Kyle emailed me and sent me his flickr link to check out his work. My first impression was that since he didn’t have a website portfolio (yes thats right, flickr isn’t a portfolio site really) he wasn’t to serious about his photography. Anyway I checked it out and was pleasantly surprised by the photos I was looking. I’m also happy to announce that Kyle is in the process of getting a website and if it’s ready before this goes live i’ll of course update the post with all the relevant links.
Tell us a little about yourself?
Well my story is quite simple really. I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon (I absolutely love this city.) I’m 20 years old and I have a crazy nack for adrenaline. While growing up as a kid, (I still am one) I was surrounded by sports and fell in love with the game of Lacrosse. I played for about 9.5 years up until my senior year in high school. Apart from playing Lacrosse, I found a love for downhill gravity sports and started competing in down-hill longboarding. In 2007 I was able to attend (but not compete) the Downhill longboarding world championship. I’m also really into dirt bikes and anything with 2 wheels and a motor. But skip all of the craziness. I’m a relatively peaceful guy. Pretty much any day I get that’s not packed full of shoots or work, you can find me out in my hot tub at 6:30 A.M. watching the sunrise and enjoying a little meditation/me time. If you’ve never done that before, I recommend trying it.
What made you get into photography?
To me, art is expressed in not only paintings and drawings, but pictures and video. Heck, you can take one step outside of your house and see art in everything around you. I’ve always seen shadows, light, and angles in different ways than most people see them as. So naturally, It was something that I was drawn into. I remember getting my senior pictures done by an amazing photographer by the name of Tyler Gould, and just seeing his set-up, along with the gear he was using really fascinated me. After the first shoot with him, I was hooked. I’m very thankful for that, and he really helped out by answering any questions I had.
How did you get started?
I guess you could say that my very first photo shoot was during a mission trip in northern Mexico with Solid Rock Fellowship. My friends and I really just played around with my DSLR while we were there and didn’t get any AMAZING shots, but I was so happy to document a truly inspiring time in my life. After, I began getting more into the technical side of photography and that’s when my interest in learning the art was established.
Everything I know today is self-taught, so as I was going into my first year of college, I already had quite a bit of knowledge packed into my small brain. I wasn’t interested in taking any math or science classes ect, so I decided to put all of my credits towards photography. While taking classes, I found myself teaching/helping others more than I was learning. It’s actually kind of funny. One day during class, I got into an argument with one of my professors about “Color Temperature” and degrees “Kelvin”… He came in the next day and apologized. I flew through the photography program in 1 year and decided to take the next year off. I landed a job at a studio but studio work just isn’t my style. Long story shorty, I quit the job, pursued my stylistic vision, and poof… here I am.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
Although I’ve done a little of everything, I mainly do portraiture photography. I feel that it’s most satisfying for me to be able to bring out people’s personalities through a single image. If someone can look at my photographs and pin-point specific personality traits, whether it’s through an action or through a smile, then I’ve done my job. I strive to achieve all of this while still keeping the stylistic and creative side of photography alive. After all, photography is an art, so you might as well paint a portrait.
What gear are you using?
I do NOT have but I am so flippin’ close to the 5D mk ii that I can taste it. BUT, I currently use a Canon Rebel XTI. Yes, low class by some standards but goodness have I pushed the limits of quality with that little guy. I mean I’m really at a stalemate in terms of upping the quality much more. Most of the little extras come from Photo Shop, but I know of a few little tricks.
My main lens is the 18-55mm f/3.5 kit. Even though it’s a kit, I really like the subtle wide angle that it gives you at 18mm.
I also use a 50mm f/1.8. This is mainly for natural light but every now-and-then I’ll do some strobe work with it.
Whats your favourite lens and why?
One of my favorite lenses would have to the the 35mm f/1.4L. I’ve had a chance to use that in the past and it’s nothing short of amazing. The canon “prime” series really out did itself and sets the standards for high-quality glass. But, I can’t really point out something that I’m absolutely obsessed with. There are so many lenses that I’ve had the chance to use. I just love all of them.
How are you marketing yourself?
My marketing scheme is mainly word of mouth and social networking sites. I’ve seen so many thriving businesses that have never put an add in the paper, made a commercial, or distributed flyer’s. Granted that’s not the absolute best way to do it but I’m kind of rolling with the punches here. I’m currently building a website which should be up shortly.
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
I can’t exactly pic one favorite. As easy as it may be for some, that’s a brain scrambler for me. I guess I don’t really have a “favorite”, nor do I particularly favorite my own photography but here are a few that I really like.
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
It’s important to keep both your body and mind focused on your goals. Set a high goal, but set short term, achievable goals along the way (whether it’s 1 or 2 shoots here or there, at least it’s something.) Connect with other photographers/potential clients, and try to surround yourself with people who are more skilled than you are. These are the people who are going to push you to your potential (you’ll learn a lot along the way.) And one of the hardest things and most important aspects of being a photographer is staying inspired to shoot. Go out and try new things, explore new places, and most importantly have fun. If you find yourself to be more knowledgeable in certain areas then don’t be afraid to pass the info along. I really believe that the more you can help others grow and learn, the better off you’ll be in the short term and long run. But like any professional athlete you have to practice. Practice, practice, practice! Shoot as much as you can, when you can.
Visit Kyle Fletcher – flickr