GMARO Magazine MAY 2019 ISSUE #13 Cover photographed by Taylor Jarvis.
Where are you from Originally?
I’m from a very small town called Rome, Georgia.
Give me a brief description of your career trajectory – professionally trained or not, opportunities that led to breakthroughs.
My parents surprised me with my first camera in High School, I’m self-taught, and I officially launched my Photography career in 2016. I entered in random contests, reached out to brands and designers, and have developed relationships with a variety of clients.
How does your background affect your work?
My background affects my work tremendously. I actually studied Music in College and play music full-time here in Charleston as a wedding singer in addition to doing Photography full-time. I’ve always lived a creative life and Art surrounds and affects my life every day.
What is your creative Mantra? Like what do you live by to stay on the cusp as a creative image maker?
Always be yourself, let your work reflect who you are as an individual and Artist, and always push boundaries.
How important are early references to fashion, music and other culture to your creative process?
Very important. Growing up in a small town has its limitations, but Art has always been a part of my life.
Who’s work inspires you to push the envelope creatively and why?
Two huge inspirations of mine are Tim Burton and Tim Walker. Tim Burton has always had my heart since I was a child and his vision, moody style, and iconic films have always had an effect on me. I discovered Tim Walker a few years ago and I absolutely love his eye and conceptual style. All of his photos have meaning, carry a story, or show who he is as an Artist, and I respect that tremendously.
What is the single most important outcome of an image when creating a campaign or editorial story for a client?
Knowing both the Artist and Client are excited and proud of the finished product.
In your free time, what kind of pictures do you like to shoot and which ones do you avoid?
I love shooting Editorial/Conceptual shoots. I love the bizarre and unique shoots that make you sit back and think.
How do you feel fashion is influenced by our culture and or vice versa if you feel culture is influenced by fashion and entertainment, how?
It’s both - Fashion can be influenced by our culture based on influential celebrities or a popular Artist - and culture is influenced by fashion and entertainment because of social media, Magazines, and television.
What makes an image iconic?
I think both the Artist and content of an image can make it iconic. Some images are famous because of the Artist who created it, other times the essence of an image can make it iconic. I think that’s why sometimes we see famous Artists who create iconic images and rising Artists that do something so extraordinary and become iconic based on just the Art they’ve created.
What is the best way to describe the working relationship between you as a photographer and your stylist on any given project? How important is that related to the success of that project?
Wonderful - I’ve had many shoots with and without a stylist and whenever it is with a stylist, it’s so much fun, productive, and a success.
To date what do you think is your most memorable shot and why?
One of my most memorable shots was a few months ago - I had a male model stick his head in the coral box aisle in a grocery store. It was featured on the Vogue Italia website as the ‘Pic of the Day’, it was pretty special and fun. I love getting creative with posing!
Everyone wants to get to mega-photographer status and have many of your clients as theirs, why do you think it’s so coveted and so protected by the industry?
I think the field of Photography is enormous and it can be challenging at times to work with bigger clients/brands if you don’t have a connection in the industry - especially in the Editorial/Fashion world.
What do you feel ties you in personally to your work?
I think my style and vision for every shoot I do reflects me personally.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with GMARO magazine?
I have a French Bulldog - his name is Petey-Taco!