You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘portraiture’ tag.

Matt Hawthorne is a Dallas based photographer specializing in action sports, fashion, lifestyle, and portraiture. Classically trained in fine art photography using large format cameras and film, he is always pushing his skills in the world of advertising. Shooting action sports, fashion, and large advertising jobs with full studio lighting in and out of studio with a full digital workflow, has lead him to regular work with clients such as Neiman Marcus, JC Penney, & Life Time Fitness.

WWW.MATTHAWTHORNE.COM
WWW.MATTHAWTHORNEBLOG.COM

When and how did you become interested in Photography?



I was a Radio TV Film major in school, and also a sponsored skateboarder. My sponsors were always asking for images of myself, skating, for promotional purposes; so I asked my dad to show me how to use his old Olympus manual 35mm camera. I would set up the composition on a tripod and have a buddy snap the shot when I was in the air. Eventually, this led to adding a fill flash to illuminate shadows on my face. The next thing I knew, I had four canon flashes on radio slaves and was changing my major to photography.

What gear do you mainly shoot with?



I mainly shoot with the Canon 5D Mark II; but if a job requires larger files, I use the Hasselblad H3. I also have my photo assistants shoot behind the scenes video with another 5d Mark II. Lighting is primarily Profoto gear.

What is your #1 source of inspiration?



Innovation and style; whether that comes from a photograph in a magazine, a trick from a skateboarder on a video, an amazing painting by a new artist, architecture, design, or a fresh take on fashion. I try to get inspired by the things I shoot, rather than by the way someone else shot them.

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 have been fortunate enough to make a career out of my favorite hobby. My schedule does get crazy, but luckily most the jobs I’m shooting are exactly the type of photography I want to be doing anyway. The jobs I shoot, do provide me with many portfolio images, as every job is shot in a way to do so. With that said, there are always shoots I want to organize for myself and the time just has to be made for them to happen.

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



I enjoy commercial work the best because I love collaborating with stylist, hair and make up artists and producers; to take the quality of the image a step further than I could achieve myself. Sports photography is probably my favorite, with fashion, trailing close behind. I have a basic love for shooting people.

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



I have a close connection and interest to the skateboarding, urban sports, and street-fashion culture, which helps me understand what is popular and current, in those industries. Clients trust my opinion and direction due to my ability to relate in that way.

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



That’s a tough question, but it would have to be either the Beastie Boys, artist Barry McGee, or Sade!

what’s your dream photo field trip?




Shooting fashion in Rome, I visited there a couple years ago, and the textures and architecture are amazing.

what’s your post production process?



I do handle all retouching myself. I feel like there are three steps to an image and all are very important. The conception of an idea, creating the image in camera with lighting and production, and enhancing / retouching in post. The final step in post is crucial, because that is where I can spend time to finesse and complete the exact, final image, I had envisioned in pre production. Every image is different; but most of the time it is just a matter of fine-tuning, enhancing, color treating and cleaning things up. When it gets tricky is when we have to change sky or backgrounds, move models completely from another frame or compositing.

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




Unlimited Polaroid film for my Polaroid SLR 680, no doubt!

who are your favorite photographers and why?




Well, this list is constantly changing; but Richard Avedon caught my eye first, with his talent in shooting portraits but his fashion and commercial work are amazing as well. My favorite shooters tend to not be commercial shooters, instead I find myself following more fine art shooters, such as: Todd Hido, Sze Tsung Leong, Cedric Delsaux, Julius Shulman, Raymond Meeks, Edward Burtynsky and Chuck Close. Some commercial shooters that inspire me are Carlos Serrao, Steven Lippman, Troyt Coburn, Gray Scott and Tim Tadder. All of these are incredible shooters!

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



One shoot that has gotten me a lot of attention was for a Dallas shopping center called Mockingbird Station. I’ve done a couple fashion campaigns for them in which they have run several billboards, ads everywhere, and a huge parking garage size billboard, on the freeway. I drive past it on my route to the studio and am amazed at it everyday. It’s pretty cool to see your photograph 6 stories tall, on the freeway!

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?



Assist photographers who shoot what you are interested in and PAY ATTENTION! Don’t get lazy because that’s when you will fall behind. Keep shooting, constantly! Then, once your book is ready, have postcards made and mail them to everyone you know!

