Archive for the ‘Photographer Interviews’ Category
Written by Freddy Martinez on April 22nd, 2014 at 7:52 pm
On the field, photojournalist Lucio Villa never takes his eyes off what’s happening around him. If anything needs changing, his hands already know where to go. He’s learned every button, every setting, every little change that could possibly come from his camera. Instead of wasting time looking down, he’s looking for a photograph before it happens, anticipating its arrival so he’s there, ready.
As a photojournalist, Villa comes from a long tradition of observers — those born watchers who find themselves noticing patterns and objects and details before anyone else. What’s unique about Villa is that he also comes from Compton, California, which, fairly or unfairly, isn’t known as the most opportunistic paths to success. Yet after graduating from Cal State Fullerton, Villa has began to amass a great deal of work in a short period of time, working with the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Reporter, and La Opinion.
In this interview, Villa talks about his start with photojournalism, explains how he’s able to anticipate photographs before they happen, and reveals how he’s able to find important stories.
Brigitte Pavich Interview: Using Instagram and an iPhone to Capture the Bittersweet Beauty of Being Alive
Written by Freddy Martinez on April 8th, 2014 at 12:27 pm
Epiphanies never come quietly. Like a thunderclap, they emerge only after breaking some barrier. Always hidden and at all times awake, these moments arise from some automatic recalibration of your inner ordering. You could even say that it’s only during an epiphany that you can actually feel your brain creating a new pathway — feel your synapses igniting. Of course, poetic language has an equivalent to the rousing epiphany. It’s the oxymoron.
One of the oldest oxymorons in Western literature is bittersweet. You can find it Sappho’s 130th fragment — all the way from 620 BC. In this simple poem about what love feels and tastes like, Sappho uses the oxymoron to bring all the multiple perspectives about love together. It becomes her fulcrum, acts like her epiphany written out. Just imagine what a listener would have felt once hearing this newly created word to describe love:
Once again that loosener of limbs, Love,/ bittersweet and inescapable, crawling thing,/ seizes me.
Written by Freddy Martinez on April 2nd, 2014 at 8:50 am
With a name like Eric Ray Davidson, it’s easy to imagine big-time fame, high-stakes confidence, and fast-living would follow you since birth. It reads like one of those 1950s Hollywood stage names that just resonates with a mnemonic stick-in-your-head traction. Being a celebrity photographer, photojournalist, and all-around cool guy, Eric Ray Davidson has certainly lived up to that neon-painted bet his parents hedged with this excellently crafted name.
I mean, you don’t get to jump onto a porn set with someone like James Deen unless you exude cool. You don’t become an associate photo editor at Details unless you, again, you have that French je ne sais quoi hyper-mystique. Stylish to the point of a crisp Simon Spurr suit, pristine as an idyllic midsummer nap on the wings of a rosy-cheeked cherub, all of Davidson’s photographs have that cool – like a cold-kiss-from-a-sexy-stranger cool. They’re close-up, intimate, observant, yet seemingly far away. They revel in that undefinable it.
In this interview, Eric Ray Davidson talks about making a dark room in high school, explains his approach to lighting, reveals what it was like shooting in a porn set.
Written by Freddy Martinez on March 26th, 2014 at 7:12 pm
How do you introduce yourself to strangers? Do you, like celebrity photographer Maarten de Boer, admit that you enjoy eating popcorn with chopsticks? Or that you love bacon and black pudding? And if you have a beard, do you say you love it? I’ve learned a thing or two from interviewing many great photographers, and one of them is that their aesthetic reaches out to everything they do, even determines their little bios on their sites. Some go formal, others go silent, and still others, like de Boer, go personal.
The personal ones are my favorites. From de Boer’s, I can gather that the ellipses, the under-cased i, and brilliant selfie all indicate that he’s a photographer who truly enjoys and understands himself. Perhaps that’s why his images all feel consistent and personal. They are photographs that proudly scream that they were taken by him. And though I haven’t met de Boer, I imagine that he’s as approachable, confident, and graciously funny as many of his images are.
In this interview, de Boer talks about his long journey in photography, explains how he achieves his wonderful lighting, and reveals why a photographer’s style is a deeply personal thing.
Written by Freddy Martinez on March 20th, 2014 at 6:24 am
Although it’s obvious after several thousand photographs, when you first start shooting it’s difficult to see where your deep-rooted fascinations, those irreducible attractions you’ve had since you were young, are taking you. Yet soon, as every shot builds on another, some recurring themes start to form. If you’re lucky, you’ll recognize these patterns as your own voice clearing its throat. If you’re smart, you’ll follow where they lead you.
For fine art photographer Christine Carr, photography simply continues what she had already been doing. It allows her to stay exploring the literal and figurative outskirts of cities. Though many of her images don’t take place at the edges, they still all feel caught in-between. Made away from city congestion but city-life still visible, about structure yet also about boundless nature, her work investigates the middle ground, searching for a balance between natural and artificial form.
