Dave Cox from elevendy emailed me asking if I would like to interview their head photographer Wil. Initially I thought it was just a ploy to get some free exposure however when I check out Wil’s work I was amazed and the imagery he produces. Heavily photoshopped but outstanding none the less.
Tell us a little about yourself?
Most people know me as Wil Wells, creative director/photographer of Elevendy, a Northern California based advertising agency. In recent years I’ve acquired the nickname “The Nerdtographer” thanks to an incontrovertible affinity for Star Wars paired with avid video gaming and professed tech junkie habits. What can I say? I’m a huge nerd.
What made you get into photography?
I’ve been on the other side of the camera for nearly 15 years handling all of the retouching and post production. In time I realized I could have more control over the effects achieved as a post- production artist if I controlled the entire experience from start to finish, so in recent years I’ve become a lighting & photography Jedi as well as a post production Yoda.
How did you get started?
As a child, my father, a very talented musician and illustrator purchased a Commodore Amiga 1000. In 1986, with 256 KB of hardcore computing power, I was on ProPaint nearly every day till 1990 when we upgraded to Mac. My long love affair with Photoshop began with 1.0 and now continues with Photoshop CS5.
Throughout elementary school and High School I was creating book art and concert posters, some of which were published. As soon as I was out of High School I got my first internship doing design. From there, I landed a paying job doing post for playboy.com. Under constant supervision I learned most of the techniques I still use today. I eventually moved on to working in the broader side of production, taking on video, web, and 3D before moving to Sacramento, CA to work freelance in the advertising scene.
On January 1st 2011, I partnered with a long time business colleague, Dave Cox, and formed Elevendy. After staring at photos for post for 15 years, I took the techniques and practices I had preferred in photographers I worked with and applied them myself.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
Movie key art, video game, advertising, and high concept nerdy awesomeness.
What gear are you using?
Hasselblad H3D-31, Canon 5D Mark ii, Paul Buff Lighting.
What’s your favorite lens and why?
My Canon 70-200 f/2.8 L IS. It was the first lens I purchased; it’s clean, crisp, and versatile. I’ll never get rid of it.
How are you marketing yourself?
Elevendy is represented by Innovative Artists in Malibu and is active on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Google Plus. We update our website all the time (www.elevendy.com).
What’s your favorite photo you have taken?
Alison Haislip – “008: Always Stalling”. This photograph was part of an exclusive campaign release we did for the wonderful www.nerdist.com.
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
Do something different! Technology improves every day leading more and more people to produce lazy, lackluster work using one-click software to makeup for bad composition and concept. If you want to stand out, experiment and create your own trends.