Chris Crisman recently was interviewed by Washington DC based photographer, blogger, and podcast-er Patrick Onofre, who has been producing Staying in Focus Podcast since 2012. Chris was honored to interviewed and loved having the time to talk about photography.
Patrick sums up the interview nicely sharing that they “got into a slew of subjects – from his adoration of quaint, small towns and how growing up in one such town influences his work, to his days at the University of Penn, and how the javelin led to a successful career in photography. That, plus how his tastes have changed, how Photoshop does not make a photographer, why not NYC, and more.”
A few quotes from the interview worth highlighting:
“You develop your tastes and you know what you like, and really, the development of photography says so much about your own identity and what you’re drawn to and what inspires you.
“I think [regarding] the personal style issue, people still don’t get the idea that it’s not just what you do in Photoshop. It’s not just an aesthetic. It really has a lot to do with what you’re bringing to the table and your human connection with who’s on the other side of the camera.”
“[In commercial photography,] I think to make it work, to be successful, you need a really unique sense of drive and passion that can never give up. I think you just need this something inside you and some other influences of diversity that come from a liberal art school, and I think there’s something missing from the people who go to [an art school].
“The driving force of my career is making work where I’m the art director, I’m the stylist, I’m the photographer – where it’s totally independent and I’m controlling as many aspects as possible. [Commercial photography] is a very cooperative effort to meet in the middle… but when I do my own work, there are no rules. I just make the pictures that I’m passionate about, the pictures that I stay up at night, trying to conceive. And it’s that work that someone is not telling you to make that gets the work that people are paying you to make.”
“It’s nice to influence people, and I have certainly had a lot of influences, but at some point those that are influenced catch up, and you have to keep going.”
“We’re always trying to make a picture that beats out another photo in our portfolio. It sounds very competitive, and I guess it is, but the idea is that you’ve always got to be at your best and the work has to evolve. Time changes, tastes change, and your own tastes change. And you need to refine those.”