We emailed Art Buyers and Art Producers around the world asking them to submit names of established photographers who were keeping it fresh and up-and-comers who they are keeping their eye on. If you are an Art Buyer/Producer or an Art Director at an agency and want to submit a photographer anonymously for this column email: Suzanne.firstname.lastname@example.org
Anonymous Art Producer: I nominate: David Paul Larson. “David is extremely talented, hard-working and wonderful to work with. Working with him is a definite creative collaboration and he brings a fresh and different perspective to every shoot.”
How many years have you been in business?
I have been shooting professionally for three years.
Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I attended Columbia College Chicago and double majored in Advertising and Photography. I wanted to talk to my clients both as a peer and artist. After photography school I assisted Norman Jean Roy, Mark Seliger and Mario Testino. Assisting on large production, multiple day shoots is the best education.
Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
After being medically discharged from The United States Marine Corps I wanted a career that was detail oriented, fast paced, competitive and team driven. An early mentor told me that if I wanted to become the best I need to move to New York and learn from the best. New York has single handedly had more of an impact than anything else. Professionally and personally it has pushed me to places I never thought I would go. It’s an endurance race with yourself and your art.
Darren Aronosky, Stanley Kubrick, Guy Bourdin and Garry Winogrand have had a profound impact on my work as well.
How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?
I am always looking for art directors,stylists and models to work with. I have found that the more personal work I create the more jobs I book.
Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
Rarely. I got into this business because I love collaborating and working with people. In the military everything is about teams and those lessons have translated a lot into my professional life. I get a lot of pleasure out of working with art directors and photo editors. Most of the work I get is a referral from existing clients so they often know a bit about me before we meet.
What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
I frequently post work on many social media platforms-Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. I love showing my work in person. I try to do that at least once a week. In addition, I am sending out an email promo every 45 days and printed mailers every two months.
What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
Oscar Wilde said it best “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Shoot what you love and over time it will develop into your vision.
Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
I am constantly shooting for myself and for clients. I am interested in creating timeless, raw, beautiful images that will stand the test of time.
How often are you shooting new work?
I shoot at least once a week. It’s the only way to stay sharp with your craft. I think about photography as a muscle and it constantly needs to be stimulated, stretched and pushed.
David Paul Larson is a young photographer based in Brooklyn and is seeking representation.
APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after founding the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter fed with helpful marketing information. Follow her@SuzanneSease.