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Life and journey with a photographer documenting life - Kamal X

On an episode of the art podcast, I got the chance to talk with Kamal X.

I learned a lot from this conversation from what inspired this photographer to how they found a publisher for their work and made a book!

Inspired by reality TV

Kamal X: Reality TV first started and I remember being a kid like eleven years old, nine years old, watching this, glued to it, because it was so interesting. 

Because back then it was real. So a lot of times when I think about how my career kind of like when I picked up the camera, how I gravitated towards these real stories, I wonder how much of an influence that show had on me. 

Because it was like, wow, you get to see all these people that you would never meet in real life from places I've never been. 

And you're like seeing how they think, how they look, how they dress. And it was just like, wow, there's a bigger world out there - coming from New Jersey. 

So I think that might be a big reason why I kind of lean towards finding interesting new stories that are kind of based on reality.

Dealing with grief and finding a voice

Kamal X: As I was finding myself and dealing with the grief and dealing with finding peace and all that stuff, I also was using the camera as an outlet. 

So it kind of like, me growing up, always watching movies, now having this moment of trying to figure me out, having one tool as I'm traveling. It kind of like roads kind of crossed in a great way, I think, and it's brought me to where I am today.

So the first book I did was called A Quest Supreme. and that was based on me losing my friend and finding myself. And that was five years of traveling internationally to over 40 countries.

How they found a publisher for their book of photography Black Astronaut

Kamal X: Gary's really, really cool. Great situation. I got a couple of offers. Well, let me say a couple of yeses that came with offers is a better way of putting that. 

And they made the best one. That made the most sense. He was the most personal, too. 

So I was like, I'm going with this situation. So it's been really good. The design and everything is all me. I did the whole, like, he let me do what I had to do.

So I feel really good about the situation. and it's been a great learning experience, too, just seeing what it's like to work with a publisher and all the things that come with it. It's been really great.

(You can get the book on Amazon - Black Astronaut - Kamal X)

Tom Ray: How did you find them? Like, how do you even go about finding a publisher for photography books?

Kamal X: So my way was I went to Barnes and Noble. I went to all bookstores, basically, and fished out any photography book that seemed like it was something similar to mine. Like something in terms of the subject matter, the look of it, the feel of the book, like what the pictures actually look like.

Listen to the whole podcast episode!

You can listen to the whole conversation on the art podcast

Kamal X: Photographer Documenting Life's Journey - Tom Ray's Art Podcast

Listen To The Podcast


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