Humbly, from Troy.
Trey Barkett has taught himself everything he knows about photography and got into the art following his affection for shoes. “I was just taking pictures with my iPhone 4s during shift breaks downtown two summers ago,” he states casually. Now this up-and-coming photographer’s services are in high demand, calling on contracts from creative agencies and show promoters alike.
His career is young, but his catalog is impressive. He has covered hip hop artist such as Big Sean, Post Malone, Lil Uzi Vert and the Insomniacs. He’s been invited to cover festivals at Ohio University and shows such as AnimalxHouse. Commanding the respect of his peers, he’s been featured on blogs across the state such as Ohio Streets. However, what is most intriguing about Trey is not his camera-skills, but his approach to creating in general.
Everyone’s creative but not everyone’s A creative.
Trey on creating, “everyone’s creative but not everyone’s a creative.” Trey falls into the latter category because he harvests his creativity, and expresses his thoughts, ideas and world views through a medium: photography. Needing an outlet, he has tried other forms of art. He once dabbled in hand lettering, design and sewing. Nothing clicked for him like photography and he most naturally channels himself through taking pictures.
It’s a combination of personal expression and freedom. Trey goes into every shoot with the idea of just wanting to “capture dope shit” but what he captures, in turn, speaks on who he is as a person. He’s a street photographer so you can see a little of his personality in photos, how the subject is comfortable around him, where he’s comfortable being at in the world, and things that make him stop to take a picture of them.
It was this organic approach to creating that led to Trey making his first book, Going Ghost. The photography book is composed entirely of pictures that he shot from the popular social media app, Snapchat (you can follow him at ‘ayetrey’). In fact, Trey almost strictly shoots pictures from his iPhone, unless it’s concert work or something he is being paid for.
“This is my way of exploring what’s expected out of Snapchat and what’s capable of a photographer without a DSLR & Lightroom,” Trey says. He doesn’t buy into the hype that you need advanced tools or fancy cameras or expensive software to make compelling art. “No camera will make you that much better. You have to understand light and composition before you need to worry about equipment.”
It’s much more impressive when you take into account that Trey taught himself everything he knows about photography.
“It’s about knowing your strengths,” Trey stated. “I started street photography in black and white, so it was easy to go over to snap chat.” Realizing how strong and compelling his images were turning out, he embarked on a photojournalism campaign that specialized in maximizing upon spontaneity and limited resources. When he sees something dope, he doesn’t have to worry about having the proper equipment on him; he just reaches in to his pocket and goes to work.
Trey promises to be shooting from a smartphone camera for the next several years, unapologetically. I asked him if he ever encountered judgmental people and he says he’s not at all afraid of their opinions. “If you’re being judgmental of me it’s not worth my time or energy to try and correct your thoughts. do you and I’ll do me.”
Speaking as an veteran creative, I asked Trey what would he say to an up-and-coming creative. He humbly rejected the notion that he was a veteran, saying that he was just proud that he has made decisions that he’s made in his life to put him in a position to chase what he wants, and that he still has a lot to accomplish before he ever feels like he can be an inspiration to someone.
Here at FlyPaper, we disagree that he hasn’t done enough yet. That’s why we put his work on our cover. Follow Trey on Instagram and be on the lookout for Going Ghost.