We were absolutely stunned with Ron Boyd's photographs the first time we saw them! They are bold and inspiring and represent Boyd's way of seeing the world around him. In an interview for our magazine, Ron explains how important is for artists to present their work on social media and reveals what is it about the world of fashion that sparks his inspiration.
Hey, Ron! Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself and what exciting projects are you shooting these days?
Well, I guess I should start with I'm 25 years old. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Currently based in Los Angels, California. If I'm not doing anything photography related I’m in the gym, playing basketball or at my favorite dive bar in LA. Pretty much enjoy anything with great people and good vibes. The most exciting project that I'm currently working on is my first Coffee Table book! It's a photo journal/memoir that mixes my personal life & photography. The entire project is shot on film & disposable cameras. Extremely raw and organic. A lot of my personal stories/encounters with a mix of personal stories from the subjects in it as well.
When did you discover your interest in photography? What made you fall in love with this art?
I think it was around my junior/senior year of high school. I was heavily into writing and poetry. So I was always looking for other ways to express my self visually. I remember getting a severe case of writer's block and that when I started dabbling in photography. Also at this time, Instagram was just beginning. I remember taking cool Instagram pictures with my iPhone and all my friends would come to me so I could take pictures of them to post on Instagram or Tumblr.
How did your photographic style evolve over the past years?
Through trial and error mixed with replication. Initially, I always knew what I liked aesthetically. So I found photographers who mirrored the general feel I wanted to create in my work. From there I would try to replicate their works. As I kept doing that I eventually started to create my voice creatively. Now that my photography has a voice, it's all about improving and building upon that.
I understand you are also a fashion photographer. What is it about the world of fashion that inspires you to take stunning photographs?
I think the biggest thing that inspired me about fashion photography is the uniformity. For the most part, it's very concrete. Some of my favorite fashion works are those that everything is in sync. From the model to lighting, to the tones used to express the general feels. Very controlled and meticulous but displayed effortlessly.
As an artist, do you sometimes struggle with remaining completely focused and inspired to create with the same intensity?
I'm my biggest critic, so I regularly find myself in the sunken place when it relates to my work. There are days when I just want to throw my hard drives away, erase my website and social medias and just start 100% fresh. It's to the point that some of my close friends know if I go absent from communicating with them for a week or two they pretty much know I'm in a photography funk. That compiled by the mediocrity that seems to be praised on social media.
When did photography stop being a hobby and became a full-time job for you? What was that process like for you?
That was an exciting step, to say the least. For me, it was extremely frightening yet alleviating. It pretty much just came down to a simple question: Would I rather have a 9-5 job and be miserable or would I rather struggle to build a career but be happy? The winner was self-gratification.
Can you reveal what your creative process is like? What is the starting point when you are preparing for new projects?
My creative process always starts with a simple question of: What am I trying to display/say visually? From there that tells how I will probably process/retouch the image. Then from there, I gather inspiration or a mood-board of visual feels and models poses. Then the last step is to find a model who can articulate that visually.
How do you connect with your models? How do you make them feel comfortable in front of your lens?
That by far is the most important thing to me. Firmly believe that the bulk of the work is done before I even turn the camera on. My sets are very relaxed and open. I allow the model to be herself. Also, I'm pretty much from the jump talking and joking with the model while she's in makeup or during any waiting period. Typically I try to spend about a 45 minutes to an hour ( or as much time allowed ) to talk and laugh and just vibe with the model. It translates once we start shooting.
In your opinion, how important is it for artists nowadays to brand themselves and present their work throughout social media?
That is a tricky question to me. I think it's crucial to have a social media presence and to brand yourself. You can never have too much exposure. What I would say is don't become self-dependent on social media. It's always evolving and always changing. Plus you don't want to put all your eggs in one basket. If you use social media as a tool to add to your box of the trick then yes by all means!
Do you have any upcoming projects you would like to share with us?
I have a project that I pitched to a book company. They will be commissioning me to travel and put together a photo journal of youth and party culture around the united states & a few international locations. I'm extremely keen to start that soon!