Derrick Brownie- Photographer, Stylist, and Using A Career to Enhance Your Passion (#29)

Listen to this episode on your favorite platform!
*Dead by Tomorrow may receive commission on links in these and other posts on the website*

Derrick (@thedrk_knight) is not your average photographer. He's collaborated with Express on a collection, has some of the most beautiful shots of Indianapolis that you'll ever see, and still manages to stay humble.

If you're ready to learn about how to look better on Instagram, how to use your career as a springboard for your side hustle, and generally get some great advice from a kind and talented style-forward gent, this episode is the one for you.

Show Notes

Derrick's Express Collaboration:

Seriously cool.

Derrick & Express Collaboration

Pickle Ball:

Basically, think ping pong meets tennis. Completely inaccurate, but good luck coming up with a better analogy.

Security Guard Story Picture:

Derrick's photo where the security guard helped him out.

Derrick's Insta Security Photo
God Bless Kind Security Guards via Derrick's Insta

Derrick's YouTube:

Get in on the ground floor of Derrick's new YouTube!


This is one of Andrew's favorite conventions out there.

Here's there breakdown- "Since 1968, we've been bringing people together to connect over our shared love of tabletop gaming and geek culture. Gen Con is the largest and longest-running tabletop gaming convention in North America, held annually in Indianapolis, IN."

The Airport Photo:

Derrick actually had a second run in with security being weirdly friendly, so here's the other photo. We need this guys luck when it comes to security guards ✌️

Just look at that style...

Episode Transcript

 Andrew: [00:00:18]Hello, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome back. We have another special guest today.His name is Derek brownie, and this one is interesting because I've known Derekfor a while, but we actually only met like, I think briefly for like maybe twominutes. And that was like six years ago. And then I've just awkwardly beencreeping on his rise to Instagram fame as one of the coolest photographers I'veseen.

So Derek, welcome to the show. And I'm excited to finallyget to actually know you since all I see is that social media presence you putforward, which is very polished, but I bet there's more to you is then a coolaction shots in Indianapolis.

Derrick: [00:00:56]God, hope so. And, um, I was actually not, not surprised is not the right word, but I was happy or relievedthat I actually would be able to get to know you a little bit better because Ido remember meeting you. I forget which convention it was, but yeah, that likebrief interaction we have.

I remember that, so it was nice to, to reconnect


Andrew: [00:01:14] Well, let's jump into alittle bit about you  you do photography,you model your stuff, you know, you do your own modeling for your photographyand you have this crazy killer style. What else do you do besides those twothings?

Derrick: [00:01:27]so, okay. Those two things are actually my hobby.   I don't like the word model because I don'tfeel like I am a huddle. I just use myself as like a test subject, prefer to becalled something that's less glamorous because yeah.

I'm like a test subject.

Andrew: [00:01:42]Derek photographer and test subject. And

everybody's going to think you're like a super soldier.

Derrick: [00:01:46]Right, right.  So yeah, I, I dophotography. I take pictures of myself, but outside of that so this is actuallymy, my hobby.  The stuff that I do forInstagram, but like my day job is very boring and mundane. Where do I start?Straight out of high school. I had no idea what I wanted to do.

But I was like, I need a job. I need to do something becausethe United just can't sit around and not go to school. I'm not working. Idon't, I don't want to be a bum, but well, I think I graduated in 2011 fromhigh school.  And during high school I likefinished all of like my, I guess you would call them like main classes, likeyour English or math, your social studies.

I knocked all that out my freshman and sophomore year. So myjunior and senior year was just mainly like the fun stuff.  I did an acting class. I was in charge ofrunning the school's morning news. I was shooting that I was an anchor onthere. I was coming up with like new segments.

So, and like, I kind of think this is where I got startedwith my. Creative or flexing my creative muscle.  So after high school still, like I said, Ihad no idea what I wanted to do, but I needed a job.

So my mom actually knew someone who worked at a universityhere in the city. She said, it's a great, like little part-time thing. Isn'tuntil you figure out what you want to do, if you want to go to school, youwould already be working for university. You can just go there. So I was like,well, let's just try it out and see how I like it. Eight years later, or I'msorry, I'm probably doing the math wrong. Cause I started in 2013 and here weare at 2021. That's like what? Nine years?

Daniel: [00:03:19]We don't judge math literacy on, on the podcast

Derrick: [00:03:24]Good. Well, I appreciate that.  so Xmoney, years later I'm still working at the same university.

my current title isprogram coordinator. Although it should, it will be director starting thissummer because they recently terminated my bosses position, but the work stillneeded to be done. And they terminated her position because of COVID and shewas very expensive to have on staff.

So, yeah, they were like, less students are  registering for, to go to college. And, youknow, we have to cut costs where we can until they terminated her position, butthe work still needed to be done. So my workload increased because. I still hadjob duties, but I had to take on her role as they take on my role.

And then  on top ofthat, I'm also the departments social media strategist. So that's probably whatyou're all here for is that part of what I do. I would say that is where Istarted with social media and kind of get getting my feet wet because that'sactually not what I was even hired to do.

They just happened togive me the role cause they were like, you're young, know, how that kind ofthing works. And I was like, I think it's funny that you think that I, I thinkI know, but okay.  So yeah, that's kindof what I do for my day job. So program directing social media strategist, At auniversity, but with that job, I have a lot of, not a lot of downtime.

