When did you get your first camera?
Around the age of 9... It was a old Kodak Instamatic my mother gave me to take to summer camp. I went armed with a few packages of film and 'flash cubes'; those cool little things that had four flashes to a cube. --They would burst inside and turn blue after use. I love the snapshots from that first trip with the camera. Still have them somewhere...
How did you get started in photography?
Fast forward to college, my grandfather gave me an old Canon A1 he got in Japan in the 70's. I was in a fine arts program, and saw the camera as a tool for documentation of the art process, and also kicked around Europe with it; creating a more involved sense of a travelogue than my old summer camp pictures. I was intrigued by the broader depth of photography, but had not really been 'bitten' by the bug yet. I got the general concepts, but was still kinda wingin' it. The processing of images was pretty magical to watch, but I had no interest in spending my days in a darkroom. I was a painter and that was my love... It required living in light :)
How long have you been shooting?
After grad school, I got into the digital world; working as a graphic designer and web developer. I was introduced to digital photography in the mid-90's, and again, used it as a tool for other media. I used a digital camera at work to create assets on the fly for enhancing digital imagery... (Before that, we would spend hours going thru lifestyle photography books looking for the perfect assets for projects; sometimes spending hundreds of dollars on one image.)
In 2003, I finally got my first own point & shoot digital camera -a small Canon A70- before a trip to Paris. I started gravitating from typical vacation snap shooting to noticing textures and general moments on the street. The immediacy of digital was especially exciting to me... I came back with something that looked more like a photo essay than a travelogue... This is where I got 'bitten'. Photography started playing a larger role in my mixedmedia painting, and eventually became it's own beloved discipline. The digital back end part of processing was akin to what I had been doing for years in Photoshop for my work, so it was a natural for me... I eventually upgraded to a prosumer Lumix FZ20; falling in love with the colors those cameras produce (thanks to the built in Leica lens.)
Summer 2006, I started working with a couple of friends who are musicians and actors; doing cover and promotional shots, as well as stills for an independent film. I had designed cd covers for a couple of bands in the past, but doing the photography for someone else to design around was very different. In October, I was asked to shoot a friend's wedding in California... I had planned to do it free of charge, but they insisted on paying me; leading to a purchase of a Nikon DLSR. The Lumix had served me well, but I was outgrowing it...
Last year, I had the opportunity to do a photo shoot for a musician being scouted by Clive Davis, as well as Universal Records... That led to other opportunities and the ball has been rolling ever since....
What area of photography are you interested or specialize in?
Having a fine arts background, this is likely the backbone of what I'm doing (with a couple of exhibits per year), but I have a strong interest in street photography, as well as a rapidly growing interest in fashion photography. The last two are key, as I love the human image, the interaction necessary in the capture, as well as design in clothes, architecture, and story telling. Of course, these can overlap in many ways.
What kind of equipment do you use?
I have a Nikon D200, a Lumix LK1, a Kodak DuoFlex II, and my original Canon A1.
For lenses, I have a Nikkor 50mm 1.4, Nikkor 85mm 1.4 Nikk0r 28-80mm, Sigma 70-300mm, etc. An SB-800 Flash unit, and plans to buy strobes and soft boxes. I'm not a big fan of tripods as I feel kinda limited in motion with them; I know I need to get over this... I prefer a monopod or just a prayer for a steady hand.
What are your plans for the next 3 months with your photography?
I have several fashion photo shoots coming which I can't wait for - I love doing that. There a few seminars in mind at the Photo Expo here in NYC, a course in contemporary photography at Cooper Union, as well as ongoing lighting workshops (something I don't think I'll ever stop learning.) I have plans to rent a studio to host some fashion shoots of my own, so I can collaborate with some stylists, models, and musicians. There are also the days of just walking down the streets snapping graffiti and basic goings on of people and things. I could do that everyday :)