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Leentje Schoofs, 27 years young, always needed something creative in her life in order to feel happy. When she was 5, she began to play the violin, at the age of 8 she also learned how to play the piano. She also took drawing classes. Many years later, after finishing university with both violin and piano degrees, she found a new way to express her creativity, hiding behind her camera. She takes pictures during the day, and looks at them at night.

www.leentjeloveslight.com

When and how did you become interested in Photography?

In 2007 I planned a 3 month trip to Australia. That was when I bought my first bridge camera. I learned how to play with shutter speed, diafragma and iso values. One and a half year later, I purchased my first DSLR, and never stopped taking pictures.

What gear do you mainly shoot with?

I began with a 1000D, back in 2009. I used this camera until March this year. Then, the time was right to upgrade to a Canon 5DmarkII, which I use with the 50mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.8 and 24-70 f/2.8 L. I also frequently use a 5 in 1 reflector, and, only when necessary, a speedlite 580 EXII. I’m in love with natural light.

What is your #1 source of inspiration?

Dreams, fairy tales and nightmares. Butterflies and flowers. I have so many fairytale concepts in my head, which I really want to capture one day. I always write them down. The title of the concept is enough for me to remember the images in my head.

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 really try to make time for my personal work. Once every few weeks I try to do personal work, where I always search the right model and makeup artist for. This personal work is a series of images which are very detailed in my head. It’s sometimes a little bit hard to describe and explain to the other members of the team which particular image I have in mind, but so far, I always managed to get the sort of picture series I really wanted.

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

I get the most satisfaction shooting personal conceptual portraiture work, but I also love to shoot weddings, because all those happy faces make me fly through the day, although all my gear sometimes is so heavy to carry with me 🙂

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

I was published twice in a Dutch Photography Magazine. I’m always trying to get noticed on several online photography platforms, and got a few online publications as well, but so far, no big shows or events for me… yet. But I’m positive.

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

My photography is unique in its own style I think. I don’t shoot ‘normal portraits’, but always try to include some surreal, dreamy concept in my work. Of course, a lot of post processing is involved in my style of photography. Every image is edited in my particular color pallet (hence my love for green-blue colors), which makes it very recognizable. I also work with a lot of brushes and textures in post processing, which is the best for adding these little details in the picture.

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

I don’t search too far. Here in Belgium we have a young but very talented young singer, Selah Sue. Her appearance is so charming, and her songs so beautiful… I sent an email to her management team, but no response so far, haha. I keep on trying, though 🙂

what’s your dream photo field trip?

I would love to have the possibility to work with top models and makeup artists in a natural setting like the desert at sunset, a dangerous mountain in the snow or on a yacht next to some beautiful coastlines. Dreams like that…

what’s your post production process?

I usually load all pictures in Lightroom, where I give a score to the best pictures. Then I do some basic processing in LR, color enhancements, split toning, vignetting, cropping… When the photo needs additional touch-up or adding textures or brushes, I load them into Photoshop. In photoshop, I usually use the curves, levels, and the other color tools, I use tools to soften skin, I work with different layers to make the eyes pop, and I also use the gradient tool quite a lot.

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

I already have the camera I want, I don’t need another one. I only dream of some more lenses, like the 70-200L II, the 85mm f/1.2L and some more prime lenses… so I am saving my money….

who are your favorite photographers and why?

For landscape photography: Jorinde van Ringen. Her use of ND filters to shoot long exposures is amazing. For conceptual photography: Rosie Hardy, Kane Longden, Brooke Shaden
For art and conceptual dreamy photography: definitely the Belgian Selina de Maeyer. All, young people with a great sense for creativity!

