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Joseph Holmes’ photos have been exhibited in dozens of solo and group shows across the country and are featured in the international survey, Photography Now: One Hundred Portfolios. Joe was one of four photographers in the national print campaign, Stunning Nikon, in 2005 and 2006. As part of Berlin Meets New York, twenty-eight photos from his series, joe’s nyc, were displayed on multimedia screens in Berlin subway trains. For more than four years, his daily photographs of New York City have been syndicated in Charlie Suisman’s Manhattan User’s Guide. Joe’s short stories have appeared in the literary journals Phantasmagoria, The North Atlantic Review, and Pikeville Review. He lives and works in Brooklyn.

portfolio: http://portfolio.streetnine.com
20×200: http://bit.ly/20x200joe

When and how did you become interested in Photography?

When I was twelve years old or so, my father sold his Leica and bought a Miranda Sensorex SLR with a built-in light meter, a simpler camera that my sister and I could use. Ever since then, I’ve loved taking pictures — and developing and printing them.

What gear do you mainly shoot with?

I use a Nikon D700 digital SLR, most often with the Nikon 85mm f/1.4D and the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8. That’s my desert island kit.

What is your #1 source of inspiration?

New York City. #2 would be my sixteen-year-old daughter Sophia, who constantly impresses me with her artistic soul.

Many times photographers find themselves with a full schedule of paying gigs, ending up with little time for doing the work they truly love. Do you struggle with finding time for your personal work?

My personal work always comes first, because it’s the personal work that makes up my career, selling prints through my galleries and through Jen Bekman’s 20×200 project. I’ve been very lucky that the things I love to shoot for myself have resonated with so many people.

What is your all time favorite genre to shoot (portraiture, conceptual, documentary, commercial, etc..)?

I love shooting New York City, though what I come home with isn’t strictly street photography or cityscapes or any other genre I can pin down. Maybe the genre is just photos of New York City. Can that be a genre? But I’m also having a wonderful time exploring portrait photography. Portraits are rich on so many levels, and I love the social challenges of photographing a stranger.

Do you have any upcoming shows or events you want our readers to know about?

Not at the moment, I’m still recovering and taking a bit of a break from a busy winter. My solo show, “The Urban Wilderness,” was at the Jen Bekman Gallery, 6 Spring Spring Street, through last January 23. http://www.jenbekman.com/

What is the one thing you feel makes your style or your work unique?

That’s something I can’t answer. I’m always fooling around with new ideas and new ways to see things and new things to shoot, but I have to trust those around me when they say that all my work has some kind of consistency of vision. I believe them, but I’m too close to the work to see it myself. Instead, every new idea I shoot tends to feel radically different, like I’m starting from scratch.

if you could photograph anyone, (past/present/future), who would it be and why?

I wish I could go back just a few years to shoot my father before he died. Now that I’m exploring portraiture, I would have enjoyed trying to find a way to capture him.

what’s your dream photo field trip?

My dream field trip is actually just a short walk out my front door. The trip I love best is walking into Prospect Park here in Brooklyn right after a fresh snowfall, arriving before dawn so I can capture the first people hiking through the new snow in that early winter light.

what’s your post production process?

I take images first into Apple Aperture for cataloging and key wording, then I open the selects in DxO tools which corrects for lens flaws like distortion and chromatic aberration. Finally, I finish with some basic corrections in Photoshop — contrast, exposure, etc. It all takes only a few minutes. The end of that process is an image I label a Master Source, which I archive. From that master, I can then re size and sharpen for the Web, for printing, publication, or whatever final destination.

if you had unlimited resources to purchase any type of camera, what would it be and why?

I think I’d enjoy shooting 8×10. (at the time of this interview) I just finished a project, NYC Xmas Tree Vendors – http://bit.ly/nycxmas – that would have been really fun with an 8×10. And it’s less a matter of expense than time. My work days are already filled with not just taking pictures but the whole business of photography. Leaning a whole new format would be a serious investment of time. On a more practical level, some day I’d like to move up to Nikon’s D3s, which is very similar to my D700 but bumped up to that next level of gorgeousness. It might be the most perfect camera out there for how and what I shoot. Until Nikon’s next camera, anyway.

who are your favorite photographers and why?

Lee Friedlander has been the most difficult photographer for me to wrap my mind around, right from the start. It’s not like he breaks the rules, it’s as if he’s never heard of them, as if he were born without them. His choices of framing and subject are wildly unexpected. He makes me work so hard for every image I see, and then once I finally absorb what he’s doing, I can’t get it out of my mind. He’s my favorite because I can’t explain him, I can’t imitate him, and I can’t get enough of him.

what has been the shining moment of your career thus far? (or, describe your “big break”)

My solo show at the Bekman Gallery this past December and January was certainly the shining moment. I really loved having the Urban Wilderness images printed, framed and hanging — three of the prints were 30×40″. It just felt really great to stand in the middle of the gallery surrounded by the work. And the opening was such fun — people from all walks of my life came in, and I had the time of my life.

do you have any tips/tricks or advice for amateur photo nerds who are looking to shoot full time or students who are just starting out?

Trust your gut. When you find a project that really excites you, that feels like it’s working and makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning and start shooting, run with it. Don’t ask opinions, don’t show it around, don’t second guess yourself and worry that you’re headed down a dead end street — just shoot the hell out of it until you run out of steam, until you know you’re finished. And only then start showing it around. Worst case: it was an important learning experience. Best case: it really is brilliant.

what’s the soundtrack to your life and/or your favorite music to listen to while editing?