Well, lately I don't have a lot of downtime, but when I didhave a lot of downtime, that's when four years ago I would just go out, takepictures of my outfit for the day and go from there. So  

Daniel: [00:04:57]That's awesome. So if I'm understanding correctly, you started working withuniversity, before you were even necessarily attending school and just got yourdegree, continued to stay on with them. And what that's looked like for you isjust an opportunity to. Grow into roles that maybe you weren't even necessarilyqualified for, but you became qualified for it.

and it kind of fed into a hobby and a passion along the way.Right.

Derrick: [00:05:28]Pretty

much you are like 95%. Correct. So the only thing is I, Istill haven't completed my degree.  Butas I've just been like working, cause this is so I've worked with two differentoffices, but in the second office that I work for now, I just kind of like haveworked my way up the ladder and applied for jobs that I already had theexperience for.

So, and the funny thing is like, when I applied for the jobthat I'm at now, they had interviewed like, I think it was like 15 people andthey all have their degrees, but none of them had the experience. I had theexperience, but no degree. So.  And it'skind of ironic because since it is a university and they, they like to practicewhat they preach, they want to obviously hire people who, have gone throughsystem and, pay their dues.

But guess I just got lucky with this office. They neededhelp and they're like, you can hit the ground running. Like we don't have totrain you on our daily operations. and that's kind of how I've worked my wayup. I just, I have the experience. I got my, I had my foot in the door andyeah,

Daniel: [00:06:29]I love that. it's one of those things where from the outside, maybe it could bea got lucky or being in the right place in the right time. But I mean, you hadto have taken advantage of  getting thosegood experiences along the way. Being a hard worker, being somebody that wasreally committed to where.

This university, they, like you said, want to practice whatthey preach. Obviously they're in the business of giving people degrees andsaying, this is what you need to be successful, but you were somebody who wasable to kind of go outside of that paradigm. And I imagine it's from workingreally hard and from, putting in that effort everyday from getting thatexperience and you made it to where, know, it sounds like they couldn't go withanybody else.

Cause you were just the best possible option.

Derrick: [00:07:14]Yeah, that's kind of what you said in a nutshell, she was like, we'd be, we'dbe stupid not to hurry,

Andrew: [00:07:21]I wish anybody ever said that about me. It's usually there's, it's, almost thatsentence, but it's like, there's a word missing. That's usually we would bestupid to hire you. And I go you're right. So do I have the job? And they say,no.

Derrick: [00:07:33]But, yeah, so, yeah, but this over the years, I've just kind of, or like yousaid, it got, got my feet wet kind of found this passion for just sharingthings on social media that I think, well, actually that's not true. I kind oflike to use it as a creative outlet. Like I have these ideas and kind of likewhat you guys do with this podcast is just for fun.

And I guess I'm just thankful that I have a job that willpart part of it I get to do for fun. And then obviously outside of that, allthis stuff I do, like all my own social media is for fun too. So, I mean, it'sreally unlucky that way, I guess.

Andrew: [00:08:15] so let's talk about thesocial media on the personal hobby passion side, and that's because. You wentwhenever I first met you and we'll get, we'll get to that in a little bit,because I think there's some underlying currents we need to explore, but youright now have a very consistent, photography and style, social media presenceon Instagram, which everybody listening needs to go check out Derek's Instagrambecause it's cool.

It is inspiring to see all the different shots you do inthis cool city. And you have great fashion sense. And there have been multipletimes where I'm like, Oh, I need to get those clothes. That looks great.  Uh, It's not like you've got to nail do you find time with a day job to do all that?

Cause it looks very time consuming.

Derrick: [00:08:57]And it is especially now, since I'm like, so my boss has been gone about a yearnow because yeah. They terminated her in April of last year. So. So I to saythat it's time-consuming is beyond an understatement now. don't know how I doit anymore. Like it's, I have a calendar of stuff that I like one issue, orlike, if I have ideas that, you know, Hey, Oh, this would be like a really coolshot or,  maybe I should, wear this onthis day.

So honestly w without my content calendar I probablywouldn't have time to do anything for social media. So yeah, that's, that's howI find time now. And I think that's about it. Yeah. I think calendars kept meon


Daniel: [00:09:35]Yeah, those kind of rule my life now as well, but it's one of those thingsthat. On some level, it kind of sounds lame to be like, yeah, I have thiscalendar and this schedule and all this stuff that's planned out. It kind ofsounds so like corporate. But if doing that gives you the time to be able topursue your passions and the creative things, it's like that's worth it.

And on some level, that's the only way you really get stuffdone. Whenever you get busy is by scheduling it out.

Derrick: [00:10:03]Yeah,

I would completely agree. And since like my day job takes upso much of my time, like I need that release or that just like couple of hoursof just like, doing my hobbies. So, but if, honestly, if I don't build it intomy schedule, then it won't get done or something else will jump on my calendar.

And now that time's gone, so I actually have to like blockoff time for my hobby, which yeah, the sounds, it does sound corporate, but youknow, Hey, you have to do what you gotta do.

Daniel: [00:10:32]That's true. And so when you're planning out a photo shoot, when you'replanning out something that you want to either set up or you see somethingcool, is it, I guess I'm just curious, is it you're driving and you seesomething you're like, Oh, that would be awesome. All right. I need to schedulelike next Thursday and like what goes into planning, those types of shoots.

And then, what, what all do you have to prep? Like what alldo you have to prepare? You said it's time consuming. What all goes into that?