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

A couple of months ago I was searching for models. The months before, I just asked a friend to model for me, but I wanted to contact some semi-professional models. I sent emails to multiple girls, with the question if they wanted to work with me to expand our portfolios. I also asked Steffi de Greve (a beautiful Belgian model). She didn’t answer, probably because my portfolio wasn’t yet good enough. A couple of months later, she contacted me. I was euphoric, we did a shoot, and that was the best shoot I’ve done so far!
Also, a friend of me asked to shoot her wedding. I told her ‘beware, I’ve never shot a wedding before’. She had faith in me, and began to create a lot of publicity for me on a Belgian wedding forum. Thanks to her, my summer and already a part of next year’s summer is fully booked with weddings!

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?

I learned photography all by myself. Trial and error. I was the model for myself, I started a self portrait challenge (365 project), and made a picture of myself every single day, 170 days in a row. Then I was sick of making pictures of myself.
But I knew my camera, I learned a lot about post processing as well. And I felt confident enough to photograph not only myself, but also models. So… practice practice practice. If you don’t want to take self portraits, then go out as an assistant or student with a (semi)pro photographer. Use your eyes and constantly ask questions. That’s the best way to learn photography in my opinion.

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

I’m a big fan of music, all kinds, but usually, when I edit pictures, I need silence. I also need to switch off Safari (Internet), cause I’m constantly distracted. My favorite music artists right now are Selah Sue, Arsenal, Absynth Minded (All Belgian btw), but also Robyn, and some other poppy-dance artists.

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

In my free time, I love to sport (running, cycling, watersports), or walk in the fields, drink something in town… I really like to be outdoors. Always.

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

When I do a personal portfolio shoot, I always take all kind of pastries and sweet cookies for the team. I’m not such a big eater. I can shoot for hours without feeling hungry at all. But after a shoot, I only want junkfoooooooooooood…

will you share with us one of your favorite shots?

This is a shot from my most recent portfolio shoot “the girl who lived in her dreams” with the Belgian blond goddess 😉 Steffi de Greve. It was a concept I had in my mind for ages. She was the perfect model for this shoot. Sweet and innocent. But she can really handle all types of shoots!

your favorite photo by another photographer?

As I am a big fan of the Belgian photographer Selina De Maeyer, I think this is one of her best shots:

©Selina De Maeyer


I really adore her sense for creativity. It’s like she is constantly dreaming. And her talent for post processing is beyond unbelievable. I admire her work so much I can stare for minutes to one single photo.

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

No, it has even become bigger. It only lacks time now to accomplish my dream photography concepts, but sometimes, the passion for photography (doing my personal work) has priority on earning money with commissioned work. Like that, I have joy, every time I hold my camera…

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

Even when shooting, I like to be dressed girly… an easy dress with little pockets (for all my little stuff like a lens cap or spare battery or CF card), with a legging, and ballerinas. On the other hand, if you ask a model to do not-so-easy-things, like, going into a muddy pool, sit unbalanced on a tree, stuff like that, I feel that you, as a photographer always have to demonstrate yourself. I’ve gone into muddy pools, knee deep, climbed into trees, almost lost a flipflop in a river, because I want my models to feel appreciated. That being said…I always keep spare clothes in my car 🙂

are you a photography nerd or a camera gangsta?

i’m not a nerd at all I think. But no camera gangsta either… just a canoncameragirl 🙂

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

I’m a very dangerous scorpio!

who would you like to see interviewed by photopolus next?

I like to give talented photography beginners a chance. I would like to know more from Bella Kotak. She is a young English (I think) girl, who’s work inspires me a lot as well! Too much talent in the world 🙂




©LeentjeSchoofs

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 recently contacted by a fella named Arnoldo Hurtado Escobar about shooting a commissioned concept for him. Arnoldo is a a painter who recently graduated from UNT and who will soon be moving to Cambodia for two years to learn more about life and serving others. He wanted to shoot a take on “one of the most intriguing biblical mythologies” – the story of Adam and Eve as found in the bible.

After talking it over we decided to approach it together. One of the points within that really interested us was the idea that a creator would turn its back on its creations for proving themselves to be faulty, broken and human… just as it had created them to be. It seems like a lot of people’s fear and/or doubt of God and even the existence of God are an unfortunate byproduct of such teachings. The other point of interest was the entrance of “evil” as something that came from outside of us, a spiritual principality and even boogeyman that we should all watch out for because it may incite us to do wrong.

