Studio: Isaac Suttell Photography
Location: Los Angeles, CA
What made you get into photography?
I’ve always had a camera in my hands although I didn’t realize it until college. Looking back through my family photo albums, all of the photos of me I have a camera in my hand. In college, I was looking for a new major and on a whim I applied to the photography program at my school. Next thing I know I’m a Photography student. I sort of fell into it although looking back it’s not surprising.
How would you describe your photography style?
I have no fraking idea. I’ve been trying to figure that out for some time and still haven’t come up with a good answer. It’s part glamour, fashion, alt, erotica and vintage. So, in one word: glamfasalerovin. I mean, I can focus on one particular style but it’s much more interesting to combine different elements together to create something new. If anyone can come up with a good way to describe my work there’d be a 500 kudos award for it.
Any photographers or artists that you looked up to that helped influence your style?
Hakan Akif Celebi in particular inspired me to explore color in my work. His use of color is fantastic and I always enjoy discovering his latest work. Another would be David LaChapelle with his over the top style. Both of them inspire me to go out and push my boundaries as a photographer.
Did you study photography in school or are you self-taught?
I have a BFA in Art and Design with a concentration in Photography. However, while I did “go to school” for photography I mostly consider myself self taught. My school only spent one quarter teaching me how to light and work with people. I realized midway through my college career that if I wanted to be a photographer I’d have to really commit myself to it. This meant spending what little free time I had in college finding, organizing and shooting local models.
What do you feel is the most challenging thing about starting a photography business?
Everyone is a photographer. At least they think they are with their camera phones and cheap DSLRs. There is a general lack of understanding of what it takes to produce good photography. Everyone expects what I do to be like that Insta-whatcha-ma-call-it. So, take out camera without a thought, shoot one photo, throw a filter on it and post to every social media site out there within 30 seconds. It also means the general value of an image is low when everyone thinks they can do the same thing as me with their iPhone.
What do you love most about being a photographer?
I love what I call the fantasy of photography. I love taking something ordinary and making it look spectacular. And then taking something spectacular and making it breath taking. And while I love what I do it also terrifies me. Every time I pick up the camera I’m always worried that I’m going to blow it. So, I’m always pushing myself harder and harder to prevent that from happening. It’s very much a love/hate relationship.