Like almost every other venture, a career in the arts is challenging. Most beginner artists face criticism and a lot of NOs before they get their first YES. It is also not easy to get all the proper equipment, especially if you aren’t financially stable. Practicing one’s craft is also time-consuming and expensive—the supplies needed to work with and create good quality work can be very costly and frustrating, which pushes some artists to give up halfway through. R. Ray Robinson reminds us that while it is tough, the result is extremely rewarding and worth it.
- Ray Robinson is the founder of arriseandgrindproductions, a video/photo production company keeping memories alive through art. Ray is a professional photographer, video strategist, filmmaker, director, and editor.
Ray has been an artist for more than a decade. He started his career as an independent photographer and videographer in college in 2011. At the time, he was going through some major changes, and like many beginner artists, Ray was struggling financially, balancing school, and trying to find gigs while practicing his videography and photography.
He had to budget down, which impacted his journey. Ray couldn’t afford to buy some equipment or even promote his work better in his early stages. The first camera that he purchased which was the Canon T2i was only possible by saving months’ worth of allowance and money given to him by his mom. Ray’s passion was so strong that he would go starving at school for months to purchase the camera. While getting the camera, he would practice his photography and videography but still get turned down several times by hiring managers, artists, directors, and other clients. But he didn’t quit.
Ray continued showing up and investing in his craft by practicing and by shooting anything and everything. He shot live shows, studio photoshoots, outdoor photoshoots, weddings, graduations photos, and music videos. He decided to direct his path; he partnered with people who had these tools before getting everything he wanted throughout the years. Ray was learning from the experts in the industry. He networked with people with far more experience, connecting him with better opportunities and showing him how things are done. Because of this, Ray’s path continued.
With the number of funds that he made from odd jobs and passion projects in photography and videography, he was able to get some new equipment and complete gigs in recent years. Today in 2022, his vast knowledge sets him apart. Ray’s love for art and unique approach also gives him an upper hand. Ray Robinson views art as an expression of not only your thoughts but also your emotions, desires, and intuitions.
He is using art to speak to the world, showing people that they, too, can live their dreams. “Although you may not be where you want to be, that doesn’t mean you will never get there. These are all lessons, not failures, ” says Ray Robinson.
Rather than quitting, Ray believes in taking breaks and coming back stronger, and his journey perfectly shows this. The ability to arise and grind is R. Ray Robinson’s motto for success after which his production company is named (the 3 R’s in “arrive” stand for the initials in his name R. Ray Robinson).
Ray Robinson does not give up. He keeps pushing forward and has now been featured in top publications. Ray started his own production company known as arrriseandgrindproductions in the year 2020 and worked with big names in the industry. Ray was a photographer and assistant for actor and director Marcus Hamm’s independent film Triggered A Cinematic Superhero Fan Film, which won the Cannes World Film Festival Award. He also was an assistant and photographer for actor and director Valeria Sweet’s film Once in a Blue Moon. He has also shot high-end beauty photoshoots and headshots of renowned models.
- Ray Robinson has worked on several projects. These projects include shooting a rap battle with American rapper Blueface and the Youtube comedian and socialite Deshawn Raw aka Super-Hot Fire. Another project Ray is proud of is directing, producing, and editing his Hip-Hop cipher, The Arrrise And Grind Hip Hop Cypher CH. 2. The viral event brought together some of the best rising rappers, including, Alia Zin, EverythinGR8, Ventage, Mikol, J Soulstice, Ali Khan Bey and Yardy Lèxandros. The event was featured in multiple articles, including one by AllHipHop. In addition, Ray is a hip-hop enthusiast and rap critic with a reputation that grows within the rap world.
As he continues to share his story through photography and videography, Ray hopes to reach more people, especially young artists, by showing them that despite the obstacles, it is possible to make it! The goals that Ray has for 2023 are to work with more great talent by shooting more photoshoots, doing more music videos, and hip-hop ciphers, and traveling the world to do bigger and better projects.
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