Interview With Professional Photographer Brandon B.
Q: Do you like to talk about yourself or your pictures? If yes, about what aspects of photography? If no, why?
A: I love to talk about my pictures because they reflect myself and my lifestyle. I like to capture the things I enjoy the most, nature and humans. Humans have created works of art ie; cars, motorcycles, dirt bikes, building etc.
I like to have every beautiful aspect of life in its normal… and sometimes arranged, way of life show in my photos.
Q: How would you describe your attention span?
A: Sometimes, ya… Desperate times call for desperate measures. I want people to know who I am and what I do, and desire to work with me because of my work. The only way that happens is if they see it.
Q: When did you decide to become a photographer?
A: When I was young about 11 yo. My father had an old Minolta 35mm SLR that I picked up and was curios about. He showed me how to use it, I WAS HOOKED!! Haha, since then I loved trying to get that pic of everything I saw in magazines and books.
Q: What does photography mean to you?
A: I believe that it is an appreciation of life and trying to capture that breathless moment where after the usual comment follows, “I wish I had a camera for that!!” I just see things happen in nature and life that I want to have and collect. For memories and to represent my artistic side.
Q: Can you recall the first photo you took that made you go WOW!?
A: Yes, I was on a boat in San Diego and our friends we’re taking us to Catalina Island. It was about 7 in the morning and we were just leaving the bay. I was watching the sunrise with a sailboat underway along side us, The sky behind it was a unbelievable color of orange and yellow. I thought to myself, that it would make an unbelievable pic.
I hurried and grabbed the camera that I had just bought, which was some Sony that was like the first digital camera known to man, and snapped the pic. From a point-and-shoot it turned out unbelievable!! The colors were soo crisp and clear, The sailboat was right in the center of the pic with Coronado Island right behind it in the background. That pic was my pride and joy in my early photography years, and I can remember the whole playback like it was yesterday! I wish I could get that shot again! :)
Q: Do you have any formal training regarding photography?
A: A little, I took some photography classes in the 8th grade. I like to learn things on my own so I bought some books and just studied and experimented. I would like to take some formal classes someday, but I like
to learn things through trying to figure it out myself.
Q: How technical is your photography?
A: Not so much, I don’t like it when its planned to a science. I like it when it just flows naturally, where people err. It makes the prints come out soo much more natural and random. I like to have it look real…
Q: How do you feel about cropping?
A: I do sometimes, my camera (Canon 40D) won’t let me crop as much as I like to sometime because of the quality. I like to take a lot of pics and get the size of the pic just the way I want it so I don’t sacrifice
Q: Where is your favorite place to live and work as a photographer in the World and why?
A: I have only lived and worked in Phoenix and San Diego. There is soo much opportunity in both places, but my style is better shown in San Diego where there is water. Water is my favorite thing to photograph because of it’s beauty, it’s therapeutic effect and the power that it has. It’s soo natural and beautiful.
Q: Define the word “beauty”!
A: In the eyes of the person viewing an object or person. It is that feeling that you get in your gut where you say to yourself, “There is a God, and for that, he was showing off!!” Haha it’s just something that is soo physically attractive whether it be a building that covers a city skyline, a tree that is very detailed or a woman who’s physique was blessed by God. It is all in the eyes of the beholder.
Q: What is your most favorite and least favorite word in photography or life? How do they make you feel?
A: My most favorite part is seeing the final product in my minds eye and using everything in my power to recreate what I see. The best part is seeing the prints when that vision shows up from what I captured, I think everybody knows what’s up when that happens, cuz I scream like a kid at the fair! lol
Q: How does your personality change when you look through the camera?
A: I just get quiet and focused, I know what I want and I’ll do whatever it takes to get it. I need to give direction better if I’m using a model. But if it’s nature or something of daily life, it just flows.
Q: How do you feel about missed shots which cannot be recreated?
A: I remember them all and change something so that I don’t miss the next one. I was boy scout in a past life, lol and I try to always be prepared!! :)
Q: Ever concerned about failure?
A: All the time, Failure is inevitable. But if it happens twice it’s shame on me cuz I should have learned the first time!
Q: Who are your influences?
A: Right now I like the work of Chuck Condron. Ya a lot of his shoots are repetitive in the junkyard. But It’s just cool to see his work and see the beauty in his shots.