We both felt that most of our problems in life were of our own making and came from within ourselves. The idea of personal responsibility. Having said that, we didn’t have any desire to refute anyone’s beliefs or minimize a story or book that contains beautiful teachings and does so much for so many. Just wanted to kick the ideas around.

When all was said and done, we ended up with something more portrait than concept and found the idea difficult to translate properly, but the ideas were still implied. I posted one of them on Facebook and unfortunately it was reported and deleted within a few hours. I was pretty disappointed because I felt both the image and the accompanying words were tasteful, unoffensive and couldn’t be classified as containing nudity. I was given a seven day photo uploading restriction which is pretty inconvenient because I use Facebook in conjunction with my website and blog to share all I shoot with the masses.

I am at least thankful I could share this here though and I hope you all enjoy it. Be well and happy shooting, my friends.

Dylan Hollingsworth
July 12, 2011

Arnoldo Hurtado Escobar and Vanessa Ruiz ©DylanHollingsworth

___

Randall Slavin was born in Hollywood, CA. Mr. Slavin was working a dead end job at a gas station when he wandered into a local photography studio and struck up a friendship with the owner. This studio owner took the young Mr. Slavin under his wing, taught him some photography basics and then promptly fired him a few months later. Faced with nowhere else to turn, he put one foot in front of the other, kept going and never looked back. His photography debuted in the prestigious New York Times Magazine. His work has since appeared in GQ, Esquire, Rolling Stone and many other publications. Randall had his first exhibit in Paris in 2008 and is currently working on his first solo show to be held in New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong.
www.thisphotolife.tumblr.com
www.randallslavin.com

When and how did you become interested in Photography?

I was always interested in images…obsessed with looking at pictures of actors and stuff when i was a kid. I would pour through my family photo albums..so, i guess i was interested in being a photographer long before I consciously realized it..

What gear do you mainly shoot with?

I now shoot primarily with my Canon 5D and for snaps i use the Canon G10..sometimes I use my Hasselblad H3, but only on bigger jobs..i like the speed of the Canon.

What is your #1 source of inspiration?

that’s an interesting one..mostly i just try to keep my eyes open. i tend to get obsessive about things and i get obsessive about new magazines and images and am always stopping to look at books to try and find something new and amazing..and also to see what everyone else is doing..

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?

well, i take pictures all the time. much to my friends annoyance. i always have my G10 with me..so, i’m always shooting and looking for pictures. i actually think all of my pictures are personal. they are diaries of what i did that day..it might be a boring,uninspiring assignment,but,it is what i did that day and i want to remember it, I love taking pictures. I would rather be taking pictures any day of the week than NOT taking pictures..i still do free little tests and personal stuff, cuz, i just like the action of being a photographer. it feels good to me. some guys like playing basketball, i like shooting pictures. i don’t just wait to get hired to shoot. also, having a blog has really opened my eye up to other things besides faces. its made me look at the world differently and made me find pictures where i didnt see them before. I was very limited in my vision.

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

I love shooting simple, raw portraits. i’m really into it right now..minimal lighting. simple backdrop. just..raw. i love it. I also love reportage-type stuff. i think that’s the most fun and the most rewarding for me. just grabbing a camera and shooting is what separates the men from the boys, i think.

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

I’m doing a series of portraits of iconic people of our time. actors,musicians, dancers, writers..its been an amazing and very difficult experience,but,so incredible spending a few moments with some of these people. all the proceeds from this exhibit will go to help stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in South Africa. Our first exhibit will be in NYC with shows to follow in LA and Hong Kong.

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

I think my pictures have a cinematic quality to them which I like..Maybe it’s my film background and stuff…i like to make little movies. My pictures have an inherent sadness and loneliness to them.

