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12.29.2009

21 Answers

You asked the questions. I've finally taken the time to answer. I apologize, they're hardly worth the wait.
Some questions have been edited for length and clarity.

1} What's in your bag?
One camera, a lens, an extra battery, a flash and a light meter (both of which, never get used), some hair ties, safety pins, wet wipes, and a white garbage bag.

2} What is your favorite lens?
I only use/own one - a 28-135 mm.

3} Where did you get your fashion sense?
I've dressed a few mannequins in my day.

4} Do you have a criteria to only photograph "good looking" people or are you just lucky?
I'm pretty lucky.

5} How do you make sure your clients are dressed well?
I'll give suggestions, but for the most part I'm fortunate to attract a clientele that already has a great sense of what looks good.
But, if needs be, I have no problem letting them know what would look better.

6} What is your approach to a stiff model?
Humor. If you can get them to laugh, the rest is easy.

7} Do you have any tricks that you'd care to share about interacting with your subjects?
I've worked in retail, as well as have been a part of an improv troop, which has taught me how to engage with strangers, read body language, and think fast. Skills I have found to be helpful when interacting with subjects.

8} Do you pose your subjects or just tell them to interact?
I'll give them an idea of what I'm looking for, even show them, and then have them do it themselves, so it looks natural and feels more comfortable for them. But, most of the time it's getting them to interact with each other that leads to the most success.

9} Do you have "go-to" poses that you fall back on?
You bet, but everyone makes it their own.

10} What words of advice would you give to the unfortunately un-photogenic?
You can't go wrong with keeping your chin down.

11} How much do you alter your photos on the computer before finding the finished product? Or do you?
I try not to change too much. I like to try to get it right the first time.
If you're asking about "actions," I don't use them. I prefer imperfect skin as well as natural colors.

12} Why do you cut off the tops of your subject's heads?
Older clients love to ask me this question. I do it for composition. Plus some people look better with less forehead - yours truly included.

13} Do you prefer to shoot outdoors or in a studio?
When I finally get the chance to use a studio, I'll let you know which I prefer. But my guess is I'll love both for their advantages and disadvantages.

14} Do you ever use a flash or a reflector outside?
Very rarely.
Almost never.

15} Who or what inspires you?
Clothing is a large inspiration for me. How a t-shirt fits or how an old jacket looks.
I also find a lot of inspiration from old photographs, especially Civil War photographs.
And photographers like Sam Jones, Mark Seliger, and Annie Leibovitz have been influential as well.

16} Did you go to college with photography in mind or is this something you just picked up?
It wasn't until after I dropped out of college that I discovered I really enjoyed taking people's pictures and using a "real" camera.
And a five class community course helped in the understanding of that "real" camera.

17} What has been the most challenging thing for you in your "becoming" a photographer?
Confidence.

18} Any advice for a photographer just starting out?
Pursue it for the right reason?

19} Who have been your favorite "pretty famous" personalities to photograph?
I always have a good time with singer/songwriter, Joshua James; soccer player, Kyle Beckerman, was super chill and a lot of fun to shoot; and professional snowboarder, Jeremy Jones, even though intimidating, was cool enough to make sure I got all the shots I wanted.

20} Whose dog is that?
The dog (Ellie), that I've used in a lot of my branding, belongs to my Aunt. One of my favorite dogs, if not my most favorite.

21} And, what do you look like?
I was told I looked like Ryan Reynolds a lot, this past summer. But, I don't see it.

Thank you for your questions and general interest in my work. I apologize I couldn't answer all of your questions. And sooner.

Image of Ryan Reynolds not by Matt Clayton