Interview-Fashion Photographer David Rodriguez
-Do you agree that you are challenged everyday to create something that has never been created before?
I do believe we are challenged on a daily basis but this challenge is up to us to set with high standards in order to create new concepts. However this is not something that should burden you nor should it force you to have to create all the time. I believe that inspiration comes when it has to in many ways so when you do strike with that moment of inspiration you should embrace it.
If by any coincidence your idea happens to have been done before you should not worry, just focus it based on your style of photography because I do believe we are all different and we interpret things in our own particular way.
-Can you describe your creative process? What do you look for when creating a shoot and do your shoot line up to be what you expected?
My creative process is based on inspiration. My inspiration comes from music, colours, locations, movies, photographs or even while strolling down the main street. You never know what you may find. Once the concept is decided I normally prepare a mood board. After that my next step is to assemble my team. I decide on who is best suited to create hair, make-up and styling. Having said that I will mention I have an established team already which helps tremendously. When the location has been scouted and is decided upon I allow this same location to inspire me to think of the final look for the concept.
The mood board is used to show my team my vision and to provide examples of hair and make-up and styling. With that in place we all have a chance to feed in ideas that at the end deliver the required shoot/editorial we were after.
Last but not least scouting the model is really important. I look for agency models with experience. You must realize that shooting an entire day requires a big effort and if the model knows what she is doing then you can concentrate on all the other matters like lighting for example.
-You have to have a favorite artist in mind that drives your creativity or inspires you, who would that be?
Photographers such as Eugenio Recuenco, Mario Testino, Michael David Adams, Ivo de Kok, Mikhail Malyugin are just a few to mention who inspire me. All different, all unique, all artists who express themselves through there work. For me they are important in terms of what they provide me……Inspiration!!!
-How would you describe yourself as a person & artist?
I consider myself as a modest hard working person, humble in many ways. Very stubborn but with a big heart, willing to help others and in need of a good laugh because I strongly believe smiles and laughter can cure all.
As an artist I am a hard working perfectionist. I see all my flaws and tell myself I could have done better because in my opinion it’s the only way to improve. Keeping your feet on the ground as an artist is very important to me as we are learning every day.
-How did you know you wanted to be a photographer?
This sort of happened by accident. It was a hobby at first, I just wanted something to replace my eagerness to create as I had been a former student of the fine arts since a very young age. My university days and work took that away from me, I did not have much time and knew I could not paint anymore so I grabbed an SLR.
Never would I have known in a million years that this would hook me straight away. I just wanted to learn more, try out new things, different genres and by the time I realized it was too late. The day came and I knew I wanted to do this fulltime and become a professional photographer.
-Do you have a favorite photographers who inspire you? Why is that?
I have a few but my personal favourite is Lindsay Adler. She simply loves what she does just like me. I find that extremely important. I love her style, her approach to things and I must confess she has taught me a great many things.
-In the artistic world of photographers, do you see yourself not only trying to achieve your perfect shoot but also being known for your work?
Yes in a way. But there is logic to that simply because I first search for and try to achieve the perfect photograph. When I say this I mean the perfect image must be produced in camera. If it isn’t then do not think for a second photoshop will fix it. If after having achieved that you happen to have the perfect location, lighting, hair, make-up, and styling then I am a happy man. I do admit that shoot is still to come, I keep on finding flaws in my work, my perfectionist attitude is not helping lol but I am close and yes of course we all want to be known. Artists need an audience do they not?
-If you could shoot an editorial anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why is that?
What an easy question. That’s simple. New York! Simply because it is a dream of mine to shoot an editorial in the capital city of fashion.
-What was the main reason that you decided to become a photographer?
The reason why I became a photographer was mainly because I needed a change in career paths in order to be happy and to be able to express my artistic side that had been suppressed for so long.
-Tell me about your latest shoot. What was your vision when you created it?
My last shoot is an editorial called “Like A Doll”. My vision was to work with a model I had scouted. She impressed me, I knew what her potential was and wanted to exploit that with “bold” exaggerated posing that resembled that of a “pretty doll” but yet showing of great strength not just beauty or great lighting. It needed to be different and I must say I am happy to have achieved that goal. It is the perfect example of having created a concept in your mind and later executing it.
-To be a photographer, you had to undergo a lot of struggles. What was the most difficult obstacle for you when putting together a shoot?
At the beginning when you start out the struggle is that no one knows you, you have no portfolio and you have no contacts within the fashion industry within your geographical area. This represents as a massive barrier. The only option at first is through collaboration and this is how you start out. Once you start meeting people and publishing work eventually organizing shoots becomes easier.
-Does your personal life ever effect how you compose your shoots or do you have a set schedule/formula that you follow? What is it exactly?
I am a family man so my work is scheduled normally during the weekends although I do get work that needs to be carried out during the week. I work on my photography business on a full time basis and I try to balance my personal and professional life to the best of my ability.
-Who excites you the most (Celebrity) & why?
The celebrity I follow is called Philippe Coutinho, he is a Brazilian football player who plays for Liverpool FC in the Engllish Premier League. I follow him simply because he is to my understanding the most talented player in the squad and his passion and determination prove to mark the difference when composure is needed in order to obtain results. Very humble and extremely talented, two qualities I value greatly.
-If you had to pass on a suggestion for someone starting out in photography, what would you tell them?
For those starting out the number one advice would be, to keep your feet on the ground, to be humble, to work hard, to keep on learning everyday as I still do today and to never give up. Aim high and challenge yourself as it is the only way in which to improve.
-How is your style of photography different from others different from any other photographers?
Ever since I started out the first thing I told myself was that I did not want to be like the other local photographers, that I wanted a style of my own. This was clear for me from the very beginning. My goal was that each time I published an image those who saw it would recognize it even without my watermark. I find this extremely important.
-What are your world-dominating goal.
I don’t know about world domination but I do know that I have set myself with targets I aim to achieve throughout the duration of my career as a fashion photographer but without ever forgetting my roots and my humble beginnings. This is very important to me.