I’ve always had the internal debate on what photography is, methodically. If we capture a candid moment out of being in the right place at the right time, is that the same thing as constructing a visually stimulating photograph with complete creative control? I think a good photographer has to know both and of course needs to know beauty when it’s in front of them. Being a photographer is a state of mind, a practice of visual acuity. We need to be able to see things for how they are, but also ask questions as to what makes it interesting. Elliot Erwitt, Frank Capa…do they define themselves by the same means as Art Streiber and Dan Winters? It’s a tough question, one that requires a lengthy look at your own work.
When I attended New England School of Photography, I majored in Advertising Photography and minored in Architectural Photography. Although I shoot mainly architecture and people, I found that working in a studio gives me such a sense of who I am as a photographer. Advertising is 100% creative. You are in creative control from conception to completion. Having total control can be overwhelming and can actually limit success. For example, if you look at all the obstacles George Lucas had when creating Star Wars 4-6 and how amazing those films are…then look at what he can do when he has an unlimited budget and total control over absolutely everything…he comes up with a story that is overly saturated with effects and unnecessary characters that overrides what everything that the original Star Wars was all about to begin with. Well, the same thing can be applied to Photography or any art form for that matter.
So for me, Architectural Photography is a perfect match for Advertising Photography. They are on opposite ends of the spectrum. With Architecture, you have to find your shot, shoot something creatively that is unique to how you see it and have visually interesting content. Both forms of photography have different purposes, different creative processes and different receptions. What’s common for both? They are both your own unique vision.
Recently, I was announced as a winner for a photography contest for British Airways. I am traveling to London in late October to shoot a theme of “Modern London.” I am going to shoot architecture, on-location portraits, and photo’s incorporating people and the landscape/cityscape. I am extremely excited to shoot this as I have never been to England before. I also hope to travel to Paris and Amsterdam while I’m in that part of the world. Once I return, my work from London will be shown in JFK Airport. Free trip and having my work shown in a major airport? Nothing wrong with that.
I’ve also been doing work with the Wine Bottega in the North End. I was assigned to shoot this lovely wine store for Food and Wine magazine. A lovely wine store owned by Kerri Platt, a truly nice person who knows more about wine than I do about eating an entire bag of kit kats (which is a whole lot). I couldn’t recommended her store enough. She knows her wine and doesn’t make you feel like foolish if you know so little about it(me).