I listen to Marnie Stern, New Pornographers, Regina Spektor, Ratatat, XTC… but I can’t listen to music while I edit. It seems to distract the part of my brain that makes good photo decisions.

what’s your favorite hang (when shooting or not)?

The East Village is where I love to shoot, though I don’t know if that’s really a hang or just me walking with a camera. I do all my real hanging at home.

best chow (meal/snack) to get you ready for a shoot? or best way to celebrate a brilliant capture?

Breakfast! For some reason, I really love getting up early and out the door. The light is great, the city is still waking up, everybody’s got lots of energy. So the best chow is a bowl of Cap’n Crunch and a double espresso.

will you share with us one of your favorite shots?

I’m very fickle about my own photos, and I have no desire to be objective. I’m always in love with whatever I’m shooting right now and tired of the work that’s finished and done. That said, I still love this photo I shot a year and a half ago. It not only works for me in many ways, but it represents that Gift from the Photo Gods that I treasure. Sometimes the woman in the yellow dress steps into your frame, and all you can do is press the shutter release and thank the photo gods. In that order.

your favorite photo by another photographer?

It’s always changing, but today’s favorite image is this shot by Alec Soth. This portrait really demonstrates Soth’s brilliance: it feels both posed and candid, mysterious and simple, revealing and withholding. It’s almost uncomfortably intimate. And like all of Soth’s work, it’s gorgeously shot. Soth has a huge number of portraits that are damned near perfect. I’m always inspired by his work.

©AlecSoth

has your passion for photography changed at all since turning “pro”?

Not at all. My passion for photography took off when I first shot digital. That totally opened things up for me. I’ve never looked back.

do you have a favorite / lucky item of clothing, outfit or uniform that you like to wear when shooting an important assignment or project?

I love shooting in my leather jacket. It’s not especially lucky, it just looks really good on me.

are you a photography nerd or a camera gangsta?

Mostly a nerd — or maybe I’m a camera hippie. I love the gear and the techniques, but I believe strongly in working from my gut, not over analyzing what I’ve shot or what I’m going to shoot next. For that reason, while I like to talk cameras and lenses, I don’t like to talk about the photos and what they mean.

what’s your sign? (we’re conducting a poll)

Actually, I was born without a sign. Strange but true.

who would you like to see interviewed by photopolus next?

Mark Alor Powell has been shooting sublime work for such a long time now, I’d love to hear more from him.





©JosephHolmes

If you are a photographer and would like to be featured as a future/potential Art Star on our blog, email us!
at info@photopolus.com or ange@angefitzgerald.com
subject: Art Star
please include a link to your website and examples of your work

____

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I was born in Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia, on March 24, 1963. I am a graduate of the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California, where I majored in video production and minored in the fine art of photography.
www.koentjoro.com

when and how did you become interested in Photography?

When I was 15 my mother bought me a Kodak pocket camera as a birthday present. I haven’t looked back since.

what gear do you mainly shoot with?

Mainly DSLR cameras sometimes film.

what is your #1 source of inspiration?

Michael Keena and Ansel Adams.

many times photographers find themselves with a full schedule of paying gigs, ending up with little time for doing the work they truly love. Do you struggle with finding time for your personal work?

I’m lucky to have a job that is parallel to photography. I work as a cinematographer in a production house in Jakarta. I mainly do TV commercials and corporate profiles.

what is your all time favorite genre to shoot (portraiture, conceptual, documentary, commercial, etc..)?

I love landscape and waterscape with a style of surrealism.

do you have any upcoming shows or events you want our readers to know about?

I did last year, and will probably do one show next year. I’m collecting my portfolio at this moment.

what is the one thing you feel makes your style or your work unique?

I love strong contrast bordering with hyper-real surrealism.

if you could photograph anyone, (past/present/future), who would it be and why?

Picasso, besides being a great painter, he was also an accomplished photographer.

what’s your dream photo field trip?

The North/South Pole and also the Galapagos Island.

what’s your post production process?

I use Photoshop to convert to B&W, I mostly use Channel Mixer, dodge, burn and also vignette tools.

if you had unlimited resources to purchase any type of camera, what would it be and why?

The Hasselblad or the Leica.

who are your favorite shooters and why?

Ansel Adams, because he discovered the zone system. He pretty much changed the face of Black & White photography.
Who would have thought the richness of tones ranging from the Whitest White to the Darkest Black.

what has been the shining moment of your career thus far? (or, describe your “big break”)

Still waiting for the break. Having many friends that like my photographs on Deviant Art, Art Limited and Facebook is very pleasing.

which shooter would you like to see interviewed by photopol.us next?

Michael Keena.

what’s your favorite music to listen to while editing?

I listen to Jazz and world music, mainly percussion and rhythmic music.

what’s your favorite hang (when shooting or not)?

Starbucks checking email.

best meal to get you ready for a shoot? or best way to celebrate a brilliant capture?

I don’t eat before shoot, makes me sleepy.
I usually celebrate with a can of beer with friends and family.

will you share with us one of your favorite shots?

Of course, however I don’t have a favorite shot, I love them all.
You can check out my work at deviantart or artlimited

your favorite photo by another photographer?

