7 Great Photographers to Check Out

10 mins read
Paris photographer

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a life long love of photography. I love hearing about other people’s work, particularly the style choices they make, their chosen medium, and other insights into the process.

Each of the people featured here had been individually showcased on the website, and now they’re here as a little photo series of sorts. Below you’ll find photo galleries, Q&A’s, and a letter, along with a little bit of info on each of these six great photographers to check out.

Nick Prideaux

Who: Photographer Nick Prideaux

“I capture scenes from my life in a diaristic manner. My approach is guided by my intuition, rather than preconception and the camera gives me a way of looking at the everyday in a more conscious light and a way of surfacing thoughts and feelings that are otherwise difficult to access and express. My photographs center on the intimate and personal, a way to observe and bring out the beauty in the simplest and most unanticipated moments in life.”

Where: Nick is originally from Australia and now based in Paris.

Favorite camera: “Probably the Konica Hexar as I shoot a lot of my work on it – I adore its simplicity and the quality of images it produces.”

 

Natasha Wilson

Tell me about your background, at what point did photography become a career?

I have always loved art but wasn’t spectacular at painting or anything like that. Once photography fell into my hands, I fell in love. I could finally tell the stories that I wanted to through imagery. I graduated from photography school, traveled around lost for 5 years and finally landed in Los Angeles.

I started my photography career on a whim and was able to keep it with the help of social media. (Mostly Instagram). It’s been a wild ride and I love it.

How would you describe your image style? What about your shooting style?

I would describe my image style as whimsical, quirky, odd. Like eye candy! My shooting style is within the same realm, I would consider most of my work creative portraits.

Is there a general feeling that you try to evoke or does it depend on the project?

I always want to bring the viewer in, and make them look at the photo like they would a painting. See the different colors and how they were chosen, and create a storyline of what’s happening in the image. The longer I can get a viewer to see the image, the more enchanting it becomes.

There are a lot of bold color choices in your work. Even when the images are mostly white the vividness is there. How much of that is planned in advance vs inspired during the editing process? 

It depends on the series. Some are thoughtfully planned out, like the images in White Sands, NM when the queen in her red gown boldly struck the landscape behind her. Others are created by whim, when I bring the photo into photoshop and decide how I want to color it.

I think it feels like a collection of progress to me. I am still proud of the first images I captured, because I gave all I could at that time. I love seeing my work progress more and more each month.

Any interesting learning curves you’ve experienced? 

So many! Being freelance, being your own boss. Those are huge learning curves. I am still learning confidence and the will to sell myself and my work. I’ve also learned to create imagery and art based on what I love, not for the reaction of social media.

Alexa Bortz

As soon as I saw that beautiful blue water photo by Cape Town-based photographer and director Alexa Bortz, I wanted to talk to her. (It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I’m obsessed with blue, water, and film. So yeah, I’m a fan.)
Alexa Bortz and I chatted about her current projects, creative mediums, and being an artist.
film photo alexa bortz

Tell me about how you got started in photography and directing. 

I began my photographic journey while traveling for a year. Somewhere along my travels, I stumbled upon my first film camera, and ever since I was hooked. I think what originally drew me towards film was the rawness of it. I’ve always found that film captures things in their true essence, whereas with digital I always felt that I had to retouch my pictures to get the perfect colors and lighting.

In regards to directing, that’s something that has come naturally when trying to execute an idea as I had envisioned. For me, directing is simply just having the vision and being able to make it come to life, which goes hand and hand with being a photographer.

Are you drawn to certain colors and creating certain moods? 

Color is hands down, the driving force behind pretty much everything that I create. To me, the element of color is what inspires me and a very important factor when trying to express a specific tone. I usually find that the moods I try to express stem from the what I am feeling from certain colors at the time.

How do you approach taking photos of people, as an observer or a director or both?

I find snapping a picture in a moment where the person is least expecting it is where the magic happens. Regardless if I’m photographing and directing on a shoot, or simply taking candids in random moments, going about them are the same. Snapping the picture in that split second where the individual in front of the lens is at their most vulnerable, yet most comfortable state, is what I find to be key.

How does living in Cape Town influence your work?

Cape Town holds such a special place in my heart, and I personally find it to be one of the most incredible cities on earth. The endless array of natural beauty and saturation of color within the city has without a doubt inspired my photography.

How do you find balance as an artist?

I personally find that the key to having the perfect balance is immersing creativity into my daily life. Being a student, I have an opportunity to produce work that can be used for my portfolio. I currently am in the process of creating a few interesting projects, and hopefully, collaborate with other talented artists. So I guess the most important thing for me at the moment is solely to just keep on creating daily, in some shape or form.

What inspires you?

I find the people and places I surround myself with tend to be my biggest source of inspiration. Being in the right environment helps my creative juices flow and tap into personal or social topics that I am experiencing at the time.

Tell me about your mediums, you shoot 35mm, you also illustrate…

I have quite a few creative outlets at the moment. My priority and main craft is film photography, but I occasionally switch to digital when I’m shooting stars at night (which is very rarely at the moment). I also enjoy creating digital collages from my photographs, it’s a really fun way to get a bit weird with outtakes. On the side, I enjoy illustrating and painting. I’m currently going through this phase where most of my drawings are hairy naked men in BDSM gear, so let’s see where else that takes me!

What are you working on now?

I currently just finished an editorial series with my best friend and creative partner, Andrea Loupis, entitled: “Plastic Never Dies” focusing on our plastic consumption and the consequences it ultimately has on our environment. Andrea and I will be releasing the full project on our Instagrams soon, so keep a look out!

Cape Town Photographer Alexa Bortz can be found on Instagram.

 

Alex Rose Lang

Who: Film photographer Alex Rose Lang

What: Self-portraits on Polaroid

Find photographer Alex Rose Lang on Instagram

 

Bryan Octaviano

Location?