Derrick: [00:10:58]yeah. Good question. it's kind of hard to explain, but I'm gonna do my best. ifI get an idea, is it normally comes from when I'm like my subconscious, likejust kicks in with like what I'm doing. Like something that requires like,Nope, no brain power. So if I'm showering, sleeping, driving walking that'snormally when I'll get an idea and all either like jotted in my foot, I put iton my phone.

Try to find someinspiration pictures. I kind of match what I'm going for so I can save it forlater and come back to it. So that interest is that question. What was yoursecond part of the question?

Daniel: [00:11:34]Yeah. And that's a great answer by the way. And so the second part is when,when it comes to actually doing the photo shoot, what are like, what kind ofequipment are you bringing in? What kind of setup debt does that require? Whatmakes that so time consuming?

Derrick: [00:11:47]So that part is an S time only because I travel with all my, all my threecameras and two tripods, pretty much everywhere that I go now. So that kind ofhelps because honestly, and then sometimes it'll be like a spontaneous thing.I'll just stop. Like you said, I'll be driving somewhere and I'll see the spot thatI have probably driven by a hundred times, but the lights hitting itdifferently that day.

So I will pull over illegally parked similar turn on myblinkers, jump out, throw my tripod up and get

the shot.

Andrew: [00:12:22]I've been to Indianapolis twice and it's a really cool city for the's so different compared to like, even Dallas is kind of okay on parking, butAmarillo's parking. You can just about do whatever you want. As long as there'sa space, your car fits into your you're good to go.

So I can't even imagine the extra hurdle of finding parkingin a big city with real cars driving around.

Derrick: [00:12:43]Yeah. And our downtown in Indianapolis is, and probably to comparison to whereyou are is probably pretty small.  Iwould say during the week it's pretty packed even during COVID just because wehave so many businesses downtown and the city is constantly building more, somore people are moving here and yeah, our skyline is changing.

Almost like every month feels like, but. Yeah. Parkingdowntown can suck, especially drop the week, especially like on the weekends.But yeah, if I'm, sometimes I like park, like in front of like in the street,if I have to which has happened a couple of times.  But yeah, it's Indianapolis is, like I said,it's a small city, but I kinda like that it's so small and it doesn't have, aton of people trying to do what I do, I guess.

I was like, Oh, but actually then I think it was you whoasked like when it comes to like planning things and like how I actually use mycalendar. I do have dates in my calendar that they're like coming up. So I'mlooking at my calendar now. And like, for example, on April 22nd is earth day.

I obviously have an idea for that and. If I can shoot ittomorrow, now I'm done for that day. So like that kind of thing, I'll do I'llplan in advance so that I can shoot as much as I can in a day or a weekend, sothat it's already ready to go.  For thefuture in like on April 25th, I have the Oscars coming up.

Daniel: [00:14:06] I love how intentional youare with that. And something that you said that kind of stands out to me is thefact that you keep your, your cameras and your tripod in your car and whatyou're doing. It's, it's something that we've talked about a little bit before whentalking about a book called deep work, which is,  you know, it talks about how hard it can beto really get into these deeper creative spaces where you're creating somethingsort of meaningful.

Cause it takes time and effort and energy to get into that spaceand kind of achieve sort of a hack is to set your environment up to where youdon't have near as many barriers to let you get into that type of space. And soyou're doing that right by having all of your cameras in your equipment, rightthere in the car.

If you see something you can act on it immediately, asopposed to maybe you drive by the space and you see it and it looks really cooland you have to, take a picture and say, okay, like I need to come back heresomewhere down the road that just. So much decreases the likelihood that youwould actually do it versus being able to just hop out right there.

 Derrick: [00:15:06] You're absolutely right.Because now you just have like this delay or an, I don't know about otherpeople, but like when inspiration hits, if you can act on it right then. you'llbe able to kind of get what you're going for, I guess what I'm trying to say,because if you have inspiration, one day like that, that could change or likeyour, your vision could be different, two days from then and now like thatinspiration is gone.

So yeah, I would say always being able to, and I guessthat's why I travel with it now is because I had so many missed opportunitieswhere I was like, man, that would've made a really good picture or man that would'vefit the idea that I had,  for a shot, butI don't have my camera on me. So yeah, I, I I've learned from not having it toalways just have it just in case, even if I don't take a picture of that day,it's just good to have.

Daniel: [00:15:56]totally. And I'm going to do a hard pivot real quick. So you're on Instagram alot, have a big presence there. I'm curious as somebody who, has developed alot of skill in photography, everybody on Instagram likes to post, theirTrinity pictures. Are there, are there any trends out there or like pet peevesthat you see where you're just like, Oh, I cringe when I see somebody liketaking a picture and this light or this filter or whatever it is.

Derrick: [00:16:22]Yeah, there's, I'm actually going to make a tick talk.  I'm not on tech talk, but when I thoughtabout this, I said, this would make a really good tech talk. I bet.  Right now my biggest pet peeve is seeing peoplemake these posts where it's like, five poses that you can do to look better onInstagram.

And I'm like, how does that make any sense? I mean, as longas, I mean, I get what they're going for, but. basically all the exact sameposes, everyone's done the exact same thing. And I'm like, why does no onenotice that all these videos are the same? You're going to have the exact samelooking feed if you follow these steps.

