What part of the world did you grow up in, and do you think it influenced your photography aesthetic at all?
I’ve actually moved about 37 times, though most of that time was spent in Western Canada. It certainly gave me an appreciation for skies and mountains, though I tend to save those views for less-than-inspiring cell phone photography - hiking with a DSLR is hard.
Are you self-taught, or have a more formal photography background?
I’m self-taught, but I can’t overstate how helpful a variety of online tutorials have been.
Is photography your day job, or primary hobby?
It’s a bit of both. I make a large portion of my living as a writer and digital media consultant, but photography is still something I make money with.
Have you done any travel photography? If so, what are your favorite places (include some photos)?
I’ve done a bit of travel photography, but nothing with a DSLR (see: the answer to my first question). I plan to take some trips in the coming years, but because of how often I’ve moved, I think so-called “wanderlust” doesn’t really reach me.
That said, Halong Bay in Vietnam is almost impossible to take bad photos of.
You are given infinite resources to make the photography shoot of your dreams come true. What would it be?
Pinup style shoots with decade-centric fashions. Seeing just how far I can go to make cinemagraphs a notable style of photography.
What have you learned about yourself through studying photography? How does it shape how you see the world?
It’s a social crutch in the best possible way. I love to go to shows, walks, and parties alone, but I can get bored in flaccid social situations. Having the camera on-hand gives me something to do if things go that way.
Also, ever since I started my headshot studio, I’ve become incredibly judgemental of people’s selfie-game. I think I have a better eye for sincere expressions too.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned while studying/practicing photography?
People aren’t objects and you shouldn’t photograph them that way.
If at first you fail, try a couple hundred more times. It’s the digital age; you’ll never run out of canvas, so have fun and experiment.
Words of wisdom for new photographers….
Use whatever you have as a camera if the moment arises. A camera is a tool, regardless of the pricetag. Take care of your camera, but don’t baby it. Don’t worry about getting a perfect photo, worry about getting one. Try to learn new things, but don’t let a lack of knowledge keep you from shooting.
TL;DR: Always bring your camera, always be taking photos, and reflect/research how to make them better.
Oh, and don’t be the schmuck taking photos of fireworks unless you’re testing technique. Some views are meant to be enjoyed in the moment.