Tag Archives: interview

Women in Photography Interview

25 Jan

 

Super excited to have been part of this new series put together by Marie Gardiner, a photographer and author based in the UK.  Make sure to check it out here!

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Interview with Edith Levy

9 Mar

manorola-blue-hour_viewable

There are so many talented photographers out there, and I truly love discovering the world through their eyes.  Sometimes, though, I find someone who’s work resonates so strongly with me, I just have to share.  Edith Levy was one such photographer.

When I look at Edith’s images, I am completely drawn into the scene.  Her images have such a strong sense of place and her travel portraits always seem to tell a great story.  I fell in love with her travel work as soon as I discovered it, and I hope it speaks to you as well. 🙂

Enjoy!

 

Where are you located?

I’m in Ontario, Canada…Toronto to be exact.

tourists-at-the-louvre

How did you get into photography?

My parents bought me my first SLR, a Yashica FX-2, when I was 15 years old. I had been using a Kodak Instamatic up until then but I was bugging them for a “real” camera for a couple of years. I learned by trial and error, figuring out what settings to use as I went along. The problem was that with the cost of film and developing mistakes were costly for a 15 year old.  While I didn’t major in Photography in University (I was a theatre major) I did take take some classes and learned how to develop film. When I got married and had my boys photography took a bit of a back seat and really with the exception of photographing my kids and our vacations I wasn’t pursuing the artistic side of the craft. I bought a DSLR, the Canon Xti, about 7 years and that put the wheels in motion for me. I rediscovered my love for the art of photography. I now shoot with a Canon 7D and am looking to add the 5D Mark iii later this year.

the-treasury_viewable

Who/What inspires you?

I find inspiration all around me but traveling to new places and meeting new people is a great source of inspiration. Closer to home I’m inspired by other photographers. I love to see how each photographer interprets a scene, how they create and bring their vision to life.
open-for-business_viewable

According to your website, you have your hands in a lot of pots…a brand for travel/street photography, a brand for dog portraits and a DVD company. Can you tell us a little about each?

I suppose I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. The DVD company,  HiTIDE Productions, I started about 8 years ago. I create slideshows, sign-in books and coffee table books for weddings; Bar Mitzvahs, any milestone celebrations.

Edith Levy Photography started life as a blog, a place for me to challenge myself and grow as a photographer. What started as a 52 Week Challenge (posting a picture a week) quickly grew to where I posting almost daily. The reception that I received from visitors who quickly turned into followers of the blog and in turn people that I now call friends just amazed me. Now almost 4 years later while I don;t post as often, Edith Levy Photography is still growing. I have an online gallery and I’ve licensed a number of images. Last year a major US publisher licensed one of my images for a book cover.  That was very exciting for me especially when as advance copy of the book arrived in the mail.

Last year I decided to combine my love for photography with my love for animals and that’s when the idea of a pet photography business started. PhoDOGraphy by Edith is a new venture and I’m still trying to build this new brand. My focus right now is local marketing which is challenging with this type of business. Check back with me in a year and I’ll let you know how its going.

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What type of photography (travel or portrait) is your favorite and why?

Travel…hands down. I love exploring new places, people and cultures and capturing those with my camera.

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Having multiple income streams gives you a financial safety net, but it requires more work. Can you talk a little bit about what goes into building, maintaining and marketing three separate business brands?

It’s not easy that’s for sure especially since I actually have a full time job. I work for a Financial Institution here in Toronto and my other business activities are conducted in the evenings and on weekends. It certainly is a juggling act but I love it and I have a very supportive husband. HiTIDE Productions has turned into a word of mouth / referral type business and a lot of return customers so I don’t do a lot of marketing for that. I work hard at promoting my main photography business through social media, local events such as photography exhibitions and connecting with potential buyers.

cuba-bicycle_viewable

I noticed you are also a member of a camera club.  How has that impacted your photo business / photography?

I joined my club, The Toronto Digital Photography Club, about 3 years ago.  It was one of the smartest things I’ve ever done. I’m surrounded by like minded individuals who are all striving to improve their craft and we all learn from each other. The club provides us with a venue to enter competitions, learn from a number of varied speakers and attend workshops throughout the year. If you want to grow as a photographer enter a competition. Trust me when you listen to the judges critiquing your images it can be very disconcerting but its a great learning experience.

