Bryan Steffy Photography [bonzobilly]
Do you have an online gallery where one can view your photos?
For how long have you done photography? How did you begin?
I have been taking pictures my whole life. And six years ago started to do it professionally. Shooting weddings, events and anything that came my way as long as I was shooting photos was my initial goal. Practice, practice, practice.
What has been your education as a photographer?
I went to Community College of Southern Nevada to study photography for two years. The rest has been self taught and work experience.
Please list any exhibitions in which you have participated.
My work has been displayed at the community college.
Please list any awards for your work.
1st Annual Phil Hendrickson Award
Mac on campus 1st in wedding, 2002
Mac on campus 2nd in portraiture 2003
What is your favourite type of photography?
I like all aspects of photography. If I have to choose one it would be working on location, fashion, which allows me to be very creative, intuitive, and cutting edge.
What do you try to express through your photography?
Emotion. I try to capture the delicate moments between people as they get married and share those feelings with each other. I look for the essential look or gaze from a model who opens her/his feelings and lets me capture them. In an event, I try to capture the real life emotion occurring before me. It makes photography less of a science and more of an art, less like posed, tilt your head at a 45 degree angle, and more like dramatic captures of time and emotion.
How do you choose your subjects?
They generally choose me. I take a very zen stance on my photography. I will be at the right place at the right time.
What type of preparation do you do before undertaking the photo session?
Photography is more about psychology, and emotion than about pixels, aperture, or shutter speeds. I mean having an expert knowledge in the technical aspects is of utmost importance, however, knowing your subject, and connecting with them, making them comfortable enough with you so you can peer into their inner selves, breaking down that protective wall we all put up, and capturing it on film, or digitally is key. So to prepare, I learn as much about them as I can in whatever amount of time I have. The creativity forms from there.
Do you normally photograph with a purpose already in mind, or do you let yourself go with the flow?
I generally have an idea of what I want things to look like. But, I adapt. And, if right in the middle I see something more beautiful or thought provoking than I could have thought of initially, I change.
Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Sigma, Olympus, Sony, Pentax...which do you place your bets on and why?
Nikon, bodies, lenses and flash. Profoto, Alien Bees for lights. Mamiya and Hasselblad for larger format. Nikon feels right in my hands, its fast and reliable. I always use Nikon lenses, the glass is sharper. As far as lights, in studio I use Profoto, they are simply the best. On location, I use the Alien Bees, they are nearly indestructible and I have abused those lights.
Describe your current equipment: cameras, lenses, computers, accessories...
Nikon Cameras, lenses Flashes. Profoto studio lights. Alien Bees lights. as far as computers, I use PC. I have a monster custom built Sony laptop, as well as my desktop which has 6gs of ram and nearly a 1TB of storage. 4 500gb external drives, in my home office I use a 22in monitor at my studio i use a 42in monitor.
What software and plug-ins do you use to retouch and manage your photos?
photoshop cs3, cs2
alien skin pug in.
What measures do you take to protect your work against Internet piracy?
Are you a good salesperson of your work? In what should you improve?
I am not a good sales person at all. But, my work is. I let it speak for me.
Which past masters of photography do you most admire?
Richard Avedon. the master of capturing emotion.
Are technology and digital retouching reducing the gap between professionals and amateurs?
yes, I think it is unfortunate. But an average person will grab a camera put it on auto and take a picture of a flower, mountain or tree and the camera captures a beautiful image, and suddenly they are shooting weddings or a "photographer". Its sad really.
What is your team of habitual collaborators like?
I have used the same make up artists for nearly six years. Alison Bradford. I have used stylists and a couple assistance from time to time. But I am a minimalist. Less is more.
With which other photographers do you normally team up with or do sessions with?
I generally work alone.
Do you consider yourself more technical or more artistic?
a pleasant mix of both.
What have you learned about the art of framing and composition?
Understand the rules and break them. Be deliberate, and unrepentant, constantly look for new perspectives.
How does one develop the instinct of knowing when to press the shutter release button?
The same way your mom knows your stealing cookies from the cookie jar. Intuition. Though in photography it is a honed sense of timing, discipline, and determination.
When should one use film, and when should one use digital?
If I am going to do real artistic b+w or infrared, I shoot film. The rest is digital.
Does photography have the recognition that it should have in contemporary art museums?
No. I think its because of the proliferation of cameras. Everyone owns one, and "uncle bob" who reads photography today is a great photographer, so the value of what a true artist does is diminished. Imagine if every person had oils and paints and could be nearly as good as Van Gogh. We would be saying Van who?
Which websites for photographers do you frequently visit?
mainly the competition.
Is there any particular technique that you could share?
Don't drink tons of coffee before shooting at shutter speeds below 1/30
Bryan Steffy Photography
Las Vegas, Nv USA