We had the good fortune of connecting with Qwest Courtney and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Qwest, why did you pursue a creative career?
I knew from a young age that I had talent in Arts. I had an eye for composition, colors and storytelling. The minute I picked up a camera, you could see it in my photos. For years, I toyed with my potential and focused on what most young people do now; the clothes I was wearing, the sports I played and if the girl I liked, liked me too. But a simple conversation I had with my father my senior year of High School opened my eyes and pushed me to fully embrace what I was capable of. I started my photography business at the amateur level, started my YouTube channel, and began self-teaching myself how to edit videos. These were my very first steps toward the creative lifestyle/career that I enjoy so much now. I never knew how possible it was until my father pushed me to do so.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As a creator, I’ve been in the game for 4+ years, I have shot, produced, and edited hundreds of photography and videography projects. I’m constantly looking for ways to learn and improve as a creator. People who have seen my projects easily pick up on my signature production and editing skills. Getting to my current position wasn’t easy. I spend countless hours learning from my mistakes, understanding what does and does not work, managing clients, and learning how to market my brand.
An important lesson that I have learned along the way is to not allow the industry to put me in a “box” I have nothing but respect for the influential creators that paved the way for so many of us. However, I approach projects with the mindset of separating my work from everyone else.
What has helped my longevity as a creator is my unconditional passion to be behind the camera. Sometimes I accept projects simply to broaden my skills set and to strengthen my portfolio. I believe if you are passionate about what you do, then money shouldn’t be the top priority. Doing an amazing job and giving the client more than what he/she expected will always be top priority for me.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’ve never been the type to go out or clubbing but for the sake of hosting my guest, I’ll make the exception. Saturday, I’d show them the Houston Galleria then grab a bite at Glazed Donut Cafe or the Waffle Bus after. You hear so often about how Houstonians ride & sip so on Sunday, I’d find a local car meet or slab show so they can see for themselves what Paul Wall often refers too. Tuesday, I’d suggest Tequila N’ Tacos at Seaside Lounge. The margaritas, Julio shots and atmosphere is guaranteed to have you lifted! To end off the week, Grooves is the place to be if you’re a young adult trying to pop out.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I feel as if the entire Courtney family deserves a shoutout for my success. From the very beginning of my career, they’ve always encouraged me to be creative and embrace what talents God’s instilled in me. They never steered me in a different direction or set any limitations on what I able to do and accomplish. Most parents that are as passionate about their kid going to college as mine usually aren’t as accepting of the untraditional path I ‘d like to take. For that, I am thankful.