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



I always say that my ipod / boombox is the second most important thing to my camera, at a shoot. Music gets everyone in the right mood or to a comfortable place where they can open up and relax in front of the camera. When it’s quiet, everyone feels the tension. On set, I’m a hip hop kinda guy, or at least something with a good beat like RATATAT or M.I.A. that keeps good energy during a shot. While editing, I listen to something more chill, like Local Natives or Milosh.

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




My wife and I just bought and fully remodeled a home, so at the moment my favorite hang is at the house, everything there is exactly right! Plus, my wife is about to give birth to our first baby so it’s great spending time with her!

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




Hmm, I don’t eat much during a shoot, I think my adrenaline just keeps me going. But Sunkist is always on set.

will you share with us one of your favorite shots? why is this your fave?





This was shot for Life Time Fitness, from a triathlon triptych. I’m not sure it’s my favorite, I love so many, but this is one I’m really proud of. I tested, freezing action lighting, prior to the shoot, then shot on location with no compositing, had a set with lights in the water and tow-able generators, all within a half day’s production. This shot was incredibly involved and difficult to accomplish, but we nailed it exactly as I’d envisioned! Lots of planning, brainstorming, and testing went into this shot, for sure!

your favorite photo by another photographer?


Are you kidding, that’s a hard one! Well, I’ll have to default to an Avedon photo, from his American West series because these images are what inspired me to push from action skateboarding to studio portraiture, which then led to the commercial look I have now. The Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth was a couple miles from my college, so having these images on display for me to see in person, whenever I wanted, was a huge inspiration. And I love the story behind the “Bee Man”.

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




I wouldn’t say my passion has changed, but expectations for myself change constantly. Also, I always heard from commercial shooters that being a professional photographer is 10% creating imagery and 90% business and production. I can say that’s pretty accurate, but having a good rep and producer can help to make that not so extreme.

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 wouldn’t call it my good luck charm at all, but my ipod / boombox is probably the closest thing to one, I don’t leave the studio without it!

are you a photography nerd or a camera gangsta?



Hmm, I’ll pick Gangsta and leave the “Photography Nerd” title to my digital tech David who keeps me up and running! The Gangsta title also fits cause of the Hip Hop constantly blasting on set!

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


I don’t even know, that might say something… August.

who would you like to see interviewed by photopolus next?

Carlos Serrao




©MattHawthorne

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

____

Advertisements

I was born in Buffalo, New York on the snowiest day of 1988 to Holly & Larry – a restaurant manager and a train repairman.
My earliest memories were of the cultural ephemera that now plays a central theme in my fascination with the world – old Italian men sitting on plastic stools outside the corner cafe playing checkers; abandoned factories that used to harbor the workforce of the city (yet still buzzing with energy); small, front-lawn gardens immaculately manicured with scissors on Sunday mornings, sitting adjacent to vacant lots filled with yesterdays trash and the occasional syringe.
By age 5 we packed up and moved to a Pleasantville-like setting – a historic village filled with polite people, smiling children, a modest backyard and a swelling flood of trees.
I was a difficult child, always feeling slightly out of place, so I spent the next 12 years testing my parents patience and questioning every single convention that authority could throw at me. We didn’t have an art program so I spent most of my time speaking out of turn or quietly watching from the corner, taking notes on little things that seemed human and could validate that I was, in fact, in the same room as the heat-seeping bodies around me.
After that I went to an over-priced art school in Boston and took the train at 5am to New York almost daily, where I freelanced as a graphic designer/video editor/whatever-media-you’d-be-willing-to-pay-me-for. I always had trouble sitting still, and found a way to keep in constant motion, so by 18 had started traveling to Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand a few times a year, shooting whatever assignments would pay for the ticket to get out of the mundane.
I ended up photographing for a few record labels, and even convinced a few people to fund some short films. I started directing music videos and the occasional commercial spot, taking on more social documentary work and private commissions to fill every moment of free time. Since 2010 I’ve lived between New York and Bali, Indonesia, balancing two different worlds; inspecting them in constant comparison to each other, to create a spark, whenever needed. I feel at my best always being half in one world, half in another. The camera as a tool allows me to make sense of these otherwise disparate realities. A human thread runs through every moment, as meditations on life in times of subversion, trial, and disaster become answers to the everyday, only magnified by lens or circumstance.

www.cargocollective.com/mlawrence
@mrmlawrence (twitter)

When and how did you become interested in Photography?

