Malachi Somerville, also known as visualizedbymal, balances his school life at Florida A&M with his thriving photography business.
Somerville, 20, is a sophomore public relations student and a proud Philadelphia native. Somerville is the only boy and oldest of three siblings.
Somerville started photography four years ago at age 16. It all started when Somerville developed a passion and found his creative eye using his iPhone camera. Somerville enjoys making his clients’ memories of their events that last forever.
“Investing in yourself is the first start to your own business. I kept investing in myself and practicing on my craft, finding enjoyment in my experiences I’ve been taking and that’s helping me improve my ability and growth,” he said.
“Photography touches me, challenges me, and fuels me. My parents didn’t realize how committed I was to my craft and business until they saw my website. They are very supportive of it and proud of my accomplishments and where I’m going in life. My dad became my business partner in fall 2019 and runs the finances,” Somerville said.
The first major event Somerville shot was the “Free Meek Mill Rally” in Philadelphia on Nov. 13, 2017.
“I had a great time. I didn’t have a press pass, but Mills’ grandmother waved me in and told the police I was good to come in. I got to follow a few Eagles players into the rally and could capture most of my shots from the press area.
“It was great energy because most of the people there were there for the common reason that people were getting unfair and unjust treatment by our criminal justice system. It was bigger than Meek Mill himself, but he was able to speak and represent hundreds of thousands of incarcerated African Americans. This occasion was astonishing. I caught stunning photographs of this rally and the communities coming together battling for a change,” Somerville said.
FAMU has also helped Somerville with his goals by meeting and shooting celebrities, including Chico Bean, Karlous Miller, Lil Durk, Lil Baby, Kashdoll, Sean “Diddy” Combs, and NBA Youngboy, Keke Wyatt and Gunna, to name a few.
Coach Isaac Brown one of the FAMU men’s basketball team’s assistant coaches, said, “I was introduced to Malachi at our first home game through one of our basketball managers. Since then he has made a huge impact in the success of the program from a social aspect. Providing us with pictures after the games and highlight videos in which we have used for recruitment. Malachi has an eye like no other and his creative ability hasn’t reached his peak yet.”
Somerville has now done more than 500 shoots and he’s proud of where he’s headed in the photography world.
“My reason for shooting today remains the same reason that inspired me to pick up a camera in the first place, it’s about capturing the details of life that are gone in an instant moment. This is what keeps me inspired and makes me want to continue my love what I do,” Somerville said.
Christian Ransome a soccer player for Howard University, said, “I’ve never met someone so talented and driven. He literally started from the ground up, and branded himself as his own company. Visualizedbymal is all him, all his hard work and dedication.”
Somerville’s dream after college is to get signed by a major record label like Roc Nation or Dream Chasers as one of their cameramen and one day purchase a professional sports team.
You can find Somerville on Instagram @ visualizedbymal and his personal website visualizedbymal.com