Art&Style: When did you first fall in love with photography?
Rob Woodcox: I would say I fell in love with photography nearly from the moment I started developing film in the darkroom three years ago. I wanted to learn photography the hard way, and each exposure had me brimming with excitement as I waited for it to develop. The transition to digital was simple, and my knowledge from the darkroom really advanced my learning of Photoshop.
A&S: What are some of your biggest inspirations for your work?
RW: For starters I am very inspired by God and all of the things he created and invested in me. I rely on Him daily and often dream of Heaven. As far as photographic inspirations go, Richard Avedon and Annie Liebovitz first sparked my interest in taking photographs to the next level, beyond just taking snapshots. Seeing their incredible sets, wardrobe, compositions, and movement throughout images invigorated my creative senses. Some more modern influences that I have since discovered are Brooke Shaden, Rosie Hardy, Lissy Elle, and Alex Stoddard… although the list could go a long way!
A&S: A lot of your images have an otherworldly feel, do you tend to think that way or is it more symbolic in nature?
RW: I think my answer would be a little of both. As I mentioned I often dream of Heaven, which is quite other-worldly, but I also find a lot of symbolism in the locations, props, wardrobe, and models I work with. It is important to me that meaning is ever-present in all aspects of a shoot.
A&S: Often you write almost a creative rationale for each image, is that a habit or part of the creative process?
RW: For me, having a story to accompany my images is important. I actually don’t find a need to write along with my images, as I also enjoy hearing other people’s takes on my work, but to inspire others and fully convey my intentions with a piece, I find writing useful.
A&S: Any upcoming projects or ideas that you are working on?
RW: Haha! I have to laugh at that question only because my head is literally exploding with ideas. I have a list of over a hundred ideas I’d like to execute at some point, but to focus on one project, I am currently developing a fundraiser to benefit abused and neglected foster kids. Through wildly surreal portraits of children in unusual settings, I am going to convey emotions that will hopefully grab people’s attention and inspire them to make changes to problems that are unacceptable.
A&S: Which styles of photography do you enjoy the most: traditional, digital, experimental, or specific genre?
RW: The styles of photography I enjoy most tend to be experimental and bridge multiple genres. I myself prefer to bridge gaps between landscape, portrait and fashion. Artists I discover that do those genres well tend to be my favorites!
A&S: What is some of your favorite equipment: lenses, camera, lighting, props?
RW: I love my 5D mk II, my 50mm 1.4, and my 24-70 2.8. I also don’t mind natural or artificial lighting, whether I am reflecting some fill, using speed lights, or breaking out the pro-foto, I love using whatever fits each idea best! At this point I don’t own lighting equipment but I have been fortunate to use it quite often and am looking to purchase some soon!
A&S: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
RW: In the next five years I see myself being much more invested in creating artwork for well-established organizations, businesses, and public figures, especially organizations that benefit people. As I build my name and skills I am hoping my efforts will be noticed and respected in the industry at large.
Hey followers, it’s time to relaunch our seasonal artist series. Our featured artist is Sarah Moyer, a recent college graduate and an awesome photographer! Art & Style just finished her interview, take a look.
Art&Style: What is your biggest sources of inspiration for you work?
Sarah Moyer: I’d say I have two big sources of inspiration for my work. As cheesy as it sounds, people are one of them. I prefer to work in portraiture, so when I run across someone interesting, it makes me want to create more work. The other source, which some people may or may not know about, is Lady Gaga. She’s been such a huge part of my life for the past four years and has had a lot to do with the person I am today. She has an impact on everything I do, whether it’s an obvious aesthetic quality to my work, or just the way she makes me feel while I’m working on a piece.
A&S: You work in a variety of mediums, from painting to photography, which one is your favorite?