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Anything else you want people to know about your photography?  Any projects to promote?

No specific projects per se. This year is about growing my pet photography business. Last year I attended a wonderful pet photography workshop and it was the first time I shot in a studio setting. I loved it so this year I’m putting my energy into learning all about studio lighting.

 

img_8257_watching-the-jellies_viewable

How can people find you/get a hold of you?

You can find me at www.edithlevyphotography.com or www.PhoDOGraphybyEdith.com

I can also be found on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/EdithLevyPhotography
Twitter https://twitter.com/Edithlevy21
Instagram https://instagram.com/edithlevy/
Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/edithlevy/

Interview with Laura Macky

21 Jan
Laura Macky - A Way Out

Laura Macky – A Way Out

Laura Macky’s creativity is a bright light that cuts through a lot of the noise on the internet.  I discovered her blog a while back and have consistently enjoyed seeing the art she makes and the way she sees the world.  This interview was a chance to get a behind the scenes glimpse at what goes into making her images, and a chance to share her bold, painterly, thinking outside of the box images with you.  Hope you enjoy! 🙂
Where are you located?
I’m in the San Francisco Bay Area in California

Laura Macky - Sailboat

Laura Macky – Sailboat

How did you get into photography?

I used to play the piano as a hobby but developed a nerve issue in my right hand from a neck injury/surgery and I couldn’t play like I used to.  For several years I had no hobby and one day I thought it might be fun to try photography because it was in the arts, and I’ve always been a huge fan of the arts!  So off I went to our local camera store to buy cheapest DSLR, a Nikon D3000.  I remember going out with the camera for the first time and being scared to even press the button in auto.

Laura Macky - Fog Wave

Laura Macky – Fog Wave

Laura Macky - SF Skyline

Laura Macky – SF Skyline

One of things I love about your work is the creativity and bold edits. Do you have a vision in mind when you shoot, or do you let the photo edit develop as you start working with each image?

I love this question Shannon.  Thank you!   First off, you can probably tell I love color and vibrant color to boot!  I do a bit of B&W too but color is definitely my favorite.  It’s important that my personality show through in my photos and because I think I’m anything but demure lol, I think you pick up on that side of me through my editing.  As to the second question, usually I’m driven by mood of what I’m seeing at the time.  For instance, if I’m standing behind a willow tree and I see beautiful light and I feel magical, I know that I will try to edit the photo to match my feeling at the time.  Or if I’m zooming in on a tiny flower and I see it as a jewel box while I’m there, I will try to edit that way later.  Once in awhile I get an image that’s in between and then I let myself go in photoshop and see what I come up with…no preconceived idea up front.

Laura Macky - Flying Mallard

Laura Macky – Flying Mallard

Laura Macky - Windswept

Laura Macky – Windswept

What/whose work inspires you? (Doesn’t need to be a photographer)

What inspires me are artists who are original and come from a unique viewpoint.  I see a lot of images that look the same and you can’t really tell who took the photo.  It’s inspirational to me to see someone who takes a chance and expresses themselves out-of-the-box.

 

Laura Macky - CA in Pacifica

Laura Macky – CA in Pacifica

Laura Macky - Willow Glow

Laura Macky – Willow Glow

What are your goals for your images? Are you trying to convey anything with your art?

My goal is to express the mood I felt at the time I took the photo.  I hope to evoke someone to feel the same as I did when I took the photo.  Since I’m fairly new to photography, I feel like only recently have started to be able to do this and while I’m not always successful, it’s what keeps me motivated to improve.  When people comment on my photos with certain words that I was already thinking, I feel like I’ve accomplished what I set out to do.

Laura Macky - Here Comes The Bride

Laura Macky – Here Comes The Bride

Laura Macky - Tangled Coneflower

Laura Macky – Tangled Coneflower

How can people find you? Website, email, twitter, instagram, etc.

You can find me at http://www.lauramacky.com/, www.lauramacky.wordpress.cominfo@lauramacky.com.  I’m also on G+, Twitter, and Flickr.  The links can be found either on my website or on my blog in the sidebar.  Thank you for the opportunity to share!

