We talked this week with the photographer from São Paulo @willkhalifaman. More recognized for his drone photos, he is also known for being one of the great collectors of @diamondsupplyco in Brazil, having a very close relationship with the brand and even with his owner @nickydiamonds.

"My name is Will and what I really like is working with photography. I've worked for a long time in skate shops and I would take pictures for the stores, but I really wanted to dedicate myself exclusively to photography, and so that is what I do today. I started taking pictures with my cell phone in 2014, mostly reflections on puddles and that kind of stuff because I always like seeing the world upside-down. It got to a point where I could no longer manage my job and taking photos, so I decided to leave my job and dedicate myself to photography. I started getting a lot of work and from 2014 till today I have really evolved.

Today I do a lot of videos and photos with drones, it's a whole different point of view, a whole nother perspective of how you look at places. You can look at a place all you want and say that it's not interesting but when you get that drone in the air it's a whole nother sight. In order to get my first drone I had to really hustle, I sold what I could, my camera, my headphones and etc. And I had a friend that was selling his drone but he said he didn't want to sell them to me because I was a bit crazy (laughs), but in the end I convinced him. As soon as I bought it I began studying everything about it, watching a bunch of video references, reading about it until I really started driving it, which was really hard at first. The Drone spins on its own axis so right is left and left is right, that's the first thing you have to learn.

I killed my first Drone - I lost the signal and I slammed it into a building. So I was left with no drone or money to buy one. So to get a new one I made an online page where people could chip in and in the end, everybody got involved, people I didn't even know where helping out with money. When you made a donation there's was an option where you could leave a message and a lot of people left me words of encouragement, and that made me very happy. In the middle of all this, Nicky Diamonds saw what was happening and asked if I wanted help, I said yes and when I looked he had done a significant donation, in American dollars (laughs). And so I was able to buy an even better drone that the one I had before. He really helped me out, it was dope."

MY RELATION WITH THE BRAND IS REALLY DOPE, I CAN'T WEAR ANYTHING ELSE, ANY OTHER BRAND, I JUST DON'T IDENTIFY WITH THEM. THE WORD AROUND IS THAT I'M ONE OF THE BIGGEST COLLECTORS OF DIAMOND STUFF IN BRAZIL -I'M ALMOST AT 200 T-SHIRTS

We noticed that you have a good relationship with him and with Diamond, how did it all begin?
Well, this story started when I worked at Galeria do Rock where I had access to all brands. Diamond is form 1998 and I started using it in 2000, I would everything at Sigilo Skate Shop when Rodrigo Tx brought some pieces from abroad, he was part of the brand so you could only get what he brought it was very rare.

I remember the first thing I bought, it was a blue hat with red a red panel and a 3-dimensional diamond on it, I was very happy. And from that moment on my collection just kept growing and I was always keeping up with what was up with the brand. In 2015 the opportunity came up for me to meet Nicky Diamonds. He was going to participate in a skate fare that was going to happen here in São Paulo – and I couldn't go because everyone that worked with me was going and someone had to stay in the shop, so I stayed and I was very upset. But when it was almost night and the Galeria was empty, Nicky sends me a message saying that he's coming over to my shop, I couldn't believe it that he was coming over to my store, I thought he was messing with me. In the end, he really came to the store, and we really talked a lot, told a lot of stories, it was dope. His story is quite inspiring, a guy who came from nothing selling bolts and screws who really grew and now is where he is today.

I have a t-shirt signed by him, and some gifts he sent to my house right after we met. He followed me on Instagram, and since then we always keep in touch and I get some products he sends me, always strengthening the brand, with photos, in whatever way we can. I identify myself so much with it that I tattooed a diamond on my finger and his signature too.

My relation with the brand is really dope, I can't wear anything else, any other brand, I just don't Identify with them. The word around is that I'm one of the biggest collectors of Diamond stuff in Brazil -I'm almost at 200 t-shirts, from the first t-shirt ever released till keychains, dolls, little thing from Basquiat, diamond-shaped ice molds, a giant diamond itself, refrigerator magnets, rings, keys, some really limited stuff, and I just have everything.

Without thinking about brands or models - what do sneakers mean to you?

Sneakers to me are more than just an object, they're like your companion, they're right there with you on your feet. I'm always having all these adventures and there's always those sneakers that you say "these are coming with me for sure".  It's as if they were your close friend that spends the whole day with you going to all sorts of places with you.

It's been a long time since I don't buy a new one, I've been lucky to get a few pairs, in the past years, but I've always really been into them, and there was a point where I almost had like 80 pairs.

AT THAT TIME THE NIKE DUNK WAS AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH, I THINK THAT NOWADAYS PEOPLE HAVE FORGOTTEN THEM A LITTLE BIT, THE HYPE HAS TAKEN OVER. BUT I HOPE THAT NIKE NEVER STOPS MAKING THIS SHOE. THE HIGH, AS WELL AS THE LOW'S, THE ONES WITH THE FAT TONGS, ARE THE BEST.

From all the Diamond models, why did you pick this Dunk fro the photoshoot?

I have a passion for this sneaker, I worked at the store where they released and I already like Diamond a lot at the time. We got like 20 pairs at the store and as soon as I got mine, I put them on straight away, and I sold more than 12 alone, I was really happy (laughs). I will never get rid of them, I wear them a lot, I'm not the kind of person that just puts their shoes away and never wears them.

At that time the Nike Dunk was at an all-time high, I think that nowadays people have forgotten them a little bit, the hype has taken over. But I hope that Nike never stops making this shoe. The high, as well as the low's, the ones with the fat tongs, are the best.

Another one I like a lot is the Nike Dunk Low Purple Safari, they're still brand new, I got them just now. And their story is also dope, the colors are inspired in Kenny Powers Jet Ski in the series Eastbound & Down from HBO. This was the golden era of Dunks with special editions with some dope details, it was crazy.  When the Hemps came out, the Statue of Liberties, the BHM, Halloween, there were a lot of dope ones. There was also the custom series with the Brazilian guys - Fabio Cristiano, Gerald, Flavio Samelo it was dope.

@nike Dunk High Diamond
Bought: 2014
Owner: @willkhalifaman
📸 @csioandreasi