Steve Richard | Photographer
Being a Photographer is pretty fun at times. I love the creative journey that I find myself on. I find that although I am a very visual person, I am getting more and more drawn by the world around me.
I try to spend a good deal of each week exploring blogs and looking for new inspirations to draw upon. Last week I found Steve Richard (Link). I got in touch as I always do and asked if I could share some of his work on my blog. I do encourage people to head over to Steve’s website for more of this lovely work.
For me, there are so many reasons why I love these images. The great use of light and space is just devine. The limited colours and tonal ranges just suit and finish what is a wonderful body of work. Timeless and classic.
Steve Richard has been plying his trade in the mysterious photographic arts for well over a quarter of a century. Steve is both a stills photographer and a cinematographer, thus bringing an unerring sense of style and composition to all of his work. Steve’s visuals capture the imagination, challenge preconceptions, and merge a classical ethos with urban grit and 21st Century techno-savvy.
Born and raised in a small town in Eastern Canada, Steven took his first photograph at the age of 12, over 37 years ago. Much of the early years were spent developing his craft while working in the various commercial facets of the photography trade. During this time he developed a significant love hate relationship with photography, and actually gave up shooting a number of times. During these down times he has worked as full time musician touring across Canada, a recording studio engineer, a fiber optic network designer, a teacher at Dalhousie University, a cinematographer , and has developed the necessary skills to produce a fine bowl of Tom Ka Guy soup. His passion for photography developed into a full obsession about a decade ago when he decided to only shoot the subjects that would interpret his view of the world. For the most part this meant a combination of humor and beauty mixed with the dark side of life. He now spends most of his fine art focus on dance and bodies in motion.
Kindly Steve also agreed to a question, I asked:
“Being a photographer myself, I do understand the creation process that can go into a shoot. Some people use an organic nature, some people use moodboards and careful planning combined with current observations to ensure there photographer tells the correct messages. Where do you find your work fits in with this process and do you think you as a person is truly represented in your work ?”
I look at the creative process as having two distinct paths, one being the craft of photography and the other being the art of photography. On the craft side I am more of what you would call “old school”. I have been involved with photography for over 30 years so needless to say I grew up with film related workflows. I am definitely not one of those shooters who are clinging to the film world; in fact I have been shooting digital since 2001 and would never go back. What is important for me, however, is that I still use the same mentality and approach that I did when shooting film. I am not very interested in post-production work and I spend a great deal of time with initial setup and lighting. I love the process of creating an image in camera and will rarely do anything in post.
On the art side I have a general set of rules that I call my personal dogma (strong form and line, subtle story lines, no sense of place, anonymity, etc.) that I apply to every image I create. This dogma is really the foundation and base for all of my work independent of the series. With each individual series I apply a more specific set of parameters that form a framework (constraints if you wish) for the images within the series. When it comes to the actual shoot I only have my personal dogma and the constraints for the particular series in mind when I begin to shoot. I will have certainly done the lighting and know the frame, but I do not have storyboards or any other significant planning beforehand. I like to wait until the model walks on set and then we begin to develop the shot. I guess you would call this more organic in nature since the shot is totally affected by the mood and emotional framework of both the photographer and model at the time. Definitely a bit more unpredictable than having every detail worked out beforehand but for me this is what I love about the creative process.
Am I truly represented in my work by this creative process? I have no idea. I have this saying that has become my mantra: “it is easy to create an image of a beautiful thing, what is difficult is to create a beautiful image” (replace beautiful with strong, unique, timeless, etc. and it still applies). What I have found is that many photographers find it difficult to recognise the difference between the two. I hope my creative process keeps me on the path of creating images that tend to be unique, strong and beautiful. I am definitely not at a point that I can create something wonderful every time I work, but every now and then I do end up with something that I believe fits this mantra, and in that maybe my creative process does represent who I am as an artist.