Award winning portrait and commercial photographer Randal Ford joins the podcast to talk about his new book "Animal Kingdom" and to tell the story of how he went from a business major to quickly establishing himself as an accomplished editorial and advertising photographer at what many would consider a young age. Although Randal fell in love with photography early on his high school years, he would go to study business at Texas A&M without much consideration of a possible future as a photographer. During his college years he decided to join the university newspaper as an extra curricular activity, and quickly remember why he loved photography in the first place. Before long he got his hands on his first digital camera and the learning curve elevated exponentially. When he graduated, he wrote down a goal of shooting covers for the respected Texas Monthly and began the slow process of trying to form his own aesthetic and create a name for himself. Before long he accomplished that goal and began rising up the ranks and shooting for much bigger clients all while still in his early 20s. Known for being a shooter that could achieve a very hyper real look, and crediting influences like Norman Rockwell, Randal would go on to create a signature look and help companies like L.L. Bean with vintage looking campaigns. During our conversation we talk about not getting pigeon holed by one look and how he has continued to evolve his style, his aesthetic, and his goals for the future. We also talk about what it was like trying to take control in the chaos of shooting al the different animals for his latest project, trying to make the transition from commercial photographer to fine art photographer, having a good idea of what you want to do early on in your career, and the advice he gives to others coming up in the world of photography.
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Photographer, director, Nikon ambassador, and educator Joe McNally joins the show to talk about his legendary career, shooting for everyone from National Geographic to being Life Magazine's final staff photographer. Although Joe says there wasn't much creativity in his early years, he remembers a book of war photography his father gave him that definitely put a seed in his mind of what visual story telling could look like. He was always fascinated with good story telling and ended up going to college at Syracuse and majoring in journalism with the dreams of one day telling some of his own stories. During that time he would be required to take photography classes and, soon after seeing his first images come to life in the developer, quickly realized that he would prefer to tell stories with a camera instead of a pen. Once finishing his education, he would move to New York City and begin chasing his dreams of becoming a photographer, moving up the ranks from a stock boy at a newspaper to shooting for some of the biggest publications in the world. During our conversation we talk about staying in the present moment while creating a photograph and not becoming distracted by your surroundings, how he feels about the current state of photography and social media, becoming an ambassador for a company like Nikon, what keeps him motivated to keep shooting after all these years, and the advice he gives to those coming up in the world of photography.
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On this episode of the podcast we are joined by commercial and lifestyle photographer and filmmaker Dean Bradshaw who talks about making the career leap from zoologist to photographer/director and how he's continued to evolve his aesthetic as an artist to reflect his own maturing taste and stay relevant in an ever changing industry. Growing up in Perth Australia, Dean always loved the outdoors and the vast array of reptiles Australia is famous for. This interest would soon have him studying zoology and working in the field capturing and collecting data on different species. Around this same time digital photography was introduced to Dean and he soon became obsessed with the best way to capture and light the reptiles. Before long he was shooting other subjects and growing more and more interested in photography, lighting, and post production. His skills eventually led him to LA and a whole new career path. He quickly became known for being one of the new shooters that could capture and produce the hot new hyperreal look of the time. Within years he was shooting large advertising campaigns for some of the biggest companies a photographer could want to work with but became dissatisfied with his own style and knew he had to make a change. That would lead to the look, feel, and subject matter that many currently know Dean for. During our conversation we talk about stepping past the fear of changing a certain aesthetic that has made you successful to pursue your own changing tastes, how he became involved in filmmaking and how that influenced his photography, the challenges of the current era of photography and content and how young people need to value their own work, and advice he gives to others coming up in this industry.
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