Sam is going to be a Junior in high school next month! While he's excited to start his classes, like everyone else; he's bummed to be going into the year with distance learning once again. In the midst of a pandemic, sam says he, "strongly believe[s] everyone should be wearing a mask to protect themselves and others" and "the sooner we can agree to act together to beat the virus, the sooner we’ll find ourselves back in class together." Sam is into mountain biking and is on the mountain biking team at his high school. More importantly, a new animal [Sam] recently learned about, and advises everyone else to take a look at, is the “Leaf Sheep.” Excitedly he says, "It’s a sea slug that gets its name from its mini sheep-like appearance. But it doesn’t end there. Get this, it can photosynthesize! How cool is that?"
TB: How did you get into photography?
S: I first became interested in photography because my Mom used to be a professional photographer and had her own business. So always seeing her work made me interested in trying it out myself.
TB: How would you describe your photography style? What do you specialize in?
S: I mostly do portraiture and landscape photography. But occasionally photojournalism when it comes to the pictures I take for the yearbook. When it comes to portraiture, I like to be more open-ended; no studio, no fancy lights, just a nice pretty spot, and some patience to find a good shot. Whenever I’m going on a trip or even somewhere new around town, I like to carry my camera with me and lookout for an opportunity for a photo, that is when I most often capture my landscape pictures. I enjoy portrait photography the most because it allows me to interact with someone! Most often a friend, and it’s exciting when they tell me they like the pictures I took.
TB: What are some things/people that inspire you and your photography?
S: Going around town, I always keep my eyes peeled for a new spot to take pictures. But there are also other photographers that inspire me whom I follow and admire.
TB: What is your creative process of planning a photoshoot like?
S: Most often just take pictures with my friends, not often do I fully plan a photoshoot. With that being said though, I do put lots of thought into where, and when I want to take pictures; I also like to set goals for myself before even turning my camera on. I talk to the person I’m going to be taking pictures with and figure out what they want and when we can find the timing that works well for us.
TB: What is the gear you have used in the past and present?
S: The first equipment I used were old cameras of my Mom’s. She had a couple of old DSLRs that she had no use for anymore. By playing around and exploring the in’s and out’s of the cameras; I was able to teach myself how to use a camera the best I could. The first camera I had myself was a Fujifilm Instax Polaroid-like camera. The first DSLR I bought was a used Canon EOS 50D. A couple of years later, I upgraded myself to a used Canon EOS 7D, but the camera I most use now, and by far my favorite is my used Canon EOS 5D Classic. This camera was challenging the possibilities of digital photography... in 2005 when it was released. But 15 years later, it’s still a great camera. People are often surprised when they hear the camera I use is that old; as well as that it has 12 megapixels, just like their iPhone. When it comes to lenses, I most often use my 50mm 1.8 and 85mm 1.8 lenses from Canon. But at the end of the day, gear doesn’t actually matter. Having an expensive oven doesn’t make you a better cook.
TB: Do you prefer digital or film photography? Please explain why.
S: I prefer digital photography because of the creative freedom in both the moment and in the editing. I have experimented with film photography,
and while it opens up many doors itself, as well as has its own aesthetic characteristics, it simply is too expensive for me to justify using day after day. With film costing around 5-10 dollars a roll and development and scanning around 15-20 per roll, it adds up fast.