We had the good fortune of connecting with Randall Richards and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Randall, why did you pursue a creative career?                                              I pursued an artistic career because I wanted the freedom to create the life that I wanted for myself.

I’ve always been involved in art, whether it’s playing the guitar, singing in the choir, dancing, painting, drawing and taking photos when I was younger. During this time I also developed a  love for technology, so of course having a mother who is a teacher, she pushed me towards the more traditional side of things. 

After college, I won a photography competition and got a 2 year internship with Smirnoff and that along with, what I like to call, my “artistic renaissance” in 6th form when I tried to do everything I could possibly do in the arts, I hit a big turning point in my life. It gave me freedom to express myself, especially in different forms. You know, variety is the spice of life and I felt that a creative career gave me this opportunity that a traditional career could not. 

It’s now 15 years later, and I have no regrets.

Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally? Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way? What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?                               I work as a Director & Director of Photography. I used to work a lot in photography but overtime I’ve progressed into cinematography. As a cinematographer I like the process of cultivating organic and collaborative environments around the work that I do. My work is not a “one man show”, I view it more as a unified piece that is the result of my vision or another’s vision as the director. It’s just this collaborative and community effort that lends a lot to creativity and I feel like that organic approach that I take is what allows my work to just set itself apart from the rest.

I prefer my work to feel very natural as it relates to lighting, look and feel, even if I’m using lighting on sets, be it a music video or a commercial. Now as a Jamaican I just love to see the lush greenery, bright lights, lovely colours. It represents who I am and where I come from, as it deeply influences the way I create and that really makes me excited about my job. 

 Along with the uncertainty of this field, being able to wake up every day and almost not knowing what today’s work would be. Today it may be a music video, tomorrow a short film, maybe a documentary and the day after that some content or an episodic! I just adore the flexibility of that.

As of right now I’m most proud of a collection of 3 videos I made last November with an amazing artist named Lavaud (pronounced La – Vo).  The last video has just been released, called Fast Lane. It was very challenging but the team and I really pulled it together.

Getting to where I am now has not been easy, especially in the first 2 years of my career. There were a lot of times that I call, “sweat-equity”. Which is where you put in so much sweat and labour and not actually receive the rewards you expect however, somewhere along the road you start to see those returns.

I believe that where I am now is caused by a combination of the efforts from my mother, the lessons I’ve learned in college, my degree, my friends, their support and the persons who challenged me to do better, and who also threw all these obstacles my way that forced me to be the kind of problem solver I am now.

Even when I looked at what I did for my degree, which was in I.T., and it was focused on problem solving, math, algorithms and functionally this has been useful while working on set. 

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned along the way is that you have to take risks. At every turning point in my career, it’s always been underscored with having to take a risk. Like moving out after college, flying to London not knowing what will happen, telling a client no, because I didn’t feel they respected my work with what they were suggesting, knowing it didn’t fit my brand. 

You have to take risks or you won’t grow. Another thing I’ve learned and I’m still learning, is the necessity of teamwork. At the core of any successful artist/creative and business is teamwork and knowing how to manage a team.In every big triumph I’ve had it was always with the combination of myself, friends and/or good professionals and our large ideas. I feel like my story is evolving but there’s one thing that I’d say to others is that you have to put in the work. It is not just talent, luck It’s also serendipity. You have to be in the right place at the right time, and to cultivate these opportunities you have to be networking, perfecting your craft. Just so you can be ready for whatever opportunity that comes forth. 

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?                                                                            There’s so much to see in Jamaica. We’d definitely go up to the Blue Mountains,and visit the recreational park, Holywell. It has a variety of hiking trails with lush greenery, the air is fresh and when the fog rolls in it’s very magical. While on the route to Holywell we’d stop by Café Blue or EITS’s Cafe and they both have very sprawling views of the hills and valleys, stretching down into the southern coast to Kingston. There are also tons of beautiful iridescent blue and green swallowtail Hummingbirds flying by, they’re Jamaica’s national bird.

On the flat of Kingston there’s a place called Marianna’s, a vegan restaurant with a rotating and evolving menu that changes based on the season. The food is delicious, it’s such an experience. Further up in Papine you have a rastafarian/ital cook shop called Doctor Spice. I like to get this one big box of everything the chef makes and that is really delicious and spiced very well. 

Chilitos is one of my favourite spots to go to, I’ve been going there for more than ten years. They serve Jamexican food in Kingston. It’s like the local watering hole, to drink and eat. Then you have Jangas, a bar & grill by New Kingston, you can get drinks, good music, and there’s normally a good crowd that brings the vibe. Then there’s Uptown Mondays, a Jamaican street dance starting in the middle of the night. There you can learn all the latest dance moves. 

Strawberry Fields in St. Mary is a beautiful cove beach. French Man’s cove in Portland, you have to go to Portland, it is one of the most beautiful parishes in Jamaica. While there we can check out San San Beach, Winnifred Beach and the Boston Jerk Center for some of the island’s best Jerk everything and anything lol. 

Some fun places and events like Earl Chin’s “Inna di yard”, hosts music sessions in the front yard. Kingston Dub Club, at Skyline in the hill tops.

If they want to go to the south coast, we could go to Treasure Beach, Blue fields. Jack Sprat by Treasure beach and Smurf’s Cafe both have great food. And there’s Pelican Bar, a bar off in the middle of the ocean that’s a great place to visit. Or all the way to the west coast to Negril, at Skylark hotel. We would have a very packed itinerary, to eat, drink, sightsee and chill. 

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are honestly so many persons that have really been there and supported me in so many ways that it’s truly hard to single any one out so I have to big up ALL OF THEM however, there’s one book that has really shaped my outlook on life when I was about 15 years old, it’s called The Magic of Thinking Big by David J Schwartz. It should honestly be a book that everyone reads!

Instagram: www.instagram.com/randyrandeh

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/randallrichards/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/randyrandeh

Other: Linktree https://linktr.ee/randyrandeh

Image Credits
1-Photo of me holding the camera with the artist sitting on a car (Shot by Michael Moodie) 2-Photo of me directing actors (Shot by Adrian Creary) 3-Photo of me in polaroid pullover (Shot by Victoria Taylor) All other photos shot by me.

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