Photographer Spotlight: Eric Pietrangolare

Eric Pietrangolare

New York City

When did you first pick up a camera and start taking photos that were beyond family or vacation photos?
I’d always been a fine artist, I went to college to be an art teacher and had no idea that photography was even an art form. It wasn’t until my sophomore year that I had to take a single photography course. I immediately took to it, I loved how instant it was and how you could use real people and capture real moments. I kept going with it even after the class ended and started doing (what I thought at the time were) over the top shoots of my friends in cool costumes and outfits which later turned into my love for fashion and portrait photography.

What is your favorite subject to shoot? 20140730-IMG_7990 crop
I love photographing professional fashion models. For me, there is no greater feeling then someone who can look into your lens, know where it is, find their light and just mirror your every move. 

Where do you get new shoot ideas from?
I’ve always been the type of artist who can’t do art until the image just pops into my head. When it pops in there, it’s 100% completed. I truly do get artists’ block from time to time, but when those ideas come it’s great because it makes the planning, shooting and post process so much easier.

As creative professionals, you have to be adaptable to what may happen during the shoot. Give us an example of a shoot that didn’t exactly go as planned and how you made it work.

I mainly shoot in natural light – so being outdoors on a nice day is always my goal. However, NYC weather doesn’t give a hoot about you and your perfectly pin straight haired model! Many shoots have been done in downpours and I’ve used the surrounding areas to make it work – one of my best shoots to date happened on a rainy day under some scaffolding and got me booked by two agencies after.

With all of the self-professed photographers with digital cameras, how do you continue to hone your skill and your eye to keep what you’re doing special and professional?
Always stay true to your art. I do photography for myself, because I have to urge to create. The self-professed ones are doing it for relevance, and sometimes even validation. Their passion will burn out when they don’t get the immediate response they anticipated. For me, I always want to be a work-in-progress, ever-changing, always learning and expanding my skill set.

How does social media, specifically Instagram, affect how you get your work to people? 

I don’t use Instagram aggressively. I feel that sometimes it can cheapen the craft and more often than not, my work is found through other platforms as well as word-of-mouth. I’ve worked with Wilhelmina, Ford Elite, MSA, Mc2, Major models all before Instagram was around and so I have never found that it’s helped recently! It’s great for connecting with some models but I prefer to go about things the old fashioned way. I do like being able to show my work publicly, especially to friends and family who may not visit my website or get to see my work printed.

Describe the style of your photography in five words. 
Classy, forward, changing, emotional and passionate.

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Follow Eric on his Website, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram

Check out Eric’s work in BLEEP here!

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