Catch Ayinde Anderson while you can—he’s a cinematographer on the rise. Having recently wrapped his first feature film, North Hollywood, produced by Pharrell Williams, Ayinde has also applied his evocative visual style to projects ranging from music videos for artists like King Princess to award-winning short films, long-form documentaries, and commercial spots for brands like Carhartt and Converse. His naturalistic approach has an unmistakable mood and atmosphere, but it functions in an almost ninja-like fashion—breathtakingly effective but never calling attention to itself. “I don’t want my work to be in the forefront of the viewer’s mind—the story should be,” he says.

Ayinde earned his master’s in cinematography at the American Film Institute, having been admitted at the age of 21, straight out of college. He’s been working ever since. Whether the production is large or small, he looks for two things: creators who are pursuing a fresh way of presenting a story, and a handpicked crew who share his work ethic and sense of commitment. “I’m a big advocate for really valuing the time that we all give to making a project come together,” he says.