Corey Higgins: Becoming a Photographer, the Set Backs, & Not Listening

New York Photographer, Corey Higgins, briefly opens up about the ins and outs of being a self-taught photographer. Higgins has photographed celebrities, such as, Cardi B, Lil Uzi Vert, Jay Critch, and more. He currently resides in New York City where he attends fashion shows and concerts capturing images that bring fashion, rawness, and fun in a timeless way. Higgins being in between fashion shows when was able to briefly talk on doing what he loves, what influences him, and what Netflix show he’s currently binge watching.

Corey Higgins
Photographer Corey Higgins

 

How did you figure out that photography was something you wanted to do?

Well, I always had a camera; I would do little videos and stuff. When I moved to New York, I started shooting out here and then I kind of found my niche over time. I was just taking pictures of anything that interested me. It could be clothes, people–like just random shit. I soon narrowed it down to take photography based on fashion.

How did you learn photography, are you self-taught? Or did you learn through trade?

When I was in high school, I went to the photography club and I only went to like two meetings [laughs]. I took the packet, after that– yeah I’m self-taught.

Most parents ask their children to become doctors, lawyers, and other careers paths.  What was your family’s response to you becoming a photographer?

My family hated it! They still do. Well, they like my work and stuff, they like what I’m doing, they [just] don’t like the fact that I didn’t go to school. They are still telling me to go to school now. Nothing is gonna change about that, I just don’t listen [laughs].

Screen Shot 2018-02-13 at 12.41.43 AM
Clermont Twins Photographed by Corey Higgins
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Rich The Kid Photographed by Corey Higgins

You’ve taken photos of celebrities. When taking pictures of celebrities, do you ever feel start struck or is it just another job?

I never feel star stuck. There are people I adore more than others, but nah I don’t really put anybody on a super high pedestal.

What celebrity would you love to take a photo of, and in what setting?

Kanye–Kanye or Jay-z. Those are like the top two.

Is there any setbacks you deal with as a photographer? What are the setbacks?

Yeah, [laughs] paying for events, I don’t really do that too much anymore, but when I did, that was annoying as hell.

Paying for events like what?

Just like concerts– getting into concerts… or backstage stuff. It’s a big setback when you work. I don’t really sleep too much, and people immediately asking for pictures. That’s the most annoying thing ever!

Three pet peeves?

People immediately asking for pictures, I don’t like being in crowded spaces– I hate Times Square, it’s horrible. I hate when people text me to call them, or if I call them they don’t answer but they text me.

People asking for pictures real quick? can you elaborate on that? 

If I do a photoshoot and they immediately ask me for their pictures. Let’s say I take 800 photos in a shoot, they expect me to go home immediately after the shoot, upload all the photos, and send them back in the morning.

So you basically have a process?

Yeah!

So just do not ask you right away?

[both laugh] Yeah, don’t ask right away.

Do you ever feel as though being an African-American male in the photography sector can be hard? 

I think it’s harder in general. Specifically with photography I haven’t had any major setbacks because of that. I think if I was in a different lane I would though, If I did runway shoots and stuff like that I think it [race] would get in the way. It’s a tightknit circle.

Photographed by Corey Higgins
Photographed by Corey Higgins

There’s a lot of new photographers who aren’t willing to shoot girls who do not fit the average girl “look”. Is there a certain look you would rather work with? Or you can make anyone look official ?

Personally, I don’t think size and stuff matters. I like clothes, if you’re like real stylish I’ll shoot you.

Do you style any of the people you shoot? If so, Would you ever add styling onto your resume. If not, have you ever thought about it?

I never really did like a full styling project, but I would definitely do it; I really love clothes.

 

Is there any aesthetic that you’re influenced by?

Hip hop, that’s where I get most of my [picture] captions.

Who are your biggest influences in photography? Like is there any photographers that you look up to?

Nah, it’s just me.

Okay Cool!

[both laugh]

Was it hard building your name up? How did you manage to build up your instagram page? Basically your following.

Running around basically; When I moved here I really didn’t know anybody because I didn’t go to high school out here, so I just like went out, went to parties, and met people.

Your favorite city to visit?

I think Philly is dope!

City you hope to visit soon?

L.A. ASAP!

Last week you were at the Grammy’s! That’s huge! Were you there for work?

No Comment.

What was your favorite part about working at the Grammy’s?

No Comment.

Top three songs you can’t go while without listening to?

Kanye West- Dark Fantasy

Speaker Knockerz- Lonely

I can’t think of a third one… I’ll come back to that…

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Ski Mask the Slump God Photographed by Corey Higgins
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Lil Uzi Vert Photographed by Corey Higgins

How do you feel about the winners of the Grammy’s? Do you agree that some artist were snubbed?

Yeah definitely, award shows and like XXL they never get it right.

If you were stuck on an island, what three things would you bring with you?

A lot of water because you can’t drink salt water [both laugh], I’ll bring an iPhone-

With what signal? 

Damn I don’t got signal? I don’t got service?! [both laugh]

You’re stranded!

That sucks–um I don’t know. I would definitely bringing somebody else! I’m not chillin on that alone, that shit is wack! [both laugh]

Corey Higgins
Photographer Corey Higgins

You’ve also shot music videos, is videography something you’re also passionate about?

I do want to get back into it, I just feel like I need different equipment and it’s really expensive.

Favorite movie genre? 

Suspense, so like horror films…anything suspenseful.

Favorite movie of all time?

Paid in Full.

Would you ever direct a movie?

Hopefully, that would be dope.

Are you binge watching any Netflix shows?

Someone told me to watch Riverdale, I binge watch that.

Wealth or fame?

Wealth, easy.

Weed or Liquor?

Liquor, hands down.

Nike or Adidas?

I’ma say Adidas, underdogs!

Morning bird or night owl? 

…Morning bird, I’m up early and I stay out late… I didn’t know what to say!

Will we be seeing you at any other major events? 

Follow me! Keep watching! You never know!

Corey Higgins
Photographer Corey Higgins

Follow Corey Higgins on Instagram and Twitter

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