Photographer Interview: DeAndre DaCosta

Photographer Interview: DeAndre DaCosta

Photographer DeAndre DaCosta

Fashion photography has been an obsession of mine since the early ’90s when the term “supermodel” came of age. I believe fashion magazines were my first introduction to the potential of photography as a creative career.

Late last year I saw DeAndre’s photos of one of my favorite models, Brandi Quinones for Masquerade magazine and I was shocked to find out there was a young phenom behind those images.

As you’ll soon find out from his interview, DeAndre DaCosta is unstoppable. Watch his evolution in real time, follow him @ddacostastudios on Instagram.

Where are you from?

I was born in raised in the suburbs. Rosedale, Queens [New York] to be exact.

What kind of photography do you shoot and how did you get started – any “formal” training?
I’m a “fashion” photographer in every sense of the word. I never received any formal training. I had a concept in my head a year prior to buying a camera and/or ever shooting a model. A year later I bought the camera and finally had a chance to shoot. I booked my friend Lloyd Williams at Ford models and the rest was history. No formal training here.

Copyright DeAndre DaCosta
Copyright DeAndre DaCosta

What cameras or techniques do you use?
I started off using Nikons. I use a Canon now and I play around with different cameras. It depends on what I’d like to capture. I like shooting from the heart and that takes skill.

Who are your mentors (in photography)?
I have very few mentors in photography. Although I am an avid fan of such greats as Steven Klein and Patrick, my biggest mentors would be life and experience.

Copyright DeAndre DaCosta
Copyright DeAndre DaCosta

Have you experienced any setbacks or different treatment along your photography career that you would attribute to being a photographer of color? (this question is optional)
Starting in this industry as a 19-year-old photographer of color was just as challenging as anything else I suppose. Sure I had some bookers shun me and a few models walk off set upon seeing that I was young, ethnic and anything but typical, but it was pivotal in my progression. I definitely wouldn’t change a thing.

Copyright DeAndre DaCosta
Copyright DeAndre DaCosta

When did you realize you could have a career in photography? Describe your journey towards becoming a working photographer.
Honestly, it still hasn’t hit me yet. I’m 22 years old now and I feel sorta in demand. Sometimes I have to take a few steps back and look at my surroundings and the life I’m living for it to hit me.

I have a cool following and I’m constantly booked now, but I don’t feel different. I’ve been looking at the same face in the mirror for forever so it’s hard to see any change.

It seems like in only 3 years I have come far, but it’s nothing compared to what I aspire to be. So technically I am going to arrive on time, but I still haven’t made it yet.

Copyright DeAndre DaCosta
Copyright DeAndre DaCosta

What do you hope to achieve with your photography?
I would like to be respected, and called upon to capture visions. I would really love to be the Michelangelo of photography, but who knows. Ultimately i would like to make the transition from photographer to possibly a DP or Creative Director on music videos, films and larger productions.

What’s your dream photography project?
In two words: American Vogue.

What’s the biggest (life) lesson you’ve learned through photography?
I’ve learned how to see beauty in everything… How to see perfection in what is otherwise considered flawed; to make masterpieces out of mistakes and how to truly capture and live in a moment forever.


Dodge & Burn is a blog dedicated to documenting a more inclusive history of photography and supporting the work of photographers of color with photographer interviews.

This blog is published by visual artist and writer, Qiana Mestrich. For regular updates on diversity in photography history, follow Qiana on Twitter @mestrich, Like the Dodge & Burn Blog page on Facebook or subscribe to Dodge & Burn by email.

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