Everybody’s Something: NKU Student promotes inclusiveness with photography

Samuel Greenhill ventured to the top of a tall building in downtown Cincinnati. His Nikon camera hung around his neck, swinging as he climbed the stairs with his friend, Courtney Kirkland.

They hurriedly passed through the building, making sure not to trip over any tools that lay on the dusted floor, left over from a construction crew that had gone home for the night. The only light provided came from the buzzing city outside and the flashlights on their phones.

When Greenhill reached the roof and took in the city, he knew this adventure was worth it.

“He’s the type of person that will do anything for a good picture,” said Kirkland, Media Informatics major. “We both are.”

Greenhill, sophomore visual communication design major, has been on the prowl for perfect pictures for 10 years.

Samuel Greenhill

Year: Sophomore

Major: :Graphic Design

Business: Samuel Greenhill Photography

Camera’s name: Chance the Snapper

Internship with Cincinnati Magazine

“Every once in awhile that good photo comes up and that positive reaction that comes from it is like wow ... maybe I actually can do a good job,” Greenhill said.

Capturing life through photography has grown into more than a pastime for Greenhill, who has been running his own business for five years.

Greenhill said his business, Samuel Greenhill Photography started as a simple Facebook page.

“I didn’t have a job so I was just like, ‘I’ll create a job for myself,’” Greenhill said.

The process of building a client base, according to Greenhill, begins with building trust. He did this by taking photos free of charge to gain the credibility every photographer needs.

“People don’t want to pass up free photos. And when you take them, people want to post those photos and when they do it’s free advertising,” Greenhill said.

Greenhill eventually started charging people once he got more than just a few clients. He gradually increased his prices until he started making a profit. Five years later, his clients are scheduling shoots with him up to a year in advance.

“Its really awesome. I absolutely love it. It’s been a very scary thing at the same time because you’re in a constant fear like, ‘Is this business going to continue next year?’” Greenhill said. “But it always does.”

Greenhill uses his photography for more than just an income. He seeks to promote inclusiveness as well.

“In the modeling agency world, they’re not inclusive at all,”Greenhill said. “For example, when it comes to black people, they will select only one ... there’s like this token black person in the group and I’m trying wth my photography to branch out and include all types of people.

“They’re not just the side piece. They’re the main piece.”

Greenhill said he is passionate about inclusiveness when it comes to race, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity. In all the aspects of his life, he tries to create an environment for all people to be comfortable.

Kirkland said Greenhill’s greatest strength is his ability to make anyone feel at ease.

“He relates to people from all different types of backgrounds. He could literally meet anyone and be best friends with someone in ten minutes,” Kirkland said. “He’s pretty genuine that way.”

Nia Burney, sophomore visual communication design major said Greenhill’s charm is what started their friendship when they met in a photography class last year.

“I had a shaved head and he really gassed me up about my hair. He has a way of making people feel good,” Burney said.

Greenhill thinks about more than just his own ideas when creating his art.

“It’s not really what I get out of it, but it’s what I can give to the people,” Greenhill said.