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
How many years have you been in business?
I have been shooting for about 6 years now.
Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I studied photography at the Academy of Art, in San Francisco. I also feel like I learned a lot from actual experience, especially those first few years out of school. I’d say it’s a good mix of both.
Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
I have had many different influences through the years, when I was in school, I was motivated by the creative environment I was in, seeing what everyone else was creating, and really getting an idea of what was possible. After school, I had the opportunity to assist some very busy, and talented photographers. That really helped ease the uncertainty I was feeling about being a freelancer, and motivated me to stay focused, and keep working. A few of my early influences, and people who’s work I still admire would be Arnold Newman, Larry Sultan, Jim Goldberg, Joel Sternfeld, and William Eggleston… Just to name a few.
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?
My inspiration comes from the fact that I do what I love for a living. Every assignment presents new challenges, and I really enjoy that. The feeling you get when you work through an idea, trying different things that might not be working, then you get that moment where everything comes together… That feeling never gets old. I am always trying to one up myself, trying to make each image my new favorite photograph. It can be a little unhealthy at times, but it’s what keeps me going.
Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
That has not been an issue as of yet. I feel the assignments I get allow me to be creative, but I also go into a shoot knowing that I am there to create images for someone who has specific needs. Sometimes I get the chance to shoot my own variations, and they end up working out, sometimes I don’t. Either way, I get to bring someone’s idea to life, which is something I really enjoy doing.
What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
I use social media quite a bit, mainly Tumblr. It’s a really easy and effective way to get your work in front of a lot of people. I also send out the standard emails, promo cards and booklets, as well as face-to-face meetings. I try to use as many methods as I can, and stick with the ones that work.
What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
I’ve always thought that trying to cater to everyone sounded impossible, so just show what you truly enjoy shooting, and keep your edit tight. I feel that showing personal work can be a great way for people to get an idea of who you are, so I always try to show personal projects that I have shot, or am working on.
Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
I am. I just finished up a few shoots with a friend of mine, who is a great stylist. We both had some down time, and decided to work together on a few ideas. I also have a couple other personal projects I am working on. I don’t tend to force those, as there is never really a deadline, so when it feels right, I will head out and shoot for a while.
How often are you shooting new work?
I try and shoot as often as possible, on average, probably once or twice a week. I don’t really like sitting around, so when I get the chance to work on something new, it’s always welcomed.
Mathew Scott was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. At age 21 he moved to San Francisco, where he studied photography at the Academy of Art. Mathew currently splits his time between San Francisco and Los Angeles, working on a variety of commercial, editorial, and personal projects.
represented by Hello Artists- www.helloartists.com
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.