Questions and Answers

Someone was interviewing me a while back and asked me these questions. I thought I’d share them here for others to read.

1. What would you say your own personal style is?

I like to tell stories with my photos. The story doesn’t have to have a particular narrative; it could just elicit a feeling or emotion; but, I definitely like when people see something that sparks their imaginations and they fill in more to that story on their own.

A lot of times, I capture the person pretty small in the frame and keep a lot of the sky and background around them. In this way the subject isn’t just the person. The entire scene is the subject. And, it’s that "scene” look I’m after — like there’s a whole rest-of-the-movie to the image and this is just one frame of it.

2. Are there any photographers you look up to for inspiration?

When I first started getting back into photography in 2011, there were a lot of people that contributed to my creative direction(s). However, these days I’ve started looking inward for inspiration. For instance, the space photo I posted on 3/18/2018 to Instagram is an idea I had for what a photo on another planet could look like. I thought it up first, and then I went out and made it happen.

3. How did your interest in photography begin?

I got into photography in high school. I can’t quite remember why, but I was fascinated by it. I bought a film camera and took a couple of photography classes as electives and learned B&W film photography, even developing my own negatives. I didn’t stick with it creatively after high school though. It wasn’t until Instagram came out in 2010, that I started getting passionate about photography again. I just liked the idea of creating art out of the moments I was experiencing.

4. What kind of camera gear do you use to help you photograph?

I mostly use Sony cameras. I’ve had a bunch of them, and I’m currently shooting with the a9. I like it because it’s lightning-quick. I’ve had issues in the past where image buffering was causing me to miss out on shots; so I just went and bought the fastest one they made. My go-to lens is the Sony G-Master 16-35mm. It’s a super wide-angle zoom that really fits my style — allowing me to capture a lot of sky and background surrounding my subjects.

5. Do other styles of art (such as music and dance) inspire your pictures in any way?

I’m a musician as well, but I don’t know if music inspires my photography. I think I’m just a creative and curious person, so I treat everything like art. Working with models, I get inspired when their movements and poses are dance-like. So, in that way, I guess dance could be an inspiration.

6. What tips do you have for introductory level photographers?

I shot with only an iPhone for many years, and that limitation in my gear forced me to develop an eye for creating interesting compositions before anything else. So, I would recommend beginner photographers take the same approach: forget the technical stuff and just start looking for unique ways to express your vision. The technical knowledge will come in time, but in the beginning, it’s good to just train your eye on composition.

7. How do you prepare to take pictures? For example, when taking pictures in nature, how do you prepare for the different weather patterns that might take place?

While planning, I keep in mind the direction of the sun and the time of day, along with what the area has to offer for natural backgrounds. I’ll also make sure the model brings clothes that will play well with the surroundings of the location. But mostly, I just show up and “see what happens.” Things rarely work out how you imagine them ahead of time. So, I try to keep an open mind when shooting and try to get creative shots with whatever I’m presented with that day.