Kyle recently relocated to Birmingham, Alabama and started shooting entertainment photography again after a two year hiatus. Prior to the two year break he had toured with a multitude of bands and been featured in magazines raging from AP to Thrasher. Enjoy!
Tell us a little about yourself?
I am an entertainment / fashion photographer, with roughly 7 years of experience, currently out of Birmingham, Alabama having relocated here recently from Florida for school.
What made you get into photography?
I started out as a videographer when I was young. I aspired to make documentaries and attend film school at NYU. However, around the age of 16 or so I went with some friends to a BMX contest and couldn’t film so I grabbed a Canon still camera and started shooting. The prints came out horribly (I still have them so I know). However, it offered such a different challenge of capturing what I filmed in many frames in one single frame. After that I was hooked and quickly made the conversion to still photography.
How did you get started?
Having already been filming BMX and Skateboarding it was natural to start my still work there. From there I met guys that were in bands that needed promos and I would do it as a favor more than anything as I knew nothing of the music industry at that time. It pretty much snowballed from there as I started touring with bands about three days after graduating high school.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
I mainly have been focusing on fashion and lifestyle in the past two years. I am now getting back into shooting entertainment and extreme sports as I have a different view of both now that I have stepped out of the industry and I look forward to putting a new twist on my entertainment work. Weddings and couples are things that I don’t advertise much, but it is very enjoyable to document people at their happiest and I always look for those chances.
What gear are you using?
My main body right now is a Nikon D3. I also shoot with various film cameras, depending on what I am interested in at the moment. I light with white lightning lights, various mounted flashes, and use Pocket Wizard II’s for triggering. On the lens side I shoot mainly with an 85mm 1.4 and a 50mm 1.8, but occasionally use both a 35mm 1.8 and a basic 70-300mm when needed.
Whats your favourite lens and why?
The Nikkor 85mm 1.4 is such a gorgeous and versatile lens, so as of now it is my go-to-lens for most shoots. I love the depth I can get out of it as I think my main style is centered around a low DOF and sharp subject.
How are you marketing yourself?
Marketing is such a key aspect of the industry these days and to be honest I haven’t done the best job of marketing in the last few years. I have always tried to let my work and word of mouth do all the work. I am learning the hard way that that isn’t the best strategy in an increasingly competitive field. No matter how good your portfolio is, it is pointless if potential clients never see it. My new website was launched around New Years and I have gotten a lot more traffic thanks to that. Advertising in my new local area is what I am currently trying to work on. Relocating to Alabama after having such a steady client base in Florida hasn’t been without it’s challenges.
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
I am not sure that any photographer or creative person of any kind can pick a single piece of work that they are most partial to, but this shot incorporates a lot of my favorite styles (warm light, shallow DOF, light solar flare).
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
Doing this for a living isn’t always as glamourous as some might lead people to believe, especially if you’re out touring with bands or just starting out. You’re an artist as a photographer which means ups and downs because your work is subject to peoples diverse opinions. The real objective is to mitigate these peaks and valleys so that you can make a comfortable living for yourself while still being true to your art.