I figured out the concept of a “frame” while looking through train windows on a trip around the US. I think I was 16.

What gear do you mainly shoot with?

Whatever fits the subject/whatever I can find! Disposable cameras, cell phones, an old Olympus Pen E, the beautiful Ms. Holga, a pair of Hassellblad 500cm’s, a Konica 35mm from a garage sale. Occasionally I get fancy and use a digi Nikon. I’ve been playing with a Tachinara a bit lately. A lot of b/w. Mostly available light. Always primes.

What is your #1 source of inspiration?

There are far too many! Our world is over-saturated with all kinds of imagery, all kinds of sensory experiences. They can all translate to a photograph, a film…. it just depends on how you metabolize them.
But I would say, my #1 trigger, how I get in the zone – is music.

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 make sure that it all feels like personal work. It has to be or I wouldn’t do a good job.

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

I suppose everything that I shoot is a form of portraiture. I’m interested in interactions with people, and the camera as a secondary tool. My work spans across documentary, editorial, and commercial mediums, though I admittedly try to use all of them as a way to frame my view on the world, to get an idea out there.

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

Right now I’m shooting this short film/music video in Bali, for Emil & Friends, a band in Brooklyn. Years of images crammed into a pretty surreal 7 minutes. I suppose it’s a very personal piece. The guys at Cantora have been very supportive – they seem to really treat artists with respect.
We’ve worked together over the past few years on a number of projects, and I’m always excited by what comes out of it. I think we really push each other to do our best work.
I also just found out that I have a show going up next spring in Australia – portraits I did with SurfAid International in the aftermath of the 2010 Mentawai Tsunami. There’s also talks on the table about a monograph being released here in Indonesia – for an ongoing project that I’ve been shooting across Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, and Bali over the last few years. Not sure about dates yet – when I have more information I’ll put it up on my website.

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

I really try to spend time with my subjects. I make every attempt to understand them, to have them open up, to trust me. To show me the scars, the insecurities – I show them mine too.

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

I’d love to have a beer with Vincent Gallo, and talk about missed field goals.

what’s your dream photo field trip?

There isn’t a place in the world that I wouldn’t go, or haven’t thought of going….. but right now, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to take a good 6 months to walk across Mongolia, traveling with nomads – West to East.

what’s your post production process?

Very limited. I find that computers don’t last long in my bag (or in the tropical climate here). I try to keep it simple. Film answers most of that for you. If it’s digital, I do a bit of tweaking in Aperture 3 – mostly curves, a bit of toning.

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

I have to say that I’ve considered selling a kidney to get my hands on a Polaroid 20×24. I’d also be willing to donate some blood for a Leica M9 and Zeiss primes.

who are your favorite photographers and why?

Martin Schoeller – his manipulation of the camera as an apparatus.
Irving Penn – his light.
Nan Goldin – her subjects.
I also think Mikael Kennedy is doing some outstanding work at the moment.

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

I don’t ever think that I’ve really had that moment yet. I hope it’s around the corner.

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?

Force yourself to be totally uncomfortable; at that point, the only way to transcend fear is to press the shutter.

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

I have a lot of friends in many an unheard of band. I listen to a lot of their music.
A few from today, definitely worth checking out:
Velvet Davenport
Bibio
Guards
Lately I’ve been revisiting the soundtracks of old Satyajit Ray films.

what’s your favorite hang?

I find small pieces of home all over the globe, but tend to be attracted to the dive bars (and subsequent late-night/early morning diners) where the eccentric and misunderstood convene. A few notables :: Croke Park–>Mul’s (Whitey’s) in South Boston; The Bar Bill—>Charlie’s Diner in East Aurora, NY; a few little wooden pubs in Shibuya—> all night Yakitori in Kubikicho.

best chow (meal/snack) to get you ready for a shoot?

Big, greasy diner breakfasts and black coffee run in my blood. It’s the perfect way to start every day (or end some long nights).

will you share with us one of your favorite shots?

It’s from a few years back. My father looked at me, and told me he was proud of me. It was right before he went out at 9p to go work in the -15F cold. If I’ve ever had a “big break”, that felt like it.

your favorite photo by another photographer?

