What is your title, and can you explain what your daily responsibilities are?
I’m a humble photographer. Mostly my days are spent trying to get more people to pay me for photography or shooting that photography. I’m also involved in other photo related activities like writing books, magazine articles and even web plugins for Lightroom.
What inspired you most to become a Photographer/photo artist? Why did you pursue this as a career?
I’ve just always been interested in Photography. I live, eat and sleep it. It’s the first thing I think about in the morning and last thing I think about going to bed at night. I like to think I’ve come a long way, yet I know I’ve still so much to learn, and it’s that that knowing that drives me every day. As to a career, I’m still very much up and coming. I still mix bands over the weekend, and spends my week days working from the studio, or from home when I just want to relax.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle to pursuing a career in the creative fields?
Getting paid. It’s not necessarily how good or great your work is, it’s convincing people that it has value and is worth paying for. The perception of photography as a commodity and an attitude of ‘good enough’ means that people would take bad free stuff rather than pay, even when that bad stuff brings down their brand.,I do a lot of work for me. Do I think it can make money? Maybe not, but I love it. Like Ira Glass says, it has potential, but my taste is killer. I know I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’ll still keep working away at it. It’s still beyond ‘good enough’ though!
With all the new versions of Photoshop what changes do you personally feel are the most exciting or brilliant?
While I am using CC, I’m not there for the latest and greatest. Being able to rescues motion blurred shots is defintitely cool though. After a particular job today, I should really get better at perspective cloning! With the improved masking tools, I’m finding doing composites much easier with the newer versions for sure.
What Photoshop artists/creatives do you follow, and why do they stand out from others in your opinion?
I know Julieanne Kost is an Adobe Evangelist, but her art is so beautiful. I love the composite work of Joel Grimes, he’s pratically the king of commerical composites. Is his work art? I think so. Catherine Day is a British photographer and retoucher. She really does fantastic work. She has a series called ‘Chemical’ that’s really worth a look. Katrin Eismann is also fabulous. As a newer conceptual artist, I really like Brooke Shaden. I’m not sure I like the whole legion of copycats though! I’ve nothing against copying as a learning tool, but the point is find your own voice within your influence. Finally I want to give a big mention to Glyn Dewis, I love his work..and that he shows how he does it!
What social networks do you like most? Which present good examples of Photoshop and Photography the best?
I’m a huge Twitter user, and I spend way too much time on Facebook. I also use Instagram and Tumblr, though I stay relatively below the radar on Tumblr because a lot of the work I post there are nudes or latex, and less mainstream than the bulk of my work. It’s watermarked so you know it’s my work, I’m just not promoting it so much! Really for photography you need to go to places like 500px.com or Flickr.com. I have this discussion with friends over wheter or not to share more of my work. I’m terrible for keeping it to myself.
What is your prediction of the evolution of social networks? How do you think these networks will showcase artists and Photographers better in the future?
With the rights grab that happens on some social media, you’re essential sacrificing images for exposure. Something will happen where some of the images get used inappropriately and the law will eventually change how media works in social media. Facebook reach is now their cash cow, and from what I can see, it’s not targeting the people I want as clients, so I’ve pratically stopped putting stuff up there directly. In some ways, it’s been to the detriment of my own blog, so I think the effort needs to go back there. I’m in the middle of a revamp of my website at the moment too (it’s so 2011 right now!). Facebook/Twitter is so fleeting, I need that more permanent home for my work
What predictions do you have for the future of Photoshop and Photography?
The jump to Creative Cloud has created a huge divide. There are people that simply don’t want to rent software. I think there will be competitors trying to fill the perpetual license void. There’s nothing out there to touch Photoshop, but I think it’s creating an opportunity for competition.
I think that Photography as a profession will get even harder and harder. Obviously commercial work requires talent, but event work, and even press work is becoming more citizen based as people become more proficent with imagery. I genuinely hope that people learn to see the difference quality imagery can make.
As an art form, I think that photography will grow, because of the accessibility. Hopefully there will be plenty of originality that burns bright.