Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Lets Meet: Adrian Holmes, Photographer

by Paola Hornbuckle

Adrian Holmes is a photographer from Toronto, Canada with extensive experience and a love for the female form which he portrays in various dramatic poses. His models are tall, slim and limber and seem to blend into the background. His photographs capture a serious tone replete with darkness and shadows, full of sensuality and depth that evoke strong emotion. In this interview he tries to gives us a glimpse into what motivates and inspires him.

ANF: Why do you love photography…why is it important to you?

AH: Great question. Hard to answer.  I guess it’s as a result of needing to create and express myself. For me, photography seems to be my way of doing so. I’m kind of shy so public speaking is a no go, I’m not great with paint and I’m a terrible dancer.
As far as what I love about photography as a medium for expression. I love the way light and shadow play on a subject. I love creating something that provokes an emotion in me and the viewer. It’s an incredible thing to create something that never existed before. 

ANF: How do you go about choosing the locale or setting?

AH: I’m very interested in architecture and interior design. I find it interesting to combine artistic portraits with spaces. I make notes and take pics with my iPhone as I travel around the city etc... Later when I feel the urge to start a new project I refer back to my list. I go online to find images of the spaces then try to visit the spaces and do a site inspection then beg and plead with the owners to allow me to shoot. I select the location depending on the mood of the project.

ANF: Models seem to blend into the surroundings...

AH: In many cases, the environment is almost as important to me as the model. The surroundings are very much a part of the message I’m try to convey or the story I’m trying to tell. I try to light or at least control the light in such away as not make my subjects “pop” rather have them be a part of the environment. I have a much different approach to studio shoots. 

ANF: What are you looking for in a model?

AH: When I’m looking for a model for a particular project I pre-visualize the end result and try to find a model that fits that mental picture. I look through their portfolios and the thing I look for first is a sense of grace and fluidity in their movement or poses. I love to see candids or behind the scenes images because you get a glimpse of their personalities. I’m a very low key easy going guy and work well with people who don’t take themselves so seriously

ANF: Any advice for up and coming photographers?

 Yes…Just to qualify what I’m about to say…..a photographer to me is someone who has devoted their life to photography. If you have 10,000 posts on Instagram and have a million likes your’e not a photographer. Your’e a master of taking “snaps”….Is that harsh?

If you put anything before your art you are not an artist. You can be a practicing Doctor, Lawyer or work at Best Buy in the local mall and still be a great photographer if the art is your driving force, the thing you can’t do without….be honest with yourself ask yourself, “ Do I have to be a photographer?" If the answer is maybe and maybe I can do something else as well, or you’re not sure, then you’ll never realize your full potential as a photographer/artist. 

Being a great photographer is not about the equipment you have, it’s about what’s inside of you. You must have a passion for photography…. gear is something you can borrow, rent or buy. Technical knowhow is something you can take a course in or get from YouTube. Passion is something you must have in order to succeed.

Be humble, you’ll never know it all. It doesn't matter if you’ve just started or are a seasoned pro that teaches workshops, learn to accept critique and learn. The journey never ends.

Study images from the past and present in any medium. Dissect photographs and paintings; analyze the lighting, composition, textures and mood. Study light in the world around you. Study the light coming through your window in the morning, the light from that annoying florescent bulb in your buddy’s kitchen, study movies, documentaries and cinematography.  Be a student of light. The following lesson took a while for me to learn :(    Don’t chase money. Create, exhibit and network. The rest will come.

Lastly, a quote from Annie Liebovitz “ When you learn to trust your own point of view, that’s when you really start making pictures”

CLICK HERE to see more of Adrian's work!

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