~ An interview of a talented artist in our General Photography Community.
Tell us a bit about yourself, Enigma-Fotos. How did you get into photography and why?
I always loved National Geographic as a child. The pictures always blew me away, and allowed my imagination to run wild. So at the late age of 36, I bought my first canon with the 100 2.8 macro. I found this little guy in my yard the first week and was hooked
What made you buy your first canon at 36? Do you think it matters how old you are?
I was at a point in my life where I wanted to find something I could do and love and most importantly make money at. I think a person is truly happy in life doing something "job" wise they love. My only issue with age is I am having a issue currently with my neck. I am doing physical therapy for it now but it is some that can affect a person at any age really.
Why are you on DeviantART?
I love anything art. And what better community to appreciate it?! The vast amount is overwhelming and amazing. Some of the work of others just blows me away!
What do you most like and dislike about shooting people and portrait photography?
Emotion. I have beautiful little boys and I love capturing what they are feeling at any point. Be it the amazing joy of a child, or when you say no to something. At least if my memory fails, I will have the pictures to look at. The only thing I dislike at times is setting up and tearing down a set. People are always fun because getting the emotion is the challenge and the fun.
Why do you dislike setting up and tearing down sets at times?
Really it depends on the location. When we did the hooters calendar, it was very hot. In a situation like that when you have 8 women to shoot, every set up has to be unique. That is very challenging especially when you're sweating to death
You say that getting the emotion is the challenge. Bearing that in mind, are you disappointed with your results sometimes? If so, why and how do you resolve it?
Yes some of the time you are fighting what ever the model is going through at that current time. If I realize this during the shoot, I will reschedule. Same if I don't notice until after the shoot is finished. Fortunately, that has only happened a couple times.
Why do you take people and portrait photography as opposed to other kinds of photography? Is there something specific about it that attracts you?
The number one thing I love about photography is the challenge of every shoot. Always a different set of things to deal with. Be it indoors or outdoors. Portraiture is very hard because it all has to come together and most of the time it is not that easy. Especially with one of my jobs, with Twin Peaks, many of the women I shoot are first timers and very nervous. Sense of humor really helps in situations like this, alleviates any tension. Makes them feel comfortable.
What is the best and worst thing about working with models?
I love the interaction or I call it the dance, when a photographer and model are totally in sync with each other. The worst thing is models get tired haha, I love to photograph for a long time
How do you prepare for a photoshoot? How long does the photoshoot take? Where do you find your models?
I clean my equipment, make sure all my lights are in order and pack up. In my head I usually have an idea on what I want to do and will explain it to a model as best so she can see it too. Typically with set up and all, I would say 4 hours. In the beginning like every photographers, finding models was hard. Luckily I shot a Hooter's girl and the marketing director saw them. She brought me on and without her I wouldn't be where I am today. She opened up so many doors and so many models i met through doing work with her.
Do you use a specific technique when shooting? What setting on your camera do you most like to use?
I am a shallow depth of field guy so I love shooting at 2.0 - most of the time I am able to get away with it because most of my portraits are natural light. I also boost the iso to 400 and it gives me the dreamy look I love.
What key things do you always keep in mind when shooting?
I am a natural light photographer at heart, but even being so, I have to introduce strobes at a lot of shoots. I pay attention mostly to light trails, degree of light and color temperature mostly.
What is your equipment list? What made you choose your equipment there?
D800 - I like pixels to do deep editing with;
85 1.5g and 88 1.4g - perfect for portraits
70-200 2.8 II - get that great flattened glamour look at 200
14-24 - used mainly for interiors for some architect gigs
5 strobes, otctobox, 2 stripboxes, battery pack, california sunbounce, stands, c stands, grids, and gels
Are you doing any projects at the moment, photography wise or not?
Right now I am in the midst of shooting promo content for Twin Peaks.
What advice would you give to aspiring photographers?
You get better by shooting. As much as you can. I still roll around town with some sort of camera besides me. Same with editing. The more you do it the better you get. Study images you love. And don't get discouraged. I will tell you a true story. I got really frustrated and just wanted to give up. I came inside and was about to close the computer for the day. I noticed for some reason a picture I posted kept getting commented on and favorited. I had received my first Daily Deviation. The timing was perfect so I kept pushing
What is your favourite piece and why?
My son would make, to me, the funniest expression and I tried to capture it but always failed. I finally caught it on his birthday
With your family obligations, do you often find you have the right amount of time to shoot photographs?
This is my biggest frustration. With my mom being ill and me being the primary caregiver, I never feel like I have enough time. Many sleepless nights and lots of coffee. She took care of me and deserves the same. A lot of friday and saturday nights when people are out having a good time, I am editing.
As photography is your job, what is the best and worst part about it?
Yes it is my primary job. I love the constant challenge and the infinite possibilities
Worst part is I cannot photograph more due to time constraints
Finally, is there anything else you would like to add?
I have noticed in life, the happiest people I know do something they love. For me photography is a love. Do we have arguments? of course, but that is only when I have a deadline haha. It's not going to come all at once but what sticks out the most for me is hard work truly pays off. Thank you for allowing me to do this 3wyl
, posting on behalf of CRPhotography