Q&A

-How did you first become interested in photography?

It happened by accident really. I was looking for images for a college presentation and came across the website Flickr.com. Right away I was hooked on the photos I found being posted and I knew I needed to try it for myself. I bought a camera from Ebay and started teaching myself the basics of both the camera and Photoshop and over the years started developing my style and my portfolio.


-How did you go about becoming a professional photographer?

I was working in a high school at the same time that I was building my photography hobby. About 3 years ago, the hobby side of photography started to pick up a bit more seriously and I was spending almost as much time on it as I was at work. It was getting harder to balance both and I knew I had to make a leap and try following this passion. I was fortunate to have an amazing opportunity to travel and work with the 2014 FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour that gave me a chance to jump into this new part of my life.


-Is there a single theme or concept that runs throughout all of your photography?

I think the theme of ‘anything is possible’ is one that runs through my imagery. As kids we are encouraged and supported when we think creatively and have wild imaginations, but then as we grow older it’s supposed to stop. I think that for me, my work is the bridge between the childhood imagination and the adult one. I think that the theme of ‘anything is possible if we want it to be’ is one that I try to live by.


-What is your biggest resource in relation to technical knowledge and how long did it take you to master your technique?

I think the internet as a resource was my biggest teacher. I barely knew how to use a camera when I bought my first one, but reading tutorials by photographers like Aaron Nace really helped me understand the technical and creative techniques that I wanted to learn. Now with Youtube and other platforms, it’s so easy to learn new skills and I love that people are sharing their knowledge.


-What is your dream project?

I love working with other artists, especially musicians, as I like to try and tell the visual story of the music that they create. I’d love to work on a big project with a group like Coldplay or an artist like Lady Gaga or Sia that create beautiful music and lyrics.


-How much of your images are captured ‘in camera’ and what is your post-production workflow like?

Almost none of my work is captured in camera. Sometimes if I happen to catch a stunning sunset or location that doesn’t need any enhancements I’ll use it but half of my work is in the processing which I think is where I like to get creative.


Some say that my style isn’t photography, but I have to know the technique of shooting the images I need to make them work, it’s equal parts photography and processing and I would say that I can spend upwards of a few days on an image.


-What inspires you to create new work?

If I haven’t created anything new in a while I get a bit of this itch, like a craving almost to go out and use my camera. I’m inspired by my life events, struggles and fears and things that I’m experiencing and when those get more intense my desire to channel the feelings through images becomes more intense as well.


-How much pre-production goes into your work?

It depends on the photo, sometimes I just go out with my camera and don’t have a plan and let ideas come to me. Other times I’ve sketched, bought props or items, sewn things together. I’ve built crazy things or spent hours looking for a certain item that I need. It’s all part of the fun, putting it all together.


-How would you advise someone just starting out in art photography?

I would say just start shooting in manual mode. It’s the fastest way to start to understand your camera and what all the settings mean. Take photos of everything, every angle every type of lighting and you’ll start to see what looks good and what doesn’t and this will also help you define your style. Be inspired by other artists but don’t rely on them to define your work, find out what makes your story unique and share that through your photos.


-What was the best career advice you were ever given?

Don’t treat the world as if it owes you something, treat it like you are giving something back.