Archive for the ‘Photographer Interviews’ Category
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.
Written by Freddy Martinez on February 10th, 2014 at 3:32 am
Los Angeles is an ugly city. There’s no getting around that. From 6th St. downtown to Sunset Boulevard’s trail to the ocean, you’ll see people, highways, sidewalks, and buildings, all ready to give in. Millions of people live here and, to each, millions of stories. But not all stories are good. Not all people are nice. It takes a special person to want to walk LA’s rough streets for the chance at making a photograph. But street photographers don’t care. They like being alone. They enjoying getting in the mess. They’re the closest things we’ve got to Bolaño’s idea of savage detectives.
Real street photography smells like the streets, to paraphrase Bruce Gilden. Nothing between you and the shit around you. And I know it’s silly to write it out, but if you’re ever had a camera around your neck and walked, really walked, then you’ll know what I mean. A great street photograph will make you stop. It’ll get hold of you. It’ll show you that true beauty is damn near impossible to hide. That even in this ugly city, there are people, stories, and moments that need to be shared. Read the rest of this entry »
Written by Freddy Martinez on January 29th, 2014 at 6:13 am
In 2010, at its highest peak of violence, Ciudad Juárez was averaging an unbelievable 8 murders per day. 3116 dead in one year. But that year wasn’t unique. Between 2007 and 2011, this border city — inches away from El Paso, Texas (one of America’s safest cities) — lost more than 9,000 lives. More people were killed in this city than the total American soldiers lost in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not surprisingly, it was during this time that Ciudad Juárez became known as the world’s deadliest city.
But photojournalist Katie Orlinsky didn’t go to Juárez for the sensational violence. She had spent her twenties in Mexico, had her first assignments there; Mexico meant more than its violence to Orlinsky. She was in Juárez because she truly cared about the innocents that lived there. The orphans, the widows, the young children forced to grow up, to survive. These were the people she wanted to document. She went to Juárez tell their stories.
Written by Freddy Martinez on January 24th, 2014 at 10:58 pm
I don’t know why, but it seems that all my favorite celebrity photographers tend to also shoot amazing landscape photography. Jacqueline Di Milia is no exception. Her portraits and landscapes are precise and charming, equally. They point exactly where they need to — reveal only what they have to. Whether it’s a gorgeous, spot-on, portrait of Greta Gerwig, or excellent in-camera collage of expansive mountain ranges, Di Milia’s eye knows what works and stays away from what doesn’t.
But, as with many professional photographers, the path to getting there was filled with many odd jobs and assistantships. Her first opportunities after college came from shooting clubs and club owners. It took some time till she found her first client and celebrity portrait. But, after finding it, she knew she had found something that she never wanted to lose. And let’s hope she doesn’t because who else is going to shoot artists like St. Vincent, Haim, and Dirty Beaches with that same incisive eye?
In this interview, Di Milia talks about her start in photography, explains her approach to her ethereal landscapes, and gives great advice that any aspiring portrait photographer should read.
Written by Freddy Martinez on January 20th, 2014 at 7:03 pm
Music and photography have remained inseparable for Los Angeles photographer Nathaniel Wood. During college, whenever a band he liked came to town, he would quickly email the manager, the publicist, the tour manager, or anyone on their website for a chance to shoot the concert. He wanted to be in the thick of it, close to the action, away from the crowds. He needed to see a closer side of his favorite musicians. Photography granted him that.
From there, Wood’s range continued to grow. He never stopped exploring and eventually landed jobs with the New Yorker, VICE, Rolling Stone, and SPIN — basically, all the plush, cool, cigarette-smoke-through-the-nose clients every photographer wants or respects. Still, one thing has remained unchanged since Wood’s start: the documentary feel to his images, the way they put you there. They’re perfect examples of why you should shoot what you love.
In this interview, Wood talks about how he got his start in photography and how music helped shaped it, explains his documentary aesthetic, and plugs LA’s Tacos Villa Corona — this humble editor’s favorite burrito joint.
Written by Freddy Martinez on January 15th, 2014 at 8:22 pm
Los Angeles is a huge city. Geographically speaking, Boston, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, and Manhattan, all could fit within its city limits. It’s also an unbelievably diverse city. There are hundreds of tiny, unique neighborhoods, each with their own cultural landmarks and distinct looks, smells, and feels. And not too far off, there’s the beach, the desert, the woods, and broken concrete — lots of it. Los Angeles can be many things, but it isn’t typically beautiful. Some of it can be downright ugly.
But Amanda Friedman has embraced LA’s many different faces. She’s even managed to find her own hidden jewels. Just look at her night landscapes. There, you’ll find LA at its most obscure and brilliant, finally understand the city’s gloom and color. And how about celebrity portraiture? There’s no place like LA when it comes to taking advantage of that opportunity. But it’ll just take a hustle like Friedman’s to be featured in Complex, the New York Times, Interview, and Vanity Fair like her.
In this interview, Friedman talks about how she got her start in photography, speaks about the advantages of shooting in LA, and explains her usual approach to portraiture.
Written by Freddy Martinez on January 12th, 2014 at 12:19 am
Sadly, there are such things as unrealized coincidences and glaring oversights. I learned this the hard way interviewing well-known photographer, director, musician, and skateboarder Sam Jones. You see, when I found out about Off Camera, Jones’ own magazine, television show, and podcast, in February 2013, I knew I had discovered something special. It was one of those rare places to read insightful, long-form style interviews that didn’t shy away from actual conversation. Now a year later and with a chance to speak with its creator, I failed to ask a single thing about it.
(So I’m mentioning it here: You should check out his interviews. You’ll learn a bunch.)
But back to Jones’ photography. It needs no introduction — and I promise this canned phrase is entirely warranted. You’re probably familiar with his portraits even if you don’t know it. Having worked with so many high-profile clients and companies, it’s pretty much guaranteed you’ve seen them. They’ve been featured by Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, and on numerous movie posters, including those of recent critical favorites like “Gravity” and “Promised Land”. It has been an understated privilege to speak with one of the best.
In this interview, Jones talks about how he got his start in photography, explains his approach to portraiture, and reveals what’s special about photographing in LA.