So the tick box video I'm going to make is how not to pose,to avoid having a basic Instagram feed. Because I just, it bothers me so much. I respect the influence of theworld and what they do. I don't consider myself an influencer by the way.  But I don't want to see the same one step,look away, grab your jacket, kind of pose.

This is it's, it's bland. It's boring. And yeah, that's mybiggest pet peeve.

Andrew: [00:17:27]Like the little head tilt, like, Hey, tilt your head, look up into the left.And like, you're like, I saw 30 different girls do that this morning.

Derrick: [00:17:35]it's, it gives you, you get so fatigued by looking at that. It kind of takesaway the, the moment

Andrew: [00:17:42]Well, I've got bad news for you. You have influenced some of my fashionchoices. So you might not be like on influencer with a capital I blue checkMark, but you have influenced at least to me. So the title is going to stick alittle bit. I'm sorry to pop the bubble on that.

Derrick: [00:17:58]And, and that's, kind of what I've been categorized in.  Especially when, like I work with like brandsor, or like companies, or even like, like other people they're like, they, thisis what they categorize me as, and I go with it, but I just, I would never callmyself that,

Andrew: [00:18:14]Hey, I've got to give you a shout on this because I I was truly jealous enviousof this opportunity. You had, you got to set up a. what is the word I'm lookingfor? Where you were at express, you set up like your own profile of like, Hey,here is Derrick's fashion choices and express, which is one of my favoriteplaces to shop.

And you got to be like the guy featuring clothes for alittle bit there. Right?

Derrick: [00:18:37]Yeah, that was actually, I think  one ofthe more fun experiences that I've had working with a brand only because thatwas more like, it was more than a collaboration. It felt more like apartnership. but yes, they say, okay, here's 30 clothes that we want to, youknow, push for fall. Can you curate how you would style these?

And we will set up three mannequins in the store and promotethis as this is your collection. I, when they asked me that and they wereoffering to pay this huge, like lump sum of money, just to do that. And I waslike, are you sure that you want me  tolike, be in your store, like, to have my face in there.

And it was, that was one of, I think the best experiencethat

I've had.

Andrew: [00:19:19]That's super cool. We'll try and link. I'll try and find a picture and I'lllink to it in the show notes for anybody that wants to see Derek's collectionthere.

Daniel: [00:19:24]That's amazing. I also love express. And I'm curious, did you get to meet StephCurry because of that? Because I know he's an express guy as well.

Derrick: [00:19:32]No, unfortunately I didn't get to meet it up Curry, but yeah, he is. They dolike to use him.

Andrew: [00:19:37] no, that'd be a cool, astepping stone next time. Ask for that instead of the money.

Derrick: [00:19:41]Exactly.

Andrew: [00:19:49] as somebody who like theyknow, I both like style, but also no one's ever going to say Daniel and I are astyle gurus necessarily. Do you have any kind of. Quick tips for us. And that'swhy we have a podcast. We like picking people like he was brain because Daniel,I want to learn new stuff. And so we like, Hey, we're going to do a podcastepisode with you and trick you into teaching us things.

And then you have to do it because it's, it seems like it'suseful on the

Derrick: [00:20:10]Hey, it's smart. Hey, I don't blame that's a really good idea, actually.  All right. If I could

give you, let me see. I'm gonna try to give you at leastthree tips. Make sure your clothes fit you. Don't wear something that's toosmall or too big, obviously. So, I have a lot of my clothes tailored because Iwant them to look like they were made for me, like for my body type.

And that just gives you a sense of refinement. It looks likeyou,  Paid three digits for a shirt. Ifit, hugs your body the way, like a shirt should. So that's one piece of adviceI would give you.  Colors are important,how you put colors together. Also kind of tells a story about you I mean, andthis isn't a bad thing for people who wears, who wear like loud colors, but ifyou wear, the reds, the bright blues, and, some yellows, people are going tothink that you're fun and outgoing.

But if you, when Ihave more of a, and this is probably subjective, because the way people seecolor and color palettes is,  whateverthey think, but this is just my personal opinion.  If you wear those loud colors, people aregoing to perceive you as being,  fun,energetic, and outgoing.

But if you're more like me, you were more like more subduedcolors, colors that are like monochromatic and go with each other. I try togive off a feeling or a sense of like sophistication and I'm a professional. Idon't know what I'm saying. I have never been accessed. Like this is justsomething that's like always existed in like the back of my mind.

But  yeah, I wouldjust say pay attention to color. Yeah. how you pair it together.

Andrew: [00:21:39]Well, it sounds like what you're talking about is being intentional with theimage you want to present, which other people's perceptions shouldn't drive toomuch of what we do, but controlling the narrative of saying like, Hey, I wouldlike to be taken seriously, or I'm looking to make new friends or, you know,whatever it is having that kind of end goal in mind and such as throwingsomething on being like, Hey, this is the goal I want to accomplish.

And I'm going to use my clothes as a tool to accomplish it.That's a really smart way to go about fashion.

Derrick: [00:22:07]Exactly. I just want people to be intentional about what they wear. If you wantto give off a sense of you don't care, then yes. Put on your sweat pants, puton your, on your hoodie in your flip flops and call it a day. But you know, ifyou want people to take you seriously, you're going to have to put in someeffort to look the part.

 Daniel: [00:22:26] I know that the second mywife listens to this episode, she's going to be like, if we're listening to ittogether, she's going to pause and turn and say, like, I've been telling you that.the clothes fitting. So Andrew and I are a similar body type.

