Evan’s been reading RAW for sometime now and dropped me an email. Like always this lead me to his online profiles and here is the interview. He also gives some really good advice for people wanting to turn “pro”. Have a read.
Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Evan Dell an im from a little Florida town known as Plant City. Im 21 years old an i have been shooting for nearly 5 years. An i shoot full time as a freelance photographer. Im completely self taught and have never have been to school for photography and simply put i just love being a photographer, nothing beats it in my opinion.
What made you get into photography?
I got into photography because i played travel baseball and junior olympics baseball majority of my life, and my dad actually would take photos of all the kids playing or practicing to help our technique. also every tournament has photographers following you around. I quit baseball senior year for many of reasons (if any one would like those they can contact me an ask further about in private).So i quit senior year like i said an i started researching photography an all the possibilities, and the art it self seems endless you never stop learning or get into a routine like sports an i wanted to start immediately. My dad on the other end wasnt really happy about this him being an ex pro baseball player he wanted me to go with talent one and the route of life he had college,pro baseball riches, big house, etc and when i gave that up he basically asked me to leave home and we didnt talk for nearly 3 years after that.
How did you get started?
I got started started senior year using film in a photo one high school elective class. Pretty soon bought my first dslr a little canon xti and started shooting shows live immediately. Then from there on during that first year i started doing band promos and portraiture. Not gonna lie starting out i was pretty horrible and local photographers at the time were extremely hateful to me every time i shot, or was around them, that definitely fueled the fire for me wanting to get better and be more established. That basically my start a lot went into the next few years of progression, many sleepless nights studying other peoples work, practicing my own techniques, and shooting any job that came my way just to try and learn more from each experience.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
I mainly started out and predominately shot bands/music, but now its between music photography and portraiture. Definitely work in a lot of strobist in both.
What gear are you using?
I use all canon, 5d mark ii, 50mm 1.4 usm, 35mm 1.4 L, 24-70mm f2.8L and my 70-200 f2.8 L (dont use this much at all). I use alien bees strobes and modifiers as well in my set up.
Whats your favourite lens and why?
My favorite is definitely my 50mm f1.4, sharpest focus and most range in my opinion. The bokeh is pretty incredible as well.
How are you marketing yourself?
I use face book, my own website, business cards (its a rarity i dont have about 30 in my wallet to give out.), and flickr. I just try to meet and make a connection with any one i can cause the more people you have throwing your name out there the more business your going to get.
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
My favorite ive ever taken would be of a homeless woman i met while doing free christmas cards for the homeless for barefoot hope. I dont think ive ever been quite moved like that before.
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
Well first off id say dont go entering photography strictly as a business mentality or motive. Get into it cause you want to make art and because your intrigued by that art. Ive seen to many kids chewed up and spit out because they dove head first into it as a business instead of passion. In addition dont rush your self take time to learn the basics and define your own style before you go and try to mimic some one else’s. I see a ton of kids that start shooting and never get natural light down and they think they need strobes right now because so and so has them, or because they feel inferior with out them. Point being the gear doesnt make the photographer, nor the does it make the photo, sure it helps but you have to know how to use that gear properly in order to achieve the shot your looking for, im pretty sure ive never seen a setting on a camera that just says “perfect focus an exposure setting” cause photography is all calculation and ratios of light and once you get those down it will definitely help you go where you want to go. My last piece of advice would be dont get discouraged about your work if your proud of a shot stand by that shot, an eventually you will get to the point where you like your work one day and hate every thing your proud of the next. Thats gonna be normal every photographer goes through it, its just you being driven to do it better next time or try some thing new next time.