It is called “The Walk to Paradise Garden” by W. Eugene Smith.

has your passion for photography changed at all since turning “pro”?

I was never a pro and I doubt if I ever will be… it’s more fun to be an amateur, less pressure.

do you have a favorite / lucky item of clothing, outfit or uniform that you like to wear when shooting an important assignment or project?

T-shirt and jeans, the best!!!

what’s your sign?

I was born on March 24, so I’m an Aries…hard headed… hehehehe….




©Hengki Koentjoro

If you are a photographer and would like to be featured as a future/potential Art Star on our blog, email us!
info@photopolus.com or ange@angefitzgerald.com, subject: Art Star.
*please include your website and examples of your work
____

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Kelsey Foster received her BFA in photography at the University of North Texas. She moved to New York City and was named “one to watch” by Adorama in 2008, and participated in several group shows. Recently relocating back to Texas, Kelsey continues to shoot for editorial and commercial clients, splitting her time between NYC and Dallas. In addition to photography, she loves snow, traveling and playing her banjo.
www.kelseyfoster.net

When and how did you become interested in Photography?

I have always been involved and intrigued by any art form, but I got really interested in photography during my senior year of high school. After I took that first dark room black and white class, I knew that was what I wanted to study in college.

What gear do you mainly shoot with?

I have a Canon 5d Mark II for digital. I shoot medium format with my Mamiya 645, and sometimes I shoot with a Canon AE1. I use various lenses.

What is your #1 source of inspiration?

This might sound silly, but light really inspires me. Natural diffused light, light through trees, a patch of light on the wall through the blinds–I love and am constantly noticing it.

Many times photographers find themselves with a full schedule of paying gigs, ending up with little time for doing the work they truly love. Do you struggle with finding time for your personal work?

My personal expression comes out in areas other than photography, so if I am hard pressed to find the time to shoot for myself, I will play music, or make something cool. I think it’s good to spread yourself out a little, otherwise you might get overwhelmed and burned out on photography.

What is your all time favorite genre to shoot (portraiture, conceptual, documentary, commercial, etc..)?

I love shooting fashion. I really just love shooting portraits in an exciting environment.

Do you have any upcoming shows or events you want our readers to know about?

Not at the moment…I recently had a show at Billy Reid in NorthPark Center.

What is the one thing you feel makes your style or work unique?

I feel like I am pretty good at using available light, and manipulating light that is already there. I think people get really crazy with lighting sometimes.

If you could photograph anyone, (past/present/future), who would it be and why?

I say this every time I get asked this question, but… Zach Braff. He is funny and cute and we would have a good time.

what’s your dream photo field trip?

I’d like to go to Ireland or Iceland.

what’s your post production process?

I use Light Room first, and then if the image needs further retouching I will drag it into Photoshop. I love the patch tool. Favorite!

If you had unlimited resources to purchase any type of camera, what would it be and why?

I would probably still use the Mark II and spend the money on lenses. I think lenses are more important anyway. That, or I might buy a digital back for my Mamiya.

who are your favorite shooters and why?

I love Anna Wolf for so many reasons. She is kind of like my photo mentor. I interned with her in 2007 in Brooklyn, and it was so wonderful. I respect and admire her so much!

what has been the shining moment of your career thus far? (or, describe your “big break”)

Hmmm….getting noticed in NYC, and getting invited to publish my work in a book for Adorama in 2008 was pretty cool. I just got hired to shoot an ad job in NYC, and I live in Dallas, so… that’s pretty cool. I think everyone is so consumed with the “big break” shoot though….I just keep shooting what I like. My first published photo was an interior of a bar that was 1×2 inches and uncredited. I hope I’ve come a little way since then!

who would you like to see interviewed by photopol.us next?

Andrew Shepherd!!

ed.note: Hey Kelsey, we already featured Andrew so we’ll see if we can’t talk Anna Wolf into being interviewed.


©KelseyFoster

If you are a photographer and would like to be featured as a future/potential Art Star on our blog, email us!
at info@photopolus.com or ange@angefitzgerald.com
subject: Art Star
please include a link to your website and examples of your work

____

Navid Baraty is a self-taught photographer whose work has been internationally published and exhibited. After receiving a degree in engineering, Navid’s creative vision led him from Ohio to San Francisco, where he was a web developer and freelance photographer for nearly four years. He has recently moved from San Francisco to New York City to further pursue his artistic passion. A selection of clients and publications include National Geographic, The San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Magazine, Getty Images, and California College of the Arts. The first image featured below is the Grand Prize winner of the Landscape category in GeckoGo’s Search for the Ultimate Travel Photo Contest and Navid won a 15-day trip to Northern India with Intrepid Travel.
www.navidbaraty.com

when and how did you become interested in Photography?

My curiosity with photography began during a class in junior high where we wandered around the playground taking pictures, and then developed the photos in the school darkroom. Unfortunately, I don’t know whatever happened to those prints. I’d love to be able to see the photos I took that day.

what gear do you mainly shoot with?

Nikon D700

what is your #1 source of inspiration?

My inspiration comes from a combination of many sources. Perhaps that’s cheating, but I simply don’t have a sole source of inspiration. Looking at the work of other artists, reading about the origins and physics of the universe, interacting with creative people, observing the interactions of society, wandering around aimlessly with my camera; any of these can equally inspire me.

many times photographers find themselves with a full schedule of paying gigs, ending up with little time for doing the work they truly love. Do you struggle with finding time for your personal work?

