5 & 3/4 QUESTIONS
1. Describe yourself and your work. I’m a freelance director-photographer and the owner of Stableford Studios. We’re a small, fast-moving production company that specializes in capturing soulful stories and campaigns.
2. How did you get started? I started as a journalist and photojournalist in college, writing and shooting for college publications—and my real passion was climbing. Photography was my attempt to capture the beauty and the wonder of the mountains I visited. Over time my work has evolved to be much more focused on the human experience.
3. What piece of work best represents you and why? I really like the image of the swimmer with the whale shark—it has a sense of wonder, motion, and soulfulness that is really at the heart of the imagery I’m most excited to create these days.
4. What are you currently into? In the photography realm, I am really passionate about environmental portraiture—for me it’s the pinnacle of human storytelling in a single frame. I’m shooting a fine-art portraiture series for Canon this season called The Farmers, and I couldn’t be more excited about it! [Two of the portraits in this article are from that collection.] In the video realm, I am excited by any opportunity to craft a soulful story, be it a commercial campaign or a pro bono documentary. There are so many elements that go into creating a video project, and as such it can become an all-consuming artistic immersion.
5. Three things you’ve learned that young creatives should know. That’s a tough question—the older and wiser I get, the less advice I have for others! I have come to realize that everyone really has their own path. That said, here are a few things that are true for me:
Work more than you’re paid. It doesn’t mean you have to charge low rates; just put in more than the job requires. That’s the mindset on a production that carries the day, in my opinion.
Lead with love. Connect to your subjects, to your colleagues, and to the earth with your heart. It will create magic in your art.
Learn to communicate well. As artists, we understandably immerse ourselves heavily in the artistic side of our growth—yet it’s crucial to be able to write a strong pitch or a treatment with rich language. This can often be the key to winning a bid.
5¼. Fave color: Currently it’s steel blue-gray. I love to use it in skies in my photographs.
5½. Fave website: As an outdoor photographer, I have come to love the NOAA weather website and its detailed Tabular Forecast section—it seems like I refer to it constantly. My favorite site for a mix of photo/video inspiration and news is the Fstoppers blog.
5¾. Pet peeve: I really don’t spend time thinking about what irks me; it doesn’t improve my happiness. Can I say what I’m thankful for instead? I am glad I get to do an artistic job for a living!