The Mentor Program here on Shadowness have several mentors (and students!) up for grabs who delve into different areas, mediums and have different kinds of experiences. This interview series which will come out every Monday (instead of Monday Feel Good) will let you know a bit more about each mentor on the list.
If you find an interviewed mentor interesting, don't hesitate to send them a private message and if they say yes contact me so I know who's mentoring who! You can of course sign up as a mentor and/or student in search of a mentor, on the list, by sending a private message to /Caja
First of all Thank You SO much for inviting me to be part of this interview, I’m Honored!
I’m an average person; I work too much and don’t make enough money to make the world a better place so I found an outlet. Photography is that outlet and can make any bad day good. I have been taking pictures for a very long time but have only just begun taking it seriously for the last 3 years or so. That’s when I got my First DSLR. I now look forward to my days off so I can get in the car and head some place to take pictures and get away. Photography is my Escape and I Love It!
What does ART mean to you?
I believe art is what you make of it. If you can create something that other find beautiful then that is your art. I wanted to be an artist at an early age. I tried drawing and I was no good at it, I tried cooking and really loved it but made the mistake of making it my job and I burned myself out on it. And now I take pictures and I keep it separate from my everyday life. It’s truly something I enjoy doing and I don’t want to risk losing that so it will never be my job and I think I’m good at it. Creating Photos that People look at and say to them self I have To Go To This Place, I want that on my Wall, This is Beautiful: that’s art to me. I could go a lifetime and never make a dime of my work but hear things like that every day and it’s enough to keep me shooting!
What is your art form? And how long have you delved in this?
I am a Photographer and it’s my Hobby and I love it! We walk through this world and see things that we wish we could show others. And photography lets me do that. Not everyone is going to get to stand at Tunnel View in Yosemite and watch the Sunrise over Half dome but because of photographers people all over the world get to experience a little bit of what that’s like. I have been shooting Landscape and Nature photography for a little over 3 years now and have learned everything I do by reading, trying and asking.
Was there anything or anyone in particular that prompted your choice of art form?
Really as I said I have tried other kinds of art forms but I really seem to have taken to photography the best. I just love the outdoors and I have always been a big fan of sharing that experience with my friends so I started taking pictures of places I have been and before you know it people you don’t know take interest in it and its all uphill from there.
How would you describe your art to someone who haven't seen it?
Seeing is Believing... You have to see something to believe it and Photography lets you show the world something really happened... I don’t really know what style my work falls under but I would have to say a Nature photographer really rounds it all out. I set out to share the beauty of the parts of the world I can get to.
Have you had education in art or are you self-taught?
I had to learn everything I know by just pushing buttons. I started in auto mode and made my way around the dial to manual mode. I have taken one class and it was a basic photography class and it was good for me because it showed me, That I taught myself Very Well. There is a lot to learn in a class room but being out with camera in hand is really the best way. Having a Good understanding of the setting in your camera and what they do really comes with time. The more you use it the better your shots will be.
Who and/or what inspire you?
I’m inspired by other photographers. The highlight to me now are photography trips, going with others and sharing ideas and ways of getting more unique and different shots. But I have always been inspired by other peoples work. Looking through images all day and trying to figure out what they did to get the shot. I don’t think I will ever get bored with photography as long as I’m inspired.
What is the greatest lesson in art that you've learned?
I would have to say being Humble is the best lesson learned... Everyone likes to hear how great a shot looks but not many people want to hear that a shot sucks. You have to be willing to give and take the feedback you get if you really want to get better... I have had my work Critiqued and was so upset by it that I wanted to smash my camera, mind you I wanted to do it on the person's face that critiqued me but none the less it really got to me... but after a few days of reading it over and over again and realizing that this person really does know what they’re talking about. I sucked it up and thanked them for the feedback and asked if I could share some other work with them and get some ideas of what they would do differently. That’s what made me a better photographer, not a better camera.
What can you teach others?
I can’t teach anyone anything they don’t want to learn, you have to want to learn it to be taught it. And if you were willing to listen then I am willing to teach anyone everything I know. I find reaching out and helping others is as rewarding at getting a great shot or selling your first print. I don’t think I know everything but what I do know I think it’s important to share with others. You can’t go through life thinking you know everything and you have to believe there are no dumb questions.
What tips can you offer to better oneself in his or her art?
Have Fun, Enjoying what you do, it will make you better. Don’t push yourself, take the time to understand what you’re creating rather than settle for what you think everyone wants. It’s your art and you are creating it for a reason. If that reason is so people will like you then you will undoubtedly find disappoint along the way.
Is there anything you'd like to add?
I have covered most things I believe in this interview and they are just that. My Beliefs, doesn’t make them right or wrong it’s just how I look at photography. I’m happy to call myself an amateur photographer and Hope to grow old being just that. Do what makes you happy and do it for a very long time.
I loved reading this. Very interesting!! I'm pretty new here, so I'm still finding my way among the many new options (and I found this article casually!).
I have purchased a Nikkon D3100 in the US (I live in Uruguay, S.America) and I haven't been able to use it much yet - I work too much, too! But I hope that during Eastern I will be able to study the manual and see what those many buttons can do !
I felt myself identified in many of your thoughts, Lux... I can't draw either, so I take photos to show others what my world looks like, to share with them the beautiful things I see. And I also agree, that critiques are important to learn. I am very thankful to those that helped me with constructive critiques with my automatic Sony :) ! And also when I do photomanipulations. When people close their eyes to critique, they stay at the same level. One can only learn with an open mind.
Your tips are great and so true... and I might ask for help (constructive critique and advice) one of these days (after I get to know this new camera a bit!)