Jeezy Reflects On Career Journey During Fireside Chat At Cam Kirk Studio In Atlanta

By: Hunter Gilmore

Attendees were left in awe as Jeezy shared insight into his captivating journey during a fireside chat at Cam Kirk Studio in Atlanta.

The event, hosted by the renowned Cam Kirk, provided a platform for Jeezy to share thoughts into his remarkable rise to success despite facing numerous challenges along the way, chronicled in his memoir, “Adversity for Sale: Ya Gotta Believe.” 

“The thing that I knew that I had that a lot of people didn’t have to do what I do is that resilience to keep going. And to take the losses and to actually fall in love with the journey, ” Jeezy said during the discussion. “When I first came out I told them I was a corporate thug. There wasn’t any denying that. I told them I was thug motivating and inspiring and then I’m sitting back like damn, all I’m telling them is how I’m losing to win.” 

In an exclusive interview with ADW, Kirk shed light on the significance of the event, describing it as a “full-circle moment” from his earlier collaborations with Jeezy.

“This is a really exciting day not only for me personally but for the studio, the business, and just for the longevity of my career. A lot of people don’t know unless you’re a true true true fan of mine that Jeezy’s the first artist I really had the privilege of working for, like the first major celebrity. That was 2012. So to be able to be here now, 10 plus years later, and to have him grace me with his presence at another business that I started, at my own studio commemorating a collaboration that we did together is amazing,” Kirk said.

Reflecting on his journey with Jeezy, Kirk expressed profound gratitude for the opportunity to contribute to the book’s cover art, a momentous achievement that has now been cemented with its New York Times Bestseller status.

“That book cover shot just meant a lot to me and now to see it as a bestseller is like wow. That’s a notch in my portfolio that I didn’t have before and I think it’s amazing and it’s full circle to do it with him, “he continues, “I always dreamed about magazine covers and album covers. I never even thought about working with an artist iconic enough to have an autobiography of themselves and that my work could be there. It’s honestly just exciting to see the value and impact of photography and how far I’ve been able to take it.”

As we shifted the conversation toward Kirk’s own aspirations, the photographer and entrepreneur shared his dreams of collaborating with iconic brands within the photography industry. Despite his impressive portfolio of partnerships with global giants like Coca-Cola, Nike, and Meta, Kirk expressed a desire to receive recognition and support from the photography community, particularly from technology and camera companies like Apple and Adobe.

“I have had the privilege to work with a lot of brands but I think, ironically, I have never done a lot of work for actual photography brands. And I think that’s always been one of those underdog stories for me. Like I know I didn’t go to photography school and I don’t have a degree in it but I’m still just as much of a photographer as anybody else. And it’s interesting that most of my accolades come from the music or culture side of things and not necessarily the manufacturers that make the cameras that I’ve documented and taken these photos with. I would love to get more recognition and work within my industry.”

Since overcoming adversity was the theme of the evening, Kirk touched on some of the adversity he’s been dealt. From navigating the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic to the perpetual learning curve of entrepreneurship.

“I think anybody that’s successful goes through adversity. I’ve gone through adversity, I still go through adversity. As we get to different layers, it makes for great learning lessons and things to build up on. In my career I didn’t go to school for photography, I went to school for marketing. I didn’t go to school for entrepreneurship or how to be a CEO or how to be an accountant and all of these things. A lot of just the day-to-day running of my business I’m learning on the fly and I’m trying to educate myself the best I can. But you’re learning through experience, mistakes, adversity, and challenges.

Concluding the conversation, attendees were able to grab delicious drinks, take cool photos in the photo booth and have their books signed by the New York Times Bestseller. Overall, the event concluded on a very high note, leaving attendees inspired by Jeezy’s remarkable story and inspired to chase their dreams relentlessly and turn adversity into opportunity.

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