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By Jayna Wallach

Photography is my life, love & pursuit of happiness. It is my art, my career, my hobby, my destiny.

I Am:
a guest of earth.
an artist.
a photographer.
a tenacious music collector.
a book lover.
an NPR supporter.
a history buff.
a weather fanatic.
a respecter of persons.

The name StormulaOne came about from friends as a nickname. I am known as a fast-paced busybody with a natural energy level unmatched. I also grew up loving Formula 1 racing.

-Storm Foster

When and how did you become interested in photography?

I’ve been interested in photography subconsciously since I was very young. As a kid, any book, magazine or otherwise just didn’t seem to matter unless it had pictures, even though I was a very good reader. Thankfully this changed, but as time went on I collected dubious amounts of National Geographics, music magazines, fashion/design mags, etc. and the thought did occur to me that I wanted to become a photographer. But it seemed unattainable- the money, schooling, etc. In addition, I had been struggling with mental illness and alcoholism for most of my twenties. About 3 1/2 years ago I started shooting with a point-&-shoot camera, and fell in love with it and I realized I wasn’t going to stop. I realized that I had to stop drinking and the camera gave me the hope to believe I could do it. That changed everything. Things started to fall into place. I got my first D-SLR. People really started to respond to my photos. I quit my day job of corporate video production & propaganda on Aug. 17th 2007, three days before my 30th birthday and assumed my nickname & pseudonym StormulaOne. Since then photos, photos, photos.

What gear do you mainly use?

Nikon D80
Nikon D300
Nikkor 18-200mm
Nikkor 50mm f/1.4
Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 AI-S (vintage, year unknown)
Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 AF (modern)
Nikkor 18-55mm AF-S f/5.6 (still incredibly useful, especially for sharper edges)
SB-900 strobe w/ Gary Fong diffuser
As I shoot mostly available light, all other lighting and equipment is rented from Light Tec & Dallas Camera respectively.

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?

In an attempt both in focus & direction I have generally merged the two. Being fortunate enough to do so has given me a lot of freedom. With that freedom I also bear a great deal of responsibility. As an artist my first and foremost responsibility is creating art & I’ve been lucky that I’ve been able to focus on becoming an artist commercially versus becoming a commercial photographer. I’ve been gearing myself commercially towards modeling portfolios & fashion photography. Photography has taken a consuming grip on my soul though and it is often a struggle for me to take time away from my work.

What inspires you?

My inspiration is really broad in scope, like a Ginsberg travel poem. There are a lot of allusions & references in my photos to various influences, inspirations, etc. Things that often strike me as obvious I’ve come to figure out aren’t quite as obvious to other people so there’s definitely a certain ambiguity in my photos. I deeply owe a lot of my inspiration to album covers. I’m a music collector and a lot of my time outside of photography, which is usually only short breaks of temporary distraction, is spent endlessly digging in the crates. Other than that everything under the sun is fair game.

What is your favorite genre?

My favorite genre and overall direction is fashion/feminine art. Due to my primarily female populated background (strong mother, three sisters & a long list of female friends), I’ve found a niche in being good with women. At first it seemed cliche, despite my passion for fashion, but a greater meaning arose shooting women when I started getting feedback on how photos would change women’s lives. Several of my muses and fashionistas have become close friends from shooting and they’ve given me a lot of courage, strength, input & support. I became close friends with Bode Helm, Dallas’ best fashion photographer, right after I moved into Southside on Lamar and he’s given me a lot of confidence and insight to pursue fashion. Our friendship is closer than a photographer/assistant relationship so I’m naturally learning just through absorption and hanging out. He’s been a real inspiration to me not only as an artist but also as a man with a true lust for life.

What current projects or shows do you have coming up?

I have a few gallery shows that I’m working on, all kind of independent from one another. I’ve been approached by several gallery owners, so I’m putting together various small collections. One of my current projects is putting together a show for my friend, muse & actress Yana Kolmakova. We’ve been working on some really cool editorial style nudes that were shot in some fairly interesting public places as to be cinematic and show a broad range of her personalities & styles as a model/actress.

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

I am a madman. It’s with pure, raw, animalistic passion that I go out and do this day after day. I shoot with nothing else in mind other than capturing exactly what I see or want to see. Also, the range and scope of my photos, coupled with the rate in which I take them takes a serious mental toll at times. I really think that it comes down to the fact that my brain doesn’t operate like most other people’s-literally. I shoot a lot of things subconsciously and I’ve also taught myself to be able to shoot through depression & a whole range of emotions & anxiety. I spent most of the early part of my life trying to make my brain think the way I thought it should and photography has allowed me to stop seeing my brain as defective and start embracing the fact that I have a unique perspective & gift.

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

Scarlett Johansson. She’s seemingly demure but suprisingly & refreshingly headstrong, one of the finest modern day examples of real beauty. She’s also very philanthropic but she’s not afraid to be brutally honest publicly. She’s not a bad singer either…

What is your post production process?

I use various programs but I try to take as good of a shot as I possibly can technically so that the photo can speak more for itself. I use a brand new iMac that has a dedicated 4GB dedicated ram video card which makes dealing with photos in general a lot more efficient. Also, the real secret weapon is the 4 terabyte network data storage system I have. Having shot a little over 200k photos in a little less than 2 1/2 years, space & organization are key elements to my workflow process. My only limitation right now is using Photoshop Elements 6 versus CS4. Though people would argue with me on principle on the almighty reign of CS4, the newest Elements has most of the editing tools you need with a few exceptions. Right now I’m using my own Epson Stylus R2880 to print smaller items and outsourcing bigger enlargements.

What’s your dream photo field trip?

Honestly, I would be quite happy with taking off, maybe starting w/ Europe, and just traveling for 2 years straight. I feel like I need to have a real perspective of the world. I’ve gotten pretty good with dragging my photo equipment through security.

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

A $40k digitally-backed Hasselblad maybe? Having become immersed in all of this so quickly I’ve done good to learn the cameras that I have. and being an ex-guitar player, I remember guys in guitar shops telling me when I was younger, ”Yeah, you can by that $5k Rickenbacker but this used Epiphone hollow-body will do you fine if you really know how to play…”. The technology of DSLR’s is lunging forward at such a dizzying rate that it’s unrealistic to even fantasize about any of them. My modus operandi requires efficiency and being able to shoot for great lengths of time with speed, agility & reliability so given the possibility that digital frames will soon enough be more and more seamless, you probably won’t catch me collecting Leicas anytime soon. Also, just about everything you’d ever want to use you can generally rent.

Who are your favorite shooters and why?

Helmut Newton- I feel like he kind of opened the door to avant-garde fashion, his mixture of nudes, edginess & atmosphere made quite an impression on the direction of fashion photography.

Gregory Crewdson- His large scale productions are like no other (although there’s a few similar in style) and his finished pieces evoke an eerie atmosphere & tell a story that has a lot of subtext.

Stan Brakhage- Experimentation really moves me. Pushing the envelope, trying new things… you’d think these were attributes that all artists have but I haven’t found that to be true at all. Stan Brakhage exceeds any level of doubt in the authenticity of his experimental films. His use of color and painting on film (8mm & 16mm) along with the various other self created idiosyncrasies create something of a mesmerizing psychedelic dream.

Tell us about a shining moment in your career thus far

Having my first gallery show gave me a lot of courage. A lot people came out & supported me and to have a show so soon after I started shooting was amazing and made me really feel like my hard work was worth it.

Samples of Storm Foster’s Work

Rush Hour Soul

The Empire is Falling

Yana Kolmakova

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