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Teyana Taylor and Michael Alston. (Picture provided by Michael Alston)

Who said we didn't have any talent in Wisconsin? They must've of never heard of Michael Alston.

He's been doing videography for 12 years and he's only getting better with time.

Michael started doing videography at the age of 18, but he didn't take it seriously until his mid 20's. Now at the age of 31, Michael has built up an A-list clientele.

"You put your all into it and good people come to you."

Building up a celebrity clientele wasn't easy for Michael, but he saw the bigger picture. From the constant traveling to doing some shoots for free, he's sacrificed a lot to be where he is in life.

A Madison native, but he's hardly ever home. This past year, Michael was living in Los Angeles working for Cash Money records. His contract is over with them now, but he'll be back in LA soon. He's now going to be working with Aftermath Entertainment, which is Dr. Dre's record label.

"This business is cut throat."

French Montana and Michael Alston. (Picture provided by Michael Alston)

Michael is a lone wolf in the industry because you "hardly meet people who could be considered friends." He likes working by himself because he's the only person he has to depend on. Michael has worked with teams before, but you'll usually catch him by himself creating magic.

It's not an easy road to success.

Michael has lost countless relationships because his business comes first. This life has caused him to be sad a lot, but he doesn't see himself ever stopping. One day he'll be where he wants to be in life with a woman right by his side, but until then he's going to keep crossing goals off of his list.

"Something inside is like I'd rather die than give up," said Michael. "As long as I got my camera and equipment, ima hustle."

He didn't see himself being a videographer when he was younger--Michael was more focused on trying to graduate high school. Instead of taking school seriously, he was worried about making money. Michael wishes he could tell his younger self to stay focused, but then maybe he wouldn't be where he is today.

Michael's first big talent he did a video for was rapper OJ da Juiceman. They were friends first, but then Michael went to OJ da Juiceman and asked if he could do a music video for him. Michael ended up shooting two videos, one being "No Hook," which has 1.7 million views. 

No matter how many celebrities Michael works with he seems himself has an equal.

"I know what my job is," he said. "They're paying me at the end of the day."

He's worked with French Montana, Tory Lanez and he just got back from Miami for shooting a video for Gorilla Zoe.

Before all of this, Michael used to work for the City of Madison cleaning parks. Once he got off work he would then go work on his business. He saved enough money to move to Atlanta to start branding himself. Michael couldn't see himself working for anyone else anymore, so he went a different route.

Eventually he wants to start making documentaries and movies. He'll be starting school soon at New York Film Academy. 

"It's better production, larger production, more money, more creativity."

Tory Lanez and Michael Alston. (Picture provided by Michael Alston)

Michael's success took hard work, dedication, sleepless nights, heartbreaks and much more. This wasn't just handed to him, he went and got it himself.

"If you really wanna be successful don't do it for anybody but yourself," said Michael. "Believe 100% in what you're doing."

PPP: Pride, Politics, Photojournalism

PPP: Pride, Politics, Photojournalism

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