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

i would love to shoot Prince. he’s at the top of my list..i would also love to shoot Bill Clinton…President Obama…Kate Moss…
and Peter Beard cuz he has had such a profound impact on my life.

what’s your dream photo field trip

i would love to go to Africa with Peter Beard or on tour with U2..

what’s your post production process?

oh, i don’t really care so much about that shit. i just send it off to the retouchers and that’s it..i like the actual shooting part. the rest is all static.

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

well, i wouldn’t mind owning a hassy H3 with P60 back, but, my biggest concern would be all the storage!! that’s a ton of shit..too much…

who are your favorite photographers and why?

it really changes over the years. the people i first loved i don’t really pay attention to anymore..i evolve and change…Avedon is the king. He could do it all…fashion, portraits, advertising, reportage..the king…Annie Leibovitz, I feel the same way about…she can do it all. I like Glen Luchford, Javier VallhonratPeter Lindbergh, Mert and MarcusGregory CrewdsonTony Duran…oh jeez…I think Mary Ellen Mark is the greatest living photographer…she blows me away over and over.

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

oh god..my big break i guess was a shoot that i did with Charlize Theron a few years ago for FLAUNT magazine. they ended up running the story as a separate 45 page book included with the magazine. that shoot brought me a lot of attention and really took my career to another level. I did a photo recently of Eddie Vedder that i’m incredibly proud of because everything was working against me. I was in the ocean, which i hadn’t planned on, high noon (terrible light), with no time and still managed to pull off a really magnificent picture. I haven’t been able to show it to ANYONE, sadly, because it was a personal shot for him. I’m hoping someday I will be able to show it.

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?

first off, i say just shoot..shoot shoot and shoot. just keep doing it. and eventually you will find your voice. it takes a lot of copying and a ton of mistakes to find your niche. To find out the thing that makes you unique so that your work is cohesive and looks like it all came from the same hand is a process that takes time and failure. experimentation.i would also say to just shoot what gets you off. shoot what excites you. shoot what YOU want, not what u think “they” want you to shoot like. Also, if you are into shooting celebrities; here’s my advice for you…(Anthony Mandler told me this years ago and he’s dead right 😉 They hire your lighting. remember that. its true.

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

lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Chet Baker.

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

i like hanging at the Chateau Marmont in LA.

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

i don’t really eat before a shoot..during though, i do consume ungodly amounts of tea and diet coke though, so, i guess just caffeine, caffeine and more caffeine.

will you share with us one of your favorite shots?

I don’t really have a favorite shot. I look at certain shoots and i am most proud of everything that went INTO getting the shot. if the conditions were terrible, the subject was difficult or we had no time together and I still pulled off a great shoot. let me think…if I had to pick my favorite shot…oh, I don’t know..I have a list of faves but not one specifically. The shot i have attached of actor Jeremy Renner writing on the wall is a new shot that exemplifies what I do best..(hows that?)

your favorite photo by another photographer?

jeez..just one? this whole shoot by Glen Luchford of Natalia Vodianova for W

©Glen Luchford

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

yes. it has grown.

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

no, but I always insist on packing my camera at the end of the shoot.I like the ritual of it..taking of the lens, putting the caps on, placing them in their spaces, wrapping up the cords…that’s my only ritual i do.

are you a photography nerd or a camera gangsta?

i’m a photography nerd w/o the education cuz i dont know jack shit about the technical side of photography,but, i know buckets about the history of photography and all the great shooters,editors and everyone who came long before me.

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

Leo
🙂

who would you like to see interviewed by photopolus next?

Cameron Krone



©RandallSlavin

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
____

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“Twins” 1988 ©Toni Parks.
By SUSAN HODARA for the NYT
Published: January 28, 2011
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y.
IN Gordon Parks’s 1942 photograph “American Gothic — Washington, D.C.,” a grim-faced cleaning woman in a well-worn polka-dot dress stands against the backdrop of an American flag. With a broom in one hand and a mop beside her, she stares directly at the camera.

In “Twins,” shot 46 years later by Mr. Parks’s daughter, Toni Parks, two equally unsmiling young girls wear frilly headdresses and festive tops. They, too, gaze straight into the lens.

