Quintet shares passion in art

Written By Dara Collins, Co-Sports Editor

Five friends from four different cities joined forces because of their similar passion to do one thing: create.

Known as “Chilling My Dude,” the quintet of four freshman and one sophomore began promoting their group for photography and videography in Dec. 2017. The crew and their work can be found on Instagram and full videos are posted to YouTube.

“We shoot whatever we want and whatever we’re passionate about,” Downingtown, Pa. native Nick Jones said. “Adventures, creative passion and leisure.”

The friendship began at the beginning of the fall 2017 semester when four of the five members moved onto the sixth floor of Thayer Hall. The squad quickly became friends and learned of each other’s similar interests. The fifth member, Kendall Ree, joined later down the road because he meshed with the existing group’s personality.

Gabriel Sunderman, the lone Pittsburgh-native of the group, originally created the name as the title for his radio show on Point Park University’s radio station, WPPJ. The show has been running since he first became involved at WPPJ in the fall of 2017.

Sunderman admitted the name specifically came from a ten-volume playlist on his cell phone called “Chilling My Dude” and adapted to the group.

Progressing to a photography and videography group, the squad altered the name to “CMD Productions” to differ from “Chilling My Dude Radio.”

Photography-wise, their preferences range from portraits to landscapes and everything in between. As a group with different tastes, the photos always have a new flavor depending on the photographer.

Jones photographs a wide range of subject matter including cars, people and landscapes.

“I started with cars,” Jones said. “Then I moved to Pittsburgh and got more into portraits because that’s what my friends shot.”

Jones prefers urban style photography and landscapes, especially sunsets.

Similarly, Edison Peterson brought his love for portraiture to Pittsburgh from Charlotte, N.C.

“The people I shoot with, I try to get a story out of them,” Peterson said.

Peterson’s story began with his grandmother.

“I used to have this fear of forgetting things,” Peterson said. “My grandma had Alzheimer’s, and I thought people remembered more when they saw pictures.”

While Peterson feared memory loss, Max Behr began snapping photos because it was fun.

“It was just something I enjoyed doing,” Behr said.

Behr’s personal Instagram page displays landscapes and portraits, similar to the other group members. 

Sunderman also began to enjoy photography while growing up with a father who donned a camera around his neck everywhere he traveled.

The crew likes to call Ree the “hype man.” Originally from Atlanta, Ga. Ree has multiple Pittsburgh ties that allows Chilling My Dude to embark on serious projects with clients of local organizations.

“I recently had a job with Hines Ward and his restaurant…to shoot a video to help promote his restaurant on a social media platform to bring in more customers,” Behr said.

The quartet of photographers post their work to Chilling My Dude’s Instagram page as well as their personal accounts.

As for videography, CMD Productions’s YouTube currently displays two videos. The squad created a trailer to kick off their work and reads, “They say to follow your passion, and you’ll always ends up in the right place. For us, that place was Pittsburgh – a city full of creators and innovators striving to be the best that they can be.”

The second video recaps four of the five members’ experiences at the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl parade this past February.

“It was a split second decision to buy the tickets,” Ree said. “The next thing we knew, we were on the Greyhound on our way to Philly at one in the morning.”

Chilling My Dude promises more projects will come but will be kept secret for the moment.

In the midst of creating content, the students balance school. 

Ree, a biology major with a business minor, hopes to follow his parents footsteps in medicine and business.

Sunderman studies mass communication, and Jones public relations and advertising. Jones will carry his love for cars into his career.

Behr and Peterson are alone in their endeavor to continue their work into a career. Behr recently switched his major to multimedia, and he wants to create music videos following graduation.