We've never been all that big. And so I typically worn likekind of small and medium shirts and they don't fit me. Great, but it kind ofdid the job. And then I've been lifting weights more recently. And all of myshirts, all of a sudden were just like super tight. And if I raised my arms, itwas like, everybody sees my belly button.

And my wife has been just giving me such a hard time. Like,you need to wear large shirts. You can't buy medium or small shirts anymore.And

Derrick: [00:23:07] Yeah.

And like, what I mean by like, getting your shirts fitted, Imean, like dress shirts, I don't think I've ever had like a t-shirt or anythinglike  tailored to fit me, but  yeah, with like t-shirts no, they shouldn'tbe uncomfortable with, they shouldn't be too big and too loose or it shouldn'tbe too small and too tight, so it's like finding the, like your wife's right.Finding that nice median. If you are a medium, where there's not too much hanging on your shirt sleeve, then I thinkyou should go with a medium, but yeah. Just find something where it fits youperfectly is the way to go.

Daniel: [00:23:41]Yeah, I think that's, great insight. And I also love the idea of, whateveryou're wearing. Like it's not that you have to dress to the nines, like, wear,wear nice slacks and nice shoes and all that stuff every day. Because maybethat's not the message that you're trying to convey.

And I actually, I think about my job we're a fairly casualcompany and sometimes we have what we call super casual Fridays, where you canroll up to the office in athletic shorts and maybe not quite a tank top, butloose fitting shirt. You can wear a hat, all that sort of stuff. And then myjob, I do, I do interviews pretty often for new hires.

So I on-purpose on Fridays, if it's a super casual Fridayand I'm doing an interview. I will go into that interview wearing shorts andlike tennis shoes. And it's on purpose because I want that person to see, Oh,okay. Like, this is some of the environment of this company and I'll explain.Yeah. Like it's a super casual Friday and it's always kind of funny.

Cause you know, everybody wears a suit, which you shouldlike dress up anytime you go to an interview. Cause you don't know the cultureof the company, but it's a cool chance for me to, through what I'm wearingimmediately signal sort of a different type of like perception and things likethat.

Derrick: [00:24:59]absolutely. And you're being intentional with what you're trying to convey.Yes, I agree. You always, if you're the interview, he show up in a suit.  Even if it's working at a grocery store or.Anywhere always like come in a suit. But since you're trying to give them themessages, I go, Hey, we're cool.

But you know, I'm glad that you wear a suit because, you'retold that you care and you want the job, but you were trying to sell them that,we're cool relayed back here and it's Friday, so I appreciate that.


Daniel: [00:25:36]Okay. I want to ask you about tennis because I, I took some time to go throughsome of your, your social media check out some of your recent posts. And I I'veseen that. You've been playing a little tennis. Andrew and I actually weredoubles tennis partners in high school. So we've played a lot of tennis.

And so is that something, where did you play that growingup? Is that a recent hobby? Like what, what is tennis meant for you?

Derrick: [00:25:59] So, you know how peopleonly show the best parts of their lives on Instagram?

I'm terrible at tennis. I am really, really bad at tennis,but I have a tennis racket and I love to play. So I never really played it inschool. I only kind of picked it up this past maybe two, three years  just because I wanted to kind of, so I'm notreally a sports person, if you haven't noticed.

I will watch like some like soccer games or actually sometennis games, but I'm not really that big into sports, but I wanted to startplaying them because it's a great, also I've been going to the gym a little bitlately too, but it's a nice off day thing to do to keep your body, I guess,active.

So I've been playingtennis  with some friends and yeah, I'mcompletely awful terrible. I don't know. I don't know why I keep takingpictures. Like I'm like a pro athlete, but yeah.

Andrew: [00:26:56]Do not feel bad about being bad at tennis. I have been learning recently that all the other sports that are alreadyplays, they don't put the same amount of effort to get even slightly decent attennis.  I'll meet someone, talk  to them, Hey, you know, I've played tennis.Oh, that you played soccer.

That's cool. And we we'll talk about it every single time.Football, soccer, basketball, all these people that play these other sports.They played the most like a hobby. Like there's, they're pretty good tennis andDaniel can attest to this for us to even get decent at tennis. It was a yearround, every single day for hours every day.

Forever. Like, and even now, like I'm not great at tennisnow I've still got muscle memory, but like, I'm not a good tennis playeranymore. And that was six years of like true, dedicated work, other sports.It's just like, yeah, I played soccer. We'd play, you know, on season threemonths and then like, do stuff throughout the year, but it wasn't this likededicated every day torture chamber that they put themselves into. So tennishas a super, super steep learning curve.

So if you're able to hit the ball, you're doing great.

Derrick: [00:27:56]Well, yeah, I'm a, I'm able to hit the ball. I can't direct it, but I can hitit.

Daniel: [00:27:59]Yeah, I will attest to that. Like I was talking to somebody about this theother day. I think during tennis season, it was probably legitimately five orsix hours of tennis a day. And this was seven days a week because during your,your weekdays it's, you have tennis at school, you have tennis practice afterschool, and then you have like a hidden club that night at the local tenniscenter, and then you play tournaments most weekends.

And I started doing that before my freshman year in highschool and got okay at tennis by the end. I I'm also an okay. Tennisplayer.  And that was so many hoursversus literally any other sport. I think if I put all of that time and effortinto it, I I'd probably be, not collegiate sport level but probably at the topof like a lot of rec leagues and stuff like that. So you're, you're doing allright.

