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BY Abu Mubarik, 12:10pm June 28, 2024,

Morehouse student who borrowed $4,500 to book Wiz Khalifa at his college is now a millionaire photographer

Cameron Kirkland, CEO of Cam Kirk Studios. PHOTO COURTESY OF CAM KIRK STUDIOS via Forbes

Cameron Kirkland is the founder and CEO of Cam Kirk Studios, a photography studio he founded in 2017 after he noticed a void in the marketplace to capture content for younger and star musicians in Atlanta on the rise.

He discovered his passion for content creation when he was a junior at Morehouse College, an HBCU. He initially went to college to become a doctor, but he had an interest in the creative space, according to Forbes. According to Goldman Sachs, the creator’s economy will reach $480 billion by 2027. That’s up from $250 billion in 2023.

Kirkland’s journey in the creative space started when he took out a loan of $4,500 to book Wiz Khalifa for a show in 2010. He was able to reach Khalifa by sending a direct message to Khalifa’s booking agent on Twitter. The sold-out show generated approximately $15,000. However, Kirkland didn’t make much taking into consideration hidden concert fees and venue expenses.

“I didn’t make anything significant,” Kirkland told Forbes. However, he said, “It made me feel like I was moving in my purpose.”

“It led me to discover my actual passion” as a creator.

Since then, he has gone on to work with notable entertainers including Future, Travis Scott, Megan Thee Stallion, and producer Mike Will Made-It. He also has clients from Atlantic Records and Nike.

Today, Kirkland estimates he has made $6 million from his photography business. “Income includes fees from his portfolio and studio sessions ranging up to $260 per hour, and he makes money from camera equipment rentals,” according to Forbes.

In addition, he makes money from commercial collaborations with blue-chip brands, including Coca-Cola. He is also behind Collective Gallery, a photography agency which invests in creatives. It signs creatives and advances them $10,000 each. The agency essentially makes money from percentage splits and management fees.

The entrepreneur estimates that his two businesses, Cam Kirk Studios and Collective Gallery, averaged $2.3 million over the last two years.

Kirkland grew up in Prince George’s County, Maryland. He is the younger of two boys. His father, Robert Kirkland, was a master sergeant in the U.S. Marines, serving two stints in Iraq. His mother, Chris Bridges, is a credit coach. According to the entrepreneur, he learned entrepreneurship from his mother and credits her for his risk-taking. 

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: June 28, 2024


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