Member Spotlight: David Tejada


Member Spotlight - David Tejada

[ July 7, 2009 ]   Denver commercial photographer David Tejada is one of Colorado's most highly regarded location corporate photographers... recognized for his dramatic and innovative photographic lighting techniques and graphic style. David specializes in location work for corporate annual reports and other business collateral material. He is known for his approachable personality David has a reputation of being a person who is easy to work with who takes the worry out of corporate work. With more than 25 years of shooting experience, David has developed a clear understanding of both corporate and designer needs. David is an effective communicator, comfortable with all employees from management to support field staff and sensitive to the political and inter-personal issues in the work place. David treats each assignment as an editorial essay, stressing strong, compelling images that communicate his client's story. Finally, he is an excellent problem solver, adapting quickly to changing conditions and technical challenges, remaining focused on the assignment goals while adhering to practical time and financial constraints.

What is it about corporate work that you like so much?
I love the challenge and creative freedom I'm allowed while on assignment and I enjoy learning about all sorts of businesses. Over the course of my career I have shot all sorts of industries, Banking & Financial Services, Hospitality, Manufacturing, Pharmaceutical & Health Care, Telecommunications, Utilities, Mining, Engineering, and Construction.

It's the diversity of industries and the unique locations I encounter while on assignment that keeps me excited about my work. I can honestly say, that I am just as excited if not more so today, about my work and the field of corporate location work.

I also enjoy the travel that is involved with this type of work. I've been fortunate enough to travel extensively around the world on assignment. My only complaint is that I rarely have enough time to enjoy the places I visit. I'm often on a tight schedule that requires I be at other locations at specific times that can be very frustrating.

Have you always been a corporate shooter?
Yes. I started my career as a corporate shooter in 1983 after assisting for Houston based photographer Joe Baraban. I met Joe while I was working as a flight attendant for a major airline. That chance meeting at 40,000 feet changed my life. We use to have a saying in the industry "there's a smile in every window and an ass in every seat" clearly I was in the right place at the right time!

What have been your influences in photography?
As far as other photographers that have influenced me, I'd have to say Arthur Meyerson, Jay Maisel, and Joe Baraban. All three used color, light and design to it's fullest.

Other influences would have to include the graphical shape and the design elements in our daily life. I like repeated shapes and patterns with the inclusion of people in the frame.

What have been some of your more challenging and exciting assignments?
I've been fortunate to have several exciting assignments over the course of my career. One that comes to mind right off bat would have to be an annual report I was shooting in Indonesia for a large mining company, I was sent there to photograph the start up of a new copper mine. The mine was in the exploration phase at the time and I was really challenged to create interesting images when there was nothing was really there to photograph. I love those sorts of challenges, it really makes you think and often I find I create my best work with those sorts of challenges.

Another might be a trip to Mongolia, I was hired to photograph assets during an analyst tour a gold company was conducting to their properties.

I see that you have recently been teaching workshops, how did you get involved with that?
I was asked by the Santa Fe Workshops and Maine Media Workshops to teach location lighting. I also conduct my own lighting workshops around the country called "Small Strobes, Big Results". The workshops are design to teach photographer how to create studio quality lighting from their shoe-mounted speedlights off camera. I've had some wonderful location to hold the workshops at. Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Central Terminal Train Station in Buffalo, and a fire station in TX.

The organization know as Nikonians has also tapped me to teach advanced lighting using the Nikon CLS system. I'll be teaching in Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, Orlando and Philadelphia in the next several months.

I have also joined Popular Photography's "Mentor Series" as a mentor. I really enjoy teaching at workshops, I meet some very nice folks and I enjoy helping young photographers with their education.

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