My perspective of what it means to be a photographer and artist is constantly shifting and moving. It’s an ever-evolving growth process that I’m passionately devoted to.
Developing a mood and how to properly concept a shoot is a technique I first learned as a student attending Art Center. I was pushed to develop an empathic perceptiveness in order to translate my life experiences through the camera. I was encouraged to explore my participation in and observations of, life. Some moments were built in the shadows, some constructed in joy and others lived and breathed everywhere in between. Once explored, I was challenged to discover how to skillfully mold these experiences into a creative concept - a beginning, middle and end of a path to travel.
My technical knowledge of photography truly refined when I became a photo assistant. The same aspects that attracted me to riding motorcycles drew me to the intricate qualities of light. The technical precision and meticulousness needed to unify a photographer’s creative vision to the perfect light in order to elevate the idea, requires the same type of consideration and mutual respect that it takes to ride. One small misstep can lead to disaster.
Flexibility is another attribute that I find to be a critical part of my skillset as a photographer. The ability to stay present in order to identify the spontaneity of a real creative moment is the willingness to accept a diversion of plan so you can capture it. The framework of a creative idea is necessary in order to demonstrate to your crew and subject that you have a plan but the dexterity and responsiveness required in the act of letting go when an unexpected door opens, is a skill I’m consistently trying to master. Hint: meditation helps a lot.
My observation of other photographers from seasoned vets to those who are grinding day in and day out, has urged me to become a patron and practitioner of the art form. For me, true passion and dedication to the artistry of photography, moves hand in hand with being explorative in other creative arenas. Watching other professional artists and examining their proficiency in craft, i.e. stand-up comedians, chefs, musicians, and other performance experts, feeds my creativity and emboldens my desire to strengthen my skillset by also drawing from outside resources.
Within the photography world, aside from having the privilege of working with and learning on set from some of the industry’s true masters, I’m an avid collector of art books. I’ll pour over a new one in an effort to study and dissect the why and how certain creative choices were made and executed. As a true fan of the art of photography, I’m consistently drawn to the images that encompass what I believe to be the genetic makeup of successful creative; the exact kind of creative I want to produce. Exceptional creative has an element of familiarity that sparks the recognition of something already established within the viewer - an anchor point. This component is simultaneously and harmoniously joined with the excitement and innate attraction to the unknown – to the new and unexplored. It’s within this elemental marriage that both artist and viewer meet and trade secrets in order to make one another better.