Studio: Teamrockstar Images
Location: Brooklyn, NY and everywhere else
What made you get into photography?
My dad is a serious amateur photographer and I’m pretty amazed that I can still see after all the flashbulbs that went off in my face before I was 5. Seeing as there was always cameras around, I’ve always taken pictures and shot a fair amount in college until I discovered the campus radio station (WKNC – Rock88 in Raleigh, NC), beer, heavy metal and girls that would talk to me. I like the whole idea of capturing a moment in time (especially those little dirty moments in time, hence my “Dirty Polaroid Project” – www.teamrockstarnsfw.com/gallery/polaroids/) and I really like making people look, well, rad. I really have no desire to do photojournalism because it’s not really pretty, to be honest. I am a music industry survior and did people way before I did photography…so I like meeting new people, shooting them and solving problems to accomplish a goal. With that skill set, other than being a hit man, photography was kinda my destiny. LOL!
How would you describe your photography style?
Well, I tend to subscribe to the “3 B’s Theory of Talent” – I don’t have as much as I would like, so…Boobs, Bright Colors and Backlighting make up for a lot. We are Team Rockstar and we like making people look like rockstars. Shiny, rad, fun, larger than life, out of context…I also like shooting people outside their usual “box” – asking pin-up models to shoot dirty glamour for example. I’m also lucky that with 2 of my main outlets (zivity.com and darlinghouse.net) give me free reign to shoot in any style I want, so I get to experiment and refine various shooting situations and styles (natural light, hard Uncle Terry lighting, polaroid, film, etc) which keeps me always learning and evolving.
Any photographers or artists that you looked up to that helped influence your style?
Oh my…that’s gonna be a long one. I love looking at other people’s work as much as I like doing my own. I’m gonna list them in no particular order: Movies (esp Blade Runner, Dazed & Confused, Dark City…I love cinema lighting), David LaChappelle, Herb Ritts, Uncle Terry, Tony Ward, George Pitts, Michael Helms, Bob Coulter, Chase Lisbon…I subscribe to 10 fashion mags (including Vogue Russia – fuck yeah Fur and Jewelry ads!) so David Sims, Mario Testino, Norman Jean Roy, etc. I love a lot of the current glamour/tattoo shooters working today, they are just killing it: Corwin Prescott, Dangerously Dolly, etc. Actually, the models I work with help influence my style – Stoya, Alyssa Nett, Hattie Watson, Ulorin Vex, Vaunt, Mosh, Tita Cupcake Dujour, Elegy Ellem, Miss Miranda, El Wood, Kristin Leanne and all the other models I get to work with make me a better photographer every time I shoot.
Did you study photography in school or are you self-taught?
95% self taught with 1 studio lighting class in NYC that helped me get some basics. I try to learn something new every time I shoot – there are SO many places to pick up ideas and techniques now – the internet, youtube, lynda.com…hell, I have several books on lighting and photoshop on my iPad for when I get a couple minutes on the subway with nothing to do.
What do you feel is the most challenging thing about starting a photography business?
You kinda answered that…starting a photography business in the first place. LOL! It’s interesting times and you have to make sure that the photography side of things doesn’t overtake the business side and leave time to be creative when you feel like you are pretty much just “making the doughnuts” with profitable yet not overly fun shoots. I got into photography full-time 3 years ago so I wouldn’t have to work a jobby-job in a cubicle in an office somewhere.
What do you love most about being a photographer?
It’s like that line in “Office Space” – “you’ve been missing a lot of work lately”, “Well Bob, wouldn’t say I have been missing it” I don’t miss working in an office. I like people, I like shooting, I like traveling, I like solving creative problems…but what I really love is working with a model/team/whathaveyou and creating something awesome. I like the fact that images are created and the world is a bit prettier for it. And for the record, I’m pretty sure I don’t get to take pictures of mostly naked girls while sitting in a cubicle wondering if the cover on my TPS report is correct. LOL!