What were the main milestones that turned you into the artist you currently are?
There were two big milestones for me. The first was discovering the importance of the color wheel and color relationships in photos. The second was realizing that photography skills and equipment alone will not make anybody great. There are 5 other quality elements necessary for good photos – model, hair, makeup, wardrobe, and scene/location. I always make sure these elements are present before shooting.
How has photography influenced you as a person and what do you love most about being a photographer?
Photography has taught me to really slow down and analyze everything involved with shooting. I was doing everything so quickly in the beginning and not seeing my work advance after awhile. It’s all about fine tuning and applying this to life as well will benefit us greatly.
What would be your tips/advice to models looking to expand their portfolio?
From the start, work with photographers with good, diverse portfolios. Also, look at their own portfolio as a whole and try to see what’s missing. It could be outdoor shots, shots with emotion, different poses…things like that. It also depends on what type of work they’re trying to get. If they’re trying to tap into the sport market and their book is all glam, they won’t get booked.
What would be some tips you would give to a beginning photographer?
Don’t follow the pack! Do what you want and master it.
It’s ok to copy things in the beginning, but acknowledge the fact you’re replicating something. Be nice to other photographers – I never understand the photographers who act pompous or shady toward other photographers. After each shoot, make a list of things that could have been done better – I still do this today. Also, realize that YouTube is a great place to learn, but the best photographers alive are too busy to create videos. If you’re looking for inspiration from the greats, you have to look beyond YouTube. Coffee table books are great to have at home. Lastly, get a website that will allow somebody who has 30 seconds to decide if they want to hire you a good look at your work. You need more than social media to get many jobs out there.
You are going about conducting a photoshoot, could you take us through the typical planning process for your images?
I usually scout the location a few weeks ahead of time. I want to know where the sun will be when we shoot and have location photos of each shot area. At home, I look at all of the photos collectively to determine the shot order and make a digital color palette to send to the wardrobe stylist. The wardrobe stylist will then base outfits on these photos. At the shoot, there’s usually been enough communication for everybody to show up and start working after saying hello. I try to keep things fun and comfortable on set. To me, the worst thing in the world is a shoot that’s more like a funeral because people are too serious.
Where can our readers keep up with your work and get connected with you?