Tuesday, January 4, 2011

MaP 7Q Interview with... NIC PERSINGER

I'm really happy to share very first 7Q MaP Interview with you! 7Q MaP will be a regular column in this blog. You'll find here short interviews with great photographers about their particular amazing portrait and more.
If you want to be featured here in 7Q MaP please post a link to amazing portrait you made to comments. I'll contact you in case your portrait will be good enough for being featured here in 7Q MaP.

Today we have a great portrait by NIC PERSINGER (USA):

1Q/ Can you please tell us the story behind this portrait? How you took it and why you choose to shoot this person?
This was taken while walking down 17th street, in DC, while I was in school. My style of shooting isn't very staged, so it was as simple as saying: stay there for a second and look at me. The person in this photograph is my girlfriend. She's always been my main subject of my portrait work, since she's always near and damn pretty in front of a lens. I remember when we were walking down 17th Street there was a detour on the sidewalk due to construction. The sunlight hitting the pavement through the scaffolding was beautiful. I noticed when walking through it all on Julianna's face. I stopped her and said, "let me take your picture." She paused, and I snapped one, but she thought for sure she blinked. I shot another one to make sure. Of course, when I processed the negatives, she had her eyes closed in the first shot. I like them both quite a bit. 

2Q/ What photography gear you used here and why? What is usually in your photo bag?
I shot this with my favorite and most used camera, my Pentax 6x7. Usually I don't carry a bag, I just have that around my shoulder and a few rolls of Ektar in my pockets. 

3Q/ What do you love most about shooting portraits?
I like talking to people when I photograph them. I don't necessarily get to know them to convey an idea of a relationship in the portrait, I just really enjoy sharing stories. 

4Q/ Do you consider yourself mostly as a “portrait” photographer?
I don't at all, I have a very democratic view of the things I photograph. Whether it's a person, tree, dead animal, or a '68 Oldsmobile; they're all as interesting and important to me. 

5Q/ Do you work with available light or do you use additional lightning often?
I strictly use available light. My method of shooting just isn't fit for flashes and lighting kits. The things that catch my eye have plenty of light, if they didn't, I wouldn't have noticed them. 

6Q/ What/who are your photography muses and influences?
I have a strange attraction to the bizarre. I was raised in West Virginia in a small town surrounded by lots of forrest. I will always be interested in photographing where I'm from. I view it as someone who is from there but also notices just how strange it can be there, too. My family also always has a large place in my work. My home always drives my photography.
As for other influences, I'll forever love William Eggleston. I always notice a big part of him in my work. I also love Alec Soth, Todd Hido, and Terri Weifenbach. Breece D'J Pancake was a brilliant writer that has made a big impression on me in the past year. There's a lot of great friends of mine that influence me as well that are photographers, writers, and painters. Jordan Swartz, Randolph Williams, and Julianna Corby, just to name a few of many. 

7Q/ Any tip for taking better portraits?
Make them say "cheese."

Thank you, Nic!

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