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“#TMDPresents: Defined As…” is an original The Man Defined series where men share their personal journeys of self-definition. These are the men who live their best lives – their way and on their own terms.

DeRonn Kidd, International Photographer

 

The Man Defined - DeRonn Kidd ( #TMDPresents: Defined As) 2

 

IN THE BEGINNING

 

As a first generation college student from Detroit, Michigan I held five jobs to put myself through school at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. In that time I discovered my love for travel and decided that I would save up and take trips abroad. My first trip in 2005 was to Paris where my journey into photography began. It was there where I first discovered the importance of seeing something beautiful in every place I explored and then freezing those beautiful moments. Interestingly enough, however, I was not attending Michigan to study photography but rather to pursue a career in healthcare. As such, my journey into photography had to be self-taught since my network of knowledgeable photographers was nonexistent.

The Man Defined - DeRonn Kidd ( #TMDPresents: Defined As)

Credit: DeRonn Kidd

Through proper DIY planning and savvy use of travel deals over the two years that followed my trip to Paris I attended Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, further explored Europe, and made my first trip to the Far East when I visited Hong Kong and Macau. I also had the opportunity to live in Ghana where I was provided the chance to continue my work in healthcare, exploring pregnancy complications and maternal mortality among Ghanaian women. My time in Ghana served as a chance to readily document the traditional culture and way of life of Ghanaians. My love for travel catapulted me into the world of travel photography. Through my passion for visiting new countries around the world, experiencing new cultures, and embracing the unknown I found a distinct place for photography with my inquisitive and engaging personality coupled with my need for artistic expression. These things gave me a new sense of self-identity, one that allowed me to look at the world in new and wonderful ways while allowing myself to find and photograph details that could be easily overlooked. 

Ghana

Ghana

 

CREATING A DEMAND
The Man Defined - DeRonn Kidd ( #TMDPresents: Defined As) - Creating a demand

Credit: DeRonn Kidd

 

It took me a few years to really start flirting with the idea of creating a business around my photography. Once I felt I had enough experience as a photographer where I no longer felt completely surprised by the images I was creating (what I visualized in my head actually showed up on the back of the camera), I knew I was “ready” to take it to that next level. I felt in control, understood the camera, light creation/modification, and I knew how to accomplish a visual goal. In other words, if someone were to ask me to capture a certain feel and style of photography, I could pre-visualize the composition and then execute it. I wanted to brand myself a professional photographer and not simply a hobbyist. As such, I became enamored with learning a wide variety of techniques and started self-assigning projects from HDR, custom bokeh shapes, shooting with one aperture or lens, shooting various styles of photography as well as an array of Photoshop techniques.

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Credit: DeRonn Kidd

 

The Man Defined - DeRonn Kidd ( #TMDPresents: Defined As) - Creating a demand 3

Credit: DeRonn Kidd

As I started sharing my work on social media platforms, people started getting in touch about working together on projects and hiring me for specific jobs, which gave me more subjects to play and further experiment with. Simply put, I created a demand. That broad range of experimentation was that crash course I hungered for and I’m still able to apply that wealth of techniques to my work today.

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Client Engagement Shoots / credit: DeRonn Kidd

 

A DREAM REALIZED

 

The Man Defined - DeRonn Kidd ( #TMDPresents: Defined As) - A Dream Realized

Moroccan Dreams / Credit: DeRonn Kidd

That experimentation provided me with further insight into wedding photography.  There is no other forum that offers the variety of a wedding. From the subtle nuances of getting ready, to the romance of the bride and groom shots, to the craziness on the dance floor, weddings demand flexibility and creativity from a photographer every step of the way. Weddings consist of love, promise, trust, and pure joy and photographs can capture that memory allowing it to be both timeless and priceless simultaneously. For the first time ever, I felt the high amounts of energy and emotion from a relationship (belonging to another couple) all packed into one single day, and I enjoyed watching it all unfold. These understandings and experiences led me to believe I could have a future and a career in wedding photography.

The Man Defined - DeRonn Kidd ( #TMDPresents: Defined As) - A Dream Realized 2

Credit: DeRonn Kidd

In 2014 in Rabat, Morocco, I shot my first international destination wedding. It was a traditional Moroccan wedding — full of color, vigor, rich culture and a real glimpse at Moroccan life. This unique experience was humbling and nothing short of amazing! I had dreamt of combining my two passions for travel and photography to document wonderful adventures and precious romantic moments. Morocco was the perfect place to bring my dreams to fruition.

The Man Defined - DeRonn Kidd ( #TMDPresents: Defined As) - A Dream Realized 3

Credit: DeRonn Kidd

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