I’ve been following Kevin on twitter for sometime now, but it was only the other day that I spent some time going through his website and checking out his work. There is some great stuff on his site so once you finished reading the interview head over to his site and have a look.
Tell us a little about yourself?
Hey, my name’s Kevin Garrison! I’m a photographer over here in Tampa, Florida. I’m 18 and I’ve been shooting for about half a year now.
What made you get into photography?
I’ve always been an artist and I started out in music. I was working on an album about a year back and needed to do some promotional shots for a CD cover. I got in touch with a photographer by the name of Felix Kunze and he came out to Florida for a shoot. It was a catalyst in my life. I had so much fun on that shoot that I became hooked on photography. It was such an amazing form of expression and art and I didn’t even realize existed.
How did you get started?
I started shooting with my iPhone. I found an app called Hipstamatic in the app store, which is now a really popular application, but it wasn’t at the time. I shot with my iPhone everywhere and started putting it up on Facebook first and then Twitter. I started getting noticed. I think it’s a perfect camera, because it’s easy to see the world through. (I even shot a wedding with my iPhone once, and the couple loved it)
From there I started shooting friends, and then the odd client and the productions just gradually got bigger and bigger.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
I work in a lot of different fields, so it’s difficult to say I’m a “commercial” photographer or a “band photographer”. I shoot a lot of bands, musicians, t-shirt companies and a lot of personal projects. So whatever kind of “photographer” that is, I’m that. I like looking at fashion photography, but I leave that to the fashion photographers. It’s kinda foreign to me.
What gear are you using?
I shoot Nikon. I’ve shot Canon before but I just found Nikon to be more intuitive, personally. I have a Nikon D7000 and a backup Nikon D90 body which assistants can use for behind-the-scenes video. I also have a 1958 Yashica-Mat TLR that I shoot a lot of personal work on. I really enjoy shooting medium format.
I personally like dramatic lighting in my photos. I’ll often use a combination of AlienBees and speedlights to achieve the drama I want in a photo. As for modifiers, I like the look of my 4′ Octabox and also a 22″ Beauty Dish.
Whats your favourite lens and why?
My Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D. It’s my arm, leg and firstborn. I love the look it gives. It’s capable of being incredibly soft and intimate for beautiful portraits, but also capable of being really sharp and edgy when I want. I guess I love it because it just does what I want and it feels right.
How are you marketing yourself?
I market myself through a lot of different social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Twitter, etc) and a lot through real life networking. I find that bringing a camera to a party is a good way to land a gig. If I see a band I really want to shoot – sometimes I’ll just write the band manager and get in touch so they can see my portfolio. Face to face meetings are really the key – it adds a personal face to a conversation. It’s very easy to sit back and email clients, but meeting face to face for a portfolio showing is the best way to go. It creates trust and really establishes you as a real person.
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
The biggest piece of advice I have would be to push yourself past your level of comfort. In many ways, this is one of the toughest jobs a person can pick, but I feel that it’s the most rewarding. Shoot until your fingers hurt, edit until your eyes hate you and never give up.