Never. My personal work, the work I truly love, is my priority and I’ll always find and make time for it. I’d be using my engineering degree instead of working as a freelance photographer in a terrible economy if making money was my priority. I think the goal of any photographer is to be able to do the work they love while being able to make a living. Merging the two isn’t beyond the realm of possibility. It’s really a matter of how much you want it, and your willingness to sacrifice.

what is your all time favorite genre to shoot (portraiture, conceptual, documentary, commercial, etc..)?

Probably documentary. Not only in the sense of documenting a specific person or group of people (which I’m definitely interested in), but also documenting the Earth.

do you have any upcoming shows or events you want our readers to know about?

I’ve been selected to be a part of APA’s Something Personal exhibition in San Francisco, opening December 3.
You can also see one of my photos in the upcoming (November) issue of National Geographic.

what is the one thing you feel makes your style or your work unique?

It can be frustrating to try to think of ways to make your art truly unique from anything else that’s ever been done. Everything is a reference of a reference of a reference. Instead of approaching it that way, my goal is to just create work that succeeds in both stimulating the mind and engaging the senses.

if you could photograph anyone, (past/present/future), who would it be and why?

I have a tremendous amount of respect for Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. I’m not sure how compelling the photographs of them would be as they pondered over texts and solutions to equations, but it would have been amazing to know them. If I could choose both the setting and the person, I’d choose Neil Armstrong as he set foot on the moon.

what’s your dream photo field trip?

Photographing the landscape and beneath the ice shelves of Antarctica. Not much could top that, except perhaps a voyage into space.

what’s your post production process?

I import, organize, and do 95% of my processing using Adobe Lightroom. It really is an incredible piece of software.

if you had unlimited resources to purchase any type of camera, what would it be and why?

Nikon D3x, with an accompanying Nikkor 400mm f/2.8 lens. If I had unlimited resources, I’d also love to get a really nice film camera and have my own darkroom.

who are your favorite photographers and why?

One of my favorites is James Balog. His time lapse photography documenting the retreating Arctic glaciers is both amazing and disconcerting.

what has been the shining moment of your career thus far? (or, describe your “big break”)

Definitely being published twice in National Geographic. I have a tremendous amount of respect for its quality of content and photography, as well as for its contributing photographers. It’s very special to me that I’ve been able to have my work be among that level of excellence.

do you have any tips/tricks or advice for amateur photo nerds who are looking to shoot full time or students who are just starting out?

Don’t ever stop creating. Shoot as much as you can. Constantly draw on other artists and sources for inspiration, and surround yourself with as many creative people as you can. And again, be willing and prepared to make sacrifices if you’re serious about doing what you love for a living.

what’s the soundtrack to your life and/or your favorite music to listen to while editing?

Anything from indie to electronic to punk to Michael Jackson. It really depends on my creative mood at the time.

what’s your favorite hang (when shooting or not)?

Somewhere that has strong coffee, reliable wifi, comfortable seating, and ample power outlets.

best chow (meal/snack) to get you ready for a shoot? or best way to celebrate a brilliant capture?

For morning shoots, coffee and bagel is a must. Otherwise, a preparatory or celebratory burrito is ideal. Of course, now being in NYC makes this a bit more difficult!

will you share with us one of your favorite shots?

I have thousands of favorite shots. Some recent ones that made quite an impression on me are the Capturing an Atom Bomb on Film Lens slide show from the New York Times and the incredible long exposures of Michael Wesely.

has your passion for photography changed at all since turning “pro”?

I’ve had an intense passion for photography for years now, and I don’t see that ever changing.

are you a photography nerd or a camera gangsta?

I’m most definitely more nerd than gangsta.

what’s your sign? (we’re conducting a poll)

Sagittarius

who would you like to see interviewed by photopolus next?

my friends and fellow photographers Keira Chang and Laura Kicey.

©NavidBaraty

If you are a photographer and would like to be featured as a future/potential Art Star on our blog, email us!
info@photopolus.com or ange@angefitzgerald.com, subject: Art Star.
*please include your website and examples of your work
____

I was born in Wisconsin and came to Dallas when I was 4 yrs old. I studied photography at Richland College and was Photo Editor of the Richland Chronicle. My travels led me to the Hare Krishna’s in Vancouver Canada. I was so intrigued by their way of life that I ended up traveling with the Festival Ratha Yatra up and down the west coast. I learned during that time that I was good at two things; taking photographs and traveling. I’ve been lucky enough to experience both as I made my way shooting across different countries and cultures, such as Eastern Europe, Asia and South America. I specialize in Commercial, Editorial and Travel photography.
www.stephendux.com

When and how did you become interested in Photography?

When I was 11 yrs old, my dad took me to the World’s Fair in New Orleans. I got ahold of his camera and have been hooked ever since. I loved the thought of traveling and shooting. Plus, I had no game so it was an easy way for me to approach girls.

What gear do you mainly shoot with?

Canon Mark II 5D. Lenses: I like the 24-105 f4 but I wish it were a 2.8. I love that focal length. Prime lenses: 15mm f2.8, 28mm f1.8, 50mm f2.5 Macro, 85mm f1.8: Medium Format Hasselblad 501 cm with a 50mm and 80mm lens, Lighting Profoto, Macbook Pro lap top running C1 Pro.