Interview with Jamey Pyles

21 Oct

A few months back, I stumbled upon Jamey Pyles 500px page, and was immediately in love with his work.  Images that moving are rare for me these days.  Despite my affinity for his images, however, I struggled to put together this interview.

 

Jamey’s work is striking.

 

Magical.

 

His pictures make me want to take a walk through a wild mountain and appreciate the unbroken beauty of an untamed landscape.

 

But how do I put that into words?  What exactly is it about Jamey’s work and philosophy that draws me in as a viewer and a fan?

 

I think it is the sense of adventure I feel when I look at his images.  On his website he says, “I capture photographs with the intent to share the beauty I see out there with the world and to remind people of the natural world that modern society has all but left behind. These motives stand behind my ambition to create art that is personally meaningful to my lifelong journey.” There is a true freedom in that notion.

 

The idea of using art as a way of bringing awareness, as a potential tool for preservation…it’s a sexy, romantic notion. Photography used as both a creative outlet, and a tool for the greater good.  That’s how one starts a legacy.

 

But…that isn’t the whole story.  It isn’t just Jamey’s idealism that I’m drawn to.  It’s his images.  It’s his locations.  It’s the quality of his light.

 

One of the side effects of the world being so accessible is that it is difficult to find something new, to create something that stands out in the crowd, captures my attention and holds it.  I won’t deny, there are a lot of incredible images of Antelope Canyon, of the turquoise lakes in Banff, of the Eiffel Tower and of the Great Wall…but they’re so frequently photographed, that I couldn’t pick one particular artist’s version out in a crowd.

 

Jamey’s work appeals to me because it’s new, it’s fresh, and much of it is so well edited and composed, I can’t help but pause when I’m flipping through his portfolio.

 

But hey…this interview isn’t about how I feel about Jamey’s work.  It’s about how Jamey’s work came to be.  So let’s get down to the questions, shall we?

 

First, and most obvious question…

How did you get into photography?

 

I was introduced to nature by my parents through backpacking in the very impressionable years preceding elementary school. At our go-to location in the Three Sisters Wilderness, I glimpsed into another realm of the world that eventually would come to mean one of the only realities in my life. There I confronted the rational and irrational fears and undertook adventures throughout those early years — we went on the trip for 4 days each summer. These first encounters with the woods sparked a continually growing interest in the natural world. The first subject that really drew me into photography was waterfalls. I was enamored by the long exposure and how it painted water so beautifully. There didn’t seem to be much purpose in those days, but that was perfectly fine. I was a young guy super engaged in my hobby of making images that captured these waterfalls. It was always more than just photography, though, because I routinely would go to places completely off the beaten path or with very difficult access even if there were no known ‘comps’ of the place done by other photographers. Gradually the horizons grew. Its been about 6 years since I first started using a camera.

 

 

There is a definite evolution among your images as you developed a style that works for you.  For the benefit of all of our new photographers out there, can you talk a little bit about the journey to find your own style?

 

Some of it was learning the tools better. But most of finding my style was not a conscious choice, but rather, allowing my ambitions to seek, and letting my art follow. My themes and subjects have changed over time, but consistently my journey has taken me to places that have one key ingredient: I seek out landscapes that are uncorrupted by man, and that alone has become the passion. Making art that can point the focus back to the landscape is my response and it is my ultimate challenge. It comes second to the experience, hands down. Now, I’ve photographed so many things that I have a backlog at least a year and a half long.  There are many experiences I have captured that I know will never make it to my public portfolio because I feel that it is important that the experience remains mine and mine solely. I don’t feel obligated to share, but when I do, I like to post in a meaningful order, generally not chronologically. Right now on my desk I have a scrap envelope that has scribbles of ideas relating to what I should edit and post online next. I’m just now coming out of a hard and very busy time and I am trying to focus more on my art and less on this BS we call ‘real life’.

 

What led up to the Kickstarter idea, and eventual book and calendar you published?

