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From Blackdough to Hk Visuals

Let's go back in time and look at the story behind Hk Visuals. It started in 2011 when I bought my first DSLR. At the time I was much more interested in making videos than photos. Everything was a pretext to film... Shows, concerts, events of all kinds, I wanted to capture everything. This led to a point where I didn't have enough time to edit all the footage I shot. These videos were then posted on youtube, and we had to create a name around our project... Blackdough was born. I say "we" because we're two video makers. Most of our videos were about street art events and hip hop, R&B, and Jazz concerts, and we wanted to concentrate our content on the “urban” and “afro American” cultures. At the end of 2012 people were interested in our work and hired us on some of their events.

Back in 2012 covering the COZE magazine cruise

2013 in the studio with French piano jazz player Gergory Ott

It was tough because people usually underestimated the amount of work and cost behind a video. And as we couldn't afford to work for free even with the promise of great exposure, we only had a few clients as others sought collaborators that would work for free. In addition to video, I decided to make photo reports, and my wages were much more affordable for my clients. Although the impact of a picture is different, they were more inclined in investing in that type of service from a price standpoint. We decided to continue and make content for our youtube channel and created "InSession". The goal was to promote local singers and musicians through video covers. The concept lasted 2 years before we encountered financial problems. Without sponsors, the concept could not last, as it was taking us a lot of time, and these arising artists couldn't afford to buy their videos.

Two of our most-watched videos of InSession back in 2013

My interest in the Hip Hop culture started back in 2007. As Marlène took popping classes. I decided to accompany her to learn more about this culture. From workshops, to shows, to battles, I decided to take the step in 2011 and make pictures during hip hop events and dance battles. The next year I created “InMotion” and made short videos with local dancers. We encountered the same problems with In Motion and after only a few tryouts we sadly abandoned the video format for photography.

The last episode of InMotion back in 2013

Blackdough was in difficulty by the end of 2013. A lack of a powerful concept maybe, and a saturated market, that we had troubles breaking in. Moreover, the growing number of video makers and photographers offering their images for free slowly killed the market. We only attended a few battles in 2014 because most of the organizers didn't want to pay for photos and videos they could now get for free. I was a bit frustrated because I wanted to continue to work with dancers but in a different setting. So by the end of 2013, I decided to launch a photo version of “InMotion”. It started with local hip-hop artists. With time, I wanted to explore other forms of expressions, so I started to look out for other styles of dancers. I always was fascinated by the Ballerina project, but I wanted to give my own personal feel to my dance images. One of the first dance photoshoot I did in Strasbourg with bboy Sope Lo from Illusion Crew.

Down below are samples of our past work...Battles (IBE, Juste debout, Ready II Rumble...), shows, hip hop events (Wanted Posse Unlimited)...

2014 was a year of experimentation and meetings. I learned about what was behind a movement, how to sculpt the light around my models and the body language. This specialization couldn't fit into blackdough and I wanted to carry this project on my bare shoulders. So I decided to create a new name. As my photographer nickname is HazeKware, I decided to brand myself as HK Visuals.

2015, will be the official launch of the project “InMotion”. I know exactly how and where I want to carry this project. HK visuals offer me the opportunity to explore new things. Blackdough was fun but without support it was impossible for both of us to carry.

This doesn't mean that "InMotion" doesn't need any financial support. I will probably stumble upon the same issues shortly. But I think It will be much easier for me to pursue this project solo for a longer period of time in hopes of convincing rapidly brands, sponsors to support me. Blackdough is not over.

We still produce videos, and we have several projects on hold, but we want to deliver quality content, and this take time to prepare. Expect a return of the duo this year and new creative visuals. I had to take time to organize this year's goals during the first weeks of January. I started slowly with Paris with a good friend dancer Monica Ramirez De Leon... next stop : Stuttgart, expect a video for this one!


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