These images and more are currently on view in “Bridging the Gap: Photography by Gordon Parks and Toni Parks,” at the Castle Gallery at the College of New Rochelle. Curated by Katrina Rhein, the gallery’s director, the show is the first two-person exhibition featuring the father-daughter pair. It presents nearly 70 pieces from the college’s collection, including photographs spanning seven decades and an assortment of books and videos by and about the artists.

The relationship between the Parkses and the College of New Rochelle dates back 20 years. In 1991, in recognition of Mr. Parks’s work, the school opened the Gordon A. Parks Gallery and Cultural Arts Center on its campus in the South Bronx; in 1992, it granted Mr. Parks an honorary degree. At the time, Ms. Parks was working at the college as both a counselor for adults returning to school and a photographer during graduations. She has since curated exhibitions at the Gordon A. Parks Gallery, and shown her work there on several occasions, most recently in a solo exhibition in 2009.

But exhibiting at the Castle Gallery, as well as showing her work alongside her father’s, remained unfulfilled goals until now. “This is a dream come true,” Ms. Parks said at the show’s opening in December.

Given the photographers’ familial relationship, gallery visitors might find themselves focusing on the parallels among the works rather than appreciating the individual images. But, Ms. Rhein said, “Each piece in this exhibition stands on its own. I believe there are as many dissimilarities as there are similarities.”

“Gordon was a mentor to Toni, schooling her on life and the arts, ” she said, but they had “different processes for seeking out subjects and creating works.”

Mr. Parks’s many accomplishments include directing the film adaptation of his autobiographical novel, “The Learning Tree,” in 1969, and the blaxploitation film “Shaft” in 1971; writing memoirs, novels and books of poetry; performing as a jazz pianist; and composing orchestral scores. But he was most prolific as a photographer. He was the first African-American to work for Vogue and Life magazines, with subjects ranging from well-known actors and entertainers to victims of abject poverty in the United States and abroad.

Both ends of this spectrum are represented here in 10 black-and-white photographs, which Mr. Parks donated to the college in 1991. Among them are highlights from his 20-year stint at Life, including “Red Jackson, Harlem,” part of his first assignment for the magazine, a photo essay shot in 1948 about the Midtowners gang; and “Bessie Fontenelle and Children at Welfare Office,” part of another photo essay, this one from 1968, taken during a monthlong stay in the Fontenelle family’s Harlem tenement. Then there’s Muhammad Ali after his fight with Henry Cooper in 1966, his face glistening with beads of sweat, the intensity of his glare palpable.

The exhibition’s title, proposed by Ms. Parks, conveys multiple meanings. One suggests the gap that Mr. Parks, who died in 2006, referred to in his 2005 memoir, “A Hungry Heart,” between the primarily white audiences of his magazine photos and the residents of the ghettos where he often shot. Another reference recognizes Mr. Parks’s middle name, Alexander, making his initials, G.A.P. Finally, the exhibit bridges the work of Mr. Parks, who discovered his photographic calling early in life, and Ms. Parks, who said she did not pick up a camera until she was in her 40s.

Given her father’s accomplishments and reputation, Ms. Parks’s avoidance of the field was understandable. “Of course he was intimidating!” she said. “That’s why it took me so long.”

A tall, slender woman with silver hair that falls past her shoulders, Ms. Parks, 70, was raised in White Plains, where she studied piano and musical composition; she currently lives in England. As soon as she started shooting, she said, she knew she had found her passion. She recalled presenting an early contact sheet to her father and telling him, “I don’t care what you say — this is me!”

The “me” that is on display in “Bridging the Gap” includes a dozen color shots of a dress rehearsal of “Martin: A Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.,” the five-movement ballet re-enacting Dr. King’s life that Mr. Parks wrote, scored and helped to choreograph, and that he later directed and narrated as a film. “It was my first professional assignment,” Ms. Parks said. “Martin” aired in 1990 on PBS on what would have been Dr. King’s birthday.

