Travis is starting to focus on portraiture and wedding photographer but as you can see from one of his favourite photos he has an eye for automotive photography. Enjoy and share 🙂
Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Travis Rock, I’m 21 years old, and I live in the lovely state of Connecticut in ‘merica. I love cars with an undying passion equal to that of photography- and if I could ever intertwine the two, I would wake up and go to sleep every single day with a smile on my face. I’m a big time nerd and pre-nursing student. I have an amazing girlfriend who goes by the name of Eva Prior and does band photography out of Long Island, NY whom I absolutely LOVE to spend my time with. My interests are scattered across the board and I love trying new things. I’m a die hard Canonite but did travel to the dark side for a while. I desperately wish to one day make this a full time, well paying career.
What made you get into photography?
See the next question for that answer.
How did you get started?
My grandmother bought me a Kodak Avantix C470 when I was younger for a trip to Rhode Island, I blasted through 10 rolls of ISO 200 film, and it just snowballed from there. It took the back burner to computer gaming for most of high school, but I finally picked up my first DSLR 3 years ago after finally exhausting my Fujifilm S700, and rekindling my passion for it after visiting the International Museum of Photography in NYC. Last year I decided I wanted to try and build a career out of a hobby, and have been playing hardball ever since.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
At the moment I’m trying to focus more on portraiture/weddings, (as I prefer it) but this past year was heavily focused on a lot of automotive stuff for the blog I contribute/write for; (www.klutchonline.com, check us out!) I’m not preferable to any one sort of photography though. I can appreciate all types, but I do lean more towards motorsports/weddings/studio based portraiture due to my interests…and weddings pay the bills.
What gear are you using?
Currently I’m rocking a 5D MKII with a 24-70L, 35L, 50 1.4, 135L, 70-200 2.8 IS L, and some other odd bits and bobs here. That nerd thing I mentioned before? Yeah, built my own PC. I am looking to go OS-X pretty soon though.
Whats your favourite lens and why?
Since I’ve gotten it, definitely the 35L. The sharpness is unparalleled wide open and the DOF you can get with it is just ridiculous. Such a tiny, amazing little powerhouse.
How are you marketing yourself?
At the moment, I rely heavily on word of mouth with a business card to follow it. I find people are much more likely to hire someone whom say, their friends recommend/shot their wedding/did their portraits/ etc, than some random bloke in the local paper with his hands folded in a black turtleneck. (My apologies to any owners of black turtlenecks- I have nothing against them.)
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
I think I can speak for a lot of photographers and say that’s one of the hardest questions ever. I usually break down my images to the point where I don’t even like them anymore to help me improve upon myself. I think it’d either be this photo I shot at my first wedding:
Or this shot of my friend Joey’s E30 M3:
I prefer both for different reasons. The shot of the bride and groom dancing is more for the background behind the photo- I was shooting my first wedding with a friend, and the groom never told me he was going to dip the bride. I happened to be at the right place and the right time, and zoomed out to 24mm on my 5D and caught it just in time. I was proud of that photo, and still am to this very day. It helped me realize how absolutely essential it is to make sure you know where to stand and what lens to use and when at weddings. The shot of Joey’s car marked a big growth period in my editing style for automotive shots, which used to be bland at best- everything just fell together nicely for that shot after a day of slicing my hand open on a razor blade, and the inverter going on my vagabond.
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
Don’t think the camera does all the work, and don’t market yourself aggressively at first. People are hesitant to pay for someone who JUST got their camera. Shoot alongside some people who are good at first, get to know the ropes, learn things. Shoot manual. Whatever it takes. Don’t charge for photos unless you yourself would pay for them if positions were reversed.