When did you first pick up a camera and start taking photos that were beyond family or vacation photos?
Toward the end of high school, I became obsessed with the photo editing software Photoshop and started to create digital art. My senior year I bought my first point-and-shoot digital camera and started creating my own digital art. Many did not want to sit in front of my camera, so I produced self-portraits and was inspired by the work of Cindy Sherman. After realizing I have always been art-driven, my friend Jesika said, “Photography can be a career, you should look into it!” From that point, I took a class and decided on my new major. I realized I was in love with what I was doing, and I haven’t stopped since.
What is your favorite subject to shoot?
My favorite subject to shoot would be people. I’m a people person, I enjoy connecting with my subjects as I’m creating. It is almost like a bond I share during the creative process. I have a men’s fashion book right now. I have had the most fun with male subjects and there is a certain brotherhood that comes with it. I have wanted a beauty book for the longest time now and I am currently working on it. It is different when it comes to working with women, but it’s like hanging out with my girlfriends, and [I’m] having a great time with it.
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 had a model from an agency, and was told I only had him for two hours. I thought that was a little rushed and I knew that he had only so much time to create a story with the clothing I had. Though I did have a team with me to help with the creative process, at the last minute, literally at call time, the model notified me that we actually only had him for 30 minutes. After being so stressed out of trying to make sure I got the maximum amount of images to have an editorial, it was a success! We were not able to get as many looks as I wanted to be published, but it was tossed around by a few printed and digital publications and I was really impressed by it.
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?
The self-professed photographers are pretty much one-trick-ponies. They have a good idea but not quite the understanding of what they’re doing or trying to do. Just because they purchase an expensive camera doesn’t mean they’re an automatic photographer. They lack the soul that’s in art. Art can be created with any type of camera or lens, depending on how it’s used. For an example, after taking a looking at my book, one can see I do have a specific style, technique, and feeling and in my portfolio. The one thing “the self-professed photographers” don’t have is a set style and properly developed concept to make their work stand out. However, I am an optimist, if they do their homework and put the dedication, hard work and sacrifice in to their portfolios, they too can have a body of work that speaks for itself.
How does social media, specifically Instagram, affect how you get your work to people?
Social media is a wonderful tool, it helps connect and showcase your work. With hashtags, it’s like its own search engine, you find so much. It’s inspirational. Instagram is amazing app. It is a photographer’s modern version of their portfolio. With Instagram, I’m able to consistently update and post new content and to share with the world.
Describe the style of your photography in five words.
Colorful, dark, exciting, alluring, and questionable.