Vizual Ape

Thursday, November 2, 2017

What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce” (Karl Lagerfeld).

Meet photographer Fritz M. Metayer, who is widely known as Vizual Ape by many. 
At only the age of 21 Fritz, has accomplished many major milestones. And to get to where he is today of course took a lot of sleepless nights, hard-work, and one hell of a burning passion. 
I was given the opportunity to interview this millennial boss. Lets dive in. 

Who is Vizual Ape? 
Ape is a young photographer who lives in his own little world. I think of myself as nonexistent. Im in this kind of world that doesn't exist to anyone because they don't understand it. So I explain it through pictures. Vizual ape is a guy who sends burst of energy through images. I capture emotions and give it to a crowd of people hoping they feel the same energy I do.

Who or what sparked your interest in Photography and when did it dawn on you that it was something you were deeply passionate about?
My father. He was a photographer and his style was hella vintage and clean. I liked him because he took pictures of everything including himself. When I was a kid I shot my first wedding along side of my dad. He bought me a big bird from sesame street camera haha. Then I got to college and I linked up with Rico (@Love4Rico) and from iPhone pictures to camera pictures - that fascination dates back to my childhood.

How would you describe your style of photography?
Dark. I'm a really dark person; I love black and outer space. I like scary shit and shit that seems unreal. I like giving out vibes that relax the mind and make people really have to look. So I'd say my style is beyond this world. Portraits are my favorite thing though. 

Where do you typically find inspiration?
Vibes. I like catching vibes, usually from music; my favorites are Travis Scott, PartyNextDoor. and a little Drizzy. Tumblr helps me to dream too and women haha. Females are one of the things that are always on people's minds. And The way females make me feel is usually spilled into my art. I like talking to women because they think different; it's more of a feeling than a conversation. All my life females told me that I had this dark kind of vibe, a really chill kind and I learned myself from those convos and interactions.

Who is, by far, your favorite photographer(s) of all time?

How do you stay organized being as busy as you are?
F*** organization, it makes me move slower haha. Usually I'll just wake up and my days are based off of phone calls or running into people in the city. Then going from place to place working until the next day and doing it again and again. When things started getting serious I had to get a manager, so I'd say my manager organizes things for me.

I see that you are a sensational, uprising industry photographer. What opportunity did you land that propelled such success? What was the experience like?
When I first started I was in college and there were always parties. I would go to these parties with my camera and make videos and stuff just to practice controlling large groups of people. Then I started going to events hosted by celebrities and I would give it my all because they were important to me at the time. I remember being in the party scene linking with DJ’s and through that I made connections. I wasn't as gifted back then but I was really different and got a lot of attention and support. I started running into FatBoy a lot and he would post my work and that really helped. Then after a while I started realizing to make it you have to take chances. I started going to New York every single day even ditching classes to go to the city and I started making progress. Started linking with people from Hot 97 and going to the station to link Drewski which landed me some opportunities as well and I really just took advantage of every situation handed to me. I started moving around with a huge influencers who are actually really close with Drake now (@ItsBizKit) and just worked and from there I can't tell, I just got far I'd say. Now I'm currently working with Atlantic Records in New york which is a great look for me. I never thought I'd have one of the biggest record labels ever be one of my clients moreover free lancing with celebrities, traveling, shooting shows, hanging out, and going out on tours.. its really cool. It mentally takes a lot though. I never get too sleep, I barely eat, I work 24/7 and I'm always in front of a large group of people or traveling waking up in different places. People really don't know how to talk to me sometimes because of what I do and who I hang out with. 
I stay really humble and down too earth. Just trying not to get lost, its a lot of pressure in that field. 

What keeps you motivated?
I never really had much, my family wasn't poor or anything, but me, personally I never had much. I just wanted to be comfortable and have full control over my life. Hearing what people think of me and my art definitely pushes me because I realized that I can't let everyone down. My biggest form of motivation is knowing that one day I'll have nothing to worry about. 

There is this common saying that you are who you surround yourself with. How big are you on the crowd that you keep? Moreover, how do you deal with fake love?
My circle is very lowkey and small other than that just business partners. My crowd has to be filled with people that can help me grow and that I can help grow. The pressure of life is too much to go through alone. I don't deal with fake love. I'd like to say that always being behind and infront of the camera I'm really good at reading people. So I usually just ghost people that show fake love. I've made the mistake of falling into it and it really does bring you down. So don't get caught up guys keep your eyes open.

What advice would you give to anyone who wants to break into the industry of photography? 
Be aware and consistent. In the field of photography everyday thousands of new photographers make a debut. Always ask yourself out of the tons of photographers that exist why would I be the one to make it? When you have your answer never forget it and push to be better than everyone! Even me. Don't ever get frustrated, the money and opportunities will come. Just trust yourself and work extremely hard.

What advice were you given that you live by faithfully?
Never change yourself. No matter what. If you made it this far by being yourself time will only carry you further but only if you stay true to yourself. 

Where do you see Vizual Ape in the next 5-10 years?
On billboards and in magazines. I know I'll be big really soon and will do more than just photography. I'll build an empire and make sure everyone that deserves to win gets a chance.

Lastly, what are some upcoming projects that you have coming up?
Uhh, currently I'm about to go on tour, until January, with Kranium to Florida, Europe, Dubai, and Germany etc. When I get back you know I'd like to rest and spend some family time then do a few projects with models and more artist. I don't wanna ruin any surprises! haha. All I can say is if you know you're gifted and want to model I have something huge in the works for all of you local NJ, NY models. So keep working.

I love all of you guys 
- Ape

Social Media
Instagram: @VizualApe

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