Maxwell Campbell Talks Photography, Algee Smith, and Building an Empire

Photo by Earl Badger IV

Maxwell “7scopemax” Campbell is everywhere. Just a few weeks removed from attending  the 2017 BET Awards, an award show that witnessed R&B legends New Edition earn a Lifetime Achievement award for their historic contributions to the music industry–Max was right there to see it all. Actually, he was there last year, too. Reason being? Well for starters, Max is a personal photographer and a key component to 7scope Entertainment–a brand owned by actor/singer Algee Smith (Ralph Tresvant in the New Edition Story BET mini series). Campbell has been building a name for himself as a natural behind the lens, but many would be surprise to know how deeply rooted he was into music before he decided to pick up a camera. Supreme Culture caught up with the multifaceted entrepreneur as he discussed the 7scope Entertainment brand, believing in Algee Smith’s potential, and lessons he’s learned within the industry.

What initially got you  involved in  photography? 

I used to be in the music game heavy and worked with a few artist that was coming up. I would try [to get] them video’s and photoshoots done, but could never get any of the photographers to send the finish products on time. So I bought my own camera [and] started shooting and realized I was good at it. So yeah, that’s how I got started.

What camera do you use and why? 

Right now I used the canon 70D. Why? It’s what I can afford right now [Laughs.]

Explain how the brand 7scopemax Entertainment got started? 

Well, 7scope Entertainment is owned by Algee [Smith]. I just wanted to push it more, so I added it to my name. I want it to be huge like the next Cash Money of the entertainment industry.

As stated earlier, music is very much a part of your background. For those who don’t know, what have you done musically? 

Well I started in this industry with music as a promoter. I started building relationships with music blogs and taste makers. [That] led me to putting together a mixtape called High School High Music, which did over twenty thousand downloads. I had kids from different high schools promoting it to be able to be on the mixtape. I didn’t charge them. Each kid was from a different high school, so they was doing cross promoting without even knowing it.

Oh, wow. That’s crazy. So, you’re Algee Smith’s personal photographer. How did you guys link up? 

Well from that mixtape, my homie Splurge–he’s a producer, he was telling me to put this kid name Algee on the mixtape. So I went to go check him out, and was like, “This kid is dope, I got to interview him.” We met in person at LA fitness in Atlanta, which he moved away, but came back. We connected again, but this time is was special at this point. I gave up on the industry, but this kid just had something I knew would be big. [Plus] he felt like what I brought to the table would help him, and here we are today.

“But you have to move with confidence, and being fearless is major in this industry, so learning those qualities was huge for me.”

What exactly about Algee made you think that he was destined for stardom? 

It’s one of those things I can’t explain in exact words. At first, it was just the vibe and energy he gave. But the more we grew together as friends, the more I knew what a star was and he already had those qualities in his everyday life.

Photo by Earl Badger IV

This past year has been monumental for you and your team. What are some of the things you’ve learned throughout this experience?

Man, I’ve learned a lot on the film side.  Seeing a movie being shot in person, the ins and outs, casting is a lot of small things that make a big difference. But you have to move with confidence, and being fearless is major in this industry, so learning those qualities was huge for me.

On your free time, what are some things you like to do? 

Free time whats that? [Laughs.] I like to chill for the most part. I like to hoop most people don’t even know I’m a problem on the court.

What advice do you have for someone that wants to get into photography? 

Man, shoot, shoot, shoot! Trial and errors [are] going to make you a better photographer. Your first ten thousands pictures will be ass compared to what you will turn into. [Also] never turn down a job.

Switching gears for a moment, but how was it to be in attendance for the BET Awards? Who are some of the people you met that you were interested in meeting?

I went last year too, but this year was different ’cause Algee was also performing. The preparation [this year] was a little more hectic, but it was fun, man. Honestly, the only person I was interested in meeting  was Kendrick [Lamar], and I have yet to do that, so I’m still waiting [Laughs.]

” At the end of the day, progress has to be made and sometimes that’s not always on the winning side…”

[Laughs.] I’m sure you’ll get the chance. What is your favorite place to travel? 

Right now as a photographer, I like to travel anywhere that has a scenic view that you can only get at that exact place.

What’s the best advice someone has given you that you have applied to your everyday life? 

Fail forward. At the end of the day, progress has to be made and sometimes that’s not always on the winning side, but you always gain knowledge and results which makes you better

What’s next for you? 

Man, my album about to drop [Laughs.] Nah, I’m playing right now. Just getting better as a person, I feel like everything else will be what it needs to be.

Twitter and Instagram:  @7scopemax

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Curt Williams
Curt Williams

Curt Williams is the creator of Supreme CX Magazine. He is a former Senior Music Editor for SooDetroit Magazine. Has worked with the Michigan Chronicle. He hails from Detroit, MI.

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