KColl tells all
Photographer and Smile for Camera co-founder Kevin Collier on DJs, dance nights and promoting the Orlando club scene
Published: March 22, 2012
Smile for Camera's club scheduleTuesdays: Takeovr at Roxy, 740 Bennett Road, roxyorlando.com
Fridays: Fuk'd at VAIN, 22 S. Magnolia Ave., vainorlando.com
April 16: Ovrkill with Terravita at the Social, 54 N. Orange Ave., thesocial.org
For more Smile for Camera events and photos, visit smileforcamera.com
In 2008, designer/photographer Kevin Collier and writer Melanie Gapany founded Smile for Camera, a website that set out to document the club/concert/party scene in Orlando in photos, blogs and interviews with emerging DJs and artists. Since its founding, the site has become more than just a place to look at crazy party pictures – it's now a brand that promotes club nights and events, and it has correspondents covering nightlife in cities up and down the East Coast. Locally, Smile for Camera produces hyper-popular nights Takeovr at Roxy, Fuk'd at Vain and Ovrkill at the Social. Smile for Camera has even launched a record label. And yet, we've never interviewed Collier about his projects until now.
Drink: Why did you decide to transition from club photographer to club promoter?
Kevin Collier:I'm not sure it was that much of a conscious decision. A random opportunity came along to do a club night with some friends at a sushi restaurant over in Waterford Lakes. I still acted as the photographer, but as a graphic designer by trade, I also designed the artwork, ran the website and flyered. As things started taking off, and we started booking headliners and adding club nights here and there, my event-management role greatly increased. That behind-the-scenes stuff can be very time consuming and stressful. … Thankfully [Smile for Camera photographers] like Michael Khan, Robin Osgood and Andrew Jaime approached me to start shooting Takeovr and other events in town. They are great at what they do, and after imparting some of my club-photographer knowledge to them, I no longer had to worry about capturing the night. Every once in a while I'll revert back to my [photo] days and throw back a bunch of long islands and snap the night away.
Do you ever get tired or overwhelmed by all the parties?
I will answer this with a definitive yes [laughs]. There is a lot of work involved with each event that no one is really aware of … unless they've also thrown events themselves. Running multiple events at a time is four times worse. On top of that, alcohol is usually involved, making the day after pretty much null for getting much done!
I never miss an event though – well once! I've been at every Takeovr since our first one on Sept. 22, 2009. I've never missed a Fuk'd yet, either, since we started in December 2011. I have missed one Ovrkill, though.
Smile for Camera recently went live as a record label with the release of It's Sonic on Beatport. Are there any plans to offer recordings on iTunes or CD?
> Email Jon Bergquist