Los Angeles Professional Photographer Craig Blank Interview
Enjoy this fun and down to earth interview with Los Angeles based photographer Craig Blank. Find out how a few glasses of wine and a homemade cooling system can save the day!
Q: Do you like to talk about yourself or your pictures? If yes, about what aspects of photography? If no, why?
A: Yes and yes. I love my self and the images that I create. Studio photography has always been my passion and strong point. I like controlling light.
Q: How would you describe your attention span?
A: Infinite when speaking to and with lovers of life. My attention quickly diminishes when I meet closed minded, negative people.
Q: When did you decide to become a photographer?
A: I think I was 11. Kind of foggy at this point.
Q: What does photography mean to you?
A: To me photography means recording a creative image for the world to see.
Q: Can you recall the first photo you took that made you go WOW!?
A: It was a portrait of my mom.
Q: Do you have any formal training regarding photography?
A: BFA from the School of Visual Arts NYC.
Q: How technical is your photography?
A: My technical expertise allows me to be super creative.
Q: How do you feel about cropping?
A: Not a great idea, but I still do it. I am getting better though … Anyone who says they do not do it is a liar.
Q: Where is your favorite place to live and work as a photographer in the World and why?
A: Los Angeles; It is one of the most creative and trend setting cities in the world.
Q: Define the word “beauty”!
A: Of course there is beauty in all things and everywhere. Defining it is beyond me.
Q: What is your most favorite and least favorite word in photography or life? How do they make you feel?
A: Creativity is my most favorite word in photography and life. Creativity defines us personally and professionally. Makes me feel like an individual. Least favorite word is mainstream. I refuse to be another sheep following the herd.
Q: How does your personality change when you look through the camera?
A: My personality does not change it grows. When looking through the camera I see a vision that is a concept between two creative individuals.
Q: How do you feel about missed shots which cannot be recreated?
A: There is no such thing in my world. I am always looking forward. Missed shots were never meant to happen anyway.
Q: Ever concerned about failure?
A: Always. I am my own worst enemy.
Q: Who are your influences?
A: My mom, dad and brother. Neither of which are on this planet, but their spirit is with me.
Q: What is your favorite image, either your own or someone else’s or both? Describe its creation or meaning to you?
A: Anything shot by Irving Penn. He is a master of light and style. He is my muse.
Q: Describe a day in your personal or professional life.
A: Studio work. Check computer. Market, market promo, market. Back to studio.
Q: What are the biggest personal or professional challenges you face on adaily basis?
Q: What has been the single biggest obstacle against growing as a photographer in whole?
A: Getting my work to the audiences that need to see it.
Q: What are your favorite subjects to photograph?
A: Certainly models. It is a lot more fun working with a human as opposed to an inanimate object or place.
Q: Tell your funniest, scariest, most bizarre, most touching story from a photo shoot!
A: I was contacted by a very experienced and well known model. Temps were in the upper 70′s when we discussed shooting in about a week. Day of the shoot came and it was in the upper 90′s. Studio was a sweatbox, strobes failed. The very resourceful art director and I came up with a home made cooling system for the strobes. We drank wine until things cooled off and had an amazing shoot.
Q: Have you ever thought about or actually stopped doing photography? What were the circumstances?
A: Yes. I was a young assistant in NYC. After about 3 years I had to give it up to become a photographer.
Q: Do you ever have photographer’s block and if yes how do you deal with it?
Q: What types of assignments are you attracted most?
Q: Describe what black and white photography means to you?
A: Pure light, form and texture.
Q: Do you think of yourself as an artist and what do you think of the word artist?
A: I am an artist. The word artist gets thrown around way too much.
Q: How do you describe your photographic style?
A: Creativity from both sides of the lens.
Q: What has been the most surprising or most predictable reaction to your photographs?
Q: Tell a little secret about yourself that no-one knows …
A: I love the desert.
Q: Who or what would you love to shoot that you haven’t already?
A: I would love to shoot for Vanity Fair.
Q: What would you have done differently during your photography career so far and could this be an advice to others?
A: Move to LA.
Q: What are your thoughts on the paparazzi and their effects on photographers and photography?
A: Go get ‘em! Does not really affect my business. I would never deny anyone a chance to make it as a photographer.
Q: How do you feel about digital manipulation and to what extent do you utilize it?
A: I look at as retouching a raw image. Tone, sharpen smooth and then call it good. Adding effects is good for some, but not for me.
Q: What other thoughts would you like to share?
A: Live life to the fullest!