph and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Robbie, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
I found I was asking myself all the time what is the key to success. What individual skill or tactic was going to push me to succeed. Over time I began to learn that it wasn’t just one singular thing that would provide that breakthrough, but rather a collection of different things. The first one for me was being kind, attentive and as much of a good person as I can be. Making that an active pursuit of doing business but being a good person while doing it was critical in me receiving many of the opportunities afforded to me. The second I found was always being ready to work, work and work some more. There were months where I would work every day in that month, be it on productions or in the photo studio on the weekends when I had a 9-5 during the week. I was and still am always ready to jump at the chance to work. The last one I found is, never let something be beneath you. I’ve gone from directing commercials to being a production assistant the very next day. Two entirely different ends of the totem pole. I believe your worth isn’t valued based on saying “well I am THIS, so I won’t do THAT.” It’s based on what you bring to the table and being able to assist in any way you can. There’s nothing wrong with saying you’ve reached a certain point and are no longer interested in doing things out of that role, but don’t put it beneath you. To me that isn’t a healthy ego.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started my photography career in New York City while in the middle of college without any professional training or classes. I stumbled through learning cameras, lighting and compositions with my beat up Rebel T2i that I bought from a cousin second hand. I quickly moved up, learning more and working with different people. I then began to direct music videos for local artists and friends which became another passion of mine. I’d always enjoyed music videos and was thrilled to be making them. After three years of doing this on the side professionally, I decided to make the move to LA without knowing anyone or anything here. While that challenge was terrifying at first it was truthfully the most rewarding thing I could’ve done. If I had to describe my art, it all has to do with people and the fantasy of glamour. The biggest thing for me is making something that looks stylized and glamourous. I like the big production feel, even if it’s just me and a model. One thing that I want the world to know about me is that I just want to make people feel good. We get to create worlds that people get to exist in, if just for a moment. The viewer gets to put themselves in the work for a moment or a few hours and maybe forget their troubles for a little bit. That’s what I love.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
In LA, my one favorite thing to show people who are visiting is the view from the Mulholland Overlook on a clear night. The way the city shines and twinkles is really something special. I would most definitely take them to Craig’s in West Hollywood which has become one of my favorite spots. Then we’d have a drink at Canary in Santa Monica. After that’s all said and done we’d head down to Palm Springs for a visit. I love showing people the desert and one of the most interesting places in CA is Salton Sea, which is basically a deserted city in the desert.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate this shoutout to two entities. One is the late Dr. Greh who was not only my professor in college but a mentor, a life coach and all around inspirational figure in my life. She fostered the first creative steps I took in my career and I can confidently say I wouldn’t be where I am today without her. The second is Angela Guice and her whole team at NuContext. She guided me through the world of production in Los Angeles and provided me an environment to grow in and from as I worked with them. The knowledge and skills I developed from her company and guidance have been critical in my development as a creative.