We are happy to introduce you to our Top 10 Interview with a Photographer series! Meet Photographer #3 - Gavin Thomas, as interviewed by cinzinc. Gavin is a professional photographer whose portfolio includes amazingly colourful portraits of celebrities!
How long have you been a photographer? What got you into it?
Professionally shooting for 3 years now. Originally started in high school after my uncle gave me an old Minolta.
I see you have worked with celebrities, how do you prepare for it when you’re using a Lomography/film camera?
Preparation is the key because I only have a limited amount of time with most of them. I always read bios before I work with someone so I have material to talk about while we are shooting. Just got to have a game plan and be able to problem solve on the fly. I usually have 3-4 different options in terms of backgrounds and ideas for each shoot depending on who it is. I always am shooting with at least 3-4 different cameras so the biggest thing is to know when to switch on to the next camera.
How do they react to it? What was the best reaction they gave you?
It is always an interesting reaction. They always ask “are you going to be able to see me using that thing?” or “is that a real camera?” The best reaction is always after I show them examples of the doubles, most of them get very excited and want to continue shooting right away.
Which celebrity did you enjoy working with?
I really enjoy working with them all for the most part. 50 Cent, T.I., Ciara, Asher Roth, Justin Bieber, Fat Joe, and Travie McCoy were all so great. I have some amazing stories from all those shoots. I also have a bunch of celebs that weren’t all that great to work with… I will never forget my first celeb photo shoot with 50 Cent. I was so nervous but he and the rest of G-Unit were just so nice and easy going it just made for an enjoyable fun filled shoot.
What’s your favorite film camera to use on photo shoots and regular days?
I cannot get enough of that Lomo LC-A+. I really truly do take it almost everywhere with me. I even go running thru the streets of Brooklyn and snap away layers for my doubles and triples.
If you could have any camera, what would it be and why?
Even with all these amazing digital cameras out there, I’m sticking to the Lomo LC-A. It is a workhorse of a camera and also the perfect size to take anywhere.
Favorite film and why?
I am a big fan of Kodak Elitechrome 100 and the EBX – Just got to love all those bright-saturated colors when you get it cross-processed.
Tell us your dream photo shoot!
It is a tie between Eminem and Jay-Z right now. Two of the biggest names in the industry. I grew up listening to both and just know I would be able to get some amazing portraits of both.
You do amazing portraits, any tips you could share to us?
I live by the K.I.S.S. saying – Keep it simple stupid!! – There are a lot of other tips I can mention, specifically with the doubles – I always think of myself as a painter almost when I’m shooting adding layers upon layers to get a final result that is almost planned out yet is a total surprise when you get your film back from the lab. Basically you have to experiment a bunch of times until you feel comfortable with the camera. – Whatever camera it is be aware of all the different settings and don’t be afraid to mix it up and try new things. That’s the joy of analog photography is not knowing until you get the film developed.
Lastly, any advice to those who want to start a career in photography?
Yea – just do it. Eat, breathe, sleep, and dream about photography. Talk to photographers, learn the history of photography, the masters, let your brain be a sponge and just soak everything in. Stay positive!! It is a HIGHLY competitive industry out there. Just remember everyone has to start somewhere. Lastly – push yourself to become better whether it is trying a new camera, learning a new lighting technique, or just pushing the bar subject wise. And always keep shooting!
Cinzinc’s LomoHome – http://lomography.com/homes/cinzinc