I collect bits of visual inspiration across different mediums every day – I keep them in binders or scattered across my computer. It all influences me; I’m continually amazed by the great work out there. Today I was looking at some of Ryan Pfluger’s work – this image jumped out at me. It captures the subject in such a delicate moment. It’s a true interaction.

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

Absolutely not. I still work to support a hobby/addiction – I just get to shoot more film now.

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 always carry a few small items from my family with me – small reminders of (at times) a distant place.

are you a photography nerd or a camera gangsta?

I’d say I’m a person who is interested in people, and happens to own a camera. Gangsta I guess?

what’s your sign?

Sagittarius

who would you like to see interviewed by photopolus next?

my friend Mitch Weiss, up in Boston. Stunning portraitist. Attention to lighting and detail (as well as his shooting method) remind me of Karsh.




©MichaelLawrence

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

____

Nick Pironio (1982) is a fine art documentary photographer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Prior to arriving in North Carolina, he worked as a photographer at the Hanover Evening Sun, The Monroe Evening News and the Fayetteville Observer. After his time at the Observer, Nick had a short stint as the photographer for the John Edwards Presidential Campaign. Since then Nick has worked on projects such as documenting a developing denim company, Raleigh Denim and a series of Urban Chicken portraits.

www.pironio.com

When and how did you become interested in Photography?

When I was a senior in high school one of my best friends got me a job at a camera shop and I was allowed to take home and use any camera in the shop and process my own film. I was able to make a lot of mistakes and just learn on a daily basis.

What gear do you mainly shoot with?

For my projects I shoot with my Rolleiflex or Hasselblad 500c. When I’m just out and about I use my Leica m6 or Konica Hexar AF. Polaroids I use a Land 180 and for clients needing same or next day I use a Canon 5d MKII. I like to think of cameras as different flavors of the same tool, so it depends on what I’m in the mood for or what the job calls for.

What is your #1 source of inspiration?

Art, right now the work of Austrian painter Egon Schiele. I’ve spent quite some time studying his portraits. I’m interested in raw emotion.

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 make sure to schedule my projects as much as I can and if I have an assignment or a shoot for a client I usually just reschedule the project. That way the project is always on the calendar and always on my mind. As long as there is money in my pockets then I’m out documenting something.

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

Right now its documentary portraiture, but I also like to do street photography. You could say documentary portraiture is my passion and street is my hobby.

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

I have been told by an editor that I have an ability to get up close and personal quickly with my subjects. It’s something I’ve always been able to do.

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

It would have to be Tarek al-Tayyib Mohamed Bouazizi . The street vendor who set himself on fire in protest and became the catalyst for the Tunisian revolution. His one selfless act has sparked so much to happen in such a short amount of time.

what’s your dream photo field trip?

I plan on getting lost in South America for a while. What would make it a dream is if I was paid to do so.

what’s your post production process?

If its B&W I develop it myself (color I take to a lab) and then scan the negatives with an Epson v750 . If I find a great image I rescan the negative on a liquid mount for the interwebs. Then I take the negative to my darkroom and print. For digital I shoot>ingest>caption>edit/tone>deliver media>archive.

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

One day I’ll shoot 4×5 (I haven’t researched it much so I don’t know which 4×5 I would get), but for now I just need an endless supply of film and chemicals.

who are your favorite photographers and why?

Some of these people I know and the rest I would like to get to know:
Cary Conover His street style is amazing and inspires.
Jody Rogac her portrait work is full of beauty.
Doug Dubois I just started looking at his work, but its very appealing to me.
Peter Hoffman his portraits and projects motivate me to go out and create.
Trent Parke and Minutes to Midnight is my inspiration to get lost in South America for a while.

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

I don’t think its happened yet. Maybe it has (time will tell), but right now I feel like the peak of that mountain is still covered by clouds.

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

One thing I’ve learned that should be helpful to other photographers, is once you find your style you have to focus that style into projects/essays and into the type of work you want to do (commercial, editorial, art whatever) otherwise you just have a bunch of singles scattered around that don’t make sense. Yeah you take beautiful pictures but why? This advice really only helps the photographer that is out there everyday shooting, but for no defined reason.