What is your #1 source of inspiration?

The thought that my work might be remembered and inspiring to others.

Many times photographers find themselves with a full schedule of paying gigs, ending up with little time for doing the work they truly love. Do you struggle with finding time for your personal work?

It’s true. I’m always juggling work and personal satisfaction! I am very lucky to have a great team of people who help me manage it all. Shout out to my lovely wife.

What is your all time favorite genre to shoot (portraiture, conceptual, documentary, commercial, etc..)?

Environmental, Portraiture, Travel and Street photography.

Do you have any upcoming shows or events you want our readers to know about?

Currently, I have 13 Pieces up at Charlie Uniform Tango in Dallas, an amazing post-production house located on Routh St.
I also have 4 pieces up at The Happy Hearts Fund offices in New York City and every year I participate in Art Basel located in Miami. It’s the highlight of my year.

What is the one thing you feel makes your style or your work unique?

I shoot what I am feeling or going through at the time. My work is very autobiographical.

If you could photograph anyone, (past/present/future), who would it be and why?

Tom Waits

What’s your dream photo field trip?

I would love to shoot an editorial story on a glacier from a helicopter in Iceland with a smoke machine. Just because I love the production challenge of it. Also, I’ve been wanting to try working with a smoke machine for 3-4 months now.

What’s your post production process?

I back everything up on at least 2 separate drives stored in separate bags and I use Capture One Pro to edit and process the raws. I love the colors and control of the program. Photoshop – the amount of retouching really depends on the client or project.

If you had unlimited resources to purchase any type of camera, what would it be and why?

The new Canon EOS-1DS Mark IV. The specs are amazing and I’m sure the waiting list is already endless. I would also love an old Rolleiflex twin lens in good condition.

Who are your favorite shooters and why?

I’m a big fan of Sally Mann. I love the large format shooting she did on glass plates, in the swamps and in the back of a suburban.
Henri Cartier-Bresson, the world’s most amazing street photographer. Jill Greenberg has the biggest balls in the world, period.

What has been the shining moment of your career thus far? (or, describe your “big break”)

Traveling throughout Asia and South America with The Happy Hearts Fund organization and teaching kids how to take photographs.

What’s the soundtrack to your life and/or favorite music to listen to while editing?

Tribe Called Quest, Tom Waits, and School of Seven Bells.

What’s your favorite hang (when shooting or not)?

I like hanging around Oak Cliff in Dallas, interesting stuff happens there all the time.

Best chow (meal/snack) to get you ready for a shoot? Or best way to celebrate a brilliant capture?

I would have to say Terilli’s on lower Greenville in Dallas, Texas. I’m waiting for the re-opening. I do miss that creamy Jalapeno soup!

Will you share with us one of your favorite shots?

My current favorite is called “Street Kids” shot while on location in Mumbai India. I really enjoy the expressions on these kids’ faces and the screw coming out of one of their toys.

Your favorite photo by another photographer?

Boy with grenade by Diane Arbus.

Has your passion for photography changed at all since turning “pro”?

Definitely not. My wife and cats like to eat.

Do you have a favorite/lucky item of clothing, outfit or uniform that you like to wear when shooting an important assignment or project?

I have a favorite camera bag and had a favorite assistant but she has now moved on to a career in graphic design.

What’s your sign? (We’re conducting a poll)

🙂 Aquarius

Who would you like to see interviewed by photopol.us next?

Jill Greenberg

©StephenDux

At photopolus, we’re always scouting for new talent. If you are a photographer and would like to be featured as a future/potential Art Star on our blog, email us at info@photopolus.com or ange@angefitzgerald.com
*please put “Art Star” in the subject line and be sure to include a link to your website and examples of your work.

________

I graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago Studio Arts program in 1995. Since then I have lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Chicago, Illinois, New Orleans, Louisiana and now Dallas, Texas. I have been involved with the arts community in those places and have shown in spaces that focus on new media, photography and video. Select exhibition venues include Apt3 Gallery in Boston, 3 Ring Circus Productions and Barrister’s Gallery in New Orleans, Three-Walls in Chicago, Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Fe, Medicine Factory in Memphis, 500x Gallery and Modern Ruin in Dallas. Publications include the Times Picayune and The Gambit in New Orleans and the Commercial Appeal in Memphis. Books include Constance 2007, a catalogue of New Orleans artists. I have given lectures at Rhodes College in Memphis, the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans, and at the University of Texas in Arlington. In Dallas I was involved with Gallery 500x, a CO-OP of local emerging artists for two and a half years.

www.timcbest.com

When and how did you become interested in Photography?

My art career started as a painter so I used photography as a way to gather ideas. Then it became an obsession and later I just gave up painting because I became pre-occupied by the camera.

What gear do you mainly shoot with?

Canon 5D mark II, a Rolleicord III (6x6cm film), and a bronica ETR system.

What is your #1 source of inspiration?

It’s tough to name one source, but I think any kind of performance that is based on the hero myth will have an impact on me. The drama played out between a situation and the individual is very exciting to me and its easy for me to lose myself when viewing that kind of thing. Current events are important to me too. We live in very exciting times good and bad, and I can’t help but get affected emotionally by what I see and hear around me on the news and on a daily basis.

Many times photographers find themselves with a full schedule of paying gigs, and end up with little time for doing the work they truly love. Do you struggle with finding time for your personal work?