 

That spurred from my first experience in the Oregon desert with a wise old friend of mine. I was just blown away at the diversity of the landscapes and the fact that nobody knew that there was beauty to be found in such a place. So that progressed into a project that became sort of an expose’ on the beauty of the natural landscapes of eastern Oregon. Originally the end result was going to be the portfolio of images I would make. On top of that, I would make a book to go with it, that was mostly pictures, and a few essays/stories. But as I started to get my thoughts on the page, I couldnt stop writing, and all of a sudden I had 30,000+ words to deal with along with all of the photos, and the book became the biggest focus. The book’s themes became self discovery, and the meaningfulness of nature, with a side of adventure. If one was to read it solely for the adventure aspect, one would likely be disappointed. The finished work is 90 pages with full color images throughout.

 

The whole experience of brainstorming, fundraising, and fulfilling a project was very enlightening. I also went way over budget, saw so many amazing things, and most importantly, was left with the uncanny and disturbing knowledge that I had only scratched the surface. I learned that saying “I want to capture it ALL” was very foolish. Were I to do it again, I would focus more deeply on a smaller area or single subject.

 

All of the calendars I have made and published have been separate to the project. I’ve been making them every year since 2009. Last year I made the calendar for 2014 focussed on the Great Basin which is partly in eastern Oregon. You can find that and more info on my book on my website (www.jameypyles.com)

 

 

How has that experience of traveling to and capturing some of the lesser known sites of the Northwest affected your outlook on life?

 

This is a hefty question, because it has defined my existence in a way. It wasn’t “That Experience” from the Eastern Oregon project but rather the whole pathway to get there, and then the continuance of the journey forward from there. I’ll attribute its relative meaningfulness to my age at the time, in the transformational teen years, and also the amount of energy I was able to focus into it. Experiencing nature like that so young has directed my focus away from other things that most teenagers are into. I was never interested in engaging in high school life beyond classes. I spent my senior year of high school writing my book instead of pursuing scholarships, honors classes, parties, girls, whatever. In essence, my experience with nature correlates in some way with everything that I count as meaningful in my life currently.

 

Nature has quieted my spirit, it has allowed me to see the relative vanity of human existence and has challenged me to look deeper – look for purpose; search for answers even if the answers may always be beyond reach.  I think the project specifically helped me develop my voice, in photography and in my writing. I have continued writing, but it is more focussed on prose and expository than narrative. Other than journaling, I feel that narrative has become very shallow for me considering that there is no story proposition like there was when I went forth to write that book. Now I’m just a simple guy that really digs nature.

 

Screaming Skies - www.jameypyles.com

Screaming Skies – http://www.jameypyles.com

From a marketing perspective, what are your thoughts of selling shots of unknown locations versus known locations?  Have you had much success?

 

I’ve learned that if you want to sell images, you’ll likely want to look in other places than the wilderness. Not that you can’t do it, but that it is beside the point. It is far easier to sell photos of places that people know. In my case I have pretty much stopped trying to sell prints, due to my focussing on other things; projects, personal life, etc. I guess I have had some success in the last several years, but the result was never more than a few hundred bucks here and there. In the foreseeable future, I wont be able to make enough money on selling images. I hope to make a living related in some way to photography/outdoors, but right now I am trying to gain some traction, working as a landscaper. I hate marketing. It puts me in the wrong headspace… But it is a necessary evil.

 

 

Any advice for new photographers trying to make a place for themselves in the world?

 

Don’t try to make a place for yourself in the world, rather find the place you already are in and let your art be a venue for self discovery rather than self promotion. You can not effectually influence others unless you are grounded in yourself. I have found the most meaningful place in the world for me is the most irrelevant place as well… A high place where I can look out on an expanse and see no evidence of human existence, where to all perspectives but my very own, I am nothing.

 

That is me. Find out who you are, and make your art for the sake of you, and it very well could stand above the crowd.

 

Silver Lining - www.jameypyles.com

Silver Lining – http://www.jameypyles.com

Any other notable accomplishments or projects you want to talk about?

 

The most current is that I just married my other half just a few weeks back. Hanna and I are so happy together and I am looking forward to a lifetime of adventures with her. The wedding consumed all of my free time so I hope to be able to get back into the swing of things now that we are getting settled in.

