Brandon Tackett is an Atlanta-based photographer who has made a name for himself in the highly competitive world of beauty and fashion photography. He specializes in editorial, commercial, fashion/beauty, and product photography. Being entirely self-taught, Brandon has built his style and repertoire since 2016. With a lifelong fascination with the fashion industry, his work approach is methodical, giving every detail courteous attention. Driven by a strong passion for creating, he always strives to push the limits of his abilities to learn and grow as an artist continually. His work has been featured in numerous publications, and he has shot campaigns for many brands. In 2019, Tackett founded his clothing line, “God Is X (Love),” which keeps God’s message of love at the forefront through fashion, artistic design, and service. God is X is more than a streetwear, leisure brand; and it is a movement.
Q: You started as a creative director before becoming a photographer? What made you want to pick up a camera?
Brandon: I started taking photos back in 2016. It was something that I enjoyed doing. I decided to utilize my ideas and take the images instead of getting my pictures or my vision to somebody else. So, I taught myself photography. I wanted to focus mainly on fashion photography because I have a deep love for fashion, the fashion industry, and just that whole world. So, I decided to focus on the fashion aspect and work with different brands within Atlanta. I think the first brand that I worked with was Local Trap star. They’re like a streetwear brand in Atlanta. Afterward, I decided to kind of look into doing runways and fashion shows. So, I worked with Walk fashion show, which is a huge fashion company out of Detroit. They came to Atlanta, and I started working with them. From there, I shot New York Fashion Week. From New York Fashion Week, I develop relationships that would allow me to shoot for different publications, other brands, and things like that.
Q: How did you feel after you took your first photo?
Brandon: I’m a perfectionist! When I took my first photo, I wasn’t that satisfied with it, because I didn’t know what I was doing. The whole reason why I picked up a camera wasn’t that I love photography. It was because I love fashion. I love visual art. I’m a very visual person, and I can draw very well. I love art. For years, I had a membership at a museum, and I would just look at the art.
Q: Your first love was being a creative director. Do you remember the first shoot you directed?
Brandon: Yeah, absolutely. It never came out. (laughs) It was extremely ambitious. It was like a video. We got all these Instagram influencers, which is kind of funny because when we did it, they were influencers. At this point now like, they’re big. It’s cool going back and looking at this stuff like nobody thought it would be like this. We were just all friends and we just kind of created this visual. However, we couldn’t edit it the right way. So that’s probably why it just never came out.
Q: Where did you get your inspiration from?
Brandon: It’s just in my head. There was no true inspiration. It’s like a kid imagining things. In the beginning, it’s like you have so many ideas, so you don’t need to pull from anything. It’s not until people are pulling from you that you need to go grab inspiration. I could literally just be sitting there and thinking, “Let’s go shoot a milk bath shoot!” A lot of this stuff I did only never came out or was promoted. I remember having a couple of Instagram influences, where I had this idea of a cheater, and she puts in him in the trunk of a car. I believe I got the idea from Kanye West in his “Flashlights” video. I think it was one shot with no cuts or anything. It was in black and white. It was cool, so just ideas like that.
Q: Have you ever visualized an idea in your head, but it never came out the way you vision it?
Brandon: Absolutely! If I’m honest, over half of my shoots are like that, but it’s not in a negative way. When I create, I see something in my head, and once we are shooting it, I kind of just let the creative process take hold of it. Sometimes it comes out. Honestly, it’s rare that it ever comes out exactly how I saw it in my head. I’ve only had one shoot that I did to come out exactly how I envisioned it.
Q: Who are some public figures you would like to work with?
Brandon: I would love to work with Naomi Campbell. I would love to shoot with a photographer/ fashion designer, Heidi Slimane. Beyoncé, I love her aesthetic of Black Is King, or even two years ago when she covered Vogue’s September issue. I would like to work with Kim Kardashian. Her campaigns for her brands are always creative. I would like to work with Alton Mason. He’s a young black model. He was the male model of the year last year. There’s a lot of people I would love to work with.
Q: What was your experience like working at New York Fashion Week?
Brandon: My first time going to New York Fashion Week wasn’t amazing. Honestly, it was very, very cold. It was in February, and this was my first time being in New York. I never really knew that New York cold was different from Georgia cold. I went with Walk Fashion Company. They paid for everything, but I pretty much had to stay with them. I was just going to the casting call and seeing thousands of models hoping they get selected to walk in Fashion Week. I didn’t really go to any of the after-parties until my second time going. Plus, it’s really about your credentials to get into these parties and the main shows. So, the second time I went, I was hired by a magazine. We’re talking to the head of GQ. It was like Halloween for fashion people.
Q: Tell us about your clothing line and its mission statement.
Brandon: The clothing line is “GOD IS X,” and the X stands for “Love.” The clothing line came because I wanted to showcase my love for fashion while also giving back to the community. A few years ago, I was driving for Lyft, and I picked up this kid from the mall. He was just telling me how he works for his uncle, who owns a popcorn kiosk inside the mall. As we were leaving the mall, he’s like, “You see that Bentley? That’s my uncles.” I asked him, “Your uncle drives a Be, Bentley, and he owns a popcorn kiosk?” What he said really stuck with me, which is the foundation of my brand. The kid told me about his uncle always giving back to his community. So that’s why I started my brand to just give back to the community because most entrepreneurs don’t do that. The way that we give back is by creating care packages for those in need. We try to do it the first Saturday of every month, and last year we assisted over 500 homeless people with care packages full of hygienic items.
Q: It’s a new year, what are you looking forward to?
Brandon: My main goal is to grow the brand and bring more awareness to it. Continue to make dope clothes and create dope visuals. I really want to manifest a good team, build good relationships with people and have a good skill of individuals. I’ve been searching for special individuals to bring into the brand. I know I’m a photographer, but I’m looking for other photographers to shoot for the brand. I’ve been looking for people that are good at marketing, to develop creative ideas and drop marketing ideas. Those who are good at creating different visuals as well.
For more information visit Brandon Tackett on IG @axmedia.