Derrick: [00:28:46]Well, good. Yeah. I'm glad to know. I'm not the worst player on the planet allat some time, I feel like it

Andrew: [00:28:52]Do you go play with people or you just hidden by yourself? Or is it more of aphoto shoot opportunity after hitting the ball

on the backboard a few

Derrick: [00:28:58]a little bit of all that. It's I, I play with them. I do play with somefriends. We actually get together to play. I don't know if you know what pickleball is. You do. Okay. Yeah. So that one I'm actually, I'm actually muchbetter, that. But we like to switch it up and do tennis every now and then justto practice our I guess hitting speeds.

Cause you know, when pickleball, you're not going to getbeat slamming the racket against the ball, but, and it was, they just like, itgives us some variety, but yeah, also it's a photo-shoot opportunity becauseeither like the lighting's good or I like my, my tennis office that day

Andrew: [00:29:33]Very cool. I like it. And pickleball is fun. That is a fun sport.  

Daniel: [00:29:37]Cities as well as I feel you can find some tennis courts in some pretty coolareas. It's not quite to like a golf course level, but it is cool to drive inand be like, Oh, this tennis score is in like a really picture S location andjust be enjoyable to come out here and

hit just

Derrick: [00:29:53]Yeah. And

yeah, and that's what I find a lot here too. Like I guess livingin the Midwest,  everyone lives in thesuburbs and recreation or like sports recreation. We have a ton of basketballcourts, like outside in indoor, basketball courts, soccer fields tennis courts.We're getting more pickleball courts here.

People in Indiana takes sports very seriously. Um, So wehave a lot of places to play, to change the different scenery. So yeah, I wouldsay that's probably why like to use photos in when we are out playing becausethe scenery is, is nice.


Andrew: [00:30:34] Okay. Derek, I want to domy own pivot now on you because I like changing topics real fast too. Andhopefully this leads into some stories as we're wrapping up, we're usuallygiven like a space and this kind of take this as your opportunity to tell somestories too. But my kind of final question that leads into it is looping backto our introduction, where I talked about how we met and we met at a Comiconstyle convention, you know, big nerdy cause players run around that whole thing.

I'm pretty sure it was in Dallas, but honestly, I'm confusedat this point because I've also been in one in Indianapolis and that's where helived. So I'm not sure if it was whenever I traveled or if you happen to betraveling, but. That doesn't seem to quite fit in the paradigm of the socialmedia GQ thing that you do.

So is that a secret part of your life or what's thesituation there? Was that just a random one-off that we happen to meet at?

Derrick: [00:31:22]So you're probably here in Indiana, cause I haven't been to one in Dallasyet.  

Andrew: [00:31:27]So it was a gen con then.

Derrick: [00:31:28]It was probably gen con wow. That must have been like a long time ago

because I, yeah, I haven't, I haven't been to gen con Ithink I w I, I went to that gen con that one year and I was like, wow, this isnot for me.

Like, I am, I come for the cost plays, but I would ever likepay a three-day pass again. Cause I'm not ready. I might like into board games.So that must have been that one year that I went, that I met you and

Andrew: [00:31:52]So you met Austin fielding then who was like two episode guests ago becausethat's who I went with to dune con. So I hadn't quite figured out where thatwas at, but yeah.

Derrick: [00:32:01]Yeah.  So is that a secret part of mylife? God, no, I it's not, I mean, well this past year I didn't really get achance, obviously to, to go to any, but yeah, those kinds of posts now wouldpop up more like in my stories  But I'mgoing to get a little nerdy here for a second. I've been going to likeComic-Con gen cons like conventions ever since 2000.

And I think 10 was my first one that I went to and I goevery year I go all the time. I love the environment. I love the energy aroundbe like being around people in cosplay and who share interest in like the nerdycrap that I like. I mean, I love going to those

Andrew: [00:32:46]is it more of a photography thing or is it more of you just enjoy anime andcomic books and TV shows

track01: [00:32:52]and

Andrew: [00:32:52]that kind of thing.

Derrick: [00:32:53]So I, I just go for the experience. I'll have my camera with me. I do go therewith the intended purpose of taking pictures of other cos players, because Iappreciate seeing the craftsmanship that they put into their costumes.

So I'll go down there with their intended purpose. And alsothis was really great to people watch at these conventions. If you'd just likegrab a snack, pick a seat, and just literally watch people walk by you and seepeople like in their element. Because I would say during conventions, people inthe convention feel like they're surrounded by like-minded people and they kindof let their guards down and they're just like themselves.

So. I would say the best people watching is during thoseconventions. So I would go down there with, to take pictures. People watch by acouple things, just like B to B in the surroundings.

Andrew: [00:33:45]I'm with you that energy and the freeness of what most people not going tokeep, not going to say they keep it on your lock and key, but. There's almostthat stigma of the nerdiness and the, all that jazz. And it's just completely,not only is that removed, but it's almost supercharged. And so the energy isjust a whole different kind of thing.

It's it's cool.

Derrick: [00:34:07]If you've never been before, you don't have to pay to go in and just like,  well obviously you have to pay if you like,want to go into like the the show floor where they have like the vendors andeverything, but. If you're, if it takes place in a convention center, there'sno like, like, hallways where people are like, gathering where they come tolike, to like buy their tickets.