Yes, but I make time for my personal work. I have to.

What is your all time favorite genre to shoot (portraiture, conceptual, commercial, etc..)?

I usually don’t shoot with a genre in mind. More like – am I going to push this part of my work or this part? Then I put together the narrative later.

What is one thing that makes your work unique?

I get my subjects to assume the role of the character they are playing rather than asking them to identify with the image. I work to record an act rather than a pose.

if you could photograph anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

I think it would be cool to get a director like David Lynch to act out one of his characters and then shoot him trying.

what’s your dream photo field trip?

I would love to shoot in a theatre with a group of actors/actresses in action.

what’s your post production photo process?

I use Lightroom to choose the images I like, then photoshop to make any edits and clean them up. Then when I get a really crazy idea I do it in Photoshop. Then I will export to tiff and send them to a lab to have them printed. If it’s a video, I’ll make the video, process it and then put it on DVD.

if you had unlimited resources to purchase any type of camera, what would it be?

Probably some type of HDR system that had everything from capture to output. Because I need the whole system. I could get one part of the system like a good camera. But unless I had the software and the printer, I would end up unsatisfied.

who are your favorite shooters and why

The artists I am researching right now are Catherine Sullivan and Carey Young. Because my favorite author, Charlotte Cotton suggested them to me. They are performance artists. Catherine Sullivan makes emotionally charged work, and Carey Young makes work about the practicalities of life like business and legal matters. So they both resonate with parts of my work in their respective ways.

what has been the shining moment of your career thus far?

I haven’t had one big break. But I have to say that being voted into 500x when I moved to Dallas a couple years ago was a huge boost. Other than that it as been more of a continuously burning fire that gradually gets stronger and stronger. Things happen in my art career without me having to plan them and it is a wonderfully harmonious experience that is difficult to describe verbally.

samples of Tim’s work:

I am a Richmond, Virginia-based commercial photographer specializing in providing a clean natural approach not only to the clients’ required images but also for a body of work. Because of this, I excel at developing image libraries for various national and international clients, particularly companies in the process of rebranding. Most importantly, my wife and I are thrilled to be welcoming a sweet baby girl into the world this month.
www.caseytempleton.com

When and how did you become interested in Photography?

I am always framing what I see and when I was in high school, I started taking photos of family and friends and it stuck a cord of passion that has been on fire ever since.

What gear do you mainly shoot with?

I use all Canon gear and Apple products such as Aperture for all of my image library organizing and image edits.

What is your #1 source of inspiration?

I love movie lighting.

Many times photographers find themselves with a full schedule of paying gigs, and end up with little time for doing the work they truly love. Do you struggle with finding time for your personal work?

I enjoy the work I am doing so much and try not to take on work I don’t enjoy, so at the end of the day, I don’t really have a desire for personal projects since I gain so much fulfillment from the paying gigs I take on.

What is your all time favorite genre to shoot (portraiture, conceptual, commercial, etc..)?

I love commercial work, helping companies build their brand visually and I love seeing a project through from start to finish.

What is one thing that makes your work unique>?

The focus on the library of images with a consistent theme, feel, vibe and not always just the single image.

if you could photograph anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

James Dean. He is one of the best looking men of all time and his look is timeless.

what’s your dream photo field trip?

I would love to teach on a “Semester At Sea” program where my family could join me and travel around the world.

what’s your post production photo process?

I use Aperture for my entire production process from organizing, editing, delivering final images.

if you had unlimited resources to purchase any type of camera, what would it be?

I’d stick with my Canon 5D Mark II because I’m comfortable with it and it does exactly what I require of it at the moment.

who are your favorite shooters and why

The ones that innovate and are always trying new things. Also, the ones that have a solid handle on the business side of photography because they will be the ones that keep this business alive.

what has been the shining moment of your career thus far?

I hope the best is yet to come but some of my major shining moments involve having a business that has seen exceptional growth for the past 3 years and being awarded the College Photographer of the Year in 2006

samples of Casey’s work:

Gareth Phillips was born in Cardiff, Wales. He graduated from University of Wales, Newport, in September 2007, with a degree in Documentary Photography. In 2007 he was accepted into the Eddie Adams Workshop in New York, in which he won the B & H Assignment Award in recognition of his work.

In 2008, Gareth became a freelance photographer, regularly commissioned by the Guardian, The Sunday Times Magazine and The British Council. His photographs have also appeared in, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, British Journal for Photography, The Observer, CNN Traveler and others.

Gareth’s work has been internationally recognized in exhibitions and awards, most notably the Ian Parry Award 2007, Welsh Livery Society Award for Photographic Excellence 2007, the Magenta Photography Awards 2008 and the British Council Open Cities Photographic Commission.

Gareth recently joined the MJR Photographic Collective in New York and works out of London and Cardiff, UK.

www.wearemjr.com

When and how did you become interested in Photography?

Photography kind of just found me. I was injured on a surfing trip in France, and decided to take images while i was laid up on the beach. It just developed from there for me. I knew that i had found something important in my life. i was passionate about it, and i actively decided to pursue photography with every ounce of energy.

What gear do you mainly shoot with?

I use a 5D, Mamiya 7, Canon AE1, Coronet 6 x 9 and what ever else comes my way..

What is your #1 source of inspiration?

the frames between frames, images that i never knew were there..

