[ June 29, 2009 ]
How did you get started in photography?
I fell in love with photography when I was studying abroad in St.
Petersburg, Russia. I started skipping my language classes to wander the
city with an old Soviet era Zenit and years old expired Kodak film that
was sold for about 10 cents a roll. The sun is always at a low angle
there and that may be why I still shoot so often dawn or dusk. My
biggest photographic disappointment is still some rolls I shot during
November at Lake Baikal which froze and were unusable.
Indoors or Outdoors?
Location scouting is endlessly entertaining to me. I love shooting
outside and much prefer the challenge of changing environmental
conditions to the studio. To me there isn't a brand of lights in the
world that can compare to the sun. That being said, I am a lighting
junkie and frequently arrive at shoots with multiple generators.
How to you achieve the natural relaxed look of your portraits?
I strive to connect with my subject and make them feel as comfortable as
possible. I shoot a wide range of people in my work. Recent assignments
have included a an Olympic sharpshooter, the daughter of a 9/11 victim,
basketball player with Down's syndrome, and a famous yogi. I try to
understand as much of my subject as I can and put that in the picture,
rather than applying a cookie cutter style on top of their face.
What would you say is your signature style?
People always comment on the color in my work. I started as a painter
and though you can't always pick every color of your palette in
photography, I try to really use color theory to my advantage and
exploit the full vibrancy of color in my images. My lifestyle and sports
work are both based on the beauty of real active people and natural
movement rather than stiff poses. Working with athletes is always a
treat because of the extraordinary control they have over their body.
Do you make time for personal work?
I do personal shoots and projects on a regular basis. My most recent
personal projects were on free running in New Mexico and winter surfing
in New Hampshire. I'm currently working on a project that I hope will
capture a different side of yoga.
How do these projects affect your commercial work?
They give me more developed ideas to bring to my assignments: new
angles, new lighting, new concepts. Also, they make me a lot more
confident about taking risks while on assignment which I think can be
the hardest, but most important thing to do.
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