An aspiring and successful actor, Che is deeply immersed in the Rochester cultural scene. So much so, we’ve named him Che of The Town!
Exclusively for Talker, Che has solicited and is conducting interviews from about 50 Rochestarians working in a diversity of creative fields.
For the full series, see Che of The Town: Interviews (1-16)
Rashid Jarrell; A Talented and Active Artist within the Community.
I recently interviewed Rashid, a rising freelance photographer and filmmaker at Roc Haven films. Here is what we discussed;
Well, I grew up right here in the City of Rochester…in fact, my childhood home is the same home as Che Holloway. How ironic is that? I attended quite a few high schools. I moved to Fairport when I was 14. I attended FHS for 2 years prior to moving down south to Baton Rouge, Louisiana with my dad. After a small stint at Glen Oaks High School, later that year I would return to Rochester but would finish my high school career at Greece Athena High School. After high school I attended MCC for about one semester before being accepted into the Walt Disney World College Internship Program as a animator. While down in Orlando, FL. I would take some night classes at a local college called Full Sail University. Once my internship was complete, I returned to Rochester but dropped out because I didn’t feel I was going to school for what excited me the most…which was film. Years later, I would obtain my degrees in Business from Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT.
What inspired you to be a photographer? Early experiences worth sharing?
I remember my first experience dealing with a camera was at Fairport High School when I took up photography. I remember going home and taking a picture of my little brother riding his big wheel. Going through the process of producing the pictures in a dark room just gave me a sense of purpose in my life. At that moment I was struggling mentally, emotionally and family wise. I found photography to be self-soothing and typically you would find me with a camera thereafter. I’ve always had a love for movies and it came to fruition when I attended Greece Athena High School. A good friend of mine JC Caton decided to create a spoof film called “A Hollywood Story.” We filmed and edited the entire movie together. It was such a great experience which solidified what I actually wanted to do.
Talk about a time where you have faced adversity/conflict and have triumphed.
I went through a very trying time when I lost 5 close family members all in two years time. I lost my grandma, my cousin, both my grandpa and grandma on my fathers side and then my father. I went through a very hard depressing stage and it took a lot of soul searching to pull me out of that funk. I used my love for the lens to really harness positive energy to produce really creative visuals.
What do you believe sets you apart from other photographers?
I think my personality, I won’t say my skill. I think the way I interact with people in general is very genuine and real. I tend to get a lot of feedback about how comfortable and fun I am during or after shoots. I love to shoot outdoors and I’m always looking to create new types of photography that deals with nature. Natural lighting during photo shoots is fun for me, I love using natural backgrounds and lighting to create something special that my clients will love for years to come.
Do you have other interests or hobbies?
I used to love playing football and basketball but haven’t had the time so I settle for watching it. I guess a hobby would be my collection of film. My house is like blockbuster video and everyone makes fun of me about it, but I love movies.
Any projects you have out or currently working on?
Recently I had a red carpet movie premiere at The Little Theater for I’ll Drink To That which was a comedy stand up movie featuring local comedian Uncle Trent, that I produced. The film is currently available online at Iamuncletrent.com. I am currently shooting a Web-series called Between Jobs with Uncle Trent which will be premiering May 5th. I have about 3-4 music videos that will be shot in the next few months. I was approached by Just Us Detailers to do their commercial shoot May 27th. Last, but not least, I am currently screenwriting my first full feature film called Breakthrough and I’m hoping to start production Spring of 2018.
Where would you like to yourself in five years?
In five years, I would like to see myself having my own location with other photographers and videographers working for my company. I would love to be large enough to employ local creatives to do more film and work in this city.
What advice can you give to aspiring artists/entertainers/photographers?
What advice would I give? Hmm, wake up everyday and make your entire life worth living. Be an inspiration to others, serve as an example and be the reason why they should give whatever they are attempting a try. Be encouraging as I am being at this moment. When you are motivated, it’s hard to fail. If you are set on your dreams make sure you take care of your family. Some dreams take longer to achieve, but that’s what makes the end goal so much more worth it. Get excited about your day, and enjoy the process of doing what you love.
Well you can find me on Facebook at Facebook.com/rochavenfilms
And very soon my website will be up at Rochavenphotography.com.