Many times photographers find themselves with a full schedule of paying gigs, and end up with little time for doing the work they truly love. Do you struggle with finding time for your personal work?

I think struggle is the wrong word for me. I battle and fight to get personal work completed, and i don’t allow anything to get in its way. My personal work is the only reason i make images. Getting paid is a bonus, and I’m very grateful to be in a position where i can make money from images, but its not something that i allow to get in the way of what i have to do. If I have a project i want to work on, and i need to financially support it, i either go back to working on a building site or use the money i earn from assignments and commissions to support it. I actually find the time i work on building sites very motivational. Having to work in physical environment allows me to spend a lot of time contemplating how i might photograph a project. So for me, i make the time happen for my personal work. Nothing gets in the way..

What is your all time favorite genre to shoot (portraiture, conceptual, commercial, etc..)?

Something that allows me to influence the viewers perspective.. at the moment i am shooting a lot of conceptual work that i get very excited about..

What is one thing that makes your work unique>?

I don’t think i have unique work, but one thing that i seem to be doing more than others is looking at the floor a lot, looking down and exploring the world from what i find on the floors and metaphorically commenting on the world.

if you could photograph anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Hunter S Thompson, documenting that life would be such an adventure..

what’s your dream photo field trip?

To go to a desolate island, with the only way is to swim across a channel, Take a 1000 rolls of film and Mamiya 7, (water proof bag of coarse) a knife and some rope, and have a year to live off the island, photographing how I went about my life there.

what’s your post production photo process?

For Film – Drop films at lab – Contacts – Work Prints – Edit – Final Prints

For Digital – Import – Curves – Caption – Edit – Work Prints – Edit – Final Prints

if you had unlimited resources to purchase any type of camera, what would it be?

I would really like a 10 x 8 Large Format camera and a small van for a mobile dark room. I want to start making daguerreotypes..

who are your favorite shooters and why

For me its the family that is our photography collective, MJR – Brandon Thibodeaux, Ying Ang, Mustafah Abdulaziz, Matthew Craig and Julius Metoyer, They are an inspirational force that i am honored to share a collective with. My brother, Dominic Nahr, our friendship and dialogue has helped me become the photographer i am today. As for inspiration, people like Philip Jones Griffiths (Fellow Welsh Boy) Clive Landen, Trent Park, Koudelka, Bert Hardy, Burrows, to name but a few have all been instrumental in inspiring me to take photos.

what has been the shining moment of your career thus far?

I think joining MJR has been it for me.

samples of Gareth’s work:

Born in the mountains of Colorado in May 1983, I spent much of my youth outdoors rock climbing and hiking in the Rocky Mountains. In high school, I discovered both my passion for photography as well as my curiosity for different cultures and places. My travels have taken me throughout Mexico, Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Italy, Israel, Jordan and Egypt. I specialize in Editorial, Documentary, and Travel photography in the South West United States and Latin America. In addition to photography, I work in video and film. My next project titled Campania In-Felix (Unhappy Country) will begin production in the summer of 2010.

www.mattnager.com
www.mattnager.com/blog

When and how did you become interested in Photography?

My story is rather cliché. It started in high school when my grandpa gave me a camera. It kinda took off from there. I went into film school first before returning to photojournalism. It’s funny how things go in cycles. I now shoot a lot of video as well as still photography.

What gear do you mainly shoot with?

I shoot mainly with a Nikon D700. I use primarily prime lenses rather than zoom. I also use a Mamiya 6 medium format film camera.

What is your #1 source of inspiration?

That’s hard to pick. Currently, I am really into the Platon portrait series of civil rights leaders from the New Yorker. In terms of subject matter I am getting into history and the environment at the moment. I would like to look into how historical social developments have resulted in environmental changes.

Many times photographers find themselves with a full schedule of paying gigs, and end up with little time for doing the work they truly love. Do you struggle with finding time for your personal work?

It isn’t a matter of finding time so much as grant money for my personal projects (which generally run three-four months.) If I can find funding, then I have no problem taking the time off from assignment work.

What is your all time favorite genre to shoot (portraiture, conceptual, commercial, etc..)?

I shoot primarily documentary projects requiring a lot of research as well as portraiture. I enjoy both.

Do you have any upcoming exhibits you would like our readers to know about?

This summer I will be shooting video and stills for a documentary on the rise in cancer due to illegal toxic waste disposal by the mafia around Naples, Italy. We are in need of fund raising help. If you want to donate or watch the trailer go to our website at: www.unhappycountry

MJR just put on a show on January 21 in New York City called Make-Do that found us collaborating with another talented group of photographers called Luceo Images (www.luceoimages.com). We produced a fine-art magazine and had the pages blown-up large and displayed on the gallery walls at Gallery CPW near Central Park West.

What is one thing that makes your work unique>?

I look for a sense of realism in my photography. It is popular today to make photos over dramatic with lighting or photoshop. I try to leave my photographs relatively untouched and natural. I also have a real clean look which I would consider to be my style.

if you could photograph anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

I don’t have a specific desire to photograph any one person…I think it would be cool to photograph during the industrial revolution or during the western expansion. I love the west. Specifically the south west.

what’s your dream photo field trip?

I will be shooting in Naples, Italy this summer. That still seems awesome at the moment.

what’s your post production photo process?

