Having “taste” or being stylish isn’t just about a killer wardrobe but all inclusive of cultivating a lifestyle that is well representative of your life; inside and out. Style doesn’t stop at your shoes, even skin or perfect waist or expensive accoutrements. In order to cultivate a chic lifestyle or create any kind of taste level you have to be open to and well versed in all types of “thinspiration” i.e. food, fashion, film, fitness and music. Many ways we learn about these incredibly creative elements of taste is through photography.
Art is a major ingredient in inspiring the happenings and beautiful creations of the various forms of thinspiration aforementioned. From what we wear, purchase, watch and listen to it’s all documented through photography. Even myself scroll hours upon hours of different photo sharing sites to awake my imagination in the hope to elevate my surroundings. In the age of everyone with an iPhone being a photographer and capturing beautiful moments of their life to share with the world I am always in awe when I find someone who possess the ability to capture life happenings and turn it into art.
Pictures is a driving force to getting into the minds of people, take Curtis Bryant for example. He is a genius photography I found on Instagram (FUCKYEAHCURTISBRYANT) about a year. He has the uncanny ability to seize an everyday moment with his phone and then pick up his camera and create breathtaking pieces of art with his lens.
What makes a brilliant photographer to me isn’t just someone who gets a lucky shot, rely on a pretty face or half think through concepts. A brilliant photo is someone who invest in their craft mentally and physically so much that no matter the subject or subject matter you know their work. A brilliant photographer is imaginative, knowledgeable and innovative. A brilliant photographer’s eye see things that the normal eye can’t. It’s a brilliant photographer that is able to create a whole moment in that little benign spark. As I’m attempting to dabble in the world of photography (read as: I’m redecorating my apartment) I had to pick Bryant’s brain for this issue of “Taste Coach.”
Sometimes I catch myself salivating over his work. His approach, full view and diversity in his work is wonderful; going through his Tumblr alone is like a candy store. After reading his interview stop by his site and indulge in his many confections. Don’t fret, it’s impossible to get fat.
The youngest of 3 kids, it was fully apparent that I was the “creative” one of the family. Everyone knows it’s not the easiest thing to be the creative one in the family or in the Bronx for that matter. Growing up I had to come into my own skin and prove that I was comfortable with myself, until everyone got use to it.
What got you into photography?
CB- I got into photography by accident. My degree is in Communication Design (basically graphic design) from Parsons. My mom brought me a camera one Christmas and I was the friend who took pictures of his other friends when we were out at the club. One day, someone wrote me and asked how much I charge for photos. The rest is history.
What is Fake Socialite NYC about?
CB- ‘Fake Socialite’ is a term that a good friend of mine and I came up with a few years back, when we first entered what’s known in New York as “The Scene”.
In our generation it’s easy to be considered famous or popular in a short amount of time and even though it’s a great feeling to be loved and admired, but it’s also very clear when someone hasn’t taken their humility pills. I’m now using the term Fake Socialite, not as a negative term but more as a reminder to people to remain humble and use their voice for good. (www.fsnyc.bigcartel.com )
Favorite aspect of photography.
CB- My favorite aspect of photography is the power and energy it holds. Photos mean so much to people and to the world. We use them to recall memories and feelings. Being able to contribute to that is wild.
How do you get out of a creative rut?
CB- If I’m in a creative rut I usually listen to music or just ignore being a creative for a little bit and just live my life. Within an hour I’m usually thinking about art again.
What would you say your specialty is?
CB- My anti-photoshop style also plays a major role in my work. People fall in love with my work and when they find out that it hasn’t been photoshopped, I think they appreciate it more. What you see is what you get with my art and me.
What factors most influences your shooting style?
CB- I’m all about energy. If I don’t feel some type of way about something then it’s not worth shooting.
Where do you find inspiration?
CB- I’m influenced by everything honestly. I like to mix the influences in my head so people always feel the need to ask me why I did something.
Image you go back to the most for reference.
CB- I look at Kehinde Wiley’s work a lot. He’s a painter who really captures my 3 favorite things, which are black people, energy and environment.
Who are some photographers, artists or designers that have inspired you the most?
CB- He isn’t a crowd favorite but I love Terry Richardson. I Really appreciate him for having fun while making lots of money. He doesn’t take himself seriously but knows he can deliver. As can I.
Three words to describe your personal style.
CB- If were talking fashion wise then…. Hood, Sex, Art. If were talking about my artwork then Clean, Striking and Important
Do you prefer to cast your own model or work for hire?
CB- I like to cast my own models. The works for hire models get enough life buy so many photographers. Why not give someone just as interesting looking without a contract a chance?
What criteria go into capturing an image or bring a concept to life?
CB- That’s something that’s different for every artist but for me personally I like to imagine how different types of people will perceive my concept. The best art is the kind that gets people talking and sharing their views.
What does “taste” mean to you?
CB- Taste to me is something that makes you feel good. This too is something that is different for each person.
Most savored image you’ve captured.
CB- One of my favorite photos that I’ve ever captured is one of my recent ones with my friend Akeema Zane. The shoot took no more than an hour but the photos came out exactly how we wanted. The responses to the image have been amazing as well. Words like “Classic” and “Timeless” were used to describe it. That made me really happy.
Most distasteful thing you’ve captured.
CB- Recently I did a shoot with my friend Davi and I mixed in my talent of body painting. I had never captured photos that just oozed sex before. When editing I erased so many pictures because they made me uncomfortable. My favorites can be found on my website though. (www.Curtisbryantphotography.tumblr.com)
Ideal time of day to shoot outside.
CB- I usually schedule my shoots for 2PM. I feel like that’s when the sun is at her best. Also, 5-5:30PM right before the sunsets is great too. The sky has shades of pinks and purple’s in it.
Preferred lens to shoot with.
CB- Whatever I can get my hands on honestly.
Which environment do you like to shoot in, natural light or studio?
CB- I prefer to shoot in natural lighting but in the past few months thanks to my friend Charley Sanchez I have become more and more in love with what you can do in a studio.
Photo faux pas beginning photographers do.
CB- 1. TOO MUCH DAMN PHOTOSHOP 2. TOO MUCH DAMN NUDITY 3. NOT ENOUGH CREATIVITY 4. ALL OF THE ABOVE
Share one shooting trick or tip.
CB- One tip that I can give to any photographer is to shoot whatever you find beautiful. Photography is about opening others eyes to the small things they overlook.
Where do you wish to take (elevate) your work?
CB- I pray more work continues to reach many people and also inspires them. My photography style has changed in recent months so I’m excited to see myself how my work elevates and grows.