Today we feature a young portrait photographer who’s using the web to market himself and build his brand. On another note, I’ve started to post a photo a day over at Tristan Jud Photography. I’ll probably miss a few but the intention is there, make sure you stop by.
Tell us a little about yourself?
My name’s Sean and I’m a 20 year old living just outside Toronto in Ontario, Canada! Photography is pretty much my life along with music and I’ve got a huge passion for Formula 1!
What inspired you to get started in photography?
I’ve always been intrigued by images, whether they were from old home videos or my families slide projector, my dad was also an amateur photographer so I guess it rubbed off a bit haha. I got bored while studying for exams back in highschool and just decided to go try and take some photos, next thing you know I had my first DSLR and away I went!
What gear do you take to each shoot and what lens can you not live without?
I take my Canon 5D classic, my 50mm f1.4 and 28mm f1.8
all the time, I don’t think I could live without it. If I have a roll of film on me I take an old Rebel XS film slr too!
How do you market yourself and has social media been an important part?
I market myself mainly through Facebook and Twitter, I’m always trying to find people to photograph and other photographers to gain inspiration from. Facebook has been so important for me when i was starting out as I could find bands to photograph and I’d find out about concerts to go to and photograph aswell. Now it’s even better as I’m networking through friends and other photographers, finding new subjects.
What’s your favourite photo that you’ve taken and does it have any significance?
My favourite photo I’ve taken is a tough one, my favourite photo that I’ve taken recently is one of my good friend and photographer Jordan. I’ve been inspired by old portraits from the early 20th century, where your subject is photographed more as a profile with a story the viewer can make up. I’m not sure if I achieved this all to well but the photo definitely stands out for me.
Select a photo you have taken, explain how it was taken and how did you edit it?
This one of my friend Aubin was taken with my 5D and my 50mm probably at f1.8. It was under tree canopies so the light was perfect. My editing is pretty basic, for this one I just played around with curves and warming filters, ending with desaturation and sharpening.
What processing tool do you use and do you believe in the camera doing all the work or in post?
I mainly use CS4 and a little bit of Lightroom. I don’t believe in the camera doing all the work but with that said you obviously need to know what you’re doing with the camera. When film was the standard, you still had to go into a darkroom and process your film, with dodging and burning techniques, etc, so our photoshop was another generations darkroom.
Whats your favourite photography accessory other than your camera?
I bought a backdrop recently and it is immensely fun. Being able to shoot inside during the cold Canadian winters is something I’ll never take for granted haha!
Where do you prefer to post your photos online and why there?
I post most of my photos to my blog and one or two to flickr from a set. I prefer my blog as I find my photos are better viewed in a series of the same person or event. It adds more to each photo and a theme is carried throughout.
Do you ever get photographers block and if so what do you do to get inspired again?
I get it all the time! I read a lot of magazines mainly GQ, Nylon, a few skateboard magazines and a bit of Vanity Fair and they help me look at photos differently and in a new light. I’m always looking for new ways to look at a photograph and ways to better a photograph.
Is there anything you wish you had done when you first started in photography that would of made a difference?
I wish I could’ve broken out of my shyness earlier in my photography as I could have been photographing more people from the beginning. It would have helped me quite a bit through networking with friends and other photographers earlier and establishing more of a presence as a portrait photographer.
Any advice for new photographers wanting to go pro?
Continue doing what you love. Continue photographing as much as you can. Don’t be so concerned with what everyone else is doing and focus on yourself and your photos. Be greatful for everything, your gear, your friends, your family and other photographers. Opportunity can be anywhere and you gotta be ready for when it comes up!
Visit Sean Pollock – blog, flickr and twitter