Alexander Harold is a Photographer and Videographer with an eye for detail and an undeniable love for his city. The Buffalo, New York native put his college degree and talents to use as a freelancer, which led to the creation of his personal brand, CreativeConnect. He’s experimented with different mediums and styles for his digital content, and he’s on his way to creating a name for himself.
Prior to working in creative spaces and taking on the role of Executive Director of Photography and Videography at Haute La Vie, Harold planned to create content for himself as a musician. He supported friends at smaller showcases, capturing behind the scenes footage. That work led him to high-profile opportunities within the music industry like capturing moments at Coachella, Rolling Loud, and touring with WS Boogie.
Harold says that by having a supportive team, persistence with faith, and consistency in work ethic and quality have been key factors in his successes.
Tell us who you are and what you do.
I am 26 years old; I am the Executive Director of Photographer and Videography for Haute La Vie since 2166. I started out young working with cameras and film because my father had a very keen passion for it as well. We traveled around a lot back then and we always recorded everything with our old fashion VCR camcorder. As I got older, I began to develop my own style and eventually took it to the next level. I attended Erie County Community College & NCCC for Communication and Digital Media as a full-time student. While in college, I created a brand for myself called CreativeConnect where I create different types of visuals, from music videos, commercials, movies and photoshoots. I took a year off from school, but I was still interested in going further with my craft. So, I began doing freelance work with my good friend, Denzel Williams. He taught me a lot, especially the business side of things. Once I returned to school I got in contact with Shawn Patterson, the CEO of Haute La Vie. We worked on small projects to build the working relationship and I was offered a position to be their Director of Photography. A couple years later I graduated from Buffalo State College with a BFA in Communication/Digital Media. Which now brings us here!
How have your life experiences impacted your work?
Being able to have more experience in the music industry has really broadened the direction of what I’ve captured over the last three years. I was able to add more events and milestones to my resume such as shooting Coachella, Rolling Loud, going on tour with WS Boogie, and even tightening up my skills in school.
Who are some of your influences?
Spike Lee is one of my influences in film because I really love the way he tells stories. His messages are always profound and barrier breaking. Lee always pushes the boundaries with his use of interesting camera techniques too, which is something I’ve implemented in my work as well.
Sammy Davis Jr. and Donald Glover are some of my influences in terms of duality. They are very multifaceted artists and cover so many different genres of entertainment. They are a perfect example of “Master of few trades and jack of none”. This influences me because I myself am an artist of many trades and am excited to show everyone what’s in store in other genres and industries.
Raven B. Varona also influences me because of her hard work and her accomplishments within the photography industry. When I first met her, I had the privilege of shooting alongside her at Dusse Palooza DC 2019. I love the way she gracefully moved through the room to capture the event. But in the same breath, she was the first person to tell me “It’s work, but hey, enjoy yourself”. She really taught me how to work and have fun with that one moment, and I’m grateful for that.
How have you grown as a creative from when you first began on your journey to now?
I’ve grown more aware of my responsibility to capture and document what is going on in our history today. When I was younger, I used media as an outlet for me to get my creative ideas out and capture the moments. As I grew with my craft, I learned that everything captured has its own special place in time. Whether that be a child’s birthday, an artist’s first time headlining a festival, or a global protest – we need to preserve these moments and times.
What has been your experience navigating the creative landscape of your city?
My experience has been a blessing. I have been able to show the city of Buffalo, New York, in a new perspective. Elevating my work with drone photography has really added a new creative touch to my brand too. This helps me bring more light and beauty to the underrepresented and undervalued East Side of Buffalo, and I’m honored to be a part of changing the narrative of this creative landscape for my city.
I feel that it’s important to elevate Black voices in the entertainment industry because no one else can speak our messages for us.
Why do you feel that it’s important to elevate Black voices as it pertains to your current industry?
I feel that it’s important to elevate Black voices in the entertainment industry because no one else can speak our messages for us. Media is such a powerful source of creativity, and the stereotypes created for African American people can only be debunked by elevating Black voices. We are in a time in history where we have the ability to change the narrative. When we elevate Black voices, we contribute to our people’s growth in these industries. “Important” is an understatement in my opinion.
What advice do you have for up-and-coming creatives in your industry?
Never give up on yourself. Take every opportunity presented to you. Learn about your value, and practice on your “no’s” after.
Do you have any current projects coming up?
Currently, my team and I are working on producing another “Anti – Venue Tour & Creativespace”. I am also planning for some major tours and festivals for 2021 – fingers crossed due to the circumstances of COVID-19.