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CANNON SHOTS!

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Born and raised in the tough streets of Washington D.C., this self-made, hardworking photographer has been doing his thing over the years.  He’s traveled all over the world shooting major sporting events and has rubbed elbows with all of the power players in between. 
He’s worked for a sports icon and now finds time to assist police departments in various states with their crime scene investigations.  I also must mention that he is a huge Terrapins, Redskins and Wizards supporter.  Now let’s take a look into the life of this DC product that goes by the name of Brian “BC” Cannon.  

What’s up “BC”?
BC – Nothin much, what’s going on witcha.

I’m chill’n with one of the world’s greatest photographers, so everything is cool.
BC – Okay.

Tell me how you got started in photography.
BC – I actually got started in photography when I was in high school.  At first I was an artist because I use to draw a lot and one of my art teachers told me to take a photo of what I like to draw and that’s basically how I got started.  I started doing the little football games and boxing matches around my neighborhood.  Then a few years later I started working with Don King.

How was your experience working with Don King?
BC – It…it had it’s moments but it was great.  I enjoyed every minute of it.  It had its up’s and down’s.

Tell me about some of the places photography has taken you.  You mentioned working with Don King so I’m sure you have done some extensive travel.
BC – Working with Don King…I have been to Beijing, Africa, Australia and South Africa.  I’ve been to so many places that I have to look at my passport to remember them all while working with that dude.  I worked with Don for seven years and it was a wild ride.

Wow!  That’s pretty impressive that you started in photography and you got a gig with Don King right out of the box and then got to learn your job on the road…globally.  Most photographers’ first gig is not that lovely.
BC – Yeah, buy working with Don I got the chance to network with other photographers and once Don allowed me to put my foot in the door shooting for him I just rose to a different level.  I got to shoot Super Bowl XLI just by using his name and the fact that I worked for him.  I get to do so many worldwide events.

On the flip side of that…tell me about some of the pitfalls that you have experienced in the industry to educate those aspiring up and coming photographers out there.
BC – The pitfall is that the industry is dominated by white males.  I mean…I don’t want to sound racists or anything but it is dominated by white males.  If you are a female or a male of color…it’s kind of hard for you if you don’t KNOW someone.  But you just have to stay at it with determination and try to network.  Mainly you just have to network and stay at it and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.

Now what is the upside?
BC – The upside (laugh).  The upside…awe man…there is no limit to the upside (laugh).  Once you get to shoot a major event, the sky is the limit.

(Laughing) Give me some examples.
BC – Let’s say you get to do a major boxing event.  Once you submit your pictures and everything, there is no limit to the calls you might receive and the gigs you might get because you shot a MAJOR event.  There is no limit, but you just have to stay at it and stay consistent.

We feature models and artist in our magazine.  What type of advice would you give them about photo shoots and how they can help you make them look good in their pictures?
BC – Let me see (thinking)…I don’t shoot too many models but when they go to a photo shoot they should just try to get to know the photographer.  Be relaxed and find out what the photographer is looking for.  And remember that professionalism is a must.

What’s your weapon of choice since your last name is Cannon.  What type of camera gear are you roll’n with?
BC – Nothing else but Canon.  Every year Canon comes out with a new camera I’m going to get it.  I have been shooting with Canon since I was 14 years old.  My first camera was an AE-1 manual.  So, Canon is the weapon of choice.

So they haven’t cut you a deal since your last name is Cannon and you have been loyal to the brand since you were 14?  Have you spoken to them about…
BC – (Cutting in…) Well, I spoke with them about it but since my last name is spelled differently with two “N’s” instead of one they consider it a conflict.  It just sounds the same but not spelled the same so they gave me a hard time about that (laughs).

(Laughing)  But you stay loyal to them.
BC – Yep, I stay loyal to them.

What are you working on right now?  What is going on in Brian Cannon’s  world right now?
BC – Uuuhmm…I shot the NBA Allstar game in Las Vegas and getting ready for March Madness.  I’m trying to shoot a couple of tournaments and looking to shoot Tiger when the next golf tournament starts up soon.

Cool.  But what about your day to day?  You are leaving out a very important…
BC – (Cutting in…)  Ooooh my day to day…I am a forensic photographer.

You make it seem like it’s no big deal man…
BC – (Cutting in…)  I mean compared to the big events and everything, being a forensic photographer is like…okay.  To me it’s not a big deal but it’s what I do.

It doesn’t have all of the glitz and glamour but it’s not everyday you meet someone in your line of work.  That’s like on a whole different level so talk about…if you can…what it’s like in the day and life of a forensic photographer?
BC – Uuuh…it’s kinda gory (laugh).  You see a lot of blood and body parts (laugh).  You just really need to have a strong stomach.  I see crime scenes and people that have committed suicide and stuff like that and I have to take pictures of that for evidence.  The average person could not handle it (laugh).

Well how do you do it?
BC – I have a strong stomach (laugh).  It took me a while to adapt to it you know, but you just don’t think about it when you leave the basement.  That’s what we call it because we are downstairs in the hospital’s.  Once we leave the site we just try and block it out and try not to take it home with us.

Right.
BC – If you take it home with you…then you get sick, stressed and afraid at night to turn off the lights (laugh).

(Laugh)  No doubt!
BC – (Laugh) You don’t want to watch scary movies…

(Cutting in…)  But that’s probably what has helped you is the horror movies that you have watched in the past.
BC – Aiight (laugh).  There’s a difference once you are actually looking at it and you can touch it.  It’s a TOTALLY different atmosphere (laugh).

I believe you on that!
BC – It’s not pigs blood or animal blood…it’s real blood here.  It’s not ketchup (laugh).

And this job takes you in and out of different states I would imagine.

BC – Yeah, I’ve been in and out of different states.  I could be in Virginia one moment then Miami, Seattle or California etc. the next.

You have been lucky enough to do the Don King thing and now the forensic photography thing and that’s moving you around plus the other big time sporting events as well.  You really get around don’t you.
BC – Right, I get around.  I stay consistent.  I keep knocking on doors and everything making sure who needs what then move on to the next door.  I show my portfolio and stay at it and always practice my craft.

It’s a real hustle huh?
BC – Right!  It’s a real hustle.  If one door closes in your face another one will open up.

What hobbies do you have?  You know we go back so are you still ball’n because I have been on the shelf since the last time we hooked up?
BC – I still play a little basketball but now I’m just watching the young kids coming up.  They move a little faster than I do now that I’m up in age.  So, right now I just do my photography and watch them.  I just photograph them because they are more creative now and it’s a pleasure to watch them do their thing.  I do a little boxing in the mornings to workout and stay in shape.  I also shoot the little boxing tournaments, golden & silver gloves right now.  I’m pretty much a spectator with a camera.

Alright man, I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule to share with our readers.  Any last words or let the people know how they can get Brian Cannon to shoot their wedding, sporting events etc.  How can they contact you for your services?
BC – Just check out the magazine (laugh).  Just check out the magazine!  Or you can drop me a line at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we can discuss your project.  Thanks.