I import my photos into Photo Mechanic. I then put photos into Lightroom and edit down my selects. Then I correct my white balance and exposure. I usually increase blacks a little to create more contrast. That is generally all I do in post production. If it is a portrait or a wide environmental image I may vignette a small amount, although I do not like photos which have too much vignetting. I like photos to look natural.

if you had unlimited resources to purchase any type of camera, what would it be?

I would love to get into large format film cameras. I am thinking 8X10 negatives. I am trying to conceptualize my photos more and not only would this format force me to do this, but it would also give me the ability to make really large prints.

who are your favorite shooters and why

Salgado is the master at documentary as far as I am concerned. His coverage is just so complete and dramatic (without post processing.) As far as portraiture I love Karsh, Avedon, and Irving Penn. They each have a distinct style which I love, but they also have simplicity in their images I just love.

what has been the shining moment of your career thus far?

I am always waiting for it. Ha. My projects and trips have been the most rewarding. Last summer I shot a project on Migrant Death and Identification along the border in Arizona. I put in a lot of research time for that and gaining access was a struggle the entire way through…Getting that access was certainly rewarding.

samples of Matt’s work:

My goal is to use photography as a means to communicate effectively and accurately across borders to create bridges of understanding in an increasingly technologically interconnected world. The photograph offers a unique opportunity to open a direct dialogue between two separate points in time. I’m interested in exploring how this can be used to show viewers what may have been a fraction of a second in the life of a stranger can reveal something about the world around them.

www.mustafahabdulaziz.com

When and how did you become interested in Photography?

I came across a book by a master photographer in a bookstore while attending college for journalism in Allentown, Pennsylvania around late 2004. The book, “In The American West”, brought me face to face with people who wore their stories in the lines of their clothing and their lives in the lines of their eyes.

There was, of course, other points where I saw and was interested in photography, but seeing Avedon’s opus, a saga of hard lives in the forgotten west rendered me fixated: the photographs bypassed the head and went straight to the soul.

What gear do you mainly shoot with?

Canon film and digital cameras, now learning medium format on a Mamiya 7. Prime lens’ because I can never decide.

What is your #1 source of inspiration?

I’ve been inspired by many things, mostly music and film. I’m really interested in telling stories that transport the viewer to another place if only for a moment. The photographers in MJR, the photo collective I belong to, continue to challenge and inspire me. Other young photographers like Justin Maxon, Dominic Nahr and Matt Eich remain inspirational in different ways.

Many times photographers find themselves with a full schedule of paying gigs, and end up with little time for doing the work they truly love. Do you struggle with finding time for your personal work?

Making a living is important, of course, but there is something about photography, particularly documentary photography, in the way it demands you experience life in unique ways. As a freelance photographer, time is often a luxury that fluctuates radically. These days I find much of my free time is spent on the back end of making pictures. Why do I point my camera at this and not that? How can I improve myself as a person so I can be open to my subject matter while thinking critically about what I’m photographing and my own process? Money is a tool; it can be earned and given or taken away. My bank balance only determines what I am capable of physically achieving, not how much I can grow intellectually. If photographs are partially a reflection of the person who creates them, then I am continually on a personal journey towards the golden ratio: towards improving myself and not necessarily my pictures. If I can succeed, I am sure my pictures will follow.

What is your all time favorite genre to shoot (portraiture, conceptual, commercial, etc..)?

Documentary. I find I’m most excited and engaged when interacting with a reality I cannot control. Too slow? Try again. And when that image comes out and your elements are just nearly perfect, don’t settle. Do it better next time.

Do you have any upcoming exhibits you would like our readers to know about?

Nueva Luz, a publication put out by En Foco, is doing a feature by Danielle Jackson, head of exhibitions and cultural projects at Magnum Photos (NY) on my work from Patagonia for the Spring 2010 issue.

MJR just put on a show on January 21 in New York City called Make-Do that found us collaborating with another talented group of photographers called Luceo Images (www.luceoimages.com). We produced a fine-art magazine and had the pages blown-up large and displayed on the gallery walls at Gallery CPW near Central Park West.

What is one thing that makes your work unique>?

I’m not sure. A friend who is a really amazing photographer once told me can create a mood of drama in my pictures, which is something I struggle with. I’m not a subtle person, or photographer.

if you could photograph anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

I recently read The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley. He’s a man who used to sell drugs up on 52nd Street in New York City, part Scottish blood, who went on to move from the lower economic tiers of an oppressed part of the population to prison and into spiritual leadership. In those turbulent times, to see that life as it transforms through intimate photographs would undoubtedly produce historically defining visual documents. These types of works don’t happen often, but when they do their true meaning changes over time. I’m hoping I’ll be fortunate to witness one in my time.

what’s your dream photo field trip?

Any where the only batteries that work are in my camera.

what’s your post production photo process?

I severely underexpose in RAW and hope I don’t loose my entire image.

if you had unlimited resources to purchase any type of camera, what would it be?

I’m not much into cameras. I’d much rather spend the money on books, probably everything Trent Parke has ever published.

who are your favorite shooters and why

Christopher Anderson and Trent Parke from Magnum Photos, Jason Eskenazi and Luc Delahaye. Through their vision, they own their photographs.

what has been the shining moment of your career thus far?

When I got the call from The Wall Street Journal to go photograph Obama’s inauguration. It was really the first time of having to go into something really large and come back with something uniquely mine.

samples of Mustafah’s work:

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