Tuesday, February 27, 2024
HomeEntertainmentA Man & His Art: Vincent Brocks Photography

A Man & His Art: Vincent Brocks Photography

New Orleans, Louisiana is, without any doubt, the most culturally unique place on earth. Credited with capturing that uniqueness, are the photographers who frequent the city.

One of our favorites is Vincent Brocks, a New Orleans native, who knows just how to capture the beautiful images of his city. It’s no wonder he’s known as “The Picture Man”. He captures the true essence of all of the city’s neighborhoods.

DJ Ro - A New Orleans Legend, as captured by Vincent Brocks Photography

Vincent travels around the city and takes not only photographs of individuals for various purposes, but he is also present at all of the city’s important events such as festivals, second lines, Mardi Gras, and just about anything else you can name.

We recently had a conversation with Vincent where we learned a whole lot more about his art. Here’s how it went:

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: Where do your find your inspiration?

PHOTOGRAPHER VINCENT BROCKS: I get a lot of inspiration from legendary photographers like Gordon Parks. Also, the movie “Prison Song” touched my heart and gave me the inspiration to know I can come from the streets of New Orleans and take my what I thought was so called negative or hood images and capture that with my camera. I always took photos since I was a kid, but I never wanted to go pro until I saw “Prison Song”. I felt the part Q-Tip was playing because I have the same vision as his character. From then on, I said I can do this professionally and do what I love to do. I also got inspired from people who loved my angles. I call them angles because anyone with money can buy a camera, take a few photos and call themselves a photographer, but you must have an untamed eye that can see and create angles that the normal person would never think to look at it that way. I inspire myself a lot also because I step outside myself a lot and I get amazed by my work as I’m taking new photos.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: So who is Vincent Brocks?

PHOTOGRAPHER VINCENT BROCKS: In one word, I would consider myself “inquisitive”. Since I was a kid, I always wanted to know how things work and why they worked the way they did. I think that’s how I found my passion for photography. I grew up on the Westbank of New Orleans, but most of my family is from Uptown and the Ninth Ward, so as my mom would take me to see my relatives, I was just amazed – every time we crossed the river, as the Westbank people would say. New Orleans was my New York City coming up and my photos reflect that same childhood amazement and love I have for my city. I’m so 504. A lot of my friends see me in the city and say, “Vincent, man you be everywhere with the camera.” I think being from the Westbank made me have an appreciation for my city coming up as a kid. That’s why in my photos, you see places and people that are familiar to N.O. natives. Vincent Brocks is the type of person you would see second lining, sweating to death and taking pics at the same time or standing on top of a bus stop trying to get a different angle. I just love to have fun and live hard. I’m very approachable and willing to teach someone anything I know.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: What are some interesting facts about Vincent Brocks that other people may not know?

PHOTOGRAPHER VINCENT BROCKS: I am a vegetarian. I don’t smoke or drink. I have three beautiful kids. I’m a computer geek who is always feeding his brain and I love to read books. Lots of people tell me, “You don’t talk like you from here.” Well, it’s because I love to travel. I’ve lived in lots of exciting places so my New Orleans accent was lost years ago. I love English Bulldogs and French Masstiffs. I always said if I get a big enough yard, I would breed one of them. I try to be brutally honest with people. I really enjoy watching nature also and I don’t know where that side of me comes from. Sometimes I just watch the clouds form or watch how birds interact. I am an outside person who can’t sit still (Laughs). I was born in San Diego, California on a Marine Base Camp, Camp Pendleton, while my dad was a Marine. My parents are from New Orleans. I stayed in california until I was six months and returned to Algiers, Louisiana where my mother’s side of the family is from. Lots of people don’t know I love solitude. Give me the internet and some food and I can sit there for days just feeding my mind.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: What effect does the city of New Orleans have on your art?

