We Are Photographers Series – Brock Lawson
Brock Lawson was destined for a creative career. Raised in a family that that emphasized unique ideals from traditional mindsets to pursuing various alternative views in life, Brock was gifted with an immense imagination and creativity at a very young age. Inspired by the fantasy in films, books and video games, Brock creates impeccable images that vividly portray underlying themes and messages almost as magical as the fantasy world he grew up in.
What is your story?
I began my obsession with photography in the late 90’s. My father gave me his hand-me-down point and shoot Fujifilm (.8 MP if I remember it right). I immediately caught the bug and began shooting everything. I swore to myself that I would never shoot portraits at that time. Gradually, I moved on to portraits. After I got bored with that I moved on to Fashion and have been hooked ever since. I enjoy pushing the boundaries between art and fashion and I love creating a story with my sets.
How long have you been doing photography?
I’ve been shooting fashion exclusively for 2 years. Before that I did portraits etc for 5 years. Everything before that was a learning experience.
To be a good and qualified photographer, does one need a professional certificate or academic study?
Not at all. In fact, I think it is better when you don’t. To me, a person who has no professional training shows that they put in the heart and soul to learn a craft that they are passionate about. Signing up for school and going to class takes far less effort then getting up every morning and studying on your own ambition with no due dates or tests to worry about. It is learning because you are truly interested in it, not because you are required to pass the class.
What is your area of specialization in photography?
Fashion is my number one specialization. At the same time, I am always trying to pull in different genres and techniques into my work to make it unique. The fashion market is heavily saturated (like most photography areas) so I really think it is important to do what you want and not worry about all the rules and what everyone else thinks.
Is winning awards important?
Not so much as it used to be. Before the Internet, I know that it was a great way to be recognized. However with social media and all the different avenues photographers have to share their work, I think they have lost their importance. I still enter competitions occasionally but for the most part I just focus on doing other things.
What inspires you?
I try to draw my inspiration from as many places as possible. I carry a notebook around with me and whenever I see something I am interested in, I just go ahead and write it down. I tend to try lots of it from Music and Film though. I am a huge “The Decemberists” fan and get plenty of inspiration from their songs. I’m also very interested in the fantasy genre and try to put modern twists on the stories. Lately I have been watching lots of older films and find myself coming up with all sorts of crazy ideas.
Which is more important; skills, talent or the camera?
I guess it’s none. I really think vision is the most important thing to have as a photographer. I’ve seen wonderful pieces by unknown people with cheap point and shoots. But on the other end, you occasionally see horribly boring sets from well known photographers for big publications.
What advice would you give to an inspiring professional photographer?
Just stick with it. People will constantly criticize you and put down your work. Don’t let it get to you. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. But no matter what they say, art is always subjective. Don’t make excuses about where you live, what equipment you have, etc. There is always something to learn every time you press the shutter.
Which photographer/s do you admire?
I’m in love with so many photographers’ work and inspired by just about everyone. But to name a few, some of the classics would be Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, Cecil Beaton and all the other greats. Not forgetting some of the more modern ones like Eugenio Recuenco, Melissa Rodwell and Ruven Afanador just to name a few.
– Liyana Meer
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