If you've never been to one of these conventions, I was justgoing to like that space and just pick a seat and just like, watch people be themselves.I think that's one of the, most fun parts to actually go and experience.

   Daniel: [00:34:44] So I always love talkingthrough personality types when we get the opportunity to just because Ithink.  As a listener, it can beinteresting to hear somebody kind of talking through different things and youkind of always ask this question of, Oh yeah. Like I can relate to some of thatand it can be interesting to see, like what, what are the different personalitytypes that tend to gravitate, gravitate towards different hobbies or roles?

So,  I like to askthis because Andrew and I are both on the Myers-Brigg, we're both Ian TJ, sothere's just like zero zero variability there's nothing unique that we bring tothe table. So Derek, I'm curious for you, like where do you fall and do youfeel like your personality type has kind of pushed you towards any of your,your different either hobbies or career path?

Derrick: [00:35:27]So I've taken the test like three times just to make sure that it was right.And I get the exact same one every time. So I'm an inf J and I definitely feellike, cause I used to pull it up just now, just to like, for like reference toit. Definitely I'm sensitive to criticism. So a lot of these things that theyhave listed on here have affected the way I go about my professional life, Iguess.

So, definitely avoid the ordinary God. Yes. Like that's thatis like the, the epitope of my personality. I do not want to be like everyoneelse because it's just like we were talking about earlier. I don't being blandis not memorable,  

Daniel: [00:36:12]so being sensitive to criticism is that hard when like you're with, with doingall of the photography, like you're kind of bearing your soul to the world andsaying like, this is, this is who I am like,

Derrick: [00:36:26]Yeah. And it's, it doesn't help that like every picture, like my face is likedead center in the picture. So,  it's nottough only because, and I guess I'm also just lucky that I don't have such ahuge following that I get the trolls in there. So thankfully everyone in thecommon section, all the DMS I get are people who are giving me genuinely nicecomments.

And I would actually welcome if someone wants to get onthere and say, Oh, I like this picture, but you know, you could maybe fix yourface or I don't know. Fix your teeth. I

kind of,

Andrew: [00:37:01]hurtful.

Derrick: [00:37:01]it does sound hurtful.

I would probably takea week off from posting anything, but sometimes I feel like I need thatcriticism.

And I, I will admit, I am sensitive to Chris. Like,especially if it's not constructive, but I sometimes I, I welcome that becauseI know what I need to do to hone my, to hone my craft and what I do. And that'sjust not even like with photography, like when my boss would give me my annuallike performance review, I would say be as brutally honest as I want to do agood job, I can't do that.

If I, if in my mind I'm doing everything right, but I'mgetting nine, nine things wrong. So you, I want you to, I want you to tell meif I suck at my job.

Daniel: [00:37:43]I feel like that constructive criticism and also that criticism from, fromsomebody that's trusted, that can be really valuable. And it sounds like youhave your head in a great place there. Do you find that any criticism, evenfrom somebody that maybe they don't really know you or they don't have a goodpoint still lands for you?

Like it still impacts you.

Derrick: [00:38:06]That's a good question. I would say no off the bat, but that's just like mehypothetically thinking about it. Obviously, if it were to happen, like in realtime, it might hit me differently, especially depending on how, like, how theydeliver it, because I think delivery is so important. You could fire someone,but if you say it in like a nice way, they'll probably leave happy because ofthe way you delivered it.

So yeah, it, it would just depend on how they. Delivered it,I don't know if it would land the same way.

I don't know if it was like a complete stranger that came upand said, Hey, I saw your picture on Instagram and yeah, you look like a littleorange or something. I don't know like what they would say or like, it's almostlike I hate the way that you pose, but I would say, okay, I don't know you, butI appreciate you taking the time to check me out and to give me this feedback.

I don't really know how to answer that. Yeah.

Daniel: [00:38:59]Yeah, no. I just think that that's an incredibly healthy perspective and that'sencouraging to hear  because I don'tthink everybody takes that mindset and just feels like any criticism receivedas like a personal attack and it's not.

Derrick: [00:39:17]No, it's not. And some people, especially from like, if a family member tellsyou if a close friend  sometimes if it'speople who's been like, I guess following you, like in your network for awhile,some of them have good intentions. And if you take everything as if they'relike trying to attack you or to tackle your character, or it's like a personalthing, there's no room to grow from that.

I mean, because you're like in your own way at that point. Iwelcome criticism doesn't mean I'm not so sensitive to it, but I wanted.

Daniel: [00:39:50]That's a great perspective for sure.

 Okay. I do want topivot now. but I would love to hear just any interesting stories or run ins ormishaps with photography, right? Like you talked about how you sometimes justliterally stop your car and throw on your, your, your blinkers, your hazards,so that you can go get a picture.

Have there been any, just like funny wacky situations you'vecome across.

Derrick: [00:40:18]Multiple. I can't, I think I've lost track of how many times when I've pulledover and something weird has happened this because they see me standing there,like in a suit with a tripod in front of me. And I'm like posing. So onehappened and I'll have to send you the picture. So you know what to refer to.But  I had an idea too, and it was apicture with a tennis racket. I had an idea to take this picture cause I hadjust bought this cricket sweater from Brooks brothers.

And I was like, man, this would look really good at thisperforming arts building. Kind of like near where I live. So I go there and Iget my tripod out. I pull over and I'm snapping away and this normally happens.A security guard comes out. Because most places are like, you can't shoot onthe property.

