For this month’s local business spotlight, I had the chance to sit down with Andrew “Druski” Hatcher Jr, owner of Druski Media. Andrew works with many of our local canna-chefs as well as an array of individuals and businesses to develop their media goals. STEPHANIE SHEHAN: Thank you for taking the time to speak with […]
For this month’s local business spotlight, I had the chance to sit down with Andrew “Druski” Hatcher Jr, owner of Druski Media. Andrew works with many of our local canna-chefs as well as an array of individuals and businesses to develop their media goals.
STEPHANIE SHEHAN: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. You seem to have a handle on the Las Vegas landscape, are you originally from Vegas?
ANDREW HATCHER: Yes, I was born and raised in East Las Vegas.
SS: Very cool, I was also born and raised in East Las Vegas. Tell me about your background prior to what you are doing now.
AH: I started in the restaurant industry early in my young life, around 1998. From 1998 until 2002, I worked in restaurants in the back of the house as a dishwasher and line cook. From 2002-2005, I activated cell phones – back then that was a booming market and stores were everywhere. From there I went into the security field and worked as a trainer for Harrah’s. In 2008, I got married, went back into the restaurant industry and got my marketing degree.
SS: How did you get into the media realm?
AH: In 2012, I started my first media company AnDSoCustom Media. Since 2008, I had been posting on YouTube and had a top-rated men’s hair blog at the time which inspired me to start my own media company. For the next four years, I educated myself in marketing through the Wharton School of Business, Curtin University and the College of Southern Nevada, and applied what I was learning to my own blog, YouTube channel, and social media platforms. In 2016 I interned at a local events company and that’s where I fell into photography. At the time, the company didn’t have anyone doing media for them. I created flyers, started booking photoshoots and vendors for the events, and created video content for them. And, in 2017, Photos By Druski was born. That same year, an angel investor gave me $1000, a lav mic, linear recorder, tripod, and installed Adobe Lightroom on my laptop and said, “Get a camera, you have an eye for this that all the years of college I have cannot duplicate,” and it’s been on since then. In late 2019 my company name changed to Druski Media to reflect the scope of content that I produce and now I produce everything from BTS (Behind the Scenes) content for famous rappers to commercials for restaurants and photos for families.
SS: What an amazing journey thus far. What type of projects are you currently working on?
AH: Currently, I assist and produce content for a couple of celebrity chefs, Chef Bray and Jeff The Chef as well as a lot of the street chef community in Las Vegas. I am one of the lead cameramen for the BBB TV live shows, I produce commercials, shoot real estate photos, host, edit, and produce a podcast called Growing With Druski on Spotify and Apple Podcasts with my co-host Dupree Williams. I am also the producer of the Hoe Is Life Podcast on the Druski Media Network, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts and create content for the network itself.
SS: Why this field? What do you love about your work?
AH: I love that I get to interact with the world! I get the freedom to go anywhere and capture moments in time that will become stories that will be told in the future.
SS: Who have been some of your favorites to work with?
AH: My favorites have definitely been Chef Bray and Tasha Featherstone of STFU Designs. I have traveled more with those two ladies in a year than I have in my whole life.
SS: What advice would you give to those newly entering the photography/videography industry?
AH: Learn the rules then break them. Always keep a record of your photographs, who or what the subject was. Note where and when you took the photo. The why?…don’t worry about it. Just shoot. Shoot as much as possible. Learn daily. Get in with someone you may or may not know who is into photography and pick their brain, then go experiment with the knowledge you just gained. REPEAT DAILY.
SS: What great advice. Since this is a cannabis magazine, I have to ask, are you a cannabis advocate and consumer? If so, favorite strains or products?
AH: I have been a cannabis advocate and consumer since 2012 when I found out that cannabis helped make me an A student in college. Since then, I use cannabis in my daily life. My favorite strain right now is anything from the Cookies brand and a strain introduced to me by a farmer in Oregon called Tinkerbell’s Revenge. A 60% sativa 40% indica blend.
SS: Nice! Have you worked with any cannabis companies? If so, any challenges shooting plants?
AH: I haven’t worked directly with any cannabis companies as of yet. I have shot content for an influencer with Cannavative’s cannabis products. I would love to get the chance to work with Cookies, Jardin, and Culture & Cannabis. Since I’ve grown and harvested cannabis for my wife who has M.S, I have captured moments of plants on camera and the only issue that typically arises is the fans. You have to turn off the fans for a moment when you are taking photos of plants. Also, if using LED lamps, turn those off and use a soft white lighting source to get the best photos of cannabis.
SS: As an advocate, any changes you would like to see made in the industry?
AH: I would like to get inside the Old Pal grow house and pheno hunt for them to produce some high-quality cannabis that averages out at 18%-20% THC and won’t go for over $10-$12 a gram with tax out the door. I would like to see all the lower-tier cannabis companies step up their game and produce high-quality cannabis that the patients can use. If the patient that lives 25 miles from a dispensary can produce high-quality cannabis for themselves, then every cultivation company can produce the same.
SS: Anything you would like to add before we wrap up?
AH: To all the photographers that are just starting out…the market isn’t saturated. Other photographers aren’t you, so keep doing you. Build relationships with everyone you work with, you never know what rooms you will be invited into. Don’t do this (photography) just for the money. You will be disappointed. Do this because you love to do it. Your photos will show it and when you’re not expecting it, your bank account will too.
SS: How can those interested, secure your services? And, how can our readers follow you on social media?
AH: I can be reached directly at (702) 815-7558 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please follow me on Instagram @DruskiMedia.