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

Depends on the day. When I need energy I play something like Justice. If I’m trying to slow down I play Grateful Dead. Right now (at this very moment) I’m listening to Little Lion Man by Mumford & Sons.

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

My neighbor’s house, there is always food and people just hanging out. They remind me to slow down and rest.

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

Ha! I’m a sucker for a Jersey Mike’s sub especially when there isn’t time to cook. After a shoot, during an edit or generally all the time is hummus and pita.

will you share with us one of your favorite shots?

I currently like Patrick Bradley in my Urban Chickens project but my favorite changes daily.

your favorite photo by another photographer?

Right now its this one (number 9 in Doug Dubois’ Family Photos 1999-2006). Its just a great captured moment, something I’m always looking for.

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

My passion for photography has grown. To be able to photograph everyday is an amazing thing. I’m glad I am able to do so.

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 don’t have anything lucky, but for some reason all my cameras have that thin Domke strap on them so I guess I like those.

are you a photography nerd or a camera gangsta?

I have no clue.

what’s your sign?

Aries

who would you like to see interviewed by photopolus next?

Cary Conover



©NickPironio

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
____

Ross Mantle is a freelance photographer. His work often focuses on the quirks of American life and the unique relationship between person and place. He is a native of Pittsburgh and a graduate of Ohio University. He is currently living in Brooklyn, NY.
http://www.rossmantle.com

When and how did you become interested in Photography?

I was a teenager and started to take my camera with me when my friends and I would ride our BMX bikes and it grew from there.

What gear do you mainly shoot with?

Canon, Hasselblad and a Holga

What is your #1 source of inspiration?

Traveling and wandering

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?

Yea, it’s always a struggle to find the time and energy to put in to personal work. It’s a balance I’m always working on, between paying bills and working on personal projects.

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

I’ve always enjoyed portraiture. I’m also drawn to long form documentary work, exploring what it can be and the different directions it can go.

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

Jim Korpi and I just wrapped up a show in Ohio called Confluence, of our work from the Monongahela and Ohio River Valleys. It’ll be going elsewhere early next year, but I don’t have dates yet.

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

I’m not sure, I’ll leave it up to other people to take what they want to from my work.

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

I don’t have anyone specific in mind, but I’ve been wanting to make a portrait of someone with an eye patch.

what’s your dream photo field trip?

The trip where I drive around the country and make pictures while stopping at all the roadside attractions.

what’s your post production process?

Try to get the most detail out of the raw file or negative, correct the color if I need to and then add contrast and get it looking good, keeping the saturation down and the detail in the deep shadows.

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

I’m alright with what I have now.

who are your favorite shooters and why?

I’m inspired by some of my friends’ work more than anyone, for the honesty in their work. Jim Korpi and Peter McCollough always inspire me. I also look at August Sander, Alec Soth, Danny Lyon, and lately Joel Sternfeld. The list could keep going.

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

My mom gets excited when she sees my work in print and that’s always nice.

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

Peter Hoffman

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

The Band, The Kinks, Okkervil River, The Felice Brothers

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

Tony’s, in Athens, Ohio is always a good time, and any bonfire or roof spot.

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

Beans and Rice, maybe a taco, and a whiskey and beer afterward.

will you share with us one of your favorite shots?

your favorite photo by another photographer?


Native Americans, Steubenville, Ohio — Jim Korpi

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

No, nothing’s changed, except maybe that I’m more excited about photographing now than ever.

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

Shooting or not, I always wear my Pittsburgh Pirates or a black and gold beanie if it’s cold.

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

I’m not sure. My birthday falls on an in between day around the end of summer. I forget which sign it falls under.




©RossMantle

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
____

Hillsman Stuart Jackson was born in Redwood City, California. He graduated from East Texas State University in 1987 with a BS in photography and a minor in studio art. Upon graduation, Hillsman moved to Dallas, Texas, where he assisted many of the top photographers in the Dallas, Ft Worth metroplex, ending that phase of his education with Jean Ann Bybee of Greg Booth and Associates. In 1993, he became University Photographer with Southern Methodist University. Balancing both freelance and full-time requires a keen sense of time management. Having been the recipient of many awards, most notably the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Photographer for the Year in 1997, he is also the current chapter president for the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), Dallas. Hillsman was especially honored when First Lady Laura Bush chose his image of her as her official portrait for the 54th presidential inauguration, Celebrating America’s Spirit Together.
www.hillsman.net

When and how did you become interested in Photography?