The exhibition also contains images taken by Ms. Parks in Manhattan between 1986 and 1993: black-and-white portraits and street scenes, and several Cibachrome prints, including an urban sunset and moonrise. “In New York, there are so many types of people and so many things happening within one block,” said Ms. Parks, who is a member of Kamoinge, a collective of African-American photographers founded in 1963 and based in New York. “Whatever I see that delights me, I take the photograph.”

“Bridging the Gap: Photography by Gordon Parks and Toni Parks” runs through Feb. 20 at the Castle Gallery at the College of New Rochelle, 29 Castle Place, New Rochelle. Six of Mr. Parks’s feature films will be screened in the gallery on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 6 to 8 p.m., Feb. 1, 2, 8, 9, 15 and 16. For a schedule of films, gallery hours and more information: cnr.edu/cg or (914) 654-5423.

Hi! We are Jason + Sara Martin of Concept Photography, a husband and wife shooting team that travels the world in search of amazing weddings and awesome clientele. Our business is defined by the simple idea that there should be a higher standard for creativity and performance in the wedding photography industry. Florida is our home, but we will travel ANYWHERE. We have two beautiful kids – a weimaraner named Raleigh and a Husky named Titan. We are excited about photography, each other, and what the future holds (not necessarily in that order)! www.cptphotography.com

When and how did you become interested in Photography?

Jason has been taking pictures his whole life. His parents have a safe in West Virginia with all of his negatives from the last 20 years! I (Sara) was annoying enough during Jason’s shoots when we first started dating (“Why are you not shooting from over here… or from this angle?” etc. etc.) that I got my own camera, and a shooting team was born.

What gear do you mainly shoot with?

Canon 5D MK II, Mark III, all Canon lenses: fisheye, 16-35, 24-70, 50 1.2, 85 1.2, 70-200, and 100 macro.

What is your #1 source of inspiration?

Each other! I think we are always trying to out-shoot each other…but in a good way! We know we have to push the boundaries of our own creativity, because the other one will be trying just as hard.

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?

We are extremely fortunate in that we get paid to do the photography we love.

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

Weddings, not necessarily a genre, but that is our answer.

What is one thing that makes your work unique>?

I think when most people think of wedding photography, the images they think of are either stuffy or sappy. We take it upon ourselves to make the whole experience a very good, fun, joyous time for our couples. We are never afraid to get silly in order to create that energy.

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

My husband would say Sarah Jessica Parker, and I guess I am ok with that. He thinks she is hot, but I love her style.

what’s your dream photo field trip?

A destination wedding on the island of Santorini, Greece

what’s your post production photo process?

We cull in Adobe Bridge, then go to Lightroom for basic edits, and finally Photoshop for special edits.

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

Canon Mark IV, just because.

who are your favorite shooters and why

Paul + Mecheal Johnson, Meggie Velasco. Both of these take wedding photography to the next level as far as creativity goes. They downright inspire us!

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

This interview…of course 😉

samples of Jason + Sara’s work:

By Paul Quitoriano

Don’t forget to submit your images to our Flickr Photo Pool to be considered for our daily Photopol.us pix!

Claire Rosen is a fine art photographer, book artist, and educator. She loves big dresses, vintage taxidermy, and adventures. Much of her inspiration comes from fairy tales nursery rhymes, fables, and other children’s stories. She is drawn both to beauty and darkness as it exists in life, and her images explore this duality.

Claire is currently represented by Verve Gallery (Santa Fe, NM), Gallery 51 (Montclair, NJ) and Asymmetrick Arts (Rockland, ME); her work has been exhibited widely and is included in many public and private collections. Claire recently received an award from the prestigious “Prix de la Photographie, Paris 2009” (Px3). She has been featured multiple times in The Creative Quarterly Journal and The Montclair Times. Her client list includes Prevention Magazine, Random House Publishing, The London Sunday Times, Bangz Spa & Salon, Ryan Wilde Millinery, Alex Randall Bespoke Lighting Design, and Cora Pearl Underpinnings.

