Just amazing portrait work. I found Noah via his website and then followed through to his flickr account. He has put a lot of effort into his answers to make sure you read them because you might just learn something.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a 20 year old born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. I’m a lover of life, traveling, photography, music, art, and Taco Bell. I’m currently attending Robert Morris University, but hope to transfer to a southern school to finish my college career…juggling school and photography is hard enough, let alone dealing with the drab weather here in Pittsburgh. I’m extremely outgoing (probably an understatement), passionate about what I do, and did I mention I love Taco Bell?
Oh, and I have an awesome Rottweiler named Roadie…he’s currently sitting next to me slobbering on my arm….
What made you get into photography?
I got into photography while I was finishing up my second half of the long, tedious process of high school. I was always one of those “artsy” kids growing up and I found myself needing more room for the “expression of my creativity” besides drawing and playing music. Being the son of an all too creative and artistic father (hairstylist, makeup-artist, interior designer, & musician) definitely lent itself to my never-ending hunt for creative outlets. *Incase you were wondering, yes, my father is straight haha.
How did you get started?
I bought my first DSLR junior year of high school (late 2007/early 2008). I didn’t shoot much until the summer after my senior year and started taking it seriously late that summer. From that time until late 2010, things progressed at a gradual pace. I’d have a paid shoot here, a paid shoot there, and tons of schoolwork and stress in between. I was then introduced to an outstanding photographer named Jordan Voth via flickr. We decided to start a partnership and ever since, things have somehow taken off…word-of-mouth most likely being the culprit here. It’s hard to gauge the success thus far, but we will be on a nation-wide photo trip this summer from June through August…that’s pretty exciting, at least for two 20-some year olds!
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
I mainly shoot portraiture. You’d never know it if you met me now, but I used to be extremely shy. Photography helped me come out of my shell and made me want to learn more about the people I share this life with. I find it so much fun to photograph people because I get to learn so much about them and what they’re into…and that is something I LOVE to do, being new to the whole “people person” thing.
What gear are you using?
I shoot with a Canon 5d classic, 50 1.8, and 17-40L. I take out a 5dmkii and 45ts-e from my University on occasion. As far as lighting, I stick to my two trusty Vivitar 285hv’s. When I’m in one of those hipster-kid/artistic moods I’ll break out the good ol’ ae-1 fire off some film….but seriously, I love film.
Whats your favorite lens and why?
Well, I’d like to say my 50 1.8 is my favorite due to my love for the 50mm focal length, but I’ve used faster and “less toy-like” 50mm’s…I’d have to say those and the 45ts-e are my favorite.
How are you marketing yourself?
Two words: Social. Networks.
As of now, I’m relying on my website, blog, twitter, facebook and flickr to market myself. Social networking has come a LONG way, and in my opinion, it’s extremely helpful when running a small business nowadays. The only other thing that’d I’d say is just as helpful is word-of-mouth. Establishing yourself in not only your home town, but other cities and states as well, is extremely important…if you please one client, they’ll probably bring you another.
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
hmph…This is a tough one. It may sound a bit pessimistic, but I usually learn to dislike a lot of my work after a few days of shooting it. If I had to choose, it would be a frame from one of my most recent shoots…I’ll probably hate it in a week.
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
I could go on and on about specific tips and tricks that I find useful in the field, but I think many new photographers would benefit more from something broad…I’ll say this:
Only the photographer that is having the most fun and is the most passionate can be labeled as the greatest. There is no point to go into something if you’re only doing it out of spite and to be “better than the next”….something I see all too often. I also love to look at photography as “rule free.” Yes, teachers and professors will claim that there is a rule for this and a rule for that, but where do rules ever get you? They help you conform to whatever it is you’re doing. So that said, be outgoing and don’t be afraid to go against the grain of what your fellow friends, artists, and photographers are doing. Take what people teach you with a grain of salt, break the rules, and learn what’s right and wrong on your own! After all, a rule is a man-made idea. Who says your idea isn’t the correct one? If you are passionate about what you do, success will follow.
The only other thing I’d mention is LEARN BUSINESS. Unless you have an endless supply of amazing connections, or money to buy yourself said connections, learning the business aspect of photography is extremely important. Get yourself organized right off the bat. If you are hired by paying clients, work up some contracts and invoices for yourself. Trust me, if you can get a hold of this BEFORE you are bogged down by thousands of photos to edit and midterm papers to write for your college classes, you’ll be golden. You can thank me later 😉