I have always been interested in photography, but did not consider it as a career option until my third year of college when as a graphic arts student I realized drawing and designing type logos wasn’t for me. I would spend my nights, most times until 2:00 a.m., crouched over a drawing table working on a design project while during the day I would roam the streets and alleys of Commerce, Texas working on photography assignments. I had to choose one or the other. Photography won.

What gear do you mainly shoot with?

Nikon, which I have shot since the F-2. I do miss running film through my Diana, (sadly, my Diana died in the back seat of my car on a very hot summer day) I will occasionally play with a Lens Baby.

What is your primary source of inspiration?

Everything that walks, talks, and is visible around me. Everything is connected.

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 am still working on that one and of course, when a photographer goes on vacation, he or she usually needs a vacation from the vacation.

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

Environmental portraiture, which is what I started with at ETSU, now TAMU-Commerce, and I am happy shooting other genres, but learning about and photographing people that I didn’t know before is why I am a photographer.

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

No, but as chapter president of ASMP Dallas I would like anyone and everyone to visit www.asmpdallas.org for a list of upcoming events!

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

I primarily photograph people and have done so since the early 90s. I would say the tricks I have picked up along the way allow me to gain my subject’s confidence, which produces a better image. I assisted Jean Ann Bybee for four years and what she taught me has been put into practice every time I shoot.

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

Because he is such an excellent artist and recluse, it would have to be Cormac McCarthy. Too serious? Then R. Crumb, wherever he lives in France and for the same reasons…

what’s your dream photo field trip?

Traveling through Russia would be a blast! To date, my favorite has been the summer after reading On the Road and seeing Avedon’s “American West”, at the Amon Carter, I spent three months on the road. I hitched from Commerce to Nashville, Chicago to Madison, then Minneapolis back to Commerce with a Diana F and I truly felt invisible, aka, a ghost in the machine.

what’s your post production process?

That Adobe stuff, can’t wait to pay for the next version of whatever

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

Hasselblad with a beefy Phase One, 56M back, and then it is time to refinance the house! But seriously I am happy with my Nikon D-3.

who are your favorite shooters and why?

ETSU alumni, Robb Kendrick and Mark Seliger! Their integrity and devotion to the genre of environmental portraiture has always impressed me and they only keep getting better.

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

Photographing Laura Bush in 1998 and then having her choose that image to be her official Inaugural portrait in 2001! *see http://www.hillsman.net/people/

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

My mentor, Jean Ann Bybee.

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

Classical, usually via internet stream, Venice Classic Radio.

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

The one place I love to hang when I get the chance is Northern New Mexico, specifically, Taos.

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

Anything Asian.

will you share with us one of your favorite shots?

Back to the photo of Laura Bush. I did not know its usage (that is another story), ended up in DC for the inauguration, was getting my press credentials on the Mall, then discovered it was to be the official image of her and my knees started to shake…

your favorite photo by another photographer?

Too many to single down to one! Anything by Arnold Newman, Joel Peter Witkin, Margaret Bourke White, Mark Seliger, Robb Kendrick or W. Eugene Smith.

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

I don’t know how I got here, but I consider myself blessed to have discovered something that still amazes me, photography. I love everything about it and I maintain that I learn something new each and every time I take my camera out of its bag… I also don’t think I would have ever found photography as a career had it not been for the direction that my older sister Paula gave me when she sent me down the path to higher education. Paula, I owe you.

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

Many years ago I was doing an environmental portrait of Hill Country musician and jeweler Rex Foster. While I was photographing him in his school bus workshop he started working on something that happened to be a piece of 20,000 year old elk bone. At the end of the shoot he gave it to me. The portrait is still one of my favorites and the piece of bone is in my bag, has been ever since.

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

Cancer, and I find it useful to occasionally walk to the side.

Samples of Hillsman’s work


©Hillsman Jackson

____

By Jocelen Janon

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

By Cord McPhail

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

By Kelsey Foster

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

By Paul Crispin

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

By Christoper Robin Roberts

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

Shop our Esty store

RSS Craig’s List Photog Feed

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Photopol.us Flickr Pool

photopol.us tweets

Support Photopol.us