In addition, Claire teaches courses in ‘Portrait & Fashion Retouching’ and ‘Portrait & Fashion Photography’ at the New Jersey Visual Arts Center in Summit and through NORDphotography in Oslo, Norway. She is hard at work on two monographs, entitled “Dolls in the Attic” and “Fairy Tales and Other Stories.”

Website: www.clairerosenphoto.com

When and how did you become interested in Photography?

It’s a funny story, I actually took my first first photography class in college because I had a crush on a boy, we were camera partners but he wound up being gay and I became a photographer.

What gear do you mainly shoot with?

I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark II

What is your #1 source of inspiration?

I have so many sources of inspiration, I love stories anything from classic fairy tales and fables to novels to movies – I draw quite a bit from history (I love the Victorian Period, 20s and 50s), mythology, fashion, many other amazing photographers and artists, and generally things that are bizarre and unusual.

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 have been really fortunate in that respect, I began my photographic career thinking I would solely be a fine art photographer (silly, I know) but I began shooting commercially because I was hired to make images that emulated my personal fine art images. Since then I have been lucky enough to collaborate commercially with some amazing artists and we have shared such a similar aesthetic that it still feels like my personal work.

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

I really enjoy making self portraits, I basically get to play dress up and run around in ridiculous locations, it is so much fun and therapeutic!

I also really love collaborating on narrative conceptual shoots with other artists and I have just begun playing with video and I am really excited about the possibilities of that medium.

What is one thing that makes your work unique>?

I think my work is influenced by so many other styles it becomes a collage of that and a new style in and of itself.

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

I would have loved to work on a collaborative photo project with Alexander McQueen because I think he is amazing…

what’s your dream photo field trip?

Either the Museum of Natural History in NYC (I want to get in those dioramas!) or Hunedoara Castle in Transylvania (the place where Prince Dracula was imprisoned 7 years by Matei Corvin)

what’s your post production photo process?

I use Bridge’s Camera Raw and then do most of my post production in Photoshop, some images just need minimal adjustments and others are complicated composites so the process varies but I love being able to create exactly what was in my mind.

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

I don’t really think your camera makes the picture, it’s more about the concept for me, I would rather have an unlimited prop, location, talent budget…

who are your favorite shooters and why

There are so many photographers that I respect, admire and are a constant source of inspiration – some of my very favorites are Tim Walker, Paulo Ventura, Joel Peter Witkin, Robert and Shana Parke Harrison and Erwin Olaf.

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

My career is just starting…

samples of Claire’s work:


I began my journey photographing in the rural areas of East Texas, documenting my youth which revolved around BMX culture. At 18 I pursued my studies in preparation for the art industry at Kilgore Community College. After graduation I headed to Dallas, TX to cultivate a career as an entertainment photographer. Shortly after arriving to Dallas, I was introduced to Envy magazine this is where I met and received my first assignments for a publication. During this time I gained a loyal trust with the editors and art directors. I’ve had the opportunity to photograph names such as Drew Barrymore, Mark Wahlberg, Bill Murray, Sean William Scott and even new rising stars that are heart throbs in today’s pop culture such as Robert Pattinson. I am genuinely interested in the various types of people I photograph, whether it be a rock star, athlete, film director or CEO. At the ripe age of 25 I feel that I am in the prime of my life, I look forward to what will come in the future.

www.jonathanzizzo.com

When and how did you become interested in photography?

As I previously mentioned above, BMX riding was a huge part of my youth. My friends were really talented at riding and I wanted to capture these moments. I am very grateful for this community of individuals. I recently had the opportunity to teach photography at the largest action sports camp in the world, Camp Woodward. I found a significant reward in that opportunity. I’ve established relationships in my early lively hood that I think will last a life time. All because we shared this common interest in riding a bicycle.

What gear do you mainly use?

