Life Story

Film Noir

My Beginnings

This is the page where I tell you just how awesome I am. Just kidding, you’re here to learn a little more about me, which I’ll happily tell you.  I started photography about 6 years ago, but it wasn’t my first choice. Before photography, I wanted to be a musician, and before that, I wanted to be a concept artist for games/movies, but those options just didn’t fit me I later learned. When I was around 14, I had a good imagination, and I loved creating things, and a concept artist really appealed to me because that’s literally the job. To use your mind, and create a person, place, or even world from nothing, it was kind of a release from the everyday stuff. I never took to it completely though, I lacked the ability, and patience for the job to get to where I wanted to be. Then for my seventeenth birthday, I got a guitar though it wasn’t a fancy guitar, just a simple acoustic guitar from Walmart that I was supposed to learn on first before getting the good ones. So for the first while I never touched it, just couldn’t sit there long enough to teach myself (I am very much a teach myself person), but one day I finally committed, and it was a long slow road at for a couple months. I ended played guitar for years, and really wanted to be a music producer, and make my own music, which I had a lot of big ideas, but I realized at one point that I wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t pushing myself and my anxiety really held me back. At some point, you have to look at how far you’ve come and face the reality of the situation. In reality, I couldn’t get out of my head, and just recordings songs was a struggle, and playing in front of people was near impossible. This is when photography comes into play. Around the time I realized music just isn’t quite right for me, I got my camera, a Nikon D3000 when I was 23 and that’s how it started

 

I started off like everyone else who gets a camera, taking pictures of flowers, buildings, and landscapes, never shot many people though. Eventually, I mustered up the courage to start shooting models, which  I was always nervous about ( back to that anxiety). To this day I still get nervous about a shoot; after the 100’s of shoots I have done, I still feel it. It’s not so much “I hope I don’t screw up” it’s more “I hope I am good enough and I don’t screw it up” and I don’t think that will ever go away. When I was 24, I applied to go to school for photography and it was a tough choice for me, as I knew going into it photography is not an easy road to take. During that time before school, I wanted to learn photoshop, to make me better prepared for school and spent 100″s of hours practicing and learning photoshop and all the things it’s capable of, and even after all of that I still had a lot to learn.

 

My Schooling

I went to the Nait Photographic Technology course in Edmonton Alberta. It is a stressful two-year program, but I had a lot of fun in it. I went into it with the idea that I can’t just pass this course, but I need to be the best at it in order to succeed, and I progressed amazingly fast (in my opinion). It seemed like everything I was shooting was better (at the time) then what I shot a week or two weeks prior, I still wasn’t great compared to now, but I was getting there. I really focused on lighting which in my opinion is most important, and at times spent 3-4 hours just lighting some glass for an assignment or my guitars to get it just right. I really focused on being creative and artisty with all my ideas and used to do really desaturated colors, which is a far cry from my super colorful stuff now.  I just really enjoyed doing different things, it’s one of the best parts of photography, beable to do things most people don’t get to do. A couple months before the end of the course, after trying to be the best, I taught myself a lesson, that “best” is relative, and when you reach a certain point what really separates photographers is style.  A realization that in the end, I am just different, not bad, or worse than someone, just different.

 

My Style

I have gone through a few different styles, which all stems from my love of digital and conceptual art. I started off with very dark and moody photos, then went a bit more commercial in look (good lighting but pretty normal), to what it is now, with quite a bit of photomanipulation throughout my career. My style has always been connected by my use of saturated color, and somewhat illustrative look. I kind of went full circle, I started with wanting to create illustrative art and ended up creating illustrative photographic art. I never thought when I first started this is the style I would end up with, but it definitely is who I am,  and for sure separates me from other people. Another important element I always try to incorporate is real effects. Whenever I shoot a concept I always imagine what visual effects can I add to the photo to really make it pop. Some of the common elements I like to have is fire, fog, dramatic lighting, and a cool setting, with of course the appropriate make-up, props, and outfits for the idea.

So far it’s been a pretty good journey. I am still learning and improving, but I am quite happy with how far I have come, and that with all the hard work I have put in, it’s paying off. I am excited to see what the future holds for me.