This is private property, you have to pay or something likethat as well. And which is fine. I totally get it.  But I try to stay as near to the sidewalk aspossible because the sidewalk is obviously public property.  But I think I was like a little too close tothe door or something, but the security guard comes out so immediately, I'mjust like, Oh God, here we go.

I'm like, I'm just, Isaid, I'm just taking a picture of myself. I'm not playing this, all thesephotos, please do not arrest me or take my camera.  And it was the weirdest thing. The guy waslike, he's like, do you need any help today? Like with taking your pictures oranything, I'd be happy to take it for you.

And it was such, it was really weird. It caught me off guardbecause normally I'm used to like the. Kind of rude security guard who like,Hey, you can't be over here, but he came out, he was super nice. And he waslike, he actually was telling me how to pose to take the picture.

it was kind of funny.

It was, that was one of the better experiences I've had

Andrew: [00:41:59]So uplifting

Daniel: [00:42:01]Did you take his picture?

Derrick: [00:42:02]No, I should have, I should actually go back. He was a, his name was Frank. Hewas really nice. I should probably go back.

Yeah. So that was one God, what was the other one? Because I think Frank is this like takenover my, over my mind now because he was so nice.


Yeah, another weird one. It involves security guards.

I, so I don't know if you guys ever been to our airporthere, the Indianapolis international airport, but they win all kinds of awardsevery year for having like the best designed building or airport in thecountry. So it's a very beautiful place. So if you've never been, I would sayGoogle it, look it up.

You'll see what, like w what I'm talking about. It looksalmost like a space station, I think. But we have these, like, on like the, I guess, like the North, or likethe left side of the building, these giant it's like this giant wall of likethese green windows and when the sunset light hits it, it just creates likethis golden, like, atmosphere of like lightened brick.

And it's just really nice. So one evening I go there,  I have my tripod out and I'm snapping away,doing my thing, just trying to get my quick outfit of the day so I can go.  And I see these three security guards comearound the corner and my heart starts racing because I was like, Oh God, thisis the day.

This is the day I go to jail for taking a picture of myselfwith my tripod. But they come on the corner and they're all like beaming withlike smiles. And so that immediately caught me off guard. I was like, okay,what's about to happen. I was like, are they going to put me in jail, but dowith a smile or are they going to ask to get in the picture?

I don't know what's going to happen, but I am nervous . Sothey. Walk over and they're just like, what are you doing? Are you just liketaking a picture of yourself? And I'm like, shaking, like, yes, just taking apicture. And I said, that's cool. They're like, well, go ahead. And they justlike walked away.

It was, it was the, one of the most terrifying moments of mylife. And I was like I said, maybe I've gone too far with this picture takingthing. I said, maybe it's not that deep, but no, that was funny. They were,they were super chill. They were like, well, go ahead. Just keep going to keepdoing what you're doing.

Andrew: [00:44:21]Derek, you have had a lot more positive experience with security guards thanDaniel and I have, and we won't share our stories yet because I don't know ifthere's a statute of limitations on what we've done,

Derrick: [00:44:32]Oh,


Andrew: [00:44:33]but I've not had that. I've not had that chance yet.

track02: [00:44:35]that's

Derrick: [00:44:36]funny. Yeah. They're not all bad.

Daniel: [00:44:39]and Andrew, I think the big difference is Derek is trying to be respectful andtaking pictures versus we were trying to figure out ways to get on top of thebuildings. And that's definitely frowned upon.

Derrick: [00:44:49]I might have to side with the um, security guard

I'm I'm joking.

Andrew: [00:44:53]said they were wrong. We were just unhappy that they found us.

Well, Derek, thank you so much for coming on and taking yourtime out to hang out with us and sharing what we're both very upliftingstories. That's that's a nice positive note from where I thought this was goingto go on both cases.

Derrick: [00:45:09]

Yeah. If you have me on again, I'll I'll give you some ofthat.

Andrew: [00:45:12]Oh, I like the positivity.

We need more of that, so it's all good, but sincerely, thankyou for coming on. For everyone listening, please go check out Derek'sInstagram and his YouTube channel. We will have links to it in the show notes,but if you're one of those Silvaners that can just Google somebody real easy.

It's at the dark underscore night without the AE onInstagram and the cool with a E and E w excuse me, instead of, Oh, Oh, so we'regoing to link to that in the notes. Go find it. Go check out. Derek stuff isreally inspiring. It's really cool. I think you're going to appreciate the workhe is putting in because he is doing.

Top tier effort on his account. Like that kind of stuff.You'd see somebody with a million followers. He's doing that for his less thana million, you know, somewhere near there, but not quite to a million followersyet.

Derrick: [00:46:00]yeah, just, uh, just a little shy of a million followers.

Andrew: [00:46:04]Yeah. Just like our listeners. We're all, we're all in the same boat.

Derrick: [00:46:06]Yeah. no, I was gonna say, but thanks for having me on, I really appreciated,and I will say this about the YouTube thing. I just started it actually as of yesterday,Saturday, April 10th. So I only have two videos on there, but yeah, it's it'shappening.

So I have more stuff planned.

Andrew: [00:46:23]Awesome, man. We look forward to seeing what you do then everybody else. Thankyou for your time listening. We appreciate you guys dealing with ourshenanigans yet again. So enjoy. If you have any comments on the episode orwant to talk about anything, feel free to reach out to us. And we look forwardto connecting with you guys soon.