 

Back in September of 2013 (it hurts to think this was already a year ago), I packed all of my needed belongings into my jeep and moved to Reno, Nevada to work with a wilderness advocacy group called Friends of Nevada Wilderness. My job was wilderness inventory; I would set out for a week at a time with a partner and look for Wilderness characteristics in some pristine Nevada landscapes. We tracked all routes around and into these wild areas, documenting characteristics according to BLM national standards for Lands with Wilderness Characteristics. The intent of the organization and my outings were to permanently set aside these wild areas as Wilderness (with a capital W), meaning that the landscape can not be used for material gain (logging, mining, building, etc) and that it will remain publicly accessible as it is currently, into the future. There is a lot more to it than I have time or space to write about, but I will gladly answer questions anyone has.

 

I did this work from September into November, when it started snowing and the days became too short for my work. I learned some incredibly valuable lessons while discovering the potential of Nevada. I felt incredibly blessed to work and be paid doing something that I loved to do, essentially camping with a purpose. I saw so many incredible things – deep canyons, incredible rock formations, endless high mountains, blazing fall colors, desert sands and rhythmic patterns, and so much more. Thanks to this job and many other outings in 2013, I spent just about 100 nights in the outdoors. When I returned to Oregon’s winter I felt pretty empty, and although I still have yet to land another job along this career path, I’ve again and again found solace alone in the desert and in the high mountains of my home state.

 

I’m searching constantly for another opportunity like this one, but it is likely I will follow some more of my own projects first. I’ve got a few major ones in the works but these are at the beginning stages.

 

 

Best way to contact you?

 

My email, jameypyles@me.com, or through my website, www.jameypyles.com, where you can find my gallery and a bit more about me. You can find my page on facebook, Jamey Pyles Photography, and also on 500PX.

 

Interview with Will Byington!!

2 Jan
Will Byington Profile Images

Will Byington Profile Images

When you think of publications such as Rollingstone.com, New York Times, Boston Globe, Billboard Magazine or ESPN the Magazine, you probably don’t think of Will Byington.  But you should!  I mean, an event photographer with that many big names under his belt must be worth remembering, right?!

Will Byington is a…well…let’s call him an “event” photographer and a Chicago native, whose success is rooted in skill (of course), hard-work and his ability to network like a champ! 🙂  You can read a bit more about Will here…but first…the interview!

How did you get involved in photography?

I fell into it by accident.  In college I took an elective photography course which I enjoyed, but my background was in radio and entertainment.  I spent a year in LA after college, then went on the road with a band called Cowboy Mouth for three years.  For the most part, I worked merch, though I would take some pictures and post them on a website that I created to update my friends and family.  Before long, some of those images sold – I made about $100 in one month.

Life moved on, and I moved back to Chicago.  Selling those images stuck with me, and in 2004, I decided to really try my hand at the business of photography.

While it is easier to call you an “event” photog, it’s not completely accurate.  You seem to be a jack-of all-trades.  What is your favorite subject to photograph?

Everything has its own appeal.  I love the challenge of live bands…the crowds, the lights…it all changes second to second.  I like travel and anything sports.  But I also enjoy portraits.  It’s a great compliment when someone really appreciates an image you have taken of them.

Where would someone start if they wanted to become an event photog?

“Don’t do it! We don’t need the competition!”…haha…just kidding.  Actually, I think photography is a very accessible art, and I encourage people to try it.  As for where to start…

Well, first things first, don’t go into it expecting much money.  For example, while there is value to having your name attached to large publications or big bands, nowadays, because photography is so accessible, that value is not monetary.  It comes instead in the form of brand building, a good reputation and buzz.

That being said, if you want to get involved in event photography, start small and never underestimate the importance of networking.  For example, if your passion is music photography, focus on smaller bands and go to local clubs without photography restrictions.  Those venues have several advantages – you have the flexibility to move around and be creative, which is impossible in a packed show – and often you have the ability to talk to the bands.  I encourage people to make those connections because you never know where those bands will be in a week/month/year.

Kid Rock Cruise

Kid Rock Cruise

What are some things about the event photographer lifestyle people should know?

