Growing up, Kevin Ferguson Jr.’s famous father used to offer him one consistent piece of advice over and over again: Go to school.
He wasn’t overly specific about what his son should study, but the man who became known as “Kimbo Slice,” the Internet brawler turned MMA fighter and boxer, was adamant his son should get some kind of education. It just wasn’t until he saw the photographs his son had shot that he understood what sort of education he should pursue.
According to Ferguson, who quickly got the nickname “Baby Slice” when he followed his father’s footsteps into the cage, it all happened on the set of “Scorpion King 3,” the direct-to-video action film in which his father played the role of “Zulu Kondo.”
“We were in Thailand and there was a photographer on the set,” Ferguson told MMAjunkie. “I had my phone and I was just sort of taking pictures with it, and when I showed him he told me that I had the eye. I didn’t know what that meant at the time, but I liked it.”
Encouraged by the praise, Ferguson kept taking photos with his phone. He shot landscapes, portraits, anything that caught his attention. Eventually, he showed his father.
“That’s when he kind of got it,” Ferguson said. “He always supported me in whatever I wanted to do, but when he saw it for himself, he was like, ‘OK, I see it.’”
The elder Ferguson got his son a decent camera after that. He also encouraged him to apply to a photography program, which he did. After sending his portfolio to the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, Ferguson was accepted and did two semesters before the lure of making money as both a photographer and a fighter pulled him away.
At Bellator 192, Ferguson will get a chance to combine his dueling passions. As the fighters (including some of his friends and training partners) battle in the cage, Ferguson will be on the outside, snapping shots of the action as a credentialed photographer.
It might make a nice addition to a portfolio of mostly landscapes posted to his Instagram account. And in some ways, he said, his experience in MMA will help him at cageside.
“I’m a fighter, so I love to shoot fights,” Ferguson said. “I feel like I understand how to capture those moments because I know what it’s like. I can kind of anticipate what might be about to happen next.”
And while he doesn’t want to give up fighting to pursue photography as his sole occupation just yet, it is in his long-term plans once his fighting days are over.
Plus, when you’re carrying around a nickname like “Baby Slice,” it doesn’t hurt to have an extra dimension with which to distinguish yourself from your famous father – not that he’s trying to hide from his lineage or the expectations that come with it.
“I don’t mind being known as Kimbo Slice’s son,” Ferguson said. “That’s who I am. I accept that responsibility. I’m taking over the Team Kimbo name and legacy, and I love that. But I also enjoy showing that I’m not just a fighter.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: At Bellator 192, 'Baby Slice' will go to work outside the cage – and behind the camera