In this interview, Carr talks about her start in photography, explains her attraction to geometry and timelapses, and reveals why she sticks to medium format cameras.
Written by Freddy Martinez on March 14th, 2014 at 10:17 pm
Street photography is one of those things that cut into you. It has a razor-sharp bite that can’t be shrugged away. If you shoot it, you’re bound to commit full-heartedly to it. Maybe because of this, it’s also a genre that produces loud opinions and even louder proclamations. That’s why we wanted to review Italian photographer Alex Coghe’s Art of Seeing: A Guide to Street Photography.
It’s a training ebook that doesn’t act like a training ebook. It’s more like a turn-of-the-century manifesto — but you can read what I wrote over here. Right now, we’re here for his work. After reading page after page about the history and aesthetics of the genre, we figured the least we could do is speak to its author about his photography and why he’s unimpressed with street photography at large. And his thoughts are definitely worth checking out.
In this interview, Coghe explains how he got his start in photography, talks about what street photography can be, and speaks about what Mexico City means to him.
Written by Freddy Martinez on March 6th, 2014 at 5:36 am
The beginning steps to seeing light is seeing shadow, and I’m not trying to be clever with this. I just think it’s true. When you first start putting the world to your lens, you’ll notice that shadow creates tension. And you’ll crave that darkness — to put it as dramatically as possible. Some photographers just know how to tame it. Fine art photographer Caitlin Teal Price is one. She makes high-key lighting seem so easy to control.
It might be because her images are sparse. She withholds much. Using as much space as possible to isolate what’s being said in the image, Price creates through subtraction. Sometimes what’s said is unclear, sometimes barely heard, but it’s still all gorgeous. You’ll feel like you’re watching a classic film slashed into many tiny pieces. You’ll sense the story but only get the mysterious — shadowy — instances of what’s going to happen next.
In this interview, Price talks about her style, explains how she approaches her fine art, and reveals why guerrilla style photography is still necessary.
Written by Freddy Martinez on February 25th, 2014 at 6:57 pm
You know you’re passionate about something when you wake up at 4 am to continue doing it. Not only that, but you actually get excited about it. That’s how landscape photographer Matt Kloskowski felt when he first started going outdoors to shoot. He was energized and motivated to leave at that unholy hour for the chance to capture the land in its most magical light.
And now as Director of Training and Education for the Kelby Media Group, he’s fortunate enough to spend much of his time focused on helping others find their own passion. And it’s easy to see why he’s sharing his insights. Kloskowski’s landscapes are so beautiful that you know they must have taken great pains to achieve. Simple and elegant, they are picture-perfect landscapes and great examples of what passion can achieve.
In this interview, Kloskowski talks about how he got his start in photography, explains his approach to landscapes, and reveals three tips every landscape photographer should know about shooting during the golden hours.
Written by Freddy Martinez on February 20th, 2014 at 11:31 pm
One of my favorite lines, from any book, from any time, comes from Norman Mailer. And I know he wasn’t the greatest spokesperson for planet Earth — he had a cancerous ego, was happily violent and sexist, and slowed by a strange machismo-mysticism (I mean, who really knows what his deal with contraceptives was?). But, still, he wrote it, and it’s a line that you can use for many things:
“When your best and worst motive agree on the same action, watch the juices flow.”
That could sum the whole of Mailer (perhaps sexual desire too?), but it could also explain something about Los Angeles photographer Tyler Shields’ work. Work that isn’t like much out there and vastly more graphic than anything we’ve showcased, it’s work that either you understand and admire, possibly love, or it’s work that you analyze and began to loathe. It’s very complicated to say the least.
Written by Freddy Martinez on February 17th, 2014 at 8:05 pm
It’s really hard to bring up Flannery O’Conner when talking about photography, but if you have the chance, you take it — especially if it’s about “A View of the Woods“. Like Mary Fortune Pitts from that story, Los Angeles photographer Jana Cruder spent a lot of time around places swarming with bulldozers and earth-moving machines. This is because, at fifteen, her first paying job was to shoot her father’s construction sites. But, while doing so, she soon fell in love with taking portraits.
O’Conner’s story doesn’t end well, though. Thankfully, Los Angeles fashion photographer Jana Cruder’s story has yet to end and goes nowhere near the not-so-pleasant outcome of “A View of the Woods”. Her work, however, does share O’Conner’s astute sense of revelation and shading. I could try to explain this further, but Cruder does it best when she describes her portraits as “a beautiful dance between lovers: it’s a little give and a little take and at the right moment something extraordinary happens and we both know it.”
In this interview, Cruder talks about how she got her start in photography, explains her unique approach to in-camera techniques, and gives insightful advice about getting fine art work exhibited in galleries.