I think most people have the wrong perception of what we do – we aren’t treated like VIPs, we aren’t partying with celebrities.  For example, if you have a pass to photograph a big band, you are escorted into the show.  Normally you are restricted to the pit, though occasionally you can work around the sound board.  You have three songs to get your shots, and then you are escorted out.  You never meet the bands, and most bands never see your photos.

To some degree, the exception to this is the Sixthman cruises because that is the nature of the event – it’s meant to be interactive – but I’m normally so busy I don’t have time to get close to the bands.  Love that I can go on 10-12 cruises a year, but they are 14 hour work days.  By the end of a cruise, I average 15,000 photos and…well…let’s put it this way.  I got back from the KISS boat on Sunday.  It’s a week and a half later and I’m still sorting through the shots.  Being an event photographer is a lot of work.

Another key to success is being organized from the get go…have a good system, label things…it’s something I’m always looking to improve in myself.

You also need to be self-motivated.  You are your own boss, which makes for a love-hate relationship.  I try to fire myself all of the time, but then I have to go re-hire myself or nothing gets done. Haha

And finally, be financially grounded.  My income works on a cyclical market…I’m making good money right now, but January and February might not be as profitable so I have to plan and budget.  It’s important to have a good handle on what your costs really are (Zack Arias put out a great blog post once about the costs actually associated with photographing a wedding) and understand that as a freelancer, you may not get paid on time so be prepared for that.

In life, they say its who you know…what impact would you say networking has had on your career?

Networking is 90% of the job.  I’m always trying to get better as a photographer, of course, but I think it’s my networking that gives me an edge.  That and not being stuck in a niche – I won’t turn away work because it’s not a Cubs game or a concert.  That versatility helps me.

Social media – especially Facebook – has been huge for me.  I like that it’s so interactive and makes everyone more accessible.

In your opinion, besides networking, what are some other keys to success that photogs should think about?

I’m going to reference one of the photographers that I admire, Chase Jarvis.  He always says the best camera is the one you have with you, and I think that’s so true.  I think it’s important to always be in a photography mindset…to practice and try new things.  I love experimenting with my Lumix PS – it’s lighter and less cumbersome than my dSLR.  I also use my iPhone all of the time.  In fact, I even sell canvas prints from iPhone photos – that’s income I wouldn’t have had if I didn’t always have a camera handy.

I really believe that everyone can be a photographer is they’re willing to put time into it.  It’s an everyman’s art, a creative outlet for anyone who wants to learn it.  Just find something you like to shoot and see where you can take it.

That’s one of the things I love about instagram feeds.  Sometimes I just scroll through and say, “Damn…that’s a good photo”.  Of course, for a lot of people it’s just a way to say they were there – quantity over quality – but for the people who enjoy it, they can excel if they put the time in.

First time being published?

I think the very first time was on the back cover of a CD, and after that…well…McDonalds.  The McDonalds in the Loop in Chicago purchased my images for a display.  Burger King also used some of my photos for a wallpaper collage.  In hindsight, I probably should have charged more for that. Haha

You have a long list of publications under your belt.  As a freelance photographer, what are your thoughts on that?

Well, I’ll reference another influential photographer, David Bergman.  He was the photographer for Bon Jovi…he took the gigipan during President Obama’s inauguration…he has his work in Sports Illustrated.  Despite his credentials, he has never gotten a call from someone wanting to hire him because they saw a magazine cover he shot.  Again, most publications don’t pay much these days, but they do help you build your name and create a perception of value.

That being said, it is a goal of mine to be published in Rolling Stone.

(I think that was a hint.)

Do you have any current projects you want people to know about?  Workshops?

I put out a book called “We Are Cubs Fans”.  It would make a great gift for the baseball fan in your life. 🙂

Also, updating my website.  If anyone out there is good at it, I would love the help!

Best way for people to find you?

https://www.facebook.com/willbyingtonphotos

http://instagram.com/willbyington

https://twitter.com/willbyington

Interview with Patrick Di Fruscia

10 Jul

A few weeks ago, I reached out to Patrick Di Fruscia, a well-known artist who is described as a “World Visionary Fine Art Nature & Landscape Photographer”….perhaps you’ve heard of him? 😉

For those of you who don’t know of him, Patrick has been working as a landscape and nature photographer for many years, creating colorful and emotional images that draw the viewer in.  He has a strong appreciation for the beauty of the world around us and strives to share that with his followers.