I shoot with a Nikon 35mm professional digital camera.
Not much gear at all, maybe a few lights and simple light modifiers.
Editorial work is typically under short time restraints so a truck load of equipment would not benefit me.
The less things to complicate a shoot the better.

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 always find time for personal work. It keeps the stress away 🙂

What inspires you?

All things in life. I’m very inspired by the law of attraction, I firmly believe that whatever you hold on your mind you will eventually receive. I have achieved many things by staying motivated and practicing this belief. With that being said, take a look at all the great minds that have ever achieved great success. Find the common thread.

What is your favorite genre?

My favorite thing to shoot is portraits. I’ll shoot anything that moves or moves me.

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

My point of view, not everyone looks at one subject matter the same. I’d also like to think that I pay close attention to detail and composition. I always go with my first instinct.

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

I’m not sure…Osama Bin Laden would be interesting. He’s got a 25 million dollar reward out for him and not only would I make a better photograph than his wanted picture. I’d also become an American hero because I’d certainly turn him in for the cash. Sounds like a plan right !?

What is your post production process?

After the capture I come back to the computer, back up the originals and then upload right into light room. In light room I make simple adjustments and then open in photoshop if extensive retouching is required.

Sometimes I shoot straight into the computer it just depends on the job, client and environment etc.

What’s your dream photo field trip?

One that would allow me to see more of the world. I’m interested to see all things, places and cultures I’ve never been to. I believe we were put on this earth to take a journey… not sit around in one little area of the earth..

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

I’d like to work with a Hassleblad H3, something that’s intuitive to use and produces superior quality over the 35mm format. It’s gotta have a Richard Avedon button on it somewhere though because a $30,000 price tag is a bit ridiculous.

Who are your favorite shooters and why?

My favorite at the moment is Peter Yang. He’s very clever and often includes a great humorous punch line in his images.

Arnold Newman was great also.

Tell us about a shining moment in your career thus far

Not having to have a nine to five job to pay my bills. As long as the phone keeps ringing, I’m still blinging.

I don’t like to think of shining moments though, yesterday is the past and you must make progress for each new day in some new way. Evolution is infinite and your time is not.

Samples of Jonathan Zizzo’s Work

bio

Jacob was born in 1985, and has been photographing for 6 years as of December 2009. Growing up, he wanted to be a psychologist or a philosopher or a professor. Photography was just something that unexpectedly entered his life.

What gear do you mainly use?

If it works, I’ll use it. Right now though, I shoot mainly with a Canon 5D for anything digital, but I also use a Pentax 645 for film work. I learned though on a Canon Rebel 2000 35mm film.

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’m probably very weird for saying this, but I really will refuse work if I don’t think it would be something I would love doing. If I can’t see the beauty in it, I just won’t do it. So its not hard finding time for personal work, but it can be troublesome for paying work since I will turn down a lot of money for things I just don’t really think fit what I am about.

What inspires you?

Classical Greek Humanism really gets my mind moving and thinking in a way that works very well for my photography. The concept of Arete, which is this idea that you need to try to be excellent in all human experiences, that pushes me.

What is your favorite genre to shoot?

I really love shooting people. Whether it’s a portrait, or for commercial, or for musicians or artists or models or whatever, I most enjoy photographing people over anything else.

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

At this moment, not really. I’m working on two books right now, and hopefully they’ll be done soon! One is called Population: Beautiful that will be mass-market published and the other is a collector’s type book of prints I’m binding and printing by hand, called 28 Hours a Day. Population is all about beautiful women in certain geographic areas, and we’re focusing first on Texas. And the 28 Hours book is about intimacy and sexuality.

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

I don’t know if its unique or not, but my viewpoint is that people are not stupid. Just sometimes they are a little afraid to go outside of their comfort zone. I go into everything thinking that this needs to be so amazing and perfect that even people who would normally be uncomfortable with what I’m shooting, not only want to see it, but they truly enjoy it.

Samples of Jacob Fakheri’s work

dinae

stacybaby

sydney1

By Christopher Robin Roberts

By Christopher Robin Roberts

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