Carter contacted me awhile ago and as you’ve heard time and time before I start checking out all his online photos. Guess what lens is his favourite…. you guessed it! the 50mm. One thing to highlight is that when he started he just shoot everything he could with the gear he had. Carter then started talking to other photographers, asking questions and getting feedback. Anyway I’ll let you read the rest, he has some amazing work so check out his links at the bottom.
Tell us a little about yourself?
Well my name is Carter Moore and I am 21 years old living in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I had the privilege of growing up in Steamboat Springs, Colorado which has the best snow of any ski resort in the nation. I have always been sort of an artsy guy more than traditional athlete or scholar. I am an associate staff member of a church here in Colorado Springs and work a lot with their student ministries. I am passionate about photography only because I am passionate about Jesus Christ. I believe He has given me talents to use for His glory and so thus I named my company “FTLR | Photography” which FTLR stands for “For The Lamb’s Reward” because I want whatever I photograph and do to be to the Glory of Christ. I love my friends and family and they are huge inspirations to my work as well, Lord knows I have used them to practice shooting many times. I also work at the wonderful world of Starbucks and love just hanging out and getting to know people and help encourage them in their lives.
What made you get into photography?
I have always really enjoyed art growing up, especially drawing and painting, which in high school ended up being an emphasis of mine when I graduated. Towards the end of my senior year I wanted to try my hand at photography so I took a film class and ended up actually failing it. I really still enjoyed it so I just used a point and shoot everywhere and just started looking at tons of other photos. I ended up going to a conference in Colorado Springs at the church I now work at and saw these photographers crawling around the stage and they had nice equipment so I decided if I was going to try to do this thing professionally I would invest in gear and I purchased a Pentax K200D as my first DSLR. I saw these guys documenting things and really that is what got me into photography. I just wanted to document life and moves of God around me as they happened. Pictures paint a thousand words they say and I really just wanted to write books with photos so to speak so that years from now people could see what life was like and what happened.
How did you get started?
I really wanted to be great at what I was doing so I took a lot of the money from that I had made during the summer after my senior year of high school and used it and bought a Pentax K200D. The guy at the photo store said it was a better choice than the Canon Rebel xti. So I bought it and the awesome thing about it was that it could use lens from old film cameras which I could pick up for cheap at local pawn shops. So I got a lot of gear quickly and just shot anything and everything. I purchased a flickr pro account just joined groups to get feedback and started talking to photographers whose work I liked and asked them questions. I really just took a camera literally with me everywhere and photographed it all.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
I mainly photograph weddings, engagements, and portraits. However, I have photographed musicians and events as well. I really just enjoy documenting everything around me and capturing the moments of every day life.
What gear are you using?
I shoot on a Canon 5D Classic with mainly a Canon 50mm f/1.4. I also use a 24-70mm f/2.8 and a 85mm f/1.8
Whats your favourite lens and why?
My favorite lens has to be my 50mm f/1.4. I know it is sort of the cliche lens to use, but on a full frame camera it is by far my favorite to use because of the amount of depth of field you get with it and the creamy bokehs you can pull off with it.
How are you marketing yourself?
I purchased a domain and website, granted it is just a basic site it is a site. I found that people wouldn’t take me as serious without one. So my main website just displays basically just a few of the best shots I have taken with my information. I market myself really a lot through facebook, twitter, and my blog. People ask me this question all the time and honestly word of mouth has been the best marketing I could have asked for. If you take good photos and give them an experience and product that they remember, they will tell others about you. I use business cards and I give out deals as well to help market myself.
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
I couldn’t choose just one so here are my top 2:
This one is of my best friend Sean on national wear a suit day and we pretended like we were laid off stock brokers in a recession. I just like this one a lot.
This is a photo I took for worship artist Paul Baloche at the Pikes Peak Center here in town and I just love the emotion I get from this photo. Playing worship for an audience of one and still being the same when no one is looking.
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
Most undoubtedly you can find great advice, probably greater than mine from any of the other photographers featured here but here is my two cents.
I would say that you cannot take a bad photo and make it a good photo by editing it, and when it comes to editing less is definitely more. The more you edit something, especially when first starting out it is easy to over edit and have what in the moment seems like a cool photo to you, turn out to be a terrible photo to everyone else and probably better if it was just unedited. So when it comes to editing and post work less is definitely more.
Also, shoot everything in RAW. I know the file sizes are much larger but just go out and purchase an external hard drive and start shooting. Shooting all in RAW will aid in editing and give you a much greater capacity when it comes to editing so that you can really get the results that you are looking for.
Find photos online or anywhere that you like and ask as many questions as you can. Many times photographers won’t give away all their secrets but most are willing to help out someone especially who is just in their early days of shooting. Find work that you like and just start trying to edit and crop in a similar fashion. Mistakes will happen but some of my best creative breakthroughs have happened because of mistakes. Join online groups and just get feedback from people. Some may be harsh, it will only make you better in the end.
Invest in a website and business cards. Always carry business cards with you that will direct people to your work, because you never know who you will meet or where you will meet them
Finally, have a greater vision for your work than just taking good photographs, because in my experience I have found that there will always be someone better and more skilled out there in some way than you. So have a vision and purpose that sets yourself out from the crowd and causes people to look at your work and take notice of you.