One of the things I think that drew me to Patrick’s work wasn’t just the images themselves, but the postive energy he put into the world.  He also seemed to be supportive and encouraging in all of the interactions he had with his fans.  That, to me, was notable.  In a culture of “no’s” and negativity, Patrick seemed to be saying “yes”.  Who better to give his thoughts on achieving success?  And who better to share those thoughts with than my fellow creatives? 🙂

We all, in one way or another, struggle to figure out the how’s and why’s of making it as a photographer.  I asked Patrick for his opinion on what helped get him where he is today.  For more information about Patrick, you can read his Q&A sheet here…but first… An interview with Patrick Di Fruscia!

A quick version of the transition from an “average joe” lifestyle to a “landscape photographer” lifestyle. Did you rely on your own resources or did you have help (sponsors, etc)?

Well, you really have to do everything by yourself if you want things to happen.  Do not wait for that special someone to help you because that person will never come.  You have to be willing to do what it takes in order to get noticed.

Photography is very competitive and if you want to be recognized worldwide as an artist in your field and specialty, you need to work day in and day out until it happens. Fortunately, with the help of social medias this is something that can happen much faster than in the past, but you need to be careful of all the “noise” that comes along with the internet.  Beware social media’s ability to waste time and people’s ability to give opinions on your work.  Focus, Focus, Focus and do at least one thing everyday that will bring you closer to your goal.

Rough percentages (in your opinion) that go into success: education, persistence, patience, resources (money/time/etc), marketing, other.

I cannot really attribute a percentage to any of these.  I never had any photographic education, but I know this could be very helpful for some people.  My answer to this question is simply, you need to have 100% Love and Passion in what you are doing.  If you have that, you will do whatever is necessary to succeed…If you don’t, you will find excuses to justify why they aren’t.

What has been the most successful marketing avenue for you: publications, word of mouth, website, social media or other.

For now, definitely the internet and Social Medias.  It is the way of the future and it is free for everyone to take advantage of.

First experience being published?

To be honest I don’t really remember.  I know we should always remember our first time but I don’t…I guess it wasn’t that great 😉

What impact do your interactions with other professional photogs, such as your recent trip with Colby Brown and Ken Kaminesky, have on your success?

Back in 2006, I started a website called TimeCatcher.com. This was the first group of landscape photographers from around the world to join forces with the goal of displaying the beauty of our beautiful planet.  I must say, this venture helped me and the other members get recognized in some way in the industry.  Unfortunately, this project has died as most of us got too busy with personal projects.

Experiences like my last trip with Colby and Ken are great, but I would be very surprised if it has any impact whatsoever on our success individually.  Photographers are very independent individuals and if you want a cooperative projects to really work you must make sure that the project is one where all members share a common goal and are all invested in it equally. The minute it becomes one person’s project more than the others is the minute the project will slowly fade away.

Are there places you won’t go without company? Why?

There are some places I won’t go at all for security reasons.  The world is very big and there is no need to risk your life if a country’s situation is unstable.  Simply pick another destination.

Being a landscape photographer, I do take many risks in order to get the right shot or viewpoint.  It is always better if you have someone to watch your back in case something happens, but many times I have traveled alone and have enjoyed the experiences tremendously.

Best advice for budding landscape photogs?

You need create images that are emotional and carefully, artistically crafted.  Aim to create a feeling of inner peace and an awareness of the true beauty that lies everywhere around you.

In order to really appreciate the art of landscape photography, you have to learn to let things go, leave all of your troubles behind and make this wonderful experience all about you.  Do not – and I repeat do not – enter this field simply to get praises, ribbons, awards etc.  You might end up being discouraged and unmotivated by the numerous negative comments people say about your work.  You have to learn to use criticism to your advantage and strive to endlessly perfect your craft.  In all walks of life, all the greatest masters and successful people have endured a battery of negative, unconstructive comments and opinions but still made it on top because of only one thing…they believed in themselves. We are often worth a lot more than we think. So never despair, believe in yourself and let nature take its course.

