What is your title, and can you explain what your daily responsibilities are?
My title? Hmm, how about “Chief Bottle Washer”. That about sums it up! What I love about my job is that it’s always different and it’s way more than a job it’s a passion, it’s a lifestyle. On any given day I might be planning an upcoming shoot, fighting my way through another airport, shooting in the studio or location with an amazing team of creatives, doing admin, fielding the never ending stream of emails, working on book projects or writing on a column for one of the photography magazines I work with.
What inspired you most to become a Photographer & Educator? Why did you pursue this as a career?
I love photography’s ability to capture the moment, to tell stories, to reveal the unknown, to transport you to other places and times, to bring you inside lives otherwise unseen and emotions suppressed or forgotten. Images are like looking at lightning in bottle. I’ve been making pictures for over 35 years and my images, commercial as well as personal, represent a kind of visual journal of my life. With respect to educating and giving back, for me it’s a natural progression. As a leader I know there are people struggling with the same technical and creative issues I’ve been through. If I can help shed some light and help others along their path I feel it’s my responsibility.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle to pursuing a career in the creative fields?
Business fundamentals or the lack thereof. Creatives need to think more like business owners and less like artists. That doesn’t mean not being committed to your artistic vision, quite the contrary. What it does mean is that you’re also as committed to running a business that sells art. Even with fine art, there’s a gallery involved, doing what? Selling art! Absent the selling there probably won’t be much full time art making going on for very long. Control your assets, don’t run your business like a hobby, don’t base your prices on what the guy down the street charges, don’t give away the farm just to be a pleaser, each of these is financial suicide.
With all the new versions of Photoshop and Lightroom what changes do you personally feel are the most exciting or brilliant?
As polarizing as the cloud based model of Photoshop was it’s inception I do feel it’s a step in the right direction. The continued innovation delivered right to the desktop has made me a believer. Lightroom mobile is also a great beginning, I’m excited to see where they take it. Since incorporating medium format digital into my work I’m using Capture One Pro for the majority of my RAW conversions and I have to say this software is amazing!
What Photographers & Photoshop artists do you follow, and why do they stand out from others in your opinion?
That’s a long and continually evolving list by if I had to name a few they would be: Rankin, Yu Tsai, Art Streiber, Joey L, Julia Kuzmenko McKim, Clay Cook, Calvin Hollywood, Natalia Taffarel. For me the artists who stand out, inspire and excite me the most are those who continuously push the boundaries and find new ways to express themselves with their amazing work.
What social networks do you like most? Which present good examples of Photography the best?
I’m a big fan of Instagram and Pinterest. I love the energy, immediacy, creative work and inspiration I find on each. Pinterest is also a great tool for creating and sharing inspiration boards with my team for upcoming shoots.
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?
Social media has helped democratize all of the creative arts by removing the traditional barriers which prevented content creators from sharing their message with a larger audience. As technology moves forward and bandwidth increases this ability will only grow more robust.
What predictions do you have for the future of Photoshop and Lightroom?
I think both applications will continue to move in the exciting cloud based, mobile centric directions we’re seeing today.