I originally started shooting 15+ years ago, and gained admission to undergrad as a photography major. Two years in, I pivoted to design as the calls for rigid conformity in intro-level photo classes waned my interest. (I also questioned whether or not I had the personality to slog it out as a commercial photographer the more I came to understand the career path). As I pursued a design, photography fell-off and I found myself with little spare time, and a focused intent on only furthering my design abilities. While I still love my career as a designer, the fatigue from working at demanding agencies in a client-service industry eventually started taking its toll. I sought a creative outlet free of group-think, review cycles, client presentation, conversion rates, A-B testing, etc. Photography helps me compartmentalize art for myself and purposeful design for others, offers an uninhibited form of creative expression, and the output exists with more permanence than (most interactive) design.
After being away from photography for about 8 years, returning has been a continual evolution and a progressive departure from the ways in which I design. At first, I sought to systemize and optimize everything (like in design): this took the form of maximum dynamic range and a pure-white white balance. After making small adjustments to that style, it still felt clinical, stale, and uninteresting. If I was bored, I could only imagine what others were feeling. While people were liking the work, I came to understand that very lack of feeling was a pivotal misstep I needed to correct. Having always appreciating the abilities of cinema to convey emotion, I looked to incorporate those stylistic cues and use of color in my work. While this undoubtedly caused a temporary regression of my work, I feel I’ve begun to settle into my own style that better conveys the emotion of the moments I capture.
I do use the word ‘style’ loosely as I'd like to think I don’t really have 'one style.' While I’m prone to make the same stylistic decisions on a micro-level, I edit each image from scratch to tailor the edit to each moments emotions. Or at least I try.
While this is where I’m at right now, I’m continually looking to evolve and push my photos. As I’ve done in design, I'll know I've progressed when I look back on previous work and see opportunities to improve it. There is no finish-line with photography, and there are always nuanced ways to evolve and make things better (or at least different). I’m of the mindset that nothing is beyond questioning– I’ll either reinforce what I already know, or I’ll refute it and find a better way. All of this, as mentioned previously, is to stave off stagnation and satiate my inherent drive to be the best.
At the moment, I don't have a grand plan for my photography. It's currently my unadulterated creative outlet, and I'm rather protective of it. I'm currently shooting for several photo books, prints, and potential shows while continually refining my craft. I am working and living remotely to further enable my photography, and will be capturing a lot more content for the next year (plus). While I've primarily focuses on landscape/travel/random stuff to this point, I'm actively working to introduce more lifestyle and authentic portrait work. This is both to expand my horizons in subject-matter while becoming more commercially viable– with a strong emphasis on the former.
While I take on design work as my primary source of income, I want to explore ways I can commercialize my photo work to ultimately spend more time shooting than designing. Since I don't know this world super well, I am also seeking an agency to represent me and help facilitate growth, projects, etc. My enthusiasm greatly outpaces my understanding of this industry, so I'm very eager to connect, network and further engrain myself in the world I love.