Every time you are outdoors with your camera, stop for a minute and remember that all of the beauty you are witnessing is there just for you.  Nobody else in the world sees exactly what you see, feels exactly what you feel and will capture exactly what you will capture. This will make each moment you capture a very special one that you, and others cherish forever. Let your emotions guide you through this incredible journey.

Nature & Landscape Photography is for everyone.  You do not have to climb the highest mountains nor travel to far away, exotic places.  I am 100% confident that every single person has a multitude of eye-catching locations in close proximity to where they live and can enjoy this incredible passion to the fullest no matter where they are.  The beauty of nature is everywhere. I have taken many images in ordinary locations but the trick is to open your heart and soul so that you can really see the beauty of your surroundings.

I recall a time when a photographer from Singapore commented on one of my pictures.  They thought I was fortunate to live in an area so beautiful and that they wished to live in such a place to shoot landscape photography. The picture in question was taken in Ile Perrot, Quebec…a very ordinary location and when I say ordinary, I mean it; even people that are familiar with that place do not believe that it was taken there.  This just goes to show that by using your imagination you can easily create a work of art from a location most people would classify as nothing special.

I remember thinking…I would rather be in Singapore shooting instead of Ile Perrot, but quickly realized that like most people, (sometimes me included) that photographer was trying to justify the fact that he wasn’t shooting as much as he would love to.  It was an excuse to make him feel better.  If this is what you really want to do, and that you truly feel the passion inside of you, do not ever use excuses why you are not able to pursue your dream. Make it a point to get out there at least once a week. I am fully aware that with work, family and other commitments it is not always easy to find the time, but you have to do what will make you feel alive.

We are all born to create in various forms and I strongly believe that a man that cannot perform his passion will quickly feel like a man without a soul. Dr. Wayne W. Dyer says it so well when he states, “ Do not die with your music still in you.” (my favorite quote)  What he means is, do not die without accomplishing your passion or what you were born to do.  In our case we have to use the statement, “Do not die with your art still inside of you.”

Bring’em all out for the world to see and leave your footprints for generations to enjoy.

Do you have any current projects you want people to know about? Workshops?

Presently, I’m working hard towards opening up my first fine art gallery.  This is a long-term goal that I had set a while ago but I am confident it will happen soon.

As for workshops, I recently started pondering offering some, but I’m not totally sold on the idea just yet.  As an alternative for now, I started offering One-on-One Skype Consultations.  That has been pretty successful.  I love the one on one interaction with other fellow photographers.  If interested, you can read more about them here: http://natureismykingdom.com/workshops/


Best way for people to find you?

Pretty easy, I’m everywhere. 🙂  Stay Strong & Live with Passion
www.DiFrusciaPhotography.com
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Mixed Bag

7 Jul

Today is a multiple photos in one post kind of day!

But first, I’m going to start with some exciting news.  A few weeks ago, I reached out to a well known landscape photographer and he agreed to an interview.  I admit, I squeeled like a little girl while doing a happy dance.  In the interview, he lays out his thoughts on what it takes to be a successful landscape and nature photographer.  I’m in the process of putting everything together for you guys, planning to post it on Tuesday.  Believe me, if you like beautiful photos, you will want to read this! =)

Next, I want to tell you a brief story.

The other day…which, if you know me, you know that means “sometime”, but I couldn’t give you a time frame, though it wasn’t so long ago that I’ve totally forgotten about it… haha  So, the other day I got a very sweet text from a friend who said she loved one of the images I had taken.  Obviously, that meant a lot to me.  As I’m sure most of us would agree, success as a photographer takes a lot of hard work and time invested so it really is nice to be appreciated.

She followed that up with asking if she could use the image as her computer wallpaper, which I agreed was a great idea.  I love seeing other people get something out of my art. =)

Wallpaper

Wallpaper

And last but not least…  Over the past few weeks I’ve shared a few photos that showed the face behind the camera.  Today, I’m sharing a self-portrait that’s more my speed.  The abstract, Scavenger-Hunt-y kind!

Abstract Self-Portrait

Abstract Self-Portrait

Hope you are all having a lovely Saturday! =)