PHOTOGRAPHER VINCENT BROCKS: The city of New Orleans has 100% effect on my art. Everything I saw growing up here has affected my way of living, thinking and created my character. Being from New Orleans gives you a head start as far as seeing amazing art forms right outside your front door. From watching your uncles boil seafood and play dominoes on the porch to second lines coming down the street and hearing the sound of block parties and seeing Mardi Gras Indians – and of course, you can’t forget about the food. All of these things are what my eye catches when I’m looking through my lens. I call it the untamed eye, because my city is an untamed place, so when you look at the culture and places within New Orleans, you can’t feel it or understand it, unless you see it from an untamed eye. My photography is the visual voice of my city. I see postcards of New Orleans and I say to myself “I have way better pictures than that!” They need to see the real streets of New Orleans. Everytime I’m driving in my car, I see thousands of photographs I would love to take. That feeling has always been there – my love and passion for New Orleans. New Orleans creates many artists to be unique and spicy with whatever they create. We have the type of city that teaches you as a youngster, you can work for yourself and survive here. I still get fascinated by everything that goes on here –  somewhat like a tourist that keeps returning and photographing as much of this beautiful place as I can. So New Orleans definitely has 100% effect on my UNTAMED EYE.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: Where do you find your focus?

PHOTOGRAPHER VINCENT BROCKS: When I’m shooting my photos, I take the subject and capture them as natural as possible. I tell the model to act as if I’m not standing there and just do their thing and I will catch what I like – because if I coach them too much, the person will feel unnatural or uncomfortable. I try to assist them on posture and facial expressions, but I also try to let them be themselves. I also like to photograph things from extreme angles or heavily in motion, such as my second line photos or Mardi Gras Idian photos. I try to capture a photo that tells a story just by looking at the picture. I take a lot of photos and trash them because they didn’t have the angle or volume of flavor I wanted. My focus comes from my childhood fascination for seeing Big Chiefs spreading their feathers, hands rising for Zulu coconuts, street cars passing, musicians playing familiar tunes for pocket change, watching your grandparents cook, visiting relatives around the city – you know, the New Orleans way of living! My focus comes from the flavors of my city.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Heat is a true fan of Vincent Brocks Photography. Interested in booking him for your next event? Contact Vincent at 504.906.9391.  

Arlene Culpepper, Asst. Editor-in-Chief
Arlene Culpepper, Asst. Editor-in-Chiefhttp://www.mikodreamz.com
Vice-President & Asst. Editor-in-Chief of The Heat Magazine, Arlene is a Louisiana native, Certified Paralegal, Publicist, Owner of MIKODreamz PR, co-owner of 504Diffusion, writer, producer, and jack of all trades, who is heavily involved in her community as well as serving as Media Advisor for New Orleans Union for Entertainment (NOUE), Member of the NOLA Music Awards from 2012-present & Member of the Press Club of New Orleans. Her work is published across the web. Her PR work has been highly recognized & awarded. She was/is publicist for the late great BTY YoungN, 0017th and more. She is also working on her first novel & aspires to turn it into a film & is currently writing the authorized biography of the legendary Pimp C of UGK. She can be reached via email at Arlene@theheatmag.com. Follow her on Twitter - @CategorySeven & Instagram - @hurricanearlene.
RELATED ARTICLES

2 COMMENTS

  1. This is a great piece! Arlene Culpepper, you did a fantabulous job! Vincent is, as you stated, “without any doubt” culturally unique! My roots steam down to the bottom of the boot as well so I too am particularly a fan of New Orleans. Kudos to Vincent Brocks in offering his story to Editor-in-Chief of The Heat Magazine!

    Feel “The Heat”!
    Nik-O-Licious

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments

Melissa Ellis on CONTROL!!!
Arlene Culpepper, Asst. Editor-in-Chief on STRAIT JIGG: ‘Ova Ya Dome’ Mixtape Debuts
GI GI on Interviews
bestever2682 on Lil Kim Boycotts BET Awards
J. 'StraitJigg' Wineburg on 16 Year Old Becomes Face of Louis Vuitton
J. 'StraitJigg' Wineburg on 16 Year Old Becomes Face of Louis Vuitton
Arlene Culpepper, Asst. Editor-in-Chief on Jack Spratt: A Genuine New Orleans Original
Arlene Culpepper, Asst. Editor-in-Chief on D.E.T.D.F.’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt
J. 'StraitJigg' Wineburg on Mike Tyson Covers Esquire Magazine (Photo)