San Fernando Valley.

What type of camera(s) do you shoot with?

  1. Canon Ae1 (main)
  2. Canon t3
  3. Contax t2

When and why do you shoot film?

I mostly shoot on film. I started off with digital, but I soon realized that I get trigger happy and forget to focus. Shooting film helped me slow down and forced me to take enough time to compose the right shot.

Plus the process of capturing the moment in film feels more natural. I like how it captures the color and whatever happens along the development process is just part of the art.

How did you first get started in photography?

MySpace in all honesty. I just wanted to have a dope profile picture. So I always carried my mom’s camera with me, either using it to photograph my friends or on a tripod for a selfie. Nothing crazy or exciting, but I sure thought they were cool. Then when I turned 19 that’s when I started to take it seriously.

 

What gets you excited to shoot?

Visiting a new place or revisiting an old shooting ground always is something to look forward to. Also, working with new faces presents me with new challenges.

Depends on the situation, when shooting street portraits I try to look at every one. People always have something that catches my attention. From a wrinkly old shirt to a shiny gold ring, I would use that to break the ice and take the picture.

Bryan can be found on his website and on Instagram at @octohpus._

 

Jason Foster

When did you first started shooting?

I retired from the Coast Guard in 2014 and had the GI Bill benefit. I attended all kinds of personal training schools to get certified so I could make that money.  I always wanted to attend art school as I grew up drawing/painting, and it was my escape so to speak…that and skateboarding.

Anyway, after finishing all my training schools, I only had 2 years left of the benefit.  I checked with the Art Institute Los Angeles, and they had a 2-year Photography program available, so I jumped in.

Why film?

When I signed up for school, I was a bit naive as to what it entailed…99 percent of the program was digital-based, so I was less than thrilled. Having come from a time (before digital) I expected at the very least some film studies.  I remember seeing my dad’s contact sheets laying around, and always enjoyed the aesthetic they brought.  Anyway, flash forward two years and I’m graduating, and immediately selling all my digital gear.

Most memorable shoot?   

Towards the end of school, I was working on my final which involved a lot of self-exploration/psychoanalysis. It was about growing up with an alcoholic mother…I was fortunate enough to find someone willing to share their similar upbringing through this process.  We worked a couple of days a week for a couple of months really diving into some darker places.  The results were beautifully honest.

Any film failures?

I’ll never tell… but yeah, I often shoot with expired film.

How would you describe your style?   

Brutally Honest.

All your pics feel intimate/thoughtful/something like that. How does that feeling come about? 

It’s about connecting with whomever I shoot with… Sometimes it takes a few ‘shoots’ to gain the trust, or open the door if you will. I’m an open book, so a big part of it is willing to be transparent as well.

Favorite camera(s) and why? 

If I tell you, my other cameras will be jealous and vindictive. To be completely honest, I don’t geek out on gear.  I’ve tried most, and found that Nikon suits me just fine.

Tell me about pairing song lyrics with your pics.

Music is a big fucking deal for me. So when I go into a lot of shoots, I like to play music, often it will be music that my subject is into. I use to use lyrics from songs that we’d listen to during our shoots, but lately I’ve let that go.  Right now though, I am listening to some good ole Radiohead (fake plastic trees) and I fucking love it.  Sorry about all the fucks, but I am a sailor, so I have many excuses…

Favorite song/s in general:   

Jeez.  Radiohead (go slowly, nude, weird fishes, house of cards, present tense, tinker tailor soldier) a shit ton of others, but since we’re listening to Radiohead…

Favorite meal?   

Trouble Coffee cinnamon toast with an americano, San Francisco. (look it up)

Dream car? 

I have it… 1973 Ford F100, and her name is Christine.

If you had a superpower it would be?   

I don’t even know… to make everyone color blind… we are all the same inside and out.

Do you ever feel psychic?   

Only when I drive.

What is success?   

Finding my wife, Shawna.

Find Jason Foster on Instagram @thredays

Amanda Martin

Dear Divvy,

My name is Amanda Martin and I am a photographer… a word/title I hate because I feel like I will never live up to it. When asked when or why I started shooting I never really know what to say. Now, looking back, I have always loved photography or saw things in picture form. I love people watching, studying movements, finding beauty in EVERY body, and creating a story through angles and light.

I feel that my whole life trajectory has lead me to photography. I always knew that there was an artist in me, but finding my art was a long process. I experimented with interior design, sewing, movement, hair, make-up…the the works. It wasn’t until I was gifted a beautiful camera for my birthday in 2017 did I have that “Harry finding his wand” moment.

It felt natural, and all I could think about were the images that I couldn’t wait to create. My mind organically saw and created in portraits. My craft grew from photographing family and friends to capturing yoga and movement, and most recently my clientele has been wanting more boudoir.

 

Boudoir photography is not something I ever thought of doing or really even knew about. With that said, it has quickly jumped to my favorite type of shooting environment. The energy and purpose of each individual drive for why they want to do it, makes each shoot so unique, empowering, and fun.

As I grow in my art, my hope is to be able to empower more women of all ages, races, and backgrounds; to grow my audience and begin traveling to allow my creativity to flourish beyond what my day to day now can generate.

Attached are a few samples of the amazing humans I have had the privilege to photograph, get to know, and befriend.

Find the photographer on Instagram: @lifeforce_photography

I'm Kate Ferguson, an L.A.-based Writer, Filmmaker, Social Media Strategist, and Blogger at, right here, That's Random Kate! (Previously Divvy Mag.) I love storytelling in its various forms, growth, shooting 35mm film, learning super random facts, building community, and admiring palm trees. Find me on Instagram: @KateFerg. (Where there will definitely be 35mm photos of palm trees.)

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