Q: What is your favorite image, either your own or someone else’s or both? Describe its creation or meaning to you?
A: My new fav image is the one shot from the Staten Island ferry that was taken on 9/11 of the two towers just before they went down. I went to New York a couple weeks ago for the first time and saw the same perspective that I designed my own tribute with. It left me breathless to see Manhattan without them. It was just an eye opener that comes to mind frequently.
Q: Describe a day in your personal or professional life.
A: Just trying to stay busy and organize new shoots that I want to do.
Q: What are the biggest personal or professional challenges you face on a daily basis?
A: Dealing with other people and their mistakes, including my own that creates a really bad day.
Q: What has been the single biggest obstacle against growing as a photographer in whole?
A: Funds, the need for it is apparent all the time. I hope to not have to worry about that someday.
Q: What are your favorite subjects to photograph?
A: I really like fashion photography of female models. It’s the one thing that either your born with or praying that you come back in another life with it. I like to see the magazines like Maxim or FHM and even Playboy where the female form is appreciated on prints.
Q: Tell your funniest, scariest, most bizarre, most touching story from a photo shoot!
A: Haha I don’t know if those are all included in one shoot but the most bizarre was when I photographed a homeless man in NY. I asked him if I could take a pic of him and he said “Put some cash in my cup!” I told him it was because I liked his sign that said Why lie? I need a beer!
Q: Have you ever thought about or actually stopped doing photography? What were the circumstances?
A: Nah, if I’m doing it for a job or just for fun, I don’t want to stop. I want to have the pics when I’m 90 can’t remember my own name and have a group of old fogies living with me that help change my diaper. Lol I want to see the pics of things that I saw in my lifetime and captured on film.
Q: Do you ever have photographer’s block and if yes how do you deal with it?
A: Yeah sometimes, I just start taking pics and see everything through my camera. I usually come up with some new ideas pretty quick!
Q: What types of assignments are you attracted most?
A: Female Fashion
Q: Describe what black and white photography means to you?
A: I just think it is so natural and artistic. Every once in awhile you get that shot where it’s just so beautiful that it should look old school and can be appreciated without the use of color. The human eye isn’t used to seeing it and it’s just so different and amazingly beautiful.
Q: Do you think of yourself as an artist and what do you think of the word artist?
A: Kinda, I just photograph my subjects for myself because I enjoy it. Artists are just people that are highly visionally inclined. They see things that they want to make for themselves and others. They want to look
at it and touch it with their hands.
Q: How do you describe your photographic style?
A: Good question, sometimes it’s ordinary and sometimes it’s exciting. My favorite kind is where the next 20 minutes are unexpected. I just like to have nature and people in one shot. The outdoors is where it’s at!
Q: What has been the most surprising or most predictable reaction to your photographs?
A: Most Surprising- Was kind of a slap in the face but I was told that my work “SUCKED” lol I think it was underlying reasons though … Most predictable reaction – “Yeah, that’s nice” lol I want constructive
Q: Tell a little secret about yourself that no-one knows …
A: Now what kindof secret would it be then? Lol secrets are kept for a reason! Haha but by all means try and figure it out! :)
Q: Who or what would you love to shoot that you haven’t already?
A: Some snow or Arctic ice… Lol not saying I wanna go there but it would be really fun.
Q: What would you have done differently during your photography career so far and could this be an advice to others?
A: I would have tried to get more developed early on and start a portfolio so that I would have all of my work in one place like I do now. I would have definitely kept my camera near me all the time so that I wouldn’t have
missed out on all the shots that I have!
Q: What are your thoughts on the paparazzi and their effects on photographers and photography?
A: They are everywhere… You can run but you can’t hide! They’ll catch it! I kinda like it because it shows the behavior of the famous in everyday life. Catching their slip ups that we blow out of proportion. Haha it’s just funny. They teach us to always be prepared like I said before.
Q: How do you feel about digital manipulation and to what extent do you utilize it?
A: I use it a lot, If the shot didn’t come out the way that I wanted, I might be able to make it that way. When it is photoshopped, sometimes it turns out more beautiful and detailed that it would have been naturally.
Its a way that the photog can add their own style to a shot. It’s our artistic side :)
Q: What other thoughts would you like to share?
A: Just follow your dreams and if your a photographer never forget to appreciate what is on the other side of your lens that was made for you to capture on film!