SM: Photography has always been the biggest part of my work, so obviously there’s a lot of attachment there for me. However, about a year ago I started working with oil paints, and I’ve come to enjoy the medium quite a bit. I most definitely do not consider myself to be proficient in painting, so I like to take my time on pieces to get them where I’d like them to be. Since I do take my time with painting, the work is obviously a lot slower than it is when I do a series of photos. I enjoy the fact that I can get more work out of photography in a shorter amount of time, but I also feel like there’s a relationship built with a painting when I spend so much time on it. I’m honestly not sure if I could choose a favorite medium to work with, since I love them both for different reasons. However, when it comes to a career, painting is honestly just a hobby for me, so I think I’d have to choose photography.
A&S: What inspired the murder scene photos?
SM: I based the photos off of the television series Dexter, which is about a serial killer who takes justice into his own hands. Dexter Morgan is my favorite character from anything I’ve ever read or seen, so I really wanted to do a series based off of him that embodied his character as well as I could without tying a specific person’s face to the photos.
A&S: How difficult was it to set up each shot (blood, lighting, etc.)
SM: Setting up my own “kill room” took about an hour and a half total, including making the blood from scratch. From there, we (my model and I) scattered the fake blood and had at it. My model knew nothing of Dexter until I asked him to do the shoot, so I’d say he did a pretty great job playing my killer without much knowledge prior to the actual shoot. The entire shoot, including set up, was a lot easier than expected, extremely fun, and is to this day my favorite shoot I’ve ever done!
A&S: Any upcoming projects or pieces that you are excited about?
SM: I don’t have any specific photo projects I’m working on. However, I do have a handfull of 120mm film rolls that I’ve been shooting here and there with my twin lens Holga camera. It’s mainly an experimental thing since it’s a camera I’ve recently acquired. One roll I’ve shot completely wide angle, one is all double exposures, and so on. I’m curious to see what I get when I develop them all! For painting, I’ve got two portraits planned for the future. One will be another portrait of Deborah Ann Woll, an actress who was the subject of the first portrait I did. The second will be another of Miss Gaga, but it will be involving a bit of content for the Monster Community. I have no clue when I’ll finish either portrait, since I plan on spending my time with them, but I’m excited to work on paintings again!
A&S: You’ve mentioned experimental photography, what other styles of it do you enjoy?
SM: Obviously I like working with 120mm film, but something I’ve really taken to is hooking up an external flash to my Holga camera. It’s probably the most scary and shifty route I’ve taken with 120mm, but I’ve gotten some really good results with it. I also really enjoy working with different forms of photo transfers, auratones, pinhole (it’s a love/hate relationship depending on the vessel I use), and gum bichromate printing.
A&S: What are your thoughts on the Holga and Diana camera popularity boom amongst young adults?
SM: I do love that Holga and Diana are becoming more popular over time because I think people should know about something so great. However, I do honestly get a bit frustrated with the apps that have been put out there that filter digital photos to look like 120mm film because I feel people abuse it, or that it discredits the people who actually shoot with a Holga or Diana. Part of the beauty in 120mm film for me is how experimental it is and that you may only get one good photo out of an entire roll, and I think turning it into a digital process takes that beauty away from it.
A&S: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
SM: Ideally, I’d hope to have found a career somewhere in the photography field by then. I’d love to work for a magazine such as Interview and do their feature shoots. Fashion editorials for almost any magazine would be something I’d enjoy, actually. I’d also like to work on an even bigger scale such as television shows or movies and direct the photography for them.
A&S: Any favorite artists?
SM: I’ve definitely taken a liking to Melanie Pullen. Over all, I think she’s my favorite photographer based upon her body of work. I also like Terry Richardson a lot. Granted, he’s not as focused on the art aspect of photography, but I like him for what he’s doing with his career. He’s what I’d like to be when I “grow up”, so to speak. He photographs a lot of celebrities, both candidly and for feature shoots in magazines. And, of course, he’s got an entire photo book with Gaga, so that definitely increases the envy factor!
I’m working on a self-promotion project and need to pick 4 projects that are my most memorable. Problem is that it is too hard to choose! This is where you come in, please take a moment to visit my website and answer, or message, me your favorite 4 pieces from ANY category on my